Hilton H. Howell Jr., the executive chairman and CEO of Gray Television, has been named B&C’s Broadcaster of the Year for 2019. He will receive the award on Sept. 26 at the TVB Forward Conference in New York, and will be profiled in the Sept. 23 edition of Broadcasting & Cable magazine.
Howell has had multiple executive roles with Gray Television since 1993 and became executive chairman and CEO in January when Gray completed its $3.6 billion merger with Raycom Media. With the Raycom merger, Gray acquired stations in 34 new markets and became the largest owner of top-rated local TV stations and digital assets in the country. Gray operates in 93 markets and its station portfolio reaches 24% of U.S. TV households. Gray also acquired Raycom Sports, InVestigateTV and RTM Studios among production assets.
Under Howell, Gray Television is focused on leading technological change within the broadcasting industry, and he has made a concerted effort to enable innovation at all levels of the company while making strategic efforts to expand the company’s capabilities. This is evidenced by the great work done by the legacy Raycom team on the ATSC 3.0 next-generation transmission standard and the TV Interface Practices (TIP) Initiative, aimed at promoting open interfaces to streamline advertising transactions for local TV broadcasters and their media agency partners.
Howell was elected to the National Association of Broadcasters Television Board in June 2016 and re-elected in 2018, leaving the board in 2019 after the Raycom merger closed. A former member of the NBC Affiliate Board, Howell also is on the Advisory Council for the Center for Leadership and Ethics for the University of Texas at Austin.
Jack Abernethy, Fox Television Stations CEO, was Broadcaster of the Year in 2018.