Indiana-based Schurz to sell TV, radio stations for $442.5M

TV station owner Gray Television Inc. said Monday it agreed to buy Indiana-based Schurz Communications Inc.'s TV and radio stations for $442.5 million.

Atlanta-based Gray said the acquisition will bring its operations to 49 television markets and 28 states, up from 30 markets in mid-2013. Gray will acquire TV stations in markets ranging from Wichita, Kansas, to Augusta, Georgia, to Anchorage, Alaska.

Schurz, based in Mishawaka, owns nine radio stations in Indiana—four in South Bend and five in Lafayette. It also owns WSBT-TV Channel 22, the CBS affiliate in South Bend.

Schurz will hold on to its non-broadcast assets.The company owns several Indiana newspapers, including The Reporter Times in Martinsville, The Mooresville-Decatur Times, The Herald Times in Bloomington, The Times-Mail in Bedford and The South Bend Tribune.

Consolidation has swept the broadcast and cable industries as people increasingly turn to the Internet for video and as content costs rise for cable and TV companies.

Gray said the deal will immediately help it free cash flow. The company also separately recently announced the acquisition of an ABC affiliate in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Gray shares jumped 10.7 percent, to $13 per share, in aftermarket trading after closing the day up 5 percent, at $11.74.

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