Georgia-based Gray Television Inc. (NYSE: GTN) will acquire Mishawaka-based Schurz Communications Inc. for approximately $442.5 million. The deal includes all of the television and radio stations of Schurz. Schurz owns WSBT-TV in the South Bend market. Gray currently owns WNDU-TV in South Bend. Due to FCC regulations, the company will have to sell one of the stations. Gray says it will seek another TV broadcaster to acquire WSBT.
Schurz also owns radio stations in South Bend and Lafayette.
"Today is a momentous day in Gray’s 118-year history. Through the Schurz transaction, we will significantly expand the quality of our portfolio of leading television stations. We welcome more dedicated reporters, account executives, and technologists to our growing family. Quite simply, Gray’s existing stations will make the Schurz stations stronger, while the Schurz stations will make our existing stations better," Gray Television President and CEO Hilton Howell, Jr. said.
"In a rapidly consolidating industry where size and scale matter more than ever before, we have come to the realization that Gray Television would be the best steward to ensure our stations succeed over the long-term. Gray knows how to operate top stations in small and medium-sized markets, and they have an entrepreneurial and decentralized culture. Moreover, Gray shares our commitment to local communities, staffs, journalistic ideals, and the broadcasting industry. Being part of a larger company with these important credentials will create more opportunities for employees and the communities that we all love," Schurz President and CEO Todd Schurz said.
Gray says the move will expand its operations to a total of 49 television markets and 28 states.