The CEO of Allen Entertainment Group, the parent company of theGrio, has purchased ABC affiliate WJRT-TV in Flint Michigan for $70 million
Byron Allen continues to expand his entertainment empire. The media mogul who is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Allen Media Group — the parent company of theGrio — purchased his 24th TV station this week.
Allen and Gray Television have come to an agreement for Allen to purchase ABC affiliate WJRT in Flint, Michigan for $70 million in an all-cash deal, per a joint press release. Gray was required to divest WJRT to satisfy regulatory approvals for its purchase of Meredith Corporation’s Local Media Group. WJRT was the only station that would have overlapped between Gray and Meredith, according to the release.
Byron Allen (Getty Images)
“We are delighted to win the process to add this wonderful local television station and its great employees to the fast-growing Allen Media Group family,” said Allen.
“Over the past year-and-a-half, we’ve invested close to $1 billion to acquire best-in-class, top-tier, broadcast network affiliates and we plan to invest approximately ten billion dollars to acquire more ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX television stations over the next two years with the goal of being the largest broadcast television group in America. All of our media assets will work in concert to amplify our free-streaming service, Local Now.”
Allen is well on his way to achieving his goal, as he now owns his 24th TV station in 20 media markets. In a previous interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Allen said that he ultimately plans to own CNN.
“I’d love to own CNN,” Allen said. “But I have to buy AT&T to do that. And I will. Believe me, I think about it every day.”
Gray says that although the sale of WJRT is “bittersweet” they trust that Allen is the right owner to steer the station into the future.
“Having to divest WJRT-TV, which we have proudly owned for the past seven years, in order to facilitate our purchase of Meredith’s television stations is bittersweet,” said Gray’s executive chairman and CEO Hilton H. Howell.
“The wonderful WJRT-TV staff has done an exemplary job serving the Flint-Saginaw community, and we are disappointed to lose them. Nevertheless, we are excited that Byron Allen and his team will follow us as the next dedicated stewards of this fine television station.”
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