Gray Television

Gray Television, Inc.
Traded as NYSE: GTN
Industry Broadcast television
Founded 1946
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia,
Albany, Georgia
Area served
Key people
Hilton Howell (President)
Products 93 terrestrial TV stations[1]
Revenue $597 million USD (2015)[1]
$340 million (Broadcast Cash Flow 2014)[1]
Number of employees
Website Official website

Gray Television is a television broadcast company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Established in 1946 by James Harrison Gray, a New Englander who moved to Southwest Georgia, he formed Gray Communications Systems (now Gray Television) which has grown since 1993 into a modern-day, successful television group based out of Atlanta, Georgia through a series of acquisitions ranging from 1993-2014.

Gray Television owns and/or operates 77 television stations in 44 television markets broadcasting 140 program streams including 76 affiliates of the Big Four networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox). Gray Television's owned and/or operated stations include 26 channels affiliated with the CBS Network, 24 channels affiliated with the NBC Network, 16 channels affiliated with the ABC Network and 10 channels affiliated with the Fox Network.

The combined station group owns and operates the number-one ranked television station in 28 of those 44 markets and the number-one or number-two ranked television station operations in 41 of those 44 markets. The combined TV Station Group reaches approximately 8.1 percent of total United States television households.


James H. Gray started his communication business with the purchase of The Albany Herald in 1946 after he returned from World War II. Gray launced WALB-TV in 1954 and was the second station in the state. In the 1960s additional stations were purchased in Louisiana and Florida. First in 1960, the Florida station was WJHG-TV in Panama City. While in late 1960s, KTVE was the Louisiana station.[2]

In 1986, Gray died leaving his 50.% share of the stock in a trust for his children with stipulation that they run the business together, sell their stock each other or sell out together. This caused difficulties as two of the three wanted to sell with the third unable to purchases. In 1991 to break the stalemate, the board of directors had the company purchased 25% of their shares.[2]

Gray Communication Systems

Net Income
(Loss) millions[2]
1994 $36.5 $2.8
1995 58.6 .9
1996 79.3 2.5

The company was then taken public on NASDAQ's small-cap market in the 2nd quarter 1992. The price per share drop to $8. The company put itself or any part up for sale by the end of 1992. While the board of director received about 40 offer, Bull Run Corporation purchased the remaining shares of the Gray siblings, who as part of the deal resigned from the board.[2]

New management were put in place at all three units. Bull Run Corporation, primarily owned by J. Mack Robinson, decided make Gray a Southeast regional media company. Gray's first purchase were two TV stations (WKYT-TV and WYMT) from the failed and government seized Kentucky Central Life Insurance Co. in September 1994 after a court challenge to the sale by Kentucky Central builder Garvie Kincaid.[2]

In 1994 and 1995, Gray purchased two newspaper group with two newspapers, the Rockdale Citizen (acquired May 31, 1994) and Gwinnett Post-Tribune (acquired January 1995; quickly renamed Gwinnett Daily Post) and seven advertising weeklies. In 1995, the company moved its stock listing to the New York Stock Exchange. By this time, Robinson, directly or through Bull Run, owned 44% of the company's stock. Gray had started to focus on its TV station segment over the newspaper holding while TV produced more income and the newspapers' income were declining. Just months after doubling the Daily Post's staff, one third were laid off and a quarter of the The Albany Herald's staff followed in January 1996. Newspaper leaders resigned during this period from the corporate president in late 1995 to Citizens' editor and publisher.[2]

In 1996, Gray added additional TV stations while entering additional communication industry segments. The company was considered in 1996 by Fortune magazine as the 81st fastest growing company having a 48% percent growth rate. WRDW-TV was purchased in January 1996. In September 1996 a basket purchase from First American Media, Inc., Gray got two TV stations (WCTV-TV and WVLT-TV), Satellite and Production Business Services, which was renamed Lynqx Communications and PortaPhone paging business.[2]

In August and September 1996, Gray raised additional operating funds by various means. On August 20, KTVE was sold for cash and accounts receivable. The company issued and sold Class B common stock (through a public offering), senior subordinated notes and preferred stock in September. Also, a new bank credit facility was arranged. This brought the company total $534.5 million in available funds with $409.5 million directly available.[2]

Also in September 1996, Ralph Gabbard, the newly named president and CEO, died from a heart attack at age 50. Robinson, Bull Run chair, took over as interim CEO and president with Rull Run CEO Robert Prather as interim executive vice-president, acquisitions.[2]

With its additional funds, Gray continued purchasing in 1997 with two announcements in January and February. The company bought Gulflink Communications, Inc., a transportable satellite uplink business based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in April 1997 to go along with Lynqx. With Raycom Media acquiring a station from AFLAC Broadcast Group, Inc. forcing them to sell WITN-TV to Gray, which was finalized on August 1, 1997. Gwinnett Daily Post increased circulation in 1997 through a deal with Genesis Cable Communications to provide the paper to its metro Atlanta subscribers at Genesis's expense.[2]

In 1998, Gray started to expand beyond its Southeast region. As the company agreed to purchase the Busse Broadcasting Corporation, which owned KOLN, KGIN-TV and WEAU. Gray's ownership of a newspaper and TV station in Albany, Georgia while grandfather was examined under Media cross-ownership in the United States rule of FCC due to this potential purchase.[2] WALB was thus was sold to Liberty Corp's Cosmos Broadcasting in August 1998.[3]

In 2002, Robinson became Chairman and CEO, his son-in-law Hilton Howell vice chairman, Prather president/COO and Jim Ryan senior vice president. They had Gray purchase 14 Benedek Broadcasting station while that company was in bankruptcy.[4]

Gray Television

In 2006, the company spun off its five daily newspapers and wireless messaging business into the newly formed Triple Crown Media,[5] later in 2010 is renamed Southern Community Newspapers.[6] A new strategy of purchasing station in college towns or capitals was put into place.[4]

The company had overpaid for a pair of stations. The station was over leveraged like many other station groups entering the Great Recession. Advertising revenues dropped. The twin problems caused its shares to trade at its lowest at 16 cents in 2008, thus the NYSE indicate they might delist the company. Loan covenants could have forced the company into default.[4] Robinson stepped down with Howell replacing him in 2008.[4]

On July 30, 2009, Gray was awarded a contract to manage seven Young Broadcasting-owned stations. Through December 31, 2012, Gray would earn $2.2 million and an opportunity to earn additional specified incentive fees if certain performance targets were exceeded.[7][8][9]

Prather left the company in 2013 and Howell took over the president title.[4] On November 4, 2013, Gray Television announced that it would purchase Yellowstone Holdings for $23 million, adding local stations: KGNS-TV, KGWN, KCWY, and KCHY-LP.[10] Three weeks later, on November 20, Gray announced it would purchase Hoak Media and Parker Broadcasting for $335 million, and North Dakota's Fox affiliate KNDX/KXND for $7.5 million. As part of the deal, stations KAQY, KHAS-TV, and KXJB, were proposed to be sold to Excalibur Broadcasting and operated by Gray under a "local marketing agreements".[11] On December 19, it was announced that stations KREX-TV and WMBB would be sold to Nexstar Broadcasting Group, while KFQX would be sold to Mission Broadcasting.[12] On March 25, 2014, Prime Cities Broadcasting, owner of KNDX/KXND, requested that the FCC dismiss the sale of KNDX/KXND to Excalibur.[13]

The sale was completed on June 13, 2014. However, some stations were forced to go off the air and their programming was moved to a multicast stream on adjacent channels, due to some stations unable to receive regulatory approval, after FCC recent ruling on joint sales agreements. Those silent stations would then be sold off to minority interest, pending FCC approval.[14][15]

On July 24, 2014, SJL Broadcasting announced that it would sell WJRT-TV, WTVG and WT05 to Gray, for $128 million.[16][17] The sale was completed on September 15.[18]

In September 2015, Gray announced that it would acquire the television and radio stations of Schurz Communications for $442.5 million.[19][20] It also purchased KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa from the locally owned Gazette Company, who owned the station from its sign-on in 1953.[21][22]

By January 20, 2016, Gray had set up their Washington News Bureau by Jacqueline Policastro to enable stations to get interviews with US Senators and Representatives serving their communities. The bureau cooperates with Lilly News DC Bureau, previously started by Policastro, and is located at the NBC News Capitol Hill Bureau, 400 N Capitol Street.[23]

Owned and operated television stations

(Stations arranged alphabetically by state and by city of license).


City of license / Market Station Channel
Owned Since Network Affiliation
Dothan, Alabama WTVY ++ 4 (36) 2002 CBS
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
The CW (DT3)
WRGX-LD 23 (23) 2013 NBC
Anchorage, Alaska KTUU-TV §§ 2 (10) 2016 NBC
KYES-TV 5 (5) 2016 MyNetworkTV
Colorado Springs, Colorado KKTV ++ 11 (49) 2002 CBS
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
Grand Junction, Colorado KJCT-LP 8 (20) 2013 ABC
The CW (DT2)
KKCO 11 (12) 2005 NBC
MeTV (DT2)
Telemundo (DT3)
Panama City, Florida WJHG-TV 7 (8) 1960 NBC
The CW (DT2)
WECP-LD 18 (18) 2012 CBS
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
Augusta, Georgia WRDW-TV 12 (12) 1996 CBS
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
Antenna TV (DT3)
WAGT §§ 26 (30) 2016 NBC
The CW (DT2)
Thomasville, Georgia - Tallahassee, Florida WCTV 6 (46) 1996 CBS
MyNetworkTV/This TV (DT2)
Valdosta, Georgia - Albany, Georgia WSWG
(Semi-satellite of WCTV)
44 (43) 2005 CBS
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
The CW (DT3)
Twin Falls, Idaho KMVT 11 (11) 2015 CBS
The CW (DT2)
KSVT-LD 14 (14) 2015 Fox/MyNetworkTV
Freeport - Rockford, Illinois WIFR ++ 23 (41) 2002 CBS
Antenna TV (DT2)
South Bend, Indiana WNDU-TV 16 (42) 2006 NBC
Antenna TV (DT2)
Cedar Rapids, Iowa KCRG-TV 9 (9) 2015 ABC
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
Antenna TV (DT3)
Topeka, Kansas WIBW-TV ++ 13 (13) 2002 CBS
MyNetworkTV/MeTV (DT2)
Hutchinson - Wichita, Kansas KWCH-DT §§ 12 (19) 2016 CBS
KSCW-DT §§ 33 (12) 2016 The CW
KDCU-DT 31 (31) 1 Univision
Ensign, Kansas KBSD-DT §§
(satellite of KWCH-DT)
6 (6) 2016 CBS
Goodland, Kansas KBSL-DT §§
(satellite of KWCH-DT)
10 (10) 2016 CBS
Hays, Kansas KBSH-DT §§
(satellite of KWCH-DT)
7 (7) 2016 CBS
Bowling Green, Kentucky WBKO ++ 13 (13) 2002 ABC
Fox (DT2)
The CW (DT3)
Lexington, Kentucky WKYT-TV 27 (36) 1993 CBS
The CW (DT2)
Hazard, Kentucky WYMT-TV
(Semi-satellite of WKYT)
57 (12) 1993 CBS
This TV (DT2)
Alexandria, Louisiana KALB-TV ¤¤ 5 (35) 2014 NBC
The CW (DT3)
Monroe, Louisiana KNOE-TV ¤¤ 8 (8) 2014 CBS
The CW (DT3)
Presque Isle, Maine WAGM-TV 8 (8) 2015 Fox
Flint - Saginaw, Michigan WJRT-TV 12 (12) 2014 ABC
MeTV (DT2)
Weathernation (DT3)
Onondaga - Lansing, Michigan WILX-TV ++ 10 (10) 2002 NBC
Weathernation (DT2)
Antenna TV (DT3)
Marquette, Michigan WLUC-TV 6 (35) 2016 NBC
Fox (DT2)
Meridian, Mississippi WTOK-TV ++ 11 (11) 2002 ABC
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
The CW (DT3)
Springfield, Missouri KYTV §§ 3 (44) 2016 NBC
KYCW-LD §§ 15 (15) 2016 The CW
K17DL-D §§ 17 (17) 2 Independent
KSPR 33 (19) 3 ABC
Washington - Greenville, North Carolina WITN-TV 7 (32) 1997 NBC
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
MeTV (DT3)
Lincoln, Nebraska KOLN 10 (10) 1998 CBS
Grand Island, Nebraska KGIN
(Satellite of KOLN)
11 (11) 1998 CBS
Superior, Nebraska KSNB-TV 4 (4) 2013 NBC
MyNetworkTV/MeTV (DT2)
North Platte, Nebraska KNOP-TV ¤¤ 2 (2) 2014 NBC
Fox (DT2)
(Semi-satellite of KOLN)
10 (25) 1998 CBS
KIIT-CA ¤¤ 11 2014 Fox
Omaha, Nebraska WOWT ++ 6 (22) 2002 NBC
Reno, Nevada KOLO-TV 8 (8) 2002 ABC
Bismarck, North Dakota KFYR-TV ¤¤ 5 (31) 2014 NBC
Fox (DT2)
MeTV (DT3)
Dickinson, North Dakota KQCD-TV ¤¤
(Satellite of KFYR)
7 (7) 2014 NBC
Fox (DT2)
MeTV (DT3)
Minot, North Dakota KMOT ¤¤
(Semi-satellite of KFYR)
10 (10) 2014 NBC
Fox (DT2)
MeTV (DT3)
Williston, North Dakota KUMV-TV ¤¤
(Satellite of KMOT)
8 (8) 2014 NBC
Fox (DT2)
MeTV (DT3)
Fargo - Grand Forks, North Dakota KVLY-TV ¤¤ 11 (44) 2014 NBC
MeTV (DT3)
KXJB-LD 30 (30) 2016 CBS
The CW (DT2)
Heroes & Icons (DT3)
Toledo, Ohio WTVG 13 (13) 2014 ABC
The CW (DT2)
Weathernation (DT3)
Rapid City, South Dakota KOTA-TV 3 (7) 2014 ABC
KEVN-LD 7 (23) 2015 Fox
Lead, South Dakota KHSD-TV
(Satellite of KOTA-TV)
5 (5) 2014 ABC
Sioux Falls, South Dakota KSFY-TV ¤¤ 13 (13) 2014 ABC
The CW (DT2)
Aberdeen, South Dakota KABY-TV ¤¤
(Satellite of KSFY)
9 (9) 2014 ABC
The CW (DT2)
Pierre, South Dakota KPRY-TV ¤¤
(Satellite of KSFY)
4 (19) 2014 ABC
The CW (DT2)
Knoxville, Tennessee WVLT-TV 8 (30) 1996 CBS
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
WBXX-TV 20 (20) 2016 The CW
Laredo, Texas KGNS-TV 8 (8) 2013 NBC
Telemundo (DT3)
KYLX-LD 13 (13) 2015 CBS
The CW (DT2)
Odessa - Midland, Texas KOSA-TV ++ 7 (7) 2015 CBS
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
Sherman, Texas KXII 12 (12) 1999 CBS
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
Fox (DT3)
Waco, Texas KWTX-TV 10 (10) 1999 CBS
The CW (DT2)
Bryan, Texas KBTX-TV
(Semi-satellite of KWTX)
3 (50) 1999 CBS
The CW (DT2)
Charlottesville, Virginia WVAW-LD ++ 16 (16) 2002 ABC
WCAV 19 (19) 2004 CBS
WAHU-CD 27 (40) 2005 Fox
MyNetworkTV/This TV (DT2)
Harrisonburg, Virginia WHSV-TV ++ 3 (49) 2002 ABC
MyNetworkTV/MeTV (DT4)
WSVF-CD 43 (43) 2012 Fox
Roanoke - Lynchburg, Virginia WDBJ §§ 7 (18) 2016 CBS
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
Eau Claire/La Crosse, Wisconsin WEAU 13 (38) 1998 NBC
The Local AccuWeather Channel (DT2)
Antenna TV (DT3)
Madison, Wisconsin WMTV ++ 15 (19) 2002 NBC
The CW (DT2)
Antenna TV (DT3)
WeatherNation TV (DT4)
Wausau, Wisconsin WSAW-TV ++ 7 (7) 2002 CBS
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
WZAW-LD 55 (33) 2015 Fox
MeTV (DT2)
Movies! (DT3)
Huntington - Charleston, West Virginia -
Portsmouth, Ohio
WSAZ-TV 3 (23) 2005 NBC
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
WQCW 30 (17) 2014 The CW
Parkersburg, West Virginia WTAP-TV ++ 15 (49) 2002 NBC
WOVA-LD 22 (22) 2012 Fox
WIYE-LD 47 (47) 2012 CBS
MyNetworkTV (DT2)
Casper, Wyoming KCWY-DT 13 (13) 2013 NBC
The CW (DT2)
Sheridan, Wyoming KSGW-TV §§
(satellite of KOTA-TV)
12 (13) 2016 ABC
Cheyenne, Wyoming KGWN-TV ++ 5 (30) 2013 CBS
The CW (DT3)
(Satellite of KCWY)
13 2013 NBC, also on DT2 of KGWN
Scottsbluff, Nebraska KSTF ++
(Semi-satellite of KGWN)
10 (29) 2013 CBS
Sidney, Nebraska KNEP §§
(Satellite of KOTA-TV)
4 (7) 2016 ABC

Other Notes:

Former stations

City of license / Market Station Channel
Years Owned Current Ownership Status
El Dorado, Arkansas - Monroe, Louisiana KTVE 10 (27) 1967-1996 NBC affiliate owned by Mission Broadcasting
(operated through a LMA by Nexstar Broadcasting Group)
KAQY 11 (11) 2 MeTV affiliate, KMLU, owned by Legacy Broadcasting
Albany, Georgia WALB-TV 1 10 (10) 1954-1998 NBC affiliate owned by Raycom Media
Wichita, Kansas KAKE ++ 10 (10) 2002-2016 ABC affiliate owned by Lockwood Broadcast Group
Colby, Kansas KLBY ++
(Satellite of KAKE)
4 (17) 2002-2016 ABC affiliate owned by Lockwood Broadcast Group
Garden City, Kansas KUPK ++
(Satellite of KAKE)
13 (13) 2002-2016 ABC affiliate owned by Lockwood Broadcast Group
Helena, Montana KMTF 10 (29) 2014-2015 PBS member station, KUHM-TV, owned by Montana State University
KTVH-DT 12 (12) 2014-2015 NBC affiliate owned by Cordillera Communications
Fargo, North Dakota KXJB-TV 4 (38) 2 Cozi TV affiliate, KRDK-TV, owned by Major Market Broadcasting
Grand Junction, Colorado KJCT 3 8 (7) 2013-2014 Cozi TV affiliate, KGBY, owned by Chang Media Group
Winchester, Virginia TV3 Winchester 4 3
(Cable Only)
2007-2013 defunct


Management of Young Broadcasting stations

On July 22, 2009, a New York bankruptcy judge approved a plan transferring ownership of Young Broadcasting and its stations to the company's secured lenders. The plan included Gray Television coming in as an outside party and advise on operations of Young-owned stations in seven markets through December 2012. (The new Young Broadcasting still has final word on the stations' operations, including programming and personnel.)[7][9]

The Young-owned stations managed by Gray Television include:

Young Broadcasting would retain ownership of all of its stations, including three stations that Gray would not operate: KRON-TV in San Francisco, California, WATE-TV in Knoxville, Tennessee, and WLNS-TV in Lansing, Michigan, the latter two due to Gray already owning stations in those markets. Gray considered the possibility of purchasing the Young stations if they go on the market.[24]

The agreement ended without any further extensions on December 31, 2012, and Young agreed to a merger with Media General in mid-2013.


  1. 1 2 3 4 Colman, Price (January 18, 2016). "Gray Television By The Numbers*". Executive Outlook. TVNewsCheck. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 "Gray Communications Systems, Inc. History". International Directory of Company Histories. St. James Press. 1999. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  3. "Company Briefs". New York Times. August 4, 1998. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Colman, Price (January 19, 2016). "Gray: Strong Stations, Smart Operations". Executive Outlook. TVNewsCheck. pp. 1–2. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  5. "Atlanta-based TV-station operator to spin off newsletter, wireless units.". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 4 August 2005. Retrieved 9 August 2013 via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)).
  6. "Daily Post's parent company changes name". Gwinnett Daily Post. March 5, 2010. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  7. 1 2 "Banks' Bid on Young Stations Clears Hurdle", from, 7/22/2009
  8. "Gray to manage most Young stations", from, 7/22/2009
  9. 1 2 Who's Really Running Young Broadcasting?" from, 2/1/2011
  10. "Gray Buying Yellowstone Stations". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  11. "Gray Buying Hoak, Prime Stations For $342.5M". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  12. Gray Sell Grand Junction Duop To Nexstar, "TVNewsCheck", 19 December 2013
  13. Paxson, Ann Thomas (March 25, 2014). "Re: Prime Cities Broadcasting, Inc. Request for Dismissal of Group Application for Assignment of Broadcast Station License(s)…" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  14. Gray closes Hoak deal; completes refinancing.,, Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  15. Press Release from Gray Television, 13June 2014
  16. "Gray Buys Stations in Flint, Toledo For $128M". TVNewsCheck. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  17. Baird, Kirk (29 August 2014). "TV in the news Channels 24, 13 expanding newscasts; CW13 to replace WT05". The Toledo Blade. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  18. Gray Closes on Flint, Toledo Station Buys, TVNewsCheck, Retrieved 15 September 2014
  19. "Schurz Communications to sell WSBT and other TV, radio stations". South Bend Tribune. September 14, 2015. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  20. Kuperberg, Jonathan (September 14, 2015). "Gray Acquiring TV, Radio Stations from Schurz for $442.5 Million". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  22. "KCRG-TV9 sold to Gray Television",, Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Gazette Communications, September 1, 2015, retrieved September 1, 2015
  23. McAdams, Deborah D. (February 2, 2015). "Gray Opens Washington, D.C. News Bureau". TV Technology. NewBay Media. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  24. "Gray Sees Young Stations As Possible Buy", from, 3/1/2011

External links

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