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May 3, 2021

Georgia station operator to acquire Rocky Hill’s WFSB in $2.7B deal

CoStar WFSB Ch. 3's headquarters in Rocky Hill.

Rocky Hill’s WFSB-TV Channel 3 could soon have a new owner, following an announced $2.7 billion acquisition of its Iowa-based parent company.

On Monday, Gray Television Inc. said it had agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of Meredith Corp. for $14.50 per share in cash. The deal includes Meredith’s local media group, which owns WFSB and 16 other stations in 11 local markets. 

Meredith intends to spin out its national media group, which owns a portfolio of major magazines and other assets, to its current shareholders.

The company has owned WFSB, a local CBS affiliate, since 1997.

The deal is slated to close in the fourth quarter. Once complete, Gray, based in Atlanta, Georgia, said it would be the second largest television broadcast group in the country, serving 113 local markets and reaching approximately 36% of television households. 

Gray said the deal would produce an estimated $55 million in annual cost synergies.

“The television station portfolios, company cultures, and commitments to localism of Gray and Meredith are highly complementary,” Gray CEO and Executive Chairman Hilton H. Howell said in a statement. “We are very excited to acquire Meredith’s excellent television stations, and we look forward to welcoming its employees into the Gray family.”

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