Gray Television, Inc. today reached an agreement to sell several television stations currently owned by Quincy Media, Inc. — including ABC affiliates in Madison, Wausau and LaCrosse — to Byron Allen’s Allen Media Broadcasting, LLC for $380 million in cash.
Allen Media, which owns and operates local television stations in twelve markets, also owns 12 networks including The Weather Channel, the Black-focused digital media platform The Grio, and the free-streaming service Local Now. Allen Media Group was founded by Byron Allen in 1993.
Earlier this year, Gray reached an agreement to acquire Quincy for $925 million in cash. To facilitate regulatory approvals for this transaction, Gray agreed to sell seven local television stations to Allen Media, all of which operate in markets in which Gray also owns and operates a television station.
Gray Television owns WMTV, the Madison NBC affiliate, WSAW, the Wausau CBS affiliate, and WEAU, the NBC affiliate in Eau Claire. Federal regulations prevent one company from owning two television stations in the same market, so Gray sold WKOW, WAOW, WXOW and three other Quincy-owned stations to Allen Media.
The seven stations include WKOW (ABC) in Madison; KVOA (NBC) in Tucson, Arizona; WSIL / KPOB (ABC), Paducah, Kentucky- Harrisburg, Illinois; KWWL (NBC), Cedar Rapids, Iowa; WXOW / WQOW (ABC), La Crosse-Eau Claire, Wisconsin; WAOW / WMOW (ABC), Wausau-Rhinelander, Wisconsin; and WREX (NBC), Rockford, Illinois.
“I truly appreciate Gray and Quincy, two of the best broadcast groups in the business, working with us to acquire and transfer these amazing assets. Over the past year-and-a-half, we’ve invested close to $1 billion to acquire best-in-class, top-tier, broadcast network affiliates,” Allen said in a statement. “We plan to invest approximately ten billion dollars to acquire more ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX television stations over the next two years with the goal of being the largest broadcast television group in America. All of our media assets, including these broadcast television stations, will work in concert to amplify our free-streaming service, Local Now.”
“We are thrilled to facilitate the transfer of these fine Quincy television stations to Byron Allen and Allen Media Group, who we are confident will continue the strong commitments to journalism and localism that have distinguished these stations under Quincy’s outstanding stewardship,” Gray’s Executive Chairman and CEO Hilton H. Howell said in a statement.
A representative of WKOW in Madison did not immediately respond to a request for comment.