Bray Cary

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Bray Cary
Picture of Bray Cary
Born Albert Bray Cary
(1948-06-15) June 15, 1948 (age 70)
Clifton Forge, Virginia
Alma mater West Virginia University

Bray Cary, born June 15, 1948, is a US-based media and sports marketing entrepreneur and the President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of West Virginia Media Holdings, a multi-media company serving over 90% of West Virginia. In 1984, he founded Creative Sports, a sports & marketing production company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Creative Sports was acquired by ESPN in 1994.[1] Cary is credited as the architect of the growth of NASCAR through a $2.4B deal with FOX and NBC in 1999 and a historic Internet contract between NASCAR and Turner/AOL in 2000.[2] Since 2008, Cary has served as a member of the board of directors of EQT Corporation, an energy corporation traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Cary currently resides in Charleston, West Virginia, and continues to be a strong advocate for the state’s economic development. He is the host for Decision Makers, a statewide weekly public affairs television program that features West Virginia’s leading government, business and community leaders and covers topics important to the state and its citizens such as the economy, education, health and transportation.[3] He delivered the December 2000 commencement speech at WVU and the 2004 convocation speech at Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, West Virginia. In 2002, Cary was inducted into the West Virginia University Business Hall of Fame, an award that “recognizes individuals with strong ties to West Virginia who have made significant impacts on the business world, demonstrated leadership and serve as a role model for students and business entrepreneurs”.[4] He is also a past member of the West Virginia University Foundation Board and the West Virginia University Board of Advisors.

Early life[edit]

Cary was born in Clifton Forge, Virginia, on June 15, 1948. His early life was spent in three West Virginia towns, Huntington, Madison and Hinton. Attending Hinton High school, he wrote for the Hinton Daily News, an eight-page local paper that served Summers County, West Virginia.[5] Graduating in 1966, he wrote an essay on his desire to pursue a degree in journalism; an essay he later credited with helping him earn a scholarship to West Virginia University.[6] During college Cary worked in WVU’s office of Intercollegiate Athletics, combining his interests in journalism and sports. He graduated in 1970, earning a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's degree in public administration in 1971.[7]


Sun Belt Conference[edit]

After graduating from WVU, Cary served as assistant commissioner in the Sun Belt Conference, a collegiate athletic conference associated with the NCAA’s Division 1. During the years he worked there, Cary began the Sun Belt Conference Television Network, producing their sports programming offerings in house and achieving profitability for the network within the first year.[8][6]

Creative Sports[edit]

In 1984, Cary left the Sun Belt Conference and founded Creative Sports, a sports marketing and production company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. During his years running Creative Sports, the company promoted and handled collegiate athletic television broadcasts in the Atlantic 10 and Big West conferences.[9][10][11]

In May 1994, ESPN acquired Creative Sports.[6] The company was awarded exclusive rights to produce for syndication all men’s football and basketball games by the Big 10 athletic conference (expanding later to include women’s basketball and volleyball). ESPN’s acquisition of Creative Sports, renamed ESPN Regional, helped fuel ESPN’s expansion through the late 1990s into becoming the nation’s largest college sports syndication outlet.[12][11] Cary continued to work as a consultant for ESPN from 1994-1998.[13]


Cary joined NASCAR in 1998 as VP of Broadcasting and Technology where he helped to consolidate and leverage all television rights for NASCAR races. Cary is credited with being the architect of a six-year, $2.4 billion television deal in 1999 with Fox and NBC that consolidated television rights, increased revenues and was viewed as helping to propel NASCAR from its southern regional roots to a more national presence.[14][15] In 2000, Cary negotiated what was, at the time, the largest Internet sports contract between NASCAR and Turner/AOL.[16][17][18]

West Virginia Media Holdings (WVMH)[edit]

In 2001, Cary, Marty Becker, and other partners raised $100 million from a group local investors to form West Virginia Media Holdings to serve as roll-up vehicle for the acquisition of various West Virginia based media properties.[19][20] As CEO of WVMH, Cary led the company in the acquisition of eight West Virginia television stations and a weekly business newspaper, The State Journal.

In November 2015, WVMH announced the sale of four of its television stations (WTRF in Wheeling, WVNS in Beckley, WBOY in Clarksburg, WOWK in Charleston & Huntington) to Nexstar, a Texas-based media company.[21][22] The deal provided Nexstar coverage of the entire state of W. Virginia, allowing sharing of content and coverage, and expanding NexStar’s reach to 18.1% of US television households.[19]

Political career[edit]

Cary secured a place on West Virginia Governor's senior staff as a citizen volunteer and a special assistant. As a part of the position, Cary has round-the-clock access to Justice's office and has an access card to the state's Capitol building, an access card meant for permanent employees or consultants.[23] Cary signed a confidentiality agreement after a journalist asked about his position.[23]

Republican and Democratic leaders in the state's House of Delegates supported changes to the state's Ethics Act to require people in unpaid roles, like Cary, to still be held to the same high standards of the law.[24]


  • Inducted into the WVU Business Hall of Fame in 2002
  • Awarded the “One With Courage” by the West Virginia Child Advocacy Network


On April 9, 2012 Melinda Heiss, a registered nurse doing contract work for Portamedic, went to Albert Bray Cary Jr.’s office at WOWK-TV. A lawsuit against Cary explains an insurance physical became a violent encounter for Heiss after Cary became "very hostile and belligerent." The lawsuit alleges Cary stood in front of a door not allowing Heiss to leave and later pulling a phone away from Heiss, taking her hair with it. [25]


  1. ^ "ESPN's secret weapon - Charlotte Business Journal". Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  2. ^ "Bray Cary, Jr". Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  3. ^ "Decision Makers - West Virginia Media - WV public affairs - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports". Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  4. ^ "Bray Cary, Jr". Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c Dan, By (2002-04-14). "Back to community TV | Broadcasting & Cable". Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  7. ^ A. Bray Cary Jr. "A. Bray Cary Jr.: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek". Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  8. ^ "A. Bray Cary | Alumni | West Virginia University". 2014-03-05. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  9. ^,6383398
  10. ^ Penner, Mike (June 21, 1991). "Mulligan Waits for Next Calling". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  11. ^ a b "Big Ten sports expand air time | Archives". 1994-10-07. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  12. ^ Nidetz, Steve (October 7, 1994). "Big 10 Strikes Big Deal With Espn For Football, Basketball". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  13. ^ "Management". West Virginia Media. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  14. ^ Published November 20, 2000. "NASCAR, PART II: BROOKS SAY BRAY CARY HAS NEW NASCAR ROLE - SportsBusiness Daily | SportsBusiness Journal | SportsBusiness Daily Global". SportsBusiness Daily. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  15. ^ Sandomir, Richard (1999-11-12). "TV SPORTS - Nascar Switches Drivers And Rakes In a Fortune". Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Professional Leagues Are Drawing Up Game Plans as They Vie for Attention of Fans Visiting Sites on the Internet - Page 2 - latimes". 2000-10-23. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  18. ^ "Bray Cary, Jr". Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  19. ^ a b "Charleston Gazette-Mail | WV Media Holdings selling 4 TV stations to Texas company". 2015-11-17. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  20. ^ Kevin Eck (2015-11-17). "Nexstar Buys 4 West Virginia Stations for $130 Million | TVSpy". Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  21. ^ Ali, Ann. "WV Media Holdings TV stations purchased by Nexstar - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV". Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  22. ^ "Charleston Gazette-Mail | WV Media Holdings selling 4 TV stations to Texas company". 2015-11-17. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  23. ^ a b Zuckerman, Jake. "Gas company board member Cary scores vague role in governor's office". Charleston Gazette-Mail. Retrieved 2017-12-15. 
  24. ^ Zuckerman, Jake. "WV House leaders back bill amending Ethics Act to include volunteers". Charleston Gazette-Mail. Retrieved 2017-12-15. 
  25. ^ "Nurse files complaint against WV Media's Bray Cary". Retrieved 2014-04-10. 

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