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Gray Television to be second largest broadcaster after $2.7B Meredith deal

Gray Television to be second largest broadcaster after $2.7B Meredith deal
© Greg Nash

Gray Television will spend $2.7 billion to buy the local TV stations of Meredith, a purchase that will make it the second-largest local broadcaster in the U.S., the company announced Monday.

In the deal, Gray will acquire Meredith’s Local Media Group, which owns 17 television stations in 12 local markets including Atlanta, Phoenix, St. Louis, Nashville, Kansas City and Las Vegas.

Gray expects the deal to close at the end of the year, after which it will own stations in 113 local markets and serve approximately 36 percent of U.S. television households, according to the announcement. 

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Nexstar is the largest U.S. broadcast company, with stations in 116 markets serving nearly 62 percent of U.S. television households, according to its website

As part of the deal, Meredith will spin off its National Media Group into a separate company.

National media owns numerous magazine brands including People, Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes & Gardens, InStyle, Allrecipes, Real Simple, Shape and Southern Living, as well as digital and marketing assets. 

The Gray/Meredith deal is the latest of several significant media deals announced this year. 

Also on Monday, Verizon announced it is selling its media group — which contains Yahoo and AOL among other assets — to private equity firm Apollo for $5 billion.

On April 30, rumors broke that Forbes Media was discussing going public and reviewing at least two offers to sell the company, Reuters reported Thursday.

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In mid-April, Spanish-language media companies Grupo Televisa, headquartered in Mexico City, and New York-based Univision Holdings announced the $4.8 billion merger of their entertainment divisions.

In early April, News Corp announced it was issuing $1 billion worth of bonds to potentially fund more acquisitions as well as other general corporate purposes. 

Prior to that, News Corp announced the acquisition of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books and Media — which owns rights to Lord of the Rings, other J.R.R. Tolkien titles and other assets — for $349 million and also Investor’s Business Daily for $275 million