Gray Television, Inc. (GTN) - NYSE
  • Thu, Apr. 14, 6:24 PM
    • Gray Television (GTN -2.8%) has made a strategic investment in Syncbak, a company that takes regular old over-the-air broadcasts and replicates them for over-the-top delivery.
    • Gray's chief digital and technology officer, Jason Effinger, joins Syncbak's board, and Gray is investing $3M in the company.
    • Syncbak technology powers OTT solutions including CBS All Access, and is deployed in more than 180 TV stations across 150 markets, including representatives of all major networks and 51 broadcast groups.
    • The move drew praise from the National Association of Broadcasters: "We are delighted to see a major broadcaster like Gray invest in Syncbak. It speaks volumes as to how far Syncbak has come since the NAB provided early stage funding for the concept in 2010 via our FASTROAD program."
    • Now read Gray Television - Benefits Of Recent Acquisition Overlooked »
    | Thu, Apr. 14, 6:24 PM
  • Tue, Mar. 22, 3:52 PM
    • Media General (NYSE:MEG) has taken an afternoon dip, now down 2.3% on heavy volume, as dealReporter says a Georgia station dispute with Gray Television (NYSE:GTN) could hurt its chances for FCC clearance of a merger with Nexstar Broadcasting.
    • Volume in Nexstar (NXST -2.6%) has ticked up this afternoon as well.
    • Media General has decided to "go hard" against Gray and Schurz Communications over WAGT-TV in Augusta, Ga., dealReporter says -- an odd stance since Media General is seeking an OK for a broad station merger with Nexstar.
    • More on the Media General/Nexstar deal
    | Tue, Mar. 22, 3:52 PM
  • Fri, Feb. 26, 8:16 PM
    • Gray Television (NYSE:GTN) finished up 4.8% after beating on top and bottom lines in its Q4 results.
    • Revenues fell nearly 5% but included record retransmission consent revenue of $39.5M. In an off-election year, political revenue had a tough comp ($9.2M in revenues, down 81% from the prior $48.5M).
    • EBITDA of $59M also beat an expected $55.6M.
    • For the full year, revenue was a record $597.4M, and broadcast cash flow hit a record $224.5M.
    • The end of the quarter also brought the termination of the company's national advertising sales representation deals, and it expects savings of about $8M-$9M in 2016 with net savings continuing after that.
    • Free cash flow was $29M, down 46% Y/Y.
    • Press Release
    • Related: Gray Television's (GTN) CEO Hilton Howell on Q4 2015 Results - Earnings Call Transcript (Feb. 26 2016)
    | Fri, Feb. 26, 8:16 PM
  • Tue, Feb. 16, 5:10 PM
    | Tue, Feb. 16, 5:10 PM | 1 Comment
  • Fri, Feb. 12, 5:41 PM
    • The FCC today approved Gray Television's (GTN +3.1%) plan to purchase 15 Schurz Communications TV stations, the last hurdle in Gray's $442.5M purchase of Schurz.
    • The agency issued a complicated decision that will call for the unwinding of some joint sales agreements, and for a Georgia NBC affiliate to remain on the air during the broadcast incentive auction despite duopoly rule concerns.
    • The approval follows an even more complicated set of transactions Gray has been undertaking to pull its megadeal off. It's swapped some stations with Sinclair Broadcast Group and decided to divest all the radio stations in the deal.
    • In addition, the Justice Department gave the deal a conditional antitrust approval so long as Gray sold off WSBT in South Bend, Ind., and KAKE in Wichita, Kan.
    • In Augusta, Ga., Gray owns CBS affiliate WRDW and Schurz owns NBC affiliate WAGT. Gray wants to offer WAGT's spectrum in the incentive auction and take it off the air after the deal's approval. The FCC approved a temporary waiver of its duopoly rule but decided that the public interest called for WAGT to stay on the air.
    • Gray will have to terminate a JSA with Media General as a condition to the deal.
    • Previously: Gray Television paying $442.5M for Schurz TV, radio stations (Sep. 14 2015)
    | Fri, Feb. 12, 5:41 PM
  • Fri, Feb. 5, 1:10 PM
    • Gray Television (GTN -4.8%) has wrapped (quietly, relative to recent dramas) new retransmission consent deals that had expired at 2015's end with four cable operators, including Time Warner Cable and Buckeye Cable.
    • The deals cover more than 900,000 subscribers tied to affiliates of the Big Four broadcast networks, in 16 markets.
    • "While retransmission negotiations are never easy, these operators shared our commitment to find common ground quickly and quietly to ensure that our mutual customers continue to enjoy uninterrupted delivery of our local television stations," says Gray's deputy general counsel, Robert J. Folliard III.
    • There's one more expired agreement Gray needs to settle, the company says, and it covers a "relatively small" number of customers.
    • It doesn't have any material retransmission deals expiring before the end of 2016.
    | Fri, Feb. 5, 1:10 PM
  • Dec. 16, 2015, 5:52 PM
    • As some reports anticipated, a rider has been attached to an omnibus federal spending bill that's set to weaken a 2014 FCC rule covering broadcast ownership restrictions, in a win for local broadcasters like Sinclair (SBGI +3.4%) and Nexstar (NXST +6.8%), as well as Gray Television (GTN +4.3%) and Scripps (SSP +4.7%).
    • The FCC had moved on March 31, 2014 to fight market power gathering by companies controlling two stations in a market, particularly by banning "joint sales agreements" that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler called de facto control.
    • The rider would grandfather in JSAs that existed before the 2014 rule change, for a period of 10 years. Among braodcast chains, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Nexstar have been among the more aggressive users of JSAs in growth.
    • The National Association of Broadcasters applauded the move: "This provision would allow TV stations to better serve our viewers in smaller markets, and ensure that constituents in those communities continue to have access to numerous free, local programming options.”
    • Previously: Report: Congress to ease pending local broadcast ownership restrictions (Dec. 14 2015)
    | Dec. 16, 2015, 5:52 PM | 4 Comments
  • Dec. 15, 2015, 3:28 PM
    • Gray Television (GTN +1.7%) has set a multi-year extension of affiliate agreements with the CW Network (CBS +1.6%, TWX +1.1%) in 23 markets.
    • The extension includes four new Gray stations becoming CW affiliates, in Madison, Wis.; Fargo, N. D.; Alexandria, La.; and Laredo, Texas.
    • With 23 total affiliates, Gray will own the second-largest number of CW stations in the country.
    • The company has aggressively grown its CW portfolio, CEO Hilton H. Howell Jr. says, and "the CW's continuing ratings increases and program successes have made CW's programming more valuable to our audiences, clients, and MVPD partners."
    | Dec. 15, 2015, 3:28 PM
  • Dec. 4, 2015, 5:06 PM
    • Alaskan cableco GCI is asking the FCC to stop Gray Television (GTN +2.3%) from acquiring KYES TV in Anchorage, saying Gray will get too much control by buying that and NBC affiliate KTUU at the same time.
    • Gray agreed to buy KTUU as part of a $442.5M deal for Schurz Communications TV and radio stations, and separately agreed to pay $500K for KYES, but asked the FCC for a "failing station" designation so it could merge the two stations.
    • For its part, Gray calls the request "speculative nonsense" and says GCI dominates the state's communications business already.
    • Alaska's attorney general, Craig Richards, is lining up with GCI, saying his office has serious concerns about the failing-station request: "Competition is fragile in the Alaska broadcast market.
    • After hours, GTN is up another 2.1%.
    • Previously: Gray Television paying $442.5M for Schurz TV, radio stations (Sep. 14 2015)
    | Dec. 4, 2015, 5:06 PM
  • Nov. 3, 2015, 11:19 AM
    • Gray Television (NYSE:GTN) is up 5% after posting its Q3 results where record revenue paced the company to a beat on top and bottom lines.
    • Revenues grew 14.7% to a record $151.1M. Retransmission revenues hit a new record of $39.3M. Unsurprisingly, political revenue tumbled 79% in a non-election year, to $4.6M.
    • EBITDA of $51.8M also beat expectations of $46M.
    • The company had taken a charge of about $6.1M to Q3 broadcast operating expenses to reflect termination fees tied to ending national ad sales representation agreements.
    • Free cash flow was $15.6M, down 38%.
    | Nov. 3, 2015, 11:19 AM
  • Nov. 2, 2015, 10:39 AM
    • Gray Television (NYSE:GTN) is up 2.1% as it's come to deals to divest all the radio stations included in its agreement to acquire Schurz Communications' broadcast assets.
    • Gray had set a $442.5M deal to buy TV and radio stations from Schurz in September.
    • The company had planned to operate the radio stations long term, but: "In recent weeks, it became clear that experienced radio broadcasters could better lead these successful radio stations into the future than we could hope to accomplish," says Gray's Kevin Latek.
    • Once the Schurz transaction closes, Gray will transfer the stations to three other companies: Stations in South Bend, Ind., will go to Mid-West Family Broadcast Group; stations in Lafayette, Ind., to Neuhoff; and those in Rapid City, S.D., to the HomeSlice Group.
    • Gray will receive $16M total in cash for the transfers, along with the closing of the Schurz transaction, expected in Q4 or Q1.
    • With the TV stations in the deal, Gray will be operating in 49 TV markets (up from 30 in mid-2013) across 28 states.
    • Previously: Gray Television swaps stations with Sinclair, others to facilitate deal (Oct. 01 2015)
    • Previously: Gray Television paying $442.5M for Schurz TV, radio stations (Sep. 14 2015)
    | Nov. 2, 2015, 10:39 AM
  • Sep. 14, 2015, 4:29 PM
    • Gray Television (GTN +5.3%) has a deal to acquire all the TV and radio stations of Indiana-based Schurz Communications for about $442.5M.
    • The deal means that Gray will operate in 49 television markets -- up from 30 in mid-2013 -- across 28 states. With five new top-rated stations, Gray will have 39 No. 1-ranked stations.
    • Gray will finance the deal with cash on hand and some additional borrowing. It expects on closing to have a leverage ratio, net of cash, of about 5.5x. The deal is expected to close in Q4 or Q1 depending on regulatory approvals.
    • The company expects it's immediately accretive to free cash flow. With synergies, the purchase price is about 7.1 times a blended average of the stations' 2015-2016 pro forma broadcast cash flow.
    • Gray's hosting a conference call to discuss the deal at 9 a.m. ET tomorrow.
    | Sep. 14, 2015, 4:29 PM | 1 Comment
  • Sep. 1, 2015, 5:00 PM
    • Following a string of recent station acquisitions, Gray Television (GTN -6.2%) says it's agreed to acquire KCRG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for $100M in cash on hand.
    • It's Gray's first station in Iowa, and adds to the company's stable of stations that are top-rated in their market area.
    • The acquisition is immediately cash flow accretive, Gray says, as the purchase price is about 6.9 times a blended average of KCRG's 2015-2016 pro forma broadcast cash flow. Gray's operating the station as it's closed on non-license assets.
    • The station was sold by The Gazette Company, run as a trust for the employees' benefit, which put the station on the air in 1953 and also owns The Cedar Rapids Gazette.
    • Previously: Gray Television taking direct control of its national ad sales (Aug. 31 2015)
    | Sep. 1, 2015, 5:00 PM
  • Aug. 31, 2015, 5:12 PM
    • Gray Television (GTN +2%) has given notice to its national ad sales reps at Katz Media Group and CoxReps, saying it will directly handle national sales at its portfolio of stations.
    • Gray currently handles direct national ad sales at around a quarter of its stations. The move means it will take over for the rest of them.
    • Once announced acquisitions are complete, Gray will own and operate stations in 45 U.S. TV markets, broadcasting 160 program streams via affiliates of all Big Four over-the-air broadcast networks.
    • "After very careful consideration, we have determined that the rapidly changing marketplace now requires that nearly all of our stations directly interface with national advertising agencies and clients," says Gray CEO Hilton H. Howell Jr.
    • Accordingly, the company hired Becky Meyer -- formerly of Katz -- as its new vice president of national sales, a similar position to the one she held at Katz. Mike Jones will take over as Gray's new national director of political sales.
    | Aug. 31, 2015, 5:12 PM
  • Aug. 6, 2015, 11:06 AM
    • Gray Television (NYSE:GTN) is adding onto yesterday's post-earnings decline of 7.3% with another 16.3% loss today, amid a more general media bloodbath.
    • Its Q2 earnings beat expectations after climbing 55%, but broadcast expenses jumped 31% (to $86.4M) and it is expecting expenses to increase even further in Q3: up 42%, to $93M-$95M. That's chiefly due to increased payroll and expected increases in network fees.
    • The company's expecting Q3 revenues of $142M-$145M vs. $144.5M expected. It's been active in acquiring stations this year, and RBC Capital Markets' Leo Kulp sees larger companies sitting on the sidelines with their money: "That's why Gray has been so successful in M&A this past year. We expect that to continue."
    • Previously: Gray Television EPS of $0.38 (Aug. 05 2015)
    | Aug. 6, 2015, 11:06 AM
  • Jul. 31, 2015, 2:28 PM
    • Gray Television (GTN +1.6%) has expanded its board by one member, naming Beth Neuhoff to the new seat.
    • The move means the board is now nine members. Neuhoff comes to Gray as the president of Neuhoff Communications, the radio/digital media company she took charge of in summer 2012. She's also an elected director of the National Association of Broadcasters.
    • On July 1, the company closed a deal to acquire KMVT-TV and KSVT-TV in Twin Falls, Idaho, for $17.5 paid to Neuhoff Corp., an affiliate of Neuhoff Communications.
    • Gray is set to release earnings before the bell on Wednesday (Aug. 5). Shares are up more than 50% YTD.
    | Jul. 31, 2015, 2:28 PM
Company Description
Gray Television, Inc. is a television broadcasting company. It owns and operates television stations and digital assets in markets throughout the U.S. It also broadcast secondary digital channels within a market. The company was founded in 1897 and is headquartered in Atlanta, GA.
Sector: Services
Industry: Broadcasting - TV
Country: United States