Close encounter in Boise


Journal Broadcast Group officially welcomed a CW affiliate into its cluster of stations in Boise ID, which includes another network affiliated television station and six radio stations. According to brokerage Kalil & Co., KNIN-TV has officially paired up with KIVI-TV and the radio cluster in a deal that initially earned a thumbs down from the FCC.

The price has dropped a bit since the deal was filed with the FCC back in July of 2008. Originally pegged as an $8M transaction, Kalil reported the deal closed at $6.6M. The seller is Banks-Boise Inc.

The radio stations in the multimedia cluster include KGEM-AM, KJOT-FM, KCID-AM, KTHI-FM, KRVB-FM & KQXR-FM. This would generally be over the local limit in a smaller market like Boise.

Journal and Boise-Banks tried to get the transaction through the FCC via a failing station waiver. They used free cash flow to justify the financial prong used to determine if a transaction is waiver worthy. KNIN showed losses of $109.7K in 2005, $124.9K in 2006 and $90K in 2007. However, the FCC said it finds operating cash flow to be a more reliable indicator of a station’s financial health, and those numbers were improving. The station showed a loss of only $61.9K in 2005, shaved that to a loss of $9.5K in 2006 and was in the black in 2007 with a $61.6K margin. On the basis of that sequence, the waiver request was denied.

Journal came back with a more detailed financial painting that included an estimated $3.1M in expenditures necessary to make the DTV transition and to replace old equipment. That was enough to carry the day and get the waiver approved.