Gray Communications to Purchase Benedek Broadcasting Corp.

Gray Communications Systems Inc. of Atlanta has signed an agreement with the intent to buy Benedek Broadcasting Corp. from Stations Holding Company Inc. for $500 million and proceeds from certain station divestitures.

Benedek operates 22 television stations, which produced 2001 net revenue of $138.1 million and a broadcasting cash flow of approximately $47.5 million across 21 markets, mostly of medium size. Its assets will be added to Gray's 13 stations in 11 markets. In 2001 Gray reported a net revenue of $156.3 million and media cash flow of $40.8 million from its television station division.

The combined station group will have a large presence in the Southeast, Midwest, Great Lakes and Texas areas. The group's 20 CBS-affiliated stations will make it the largest non-network owner of CBS affiliates in the country. The transaction is expected to close by the fourth quarter of this year.

Benedek filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March.