Add Don Ray's name to the list of local broadcast veterans heading up small station groups stemming from station acquisitions.
Ray, who retired as longtime WSAZ Charleston-Huntington (WV) general manager and regional VP at parent Gray TV at the end of July, has agreed to purchase KJCT Grand Junction from News-Press & Gazette (NPG) through his new Excalibur company. The sell price is $3 million.
Other prominent local TV figures heading up small groups spawning as a result of ownership rules include Jack Sander and Ben Tucker, both holding the licenses to stations in the pending Gannett acquisition of Belo, and Ed Wilson, whose Dreamcatcher Broadcasting outfit will own a trio of stations resulting from Tribune's planned acquisition of Local TV LLC.
Ray was GM at Gray's WSAZ, a huge market leader, since 1989. Matt Jaquint took over August 1. Ray was a Gray regional VP since 2005.
KJCT is an ABC affiliate with CW and Telemundo on its subchannels. The deal is subject to regulatory approval; Excalibur agreed to buy the license, while Gray will provide back office, engineering and sales support services to Excalibur. Gray also agreed to buy the non-license assets of KJCT, including equipment, from NPG for $9 million.
The transactions are expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013.