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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Gray Television pulled its takeover offer for local broadcaster Tegna due to market volatility, per Reuters. Rival bids from Apollo Global Management and Byron Allen appear to still be on the table, as is a new joint approach from private equity firm Najafi Cos. and privately held religious broadcaster Trinity Broadcasting Network.

Why it matters: It reflects how the M&A hierarchy has momentarily flipped, with listed strategics no longer having the built-in advantage of cheaper currency (i.e., their own stock).

Caveat: Private equity remains reliant on the leveraged financing market, which appears to be tightening.

Pricing: Offers from Gray, Apollo, and Byron Allen each reportedly are for $20 per share, which would value Tegna at around $8.5 billion (including assumed debt). Tegna shares closed yesterday at $15.08.

The bottom line: "Tegna, the former TV-station arm of Gannett Co., was spun off in 2015 and retained the old Gannett’s trading history. It has about 60 TV stations in 51 U.S. markets, reaching about 38% of U.S. households." — Bloomberg

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.

Trump pardons Michael Flynn

President Trump with Michael Flynn in 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with a former Russian ambassador.

Why it matters: It is the first of multiple pardons expected in the coming weeks, as Axios scooped Tuesday night.