Young Broadcasting never publicly confirmed that it was for sale, so it’s only been rumor in the industry that the TV group was being shopped. Asked about M&A activity in Gray Television’s quarterly conference call, President Bob Prather said it was his understanding that Young is no longer for sale.
As in the past, there was no response from Young. One RBR-TVBR source said the original report in another trade publication that Young was being actively shopped may not have been accurate in the first place.
Prather also said that the sale process for Freedom Broadcasting appears to be on hold. A near-deal to sell the entire TV/newspaper company reportedly blew up in June.
That left two TV companies on the auction block for the Gray President to discuss with analysts. He said the McGraw-Hill stations don’t fit the profile for Gray, since they are in larger markets. Nexstar, he noted is about the same size as Gray. So, while Gray would like to expand someday, right now the company is focused on improving its balance sheet by using its free cash flow to pay down debt.