TV station group Gray Television has made a bid to buy up the bigger TV station group Tegna for $8.5 billion, according to a Reuters report.
A Tegna representative responding to inquiries by Television News Daily said: “Tegna’s policy is not to comment on market rumors.”
Representatives from Gray did not respond by press time.
Tegna has 62 television stations in 51 markets, covering 39% of U.S. TV households. Gray has TV stations in 93 television markets reaching about 24% of U.S. TV homes.
A week ago, Tegna agreed to take on Gray as investor in its OTT advertising sales operation, Premion.
Premion sells advertising on more than 125 premium-branded networks, ranging from major media networks to virtual MVPDs (multichannel video program distributors) and direct OTT aggregators. Gray’s TV sales staff will sell advertising inventory on Premion’s local OTT/CTV networks/apps.
TV station group industry has seen growing consolidation of over the last several years. In 2019, Nexstar Media Group closed its $7.2 billion to buy Tribune Media TV stations -- making it the largest TV station group in the U.S.
In early Friday morning stock market trading, Tegna shares rose 13% to $15.16. Gray shares dropped 5.3% to $14.94.