Gray Television announced it will acquire Raycom Media for $3.65 billion.
The move comes less than a year after the FCC loosened restrictions on media company consolidation in the same markets across the country.
After the merger, Gray will be the third-largest owner of local TV stations with 142 stations in 92 markets, reaching about 25 percent of U.S. households.
“This new portfolio of leading local media outlets will excel at what they do best, which is to provide the local news that local communities trust, the entertainment and sports content that viewers crave, and the incredible reach that advertisers demand,” said Hilton Howell, CEO and chairman of Gray Television.
“We are thrilled to be joining Gray Television as we share the same core values of journalistic excellence and community service,” added Pat LaPlatney, president and CEO of Raycom Media “Together, we will be a stronger, more impactful force for our audiences, advertisers, and communities.”
The transaction will consist of $2.85 billion in cash, $650 million in a new series of preferred stock and $11.5 million in Gray stock.
Gray will divest television stations in nine overlap markets rather than seek regulatory approvals.
Here’s a look at all markets in which the two companies operated, and where there is overlap, including: Knoxville, Tenn., where Gray owns CBS affiliate WVLT and Raycom owns Fox affiliate WTNZ; Toledo, Ohio, where Gray owns ABC affiliate WTVG and Raycom owns CBS affiliate WTOL; and Waco, Texas, where Gray owns CBS affiliate KWTX and Raycom owns ABC affiliate KXXV.