ONE CEO SEEMS TO HAVE THOUGHT THROUGH THE CORONAVIRUS ISSUE

We’re just as interested in the profit motive as the next guy, and we certainly hope this coronavirus emergency can be contained as quickly as possible.

But when you have Nexstar CEO Perry Sook practically exulting that its spread would be good for Nexstar since we would all be quarantined at home, you have to wonder what the hell is wrong with big business these days?

Along comes Gray Television Chairman-CEO Hilton Howell, who skated dangerously close to Uncle Perry when he suggested in the company’s quarterly conference call that broadcast stocks should be a “safe haven” for investors.

“We have no exposure to China, South Korea or Iran. Or Italy, for that matter,” said Howell, although he noted that a coronavirus case has now been reported in Sacramento,Calif., with no known connection to quarantined areas.

UH-OH.

But wait…Howell saved the day by providing some useful perspective about the coronavirus emergency.

“At the end of the day, guys, we have 15,000 people in the last 12 months that have passed away from the flu and we have yet to have a fatality in the United States on any of this new virus that’s out here.”

We kinda wish his tv stations and all the other local newsers (and the networks too) would provide this kind of perspective as well.

Like most companies, though, Gray has seen its stock price fall along with the broader market decline prompted by fears of the coronavirus impact.

On the political money grab side, Gray looks to snap up the bucks in the range of $250 million-$275 million, well ahead of the company’s record of $235 million in 2018.

More News from Monday, March 2, 2020