Gray TV Acquires Hotshot Maine Station

Friday, Apr 24, 2015

$10 million for WAGM, a big station in a tiny market

Gray TV has agreed to acquire WAGM in Presque Isle, Maine, for $10.25 million. Airing in DMA No. 205, WAGM is a Fox affiliate, with CBS on its dot-two channel. According to Gray, WAGM is one of the most-watched television stations in the United States, its 6 p.m. news showing the highest average ratings nationwide in the last four major non-Olympics sweeps: February 2015, November and May 2014 and November 2013.

The seller is NEPSK.

"This transaction presents us with a rare opportunity to acquire a television station with the demonstrated track record of localism and service that WAGM-TV has achieved," said Kevin Latek, Gray senior VP of business affairs. "We are honored to be trusted with this fine institution, and we look forward to working with the dedicated employees to further enhance its success."
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the third quarter.

"The decision to sell WAGM has been a difficult one for us," said Carole Kozloski, president and COO of NEPSK. "We have been part of this community for over 30 years, and many of our employees have been with us since the beginning. Gray is a broadcast company with similar beliefs to ours, and we are confident they will follow in our footsteps, having the resources to better serve our employees and our local communities."

WAGM grabbed around 95% of the market's broadcast revenue in 2013, according to BIA/Kelsey. Gray said the acquisition will be immediately free cash flow accretive.