Gray Television will acquire privately held rival broadcaster Raycom Media in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $3.65 billion.
The combined company, with 142 television stations in 92 markets, will reach about 24 percent of total U.S. television households — more than doubling Gray’s reach and creating the third-largest portfolio of stations and markets in the nation, according to a news release from Atlanta-based Gray and Raycom, headquartered in Montgomery, Ala.
Gray owns KCRG TV in Cedar Rapids. It will gain KYOU, a TV station in Ottumwa.
Raycom plans to sell or spin off Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., its unit that owns more than 100 community newspapers, including the Ottumwa Courier, in 23 states.
It also will divest itself of PureCars, a digital ad platform for the automotive industry.
Gray said it won’t acquire either unit as part of the deal.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. The parties expect to close the transaction in 2018’s fourth quarter.
Gray already owns and/or operates more than 100 TV stations in 57 markets. Raycom owns and/or provides services for 65 TV stations and two radio stations in 44 markets.
In November, the Federal Communications Commission voted to remove certain roadblocks to increased consolidation among media companies, potentially unleashing new deals among TV, radio and newspaper owners as they seek to better compete with online media.