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Raycom Media, Inc.
TypePrivate
IndustryBroadcast television
Television production
Founded1996; 26 years ago (1996)
DefunctJanuary 2, 2019; 3 years ago (2019-01-02)
FateAssets merged into Gray
SuccessorGray Television
Headquarters,
U.S.
Area served
United States (Nationwide)
Key people
Pat LaPlatney
(President & CEO)
Revenue$2.4 billion
Number of employees
8,300
Subsidiaries
Footnotes / references
[1]

Raycom Media, Inc. was an American television broadcasting company based in Montgomery, Alabama. Raycom owned and/or provided services for 65 television stations and two radio stations across 44 markets in 20 states. Raycom, through its Community Newspaper Holdings subsidiary, also owned multiple newspapers in small and medium-sized markets throughout the United States.

History

Raycom Media's logo from its 1996 founding until December 2017, using elements from the original Raycom Sports logo.
Raycom Media's logo from its 1996 founding until December 2017, using elements from the original Raycom Sports logo.

Raycom's three founding owners were Stephen Burr (a Boston lawyer), Ken Hawkins (general manager) and William Zortman (news director) with funding from Retirement Systems of Alabama.[2] In 1996, Raycom purchased 15 television and two radio stations and Bert Ellis's Raycom Sports from Ellis Communications for over $700 million.[2][3] In mid-1996, the company agreed to purchase eight stations from Federal Enterprises Inc. of suburban Detroit for $160 million.[2] Raycom bought Aflac's broadcast division of five TV stations in August 1996, using, in part, a loan from the RSA.[2][4] The three groups merged to form Raycom Media. John Hayes initially headed up the company until 2001.[3]:2

In 1998, Raycom took a 35% stake in Worldnow, an internet publishing provider for broadcast media.[3]:2 That same year, Raycom purchased Malrite Communications, owner of five stations: two Puerto Rico stations, three Ohio stations, and one Florida station.[5]

In 2001, Paul McTear took over as Raycom's president and CEO from Hayes.[3]:2 In 2003, Raycom Media bought out all of the Fox-affiliated television stations from Waitt Broadcasting.[6]

In April 2005, Raycom tested The Tube Music Network on station WFLX, a Fox affiliate, for three weeks.[7] Raycom announced on April 25, 2005, it was the launch station group for The Tube affiliating 29 stations.[7] Raycom launched the network in June 2005 on 30 stations.[8] Raycom Media was an initial round investor in The Tube Music Network.[9]

On January 31, 2006, the company acquired the Liberty Corporation.[10] Raycom agreed to affiliate its NBC stations' subchannels with NBC Weather Plus,[7] a joint venture between the affiliates and the NBC station group.[11] In August, Raycom sold a dozen of its stations to Barrington Broadcasting.[12]

On November 12, 2007, Raycom announced its intention to acquire some of the television broadcasting properties of Lincoln National Corporation's Lincoln Financial Media for $583 million.[13] Lincoln Financial Sports was merged into Raycom Sports later that year.[14] The purchase of the stations were completed on April 2, 2008.[15]

Around 2010, Raycom moved into producing its own programming.[citation needed] In September 2011, Raycom partnered with E.W. Scripps and Cox Media to produce Right This Minute.[16] Also in 2011, the company partnered with ITV Studios America and launched America Now, a lifestyle-oriented news magazine.[17] The magazine lasted until September 2014. In partnership with Bellum Entertainment Group in 2014, Flip My Food and Fix It and Finish It were launched as lead in strips to Raycom early newscasts. In the third quarter of 2014, Raycom purchased RTM Productions, based in Nashville and produces PowerNation branded auto-oriented shows for the Paramount Network, NBCSN, and CBS Sports Network.[3]:2 Raycom acquired the assets of live and studio sports programming production company Tupelo-Honey Productions in January 2012.[18]

In 2011, Raycom was an initial investor in Bounce TV, a broadcast subchannel network.[19]1 Raycom News Network Digital Hub, an online news aggregator and exchange, was started in 2011 at the company's main office in Montgomery, Alabama.[3]:2 Raycom Media was an initial investor in Katz Broadcasting, launched in 2014 and a Bounce affiliated subchannel network group.[19]

On November 20, 2013, Raycom entered into a shared services agreement to operate Louisiana Media Company's WVUE-TV in New Orleans.[20]

On August 10, 2015, Raycom announced that it would purchase stations owned by Drewry Communications for $160 million.[21] The sale was completed on December 1, 2015.[22]

Raycom acquired Indianapolis-based sports production company WebStream Sports on September 14, 2015.[23] WebStream was subsequently merged with existing Raycom entity Tupelo Honey to form Tupelo Raycom.[24]

In October 2015, Raycom acquired Fox affiliate KNIN-TV for $14.5 million from E. W. Scripps Company; the FCC required that the station be divested during Scripps' acquisition of Journal Communications, but Scripps entered into shared services agreements with Raycom to continue operating KNIN.[25]

Raycom purchased PureCars, a digital ad platform focused on automotive sales, for $125 million in November 2015.[26]

On April 4, 2017, Raycom reached an agreement to acquire WVUE outright.[27]

In May 2017, Raycom purchased Calkins Media's WWSB and WTXL-TV. A sale of Calkins' WAAY-TV to Raycom affiliate American Spirit Media was blocked by the Department of Justice due to Raycom's ownership of WAFF-TV, and was instead sold to Heartland Media.[28] The deal increased Raycom's reach to 16% of U.S. television households.[29]

On September 25, 2017, Raycom announced that it would merge with Community Newspaper Holdings (CNHI), which was principally owned by Retirement Systems of Alabama. CNHI would continue to operate as a subsidiary of Raycom. To comply with FCC newspaper cross-ownership restrictions, Raycom divested newspapers in the seven markets where CNHI and Raycom both owned properties.[30][31][32]

On June 14, 2018, Raycom announced the launch of InvestigateTV, an OTT app that showcased longer-form content from Raycom as well as content from ProPublica, News21 at Arizona State University’s Cronkite School of Journalism, and NerdWallet.[33]

On June 25, 2018, Gray Television announced its intent to acquire Raycom for $3.65 billion, pending regulatory approval. The combined company would be led by Raycom's current president and CEO Pat LaPlatney, with current Gray CEO Hilton Howell acting as executive chairman and co-CEO. The acquisition, which Gray expected to close in late 2018, would give Gray 142 stations in 92 markets, making Gray the third-largest owner of television stations in the United States, with a total market share of 24%.[34][35][36] CNHI, which was sold separately, was not included in the sale to Gray.[37][38] The sale was approved by the FCC on December 20.[39][40][41] The deal was completed on January 2, 2019.[42][43]

Operations

Prior to its merger with Gray, Raycom owned and/or operated 65 television stations and two radio stations in 44 markets located in 20 states, covering over 16% of U.S. television households. Raycom also employed more than 4,800 individuals in full- and part-time positions.

Former owned or operated television stations

Stations are arranged alphabetically by state and by city of license.

Notes:

City of license / market Station Channel
TV (RF)
Years owned Current ownership status
Birmingham - Tuscaloosa - Anniston, AL WBRC 6 (50) 2009[44]–2019 Fox affiliate owned by Gray Television
Dothan - Ozark WDFX-TV ## 34 (33) 2003–2019 Fox affiliate owned by Lockwood Broadcast Group
Huntsville - Decatur WAFF §§ 48 (48) 1996–2019 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Montgomery - Selma WSFA ++ 12 (12) 2006–2019 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Jonesboro KAIT ++ 8 (8) 2006–2019 ABC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Tucson - Douglas - Sierra Vista KOLD-TV ^^ 13 (32) 1996–2019 CBS affiliate owned by Gray Television
KMSB 11 (25) 2011–2019 1 Fox affiliate owned by Tegna Inc.
(Operated under a SSA by Gray Television)
KTTU 18 (19) 2011–2019 2 MyNetworkTV affiliate owned by Tegna Inc.
(Operated under a SSA by Gray Television)
Colorado Springs - Pueblo KXRM-TV 21 (22) 2000–2006 Fox affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
KXTU-LD 57 (20) 1999–2006 The CW affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Panama City WPGX ## 28 (9) 2003–2019 Fox affiliate owned Lockwood Broadcast Group
Sarasota WWSB ♦♦ 40 (24) 2017–2019 ABC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Tallahassee WTXL-TV ♦♦ 27 (27) 2017–2019 ABC affiliate owned by the E. W. Scripps Company
West Palm Beach - Fort Pierce WFLX ¤¤ 29 (28) 1998–2019 3 Fox affiliate owned by Gray Television
(Operated under a SSA by the E. W. Scripps Company)
Albany WFXL ## 31 (12) 2004–2006 Fox affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group
WALB ++ 10 (10) 2006–2019 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Augusta WFXG 54 (51) 2003–2019 Fox affiliate owned by Lockwood Broadcast Group
Columbus WTVM §§ 9 (11) 1996–2019 ABC affiliate owned by Gray Television
WXTX 54 (49) 2003–2019 4 Fox affiliate owned by American Spirit Media
(Operated under a SSA by Gray Television)
Savannah WTOC-TV §§ 11 (11) 1996–2019 CBS affiliate owned by Gray Television
WSAV-TV ^^ 3 (39) 1997 NBC affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Honolulu KGMB 5 (23) 2009–2019 CBS affiliate owned by Gray Television
KFVE 9 (22) 1999–2019 5 MyNetworkTV affiliate, KHII-TV, owned by Nexstar Media Group
KHNL 13 (35) 1999–2019 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Hilo KHBC-TV
(Satellite of KHNL)
2 (22) 1999–2019 NBC affiliate, KSIX-TV, owned by Gray Television
KGMD-TV
(Satellite of KFVE)
9 (9) 1999–2019 5 MyNetworkTV affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Wailuku - Maui KGMV
(Satellite of KFVE)
3 (24) 1999–2019 5 MyNetworkTV affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
KOGG
(Satellite of KHNL)
15 (16) 1999–2019 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Caldwell - Boise KNIN-TV 9 (10) 2015[25]–2019 3 Fox affiliate owned by Gray Television
(Operated under a SSA by the E. W. Scripps Company)
Evansville WFIE ++ 14 (46) 2006–2019 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Waterloo - Cedar Rapids -
Iowa City - Dubuque
KWWL §§ 7 (7) 1996–2006 NBC affiliate owned by Allen Media Broadcasting
Louisville WAVE ++ 3 (47) 2006–2019 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Baton Rouge WAFB §§ 9 (9) 1996–2019 CBS affiliate owned by Gray Television
WBXH-CD 39 (39) 2003–2019 MyNetworkTV affiliate owned by Gray Television
Lake Charles KPLC ++ 7 (7) 2006–2019 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
KVHP 29 (30) 2016–2019 4 Fox affiliate owned by American Spirit Media
(Operated under a SSA by Gray Television)
New Orleans WVUE-DT 8 (29) 2013–2019 6 Fox affiliate owned by Gray Television
Shreveport - Texarkana KSLA ^^ 12 (17) 1996–2019 CBS affiliate owned by Gray Television
Marquette - Escanaba WLUC-TV 6 (35) 1997–2006 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Traverse City - Cadillac WPBN-TV 7 (47) 1997–2006 NBC affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group
Sault Ste. Marie - Cheboygan WTOM-TV
(Satellite of WPBN-TV)
4 (35) 1997–2006 NBC affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group
Biloxi - Gulfport - Pascagoula WLOX ++ 13 (39) 2006–2019 ABC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Jackson WJTV ^^ 12 (12) 1996–1997 CBS affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
WLBT ++ 3 (30) 2006–2019 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
WLOO 35 (41) 2012–2019 7 MyNetworkTV affiliate owned by Tougaloo College
(Operated under a JSA by American Spirit Media;
Gray Television provides limited engineering support)
WDBD 40 (40) 2012–2019 4 Fox affiliate owned by American Spirit Media
(Operated under a SSA by Gray Television)
Hattiesburg - Laurel WHLT ^^
(Semi-satellite of WJTV)
22 (22) 1996–1997 CBS affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
WDAM-TV ≈≈ 7 (7) 1997–2019 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Cape Girardeau - Paducah - Harrisburg KFVS-TV §§ 12 (12) 1996–2019 CBS affiliate owned by Gray Television
WQTV-LP 24 2002–2019 defunct, license cancelled in 2021.
WQWQ-LP 9 2002–2019 The CW/MeTV affiliate owned by Gray Television
Kirksville, MO - Ottumwa, IA KTVO 3 (33) 1997–2006 ABC affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group
KYOU-TV 15 (15) 2003–2019 4 Fox affiliate owned by Gray Television
Reno, Nevada KAME-TV ^^ 21 (20) 1996–1997 MyNetworkTV affiliate owned by Deerfield Media
(Operated through a SSA by Sinclair Broadcast Group)
Albuquerque - Santa Fe KASA-TV 2 (27) 1999–2007 Telemundo owned-and-operated station (O&O)
Syracuse WSTM-TV ≈≈ 3 (24) 1997–2006 NBC affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group
WSTQ-LP 14 2003–2006 The CW affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group
Charlotte WBTV ~~ 3 (23) 2008–2019 CBS affiliate owned by Gray Television
Washington - Greenville - New Bern WITN-TV §§ 7 (32) 1997 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Wilmington WECT ^^ 6 (44) 1996–2019 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
WSFX-TV 26 (30) 2004–2019 4 Fox affiliate owned by American Spirit Media
(Operated under a SSA by Gray Television)
WWAY ++ 3 (46) 2006 ABC affiliate owned by Morris Multimedia
Cincinnati, OH - Newport, KY WXIX-TV ¤¤ 19 (29) 1998–2019 Fox affiliate owned by Gray Television
Cleveland - Shaker Heights - Lorain, OH WOIO ¤¤ 19 (10) 1998–2019 CBS affiliate owned by Gray Television
WUAB 43 (10) 2000–2019 The CW affiliate owned by Gray Television
Toledo WTOL ++ 11 (11) 2006–2019 CBS affiliate owned by Tegna Inc.
WNWO-TV ¤¤ 24 (49) 1998–2006 NBC affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group
WUPW ^^ 36 (46) 1996–1999
2012–2019 4
Fox affiliate owned by American Spirit Media
(Operated under a SSA by Tegna Inc.)
Lawton, OK - Wichita Falls, TX KSWO-TV 7 (11) 2015–2019 ABC affiliate owned by Gray Television
KAUZ-TV 6 (26) 2015–2019 4 CBS affiliate owned by American Spirit Media
(Operated under a SSA by Gray Television)
Charleston WCSC-TV ~~ 5 (47) 2008–2019 CBS affiliate owned by Gray Television
Columbia WACH ^^ 57 (48) 1996–2006 Fox affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group
WIS ++ 10 (10) 2006–2019 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Myrtle Beach - Florence WMBF-TV ** 32 (32) 2008–2019 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Sioux Falls KSFY-TV §§ 13 (13) 1997–2004 ABC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Aberdeen KABY-TV §§
(Satellite of KSFY-TV)
9 (9) 1997–2004 defunct, license cancelled in 2018
Pierre KPRY-TV §§
(Satellite of KSFY-TV)
4 (19) 1997–2004 ABC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Knoxville WTNZ ^^ 43 (34) 1996–2019 Fox affiliate owned by Lockwood Broadcast Group
Memphis WMC-TV ^^ 5 (5) 1996–2019 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Amarillo, TX - Clovis, NM KFDA-TV 10 (10) 2015–2019 CBS affiliate owned by Gray Television
KZBZ-CD 26 (26) 2015–2019 Independent affiliate owned by Gray Television
KEYU 31 (31) 2015–2019 Telemundo affiliate owned by Gray Television
Harlingen - Weslaco -
Brownsville - McAllen - Pharr -
Reynosa - Matamoros
KGBT-TV ++ 4 (18) 2006 Antenna TV owned-and-operated station (O&O),
owned by Nexstar Media Group
Lubbock KCBD ++ 11 (11) 2006–2019 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Midland - Odessa KWES-TV 9 (9) 2015–2019 NBC affiliate owned by Tegna Inc.
KWAB-TV
(Satellite of KWES-TV)
9 (33) 2015–2019 The CW affiliate, KCWO-TV, owned by Gray Television
KTLE-LP 20 (20) 2015–2019 Telemundo affiliate owned by Gray Television
Tyler - Longview - Jacksonville KLTV ++ 7 (7) 2006–2019 ABC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Lufkin - Nacogdoches KTRE ++
(Semi-satellite of KLTV)
9 (9) 2006–2019 ABC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Waco - Temple - Bryan KXXV 25 (26) 2015–2019 ABC affiliate owned by the E. W. Scripps Company
KRHD-CD
(Semi-satellite of KXXV)
40 (40) 2015–2019 ABC affiliate owned by the E. W. Scripps Company
KSCM-LP 18 (32) 2015–2017 defunct, went dark in 2017
Richmond - Petersburg - Ashland, VA WTVR-TV 6 (25) 1997–2009 CBS affiliate owned by the E. W. Scripps Company
WWBT ~~ 12 (12) 2008–2019 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
WUPV 65 (47) 2006–2019 4 The CW affiliate owned by Gray Television
Yakima KNDO ≈≈ 23 (16) 1997–1999 NBC affiliate owned by Cowles Company
Richland - Pasco - Kennewick KNDU ≈≈
(Satellite of KNDO)
26 (25) 1997–1999 NBC affiliate owned by Cowles Company
Caguas - San Juan - Ponce WLII-DT 11 (11) 1996–2005 8 Univision affiliate owned by Liberman Media Group
WSUR-DT
(Satellite of WLII-DT)
9 (9) 1996–2005 8 Univision affiliate owned by Liberman Media Group

Other notes:

Former owned radio stations

AM Station FM Station
Market Station Years owned Current ownership status
Memphis, Tennessee WMC 790 1996–2000 Owned by Audacy, Inc.
WMC-FM 99.7
Amarillo, Texas KEYU-FM 102.9 2015–2018 KVWE, owned by Alpha Media
Lamesa - Midland, Texas KTXC 104.7 2015–2018 KVLM, owned by VCY America, Inc.

Other assets

In addition to television stations, Raycom also owned:

Tupelo Raycom

Tupelo Raycom is Raycom Media's production company formed from the merger of Tupelo Honey Productions and WebStream Sports. Clients of the company include NBC, CBS, ESPN, Turner Sports, Fox, Travel Channel, Bounce TV and Live Nation.[24]

Raycom acquired the assets of live and studio sports programming production company Tupelo-Honey Productions in January 2012. Tupelo Honey assets included a 50% share of MY Tupelo Entertainment, a joint venture form in 2009 as partnership between Cary Glotzer's Tupelo-Honey and Michael Yudin's MY-Entertainment Company. Yudin bought back Raycom's half of My Tupelo in March 2014.[18]

Raycom acquired Indianapolis, Indiana-based sports production company WebStream Sports on September 14, 2015.[23] WebStream was subsequently merged with existing Raycom entity Tupelo Honey to form Tupelo Raycom in January 2016.[24]

References

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