FCC waives through Amarillo TV duopoly


Midessa Broadcasting is getting FCC permission to go ahead with the acquisition of KEYU-TV Borger TX, a Univision affiliate in the Amarillo TX DMA, where Midessa owns CBS KFDA-TV. The market is not large enough to support a television duop, but the deal will get a failed station waiver.

The station is being sold by Borger Broadcasting, Inc., Debtor in Possession, which is part of the failed Equity Media group. The deal includes several low power outlets, in Amarillo TX, Wichita Falls TX and Waco-Temple-Bryan TX, and went into the books with a $1.2M price tag.

When applying for transaction approval, Midessa wrote, “KEYU itself is in a dire situation. The station’s technical facilities have deteriorated to such an extent that it might as well be off the air. The failures of the transmitter tube, a portion of the cavity and the mask filter have resulted in KEYU operating at no more than five percent of its authorized power. However, Midessa suspects that there are additional issues with KEYU’s transmission facilities, as KEYU’s signal is not viewable in Amarillo or Borger, Texas, the station’s city of license.”

The FCC noted that in each of the past three years, KEYU had suffered net losses ranging from $300K to $450K.

Patrick Communications broker Greg Guy testified that his company was retained to peddle the station and was unable to find an out-of-market buyer.

The FCC was convinced, saying, “…we find that the combined operation of KEYU(TV) and KFDA-TV will pose minimal harm to our diversity and competition goals because KEYU(TV)’s dire financial situation hampers its ability to be a viable voice in its market. Under these circumstances, allowing KEYU(TV) to be operated by a stronger station in the market will improve KEYU(TV)’s facilities and local programming, an outcome which clearly benefits the public interest. In light of the above discussion, we find that the applicants are fully qualified and conclude that the grant of the assignment application will serve the public interest.”