Remember when Gray Television spun off its newspaper holdings to merge with the former Bull Run Corporation and create Triple Crown Media (8/4/05 TVBR #152)? No doubt some of you long-time Gray shareholders are holding some Triple Crown Media shares as a result of that stock-swap deal in 2005. Triple Crown’s share price jumped about 14% yesterday as the company announced a deal to sell its sports marketing business, Host Communications, to IMG, a sports, entertainment and media company backed by the Forstmann Little and Company private equity group, for 74.3 million bucks.
Triple Crown President Thomas Stultz is also going to IMG in the deal, to become Sr. VP and Managing Director of IMG College Sports. As a result, Gray Television President Bob Prather is back in the newspaper business. He is Chairman of Triple Crown as well and will take over day-to-day management of the newspapers when the Host sale closes. Triple Crown’s newspapers generated 48.5 million in the company’s most recent fiscal year and 14.3 million in EBITDA. The six newspapers are all located in Georgia: The Albany Herald, Gwinnett Daily Post, Henry Herald, Jonesboro News-Daily, Newton Citizen and Rockdale Citizen.