A. Bray Cary (‘70 BS, ‘71 MS)
Bray Cary lived his early years in Huntington, Madison and Hinton, where he graduated from high school in 1966. He earned two degrees from West Virginia University – a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1970 and a master’s degree in public administration in 1971.
While working in WVU’s Office of Intercollegiate Athletics as a student, Cary developed experience that allowed him to create a sports television production and syndication company and to become vice president of broadcasting and technology for NASCAR, one of the nation’s most popular sports enterprises.
Cary began his career in the Sun Belt Conference, where he developed and operated the Sun Belt Conference Television Network until 1983. The following year, Cary founded Creative Sports in Charlotte. His new company became the nation’s largest syndicator of college football and basketball games. Cary sold his company in 1994 to ESPN. In 1998, he joined NASCAR to lead the sport into a new era.
As an executive for NASCAR, Cary was the architect of the stock car racing company’s $2.4 billion television contract, the largest in its history. Under the new contract, NASCAR consolidated all television rights and offered them as a package. In addition, he negotiated during summer 2000 the largest sports Internet contract in history between NASCAR and Turner/AOL. The agreement propelled NASCAR to the forefront of Internet technology.
Cary returned to his home state to establish West Virginia Media Holdings LLC in Charleston, where he serves and president and CEO. West Virginia Media Holdings LLC acquired an NBC affiliate in Clarksburg and CBS affiliates in Charleston and Wheeling. The State Journal, the only statewide weekly business newspaper, is also a part of the news network.
Active in his community and a long-time supporter of West Virginia University, Cary has given numerous lectures at the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism and served as commencement speaker for WVU’s December 2000 convocation. He is a past member of the WVU Foundation Board of Directors and the WVU Board of Advisors.