How Gray Strengthens WV Cluster


GrayMapGray Television has an agreement to buy two West Virginia television stations from Withers Broadcasting Company.

The stations are WDTV (CBS) and WVFX (Fox/CW) in Clarksburg.

The price is $26.5 million in cash, representing a multiple of about 5.9 times a blended average of the stations’ expected 2015-2016 broadcast cash flow after adjusting for expected synergies. Gray plans to finance the deal with cash on hand.

Gray considers the stations a complement to its existing cluster in the Clarksburg-Weston market which is DMA 169. Gray owns stations in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. Gray Chief Legal and Development Officer Kevin Latek says the addition will allow “increased collaboration in news, sales and community service across the region, benefiting viewers, clients, employees and investors.”

As for why Withers sold, Company President Dana Withers said: “The challenges facing family owned television stations led us to conclude that only a larger company can move WDTV/WVFX to the next level.”

The deal is subject to regulatory and other approvals. Gray plans to close the transaction in several steps between June and after the end of the FCC’s spectrum auction.

Larry Patrick of Patrick Communications represented Withers in this transaction.