ATLANTA, Aug. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Gray Television, Inc. ("Gray," "we," "us" or "our") (NYSE: GTN and GTN.A) today announced that it has entered into definitive agreements to transfer six full-power television stations to new owners who will provide increased ownership and programming diversity to the stations' local markets.
On June 13, 2014, Gray announced that it had transferred or intended to transfer the full program line-up of six full-power television stations then operating under shared services agreements with Gray to other in-market, Gray-owned television stations and channels. Rather than surrender to the FCC the licenses for these stations, Gray, which holds options to acquire all six stations, retained MMTC Media and Telecom Brokers, the brokerage arm of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council ("MMTC"), as the exclusive broker for the potential transfer of these stations to new owners. Under the terms of that engagement, MMTC could only market the stations to socially disadvantaged enterprises, such as businesses controlled by women, minorities, or innovative new entrants, or non-profit entities such as a school or religious institution.
A significant number of impressive proposals to acquire the stations were submitted by new entrants and experienced broadcasters alike. After a careful review with MMTC, Gray selected the proposals that appeared most likely to result in long-term success for the stations and the creation of new employment, management, and ownership opportunities for women and minorities. The parties anticipate closing all transactions in the fourth quarter of 2014.
In Fargo, North Dakota, Major Market Broadcasting, Inc. (MMB) will acquire KXJB-TV. MMB is a content creation and distribution company specializing in reaching niche markets; it owns and/or operates KAXT-CA in San Francisco and KRJK-LP in Chicago. Both of these stations, as well as other affiliates, broadcast programming from MMB's Diya TV, America's first South Asian broadcast television network. MMB President and 2013 NAB Broadcast Leadership fellow Ravi Kapur stated: "Gray's leadership to actively seek out diverse candidates to acquire their former SSA stations should be commended. We are humbled by this exciting opportunity to expand our reach in local over-the-air broadcasting."
In Grand Junction, Colorado, Gray agreed to transfer KJCT-TV to husband and wife Jeff Chang and Gabriela Gomez-Chang. Chang currently owns and operates full power and low power television stations in Los Angeles and San Francisco through Chang Media Group. "We're excited about this unique opportunity in the Grand Junction-Montrose market," said Mr. Chang. "We hope the local communities will enjoy the new programming we'll be adding to the market," he explained. Chang said their plans include adding programming aimed towards the market's growing Hispanic population. Mrs. Gomez-Chang added, "We're grateful that both Excalibur and Gray Television presented this opportunity for minorities and women to expand their broadcast ownership. This truly benefits the industry."
In the remaining markets, Legacy Broadcasting, LLC, will acquire KHAS-TV, Hastings/Lincoln, Nebraska; KAQY-TV, Monroe, Louisiana; KNDX-TV, Bismarck, North Dakota; and KXND-TV, Minot, North Dakota. Legacy is a new company formed, owned and controlled by two experienced female broadcasters. Managing Member and President, Sherry C. Nelson, has had a thirty-year career in broadcasting including on-air reporting, sales, and management. She has served as the General Manager of a group of television stations in the Mississippi Delta for ten years, and she is a 2012 graduate of the NAB's Broadcast Leadership Training Program. She will be joined in owning these stations by her adult daughter, Sara Jane Ingram, whose broadcast experience includes sales, digital, and management for television stations in the Raleigh-Durham and Jackson, Mississippi, television markets. Completing the Legacy team is another veteran broadcaster, Charles M. Harker, who owns and operates Commonwealth Broadcasting Corp. Legacy plans to support the communities in these markets through diverse, family friendly programming and community service. Legacy Broadcasting President Sherry Nelson stated, "For our company, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. It speaks so well of our industry that women like my daughter and me can break through the glass ceiling and build new programming services for television viewers."
MMTC President and CEO David Honig declared that "These transactions are a prime example of a corporation 'doing good and doing well' at the same time. Gray has shown how a corporation can deploy its assets creatively for the great benefit of the industry and the public."
We are a television broadcast company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, that owns and/or operates television stations and leading digital assets in markets throughout the United States. Upon completion of all pending transactions, we will own and/or operate television stations in 44 television markets broadcasting 141 program streams including 76 affiliates of the Big Four networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX). At that time, our owned and/or operated stations will include twenty-six channels affiliated with the CBS Network, twenty-four channels affiliated with the NBC Network, sixteen channels affiliated with the ABC Network and ten channels affiliated with the FOX Network. We will then own and/or operate the number-one ranked television station in 29 of those 44 markets and the number-one or number-two ranked television station operations in 40 of those 44 markets. We will reach approximately 8.1 percent of total United States television households.
SOURCE Gray Television, Inc.
Hilton H. Howell, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, 404-266-5512, or Jim Ryan, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, 404-504-9828, or Kevin P. Latek, Senior Vice President, Business Affairs, 404-266-8333