Gray TV Closes on Hoak Deal

New regulatory environment nixes Excalibur aspect of deal, but Gray gets creative

Gray Television has closed on its 12-station, $335 million acquisition of Hoak Media and Parker Broadcasting stations. The deal was announced in November and the outlets include KSFY-KABC-KPRY Sioux Falls, KNOE Monroe-El Dorado and a batch in Minot-Bismarck-Dickinson, North Dakota.

At the time of the announcement, Gray said closely aligned Excalibur Broadcasting would acquire five stations in Gray markets, with Gray operating them through shared services agreements. Excalibur has abandoned those plans as a result of new FCC policies announced and imposed after the parties entered into those agreements,” said Gray. Nevertheless, Gray has “secured alternative agreements with Hoak, Parker, and Prime Cities whereby Gray will be able to attain the economic benefits sought in the original set of agreements.”

As part of that arrangement, KHAS in Lincoln-Hastings, Nebraska ceased broadcasting, and Hoak transferred its affiliation, programming and operational agreements, as well as its tower, studio, and other assets other than its FCC license and transmission equipment, to Gray.

In Minot-Bismarck, KNDX and KXND also ceased broadcasting. Parent Prime Cities continues to broadcast on its low power stations in the market, which are operated by Gray through a local marketing agreement until Gray completes its acquisition of the licenses of the low power stations. KFYR and the other NBC affiliated stations acquired by Gray in Minot-Bismarck began simulcasting the signals of the low power stations on their multicast channels.