Yellowstone goes to Gray


Gray TelevisionGray Television group has a deal to expand into three small western DMAs, acquiring three full power signals, one low power  and two satellites. The seller is Yellowstone Television LLC.

The transaction is structured as a stock deal, with Gray buying 99% of all non-voting shares. An LMA is in place pending closing.

Marci Ryvicker of Wells Fargo said that although the deal is not a large one it is a good fit for Gray and should be immediately accretive.

The stations are:
*KGNS-TV Laredo TX, which brings NBC, CW and Telemundo into the market.
*KCWY-TV Casper WY, an NBC affiliate
*KGWN-TV Cheyenne WY-Scottsbluff NE, which carries CBS and CW, and benefits from expanded coverage provided by KSTF-TV Scottsbluff NE and K19FX Laramie WY
*KCHY-LP Cheyenne WY-Scottsbluff NE, the local NBC affiliate

According to Gray, the deal brings it the #1 station in each market.

Jason Wolff, the President of Yellowstone, remarked, “This group of stations is distinguished by their demonstrated market success and commitment to their local communities.  While selling the group was a difficult decision, Gray Television will provide these stations and their fine employees with tremendous opportunities to build upon their successes.”

“Gray is thrilled to have the opportunity to expand into three new, dynamic markets through the acquisition of Yellowstone’s terrific television stations,” said Hilton Howell, Gray’s CEO and President.  “We look forward to working with the strong teams in each of these markets to enhance their leading local positions even further,” he added.

Kevin Latek, Gray’s Senior Vice President for Business Affairs explained, “Gray’s acquisition of Yellowstone will add three more number-one stations to what we believe is already the largest collection of top television stations in the industry.  As such, the transaction is consistent with Gray’s strategy of enhancing shareholder value through select acquisitions of market-leading stations that share the culture and values of our existing television stations.”

Gray also announced that it had closed on its deal with News-Press & Gazette to acquire the non-license assets of KJCT-TV Grand Junction CO while the FCC assets went to Excalibur Broadcasting. Gray, which already owns KKCO-TV in the DMA, will pay $9M of the station’s $12M total price tag, with Excalibur being responsible for the remainder. KKCO is the carries NBC and MeTV programming; KJCT carries ABC, CW and Telemundo.