Gray Television acquires Local FOX Affiliation

Thursday, Jul 02, 2015

The parent company of WSAW NewsChannel 7 in Wausau, Gray Television, Inc., announced Wednesday it has acquired certain non-license assets of WFXS, which had served as the Fox affiliate for the Wausau-Rhinelander television market. The program streams of WFXS are now broadcast by Gray’s other Wausau station, WZAW-TV.

The “Z” is in honor of journalist Mark Zelich, the longtime and legendary sports and news anchor, and news director at WSAW-TV. Zelich is also a member of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

"We're acquiring the Fox affiliation in Wausau. It will work hand and glove with existing operations here,” said Gray President and CEO Hilton Howell, Jr., who shared the news Tuesday with NewsChannel 7 employees in Wausau.

The Fox affiliate will continue to air all national, syndicated programming like Family Guy, Empire and NFL Football. Gray now holds the broadcast rights to 12 of 16 regular-season Green Bay Packers games in the Wausau-Rhinelander market. Three games will air on WSAW-TV and nine games will air on WZAW-TV. This fall, WSAW-TV will launch a new Fox 9 p.m. newscast and will roll out other enhancements.

"We think it's a huge statement of our commitment to this market, to this state and we're really excited about the opportunities it brings to deliver really solid news, really solid sports and really great community involvement,” Howell said. "What I think you will see is new and improved sets. New and improved graphics. New and improved news-gathering techniques."

Upon the consummation of all announced recent transactions, Gray Television, Inc. will own and operate television stations in 45 television markets broadcasting over 150 program streams including 30 channels affiliated with the CBS Network, 22 channels affiliated with the NBC Network, 16 channels affiliated with the ABC Network and 13 channels affiliated with the FOX Network.