At first blush, the FCC was not inclined to allow Journal Broadcast Corporation to acquire CW KNIN-TV Caldwell ID in the Boise DMA, to pair with its ABC KIVI-TV. Although the FCC agreed that the station was challenged in both ratings and income, it believed that Journal, in applying to acquire KNIN via a failed-station waiver, had used discretionary financial evidence when making its case.
The problem was some $61.5K in positive cash flow for the year 2007, after two years in the red. The problem was the need to come up with cash to prep the station for the DTV conversion and to replaced aging and used equipment, costs Journal expected to run to about $3.1M. In the first application, Journal did not specify the nature of the capex is expected to need for KNIN; upon reconsideration, with Journal’s clarification, the FCC agreed the expenditures were necessary, and that the public interest would be served by allowing Journal to run a station that likely otherwise would fail.
The seller is Banks-Boise Inc. The $8M deal was filed with the FCC 7/3/08. In addition to the duopoly with KIVI-TV, the station would be cross-owned with six radio stations, including KGEM-AM, KJOT-FM, KCID-AM, KTHI-FM, KRVB-FM & KQXR-FM.
RBR/TVBR observation: Journal is to be commended for its persistence and the FCC for its open-mindedness. We don’t often see the FCC reverse itself in such matters, and it proves that it can and will listen to reason. So if you really think you have a case, even after a dismissal, don’t be afraid to make it.