Gray KSNB buy enabled by FCC waiver


Gray Television
Gray Broadcasting asked for and received an FCC failing station waiver, enabling it to acquire KSNB-TV Superior NE and pair it up with KOLN-TV Lincoln and a Grand Island NE satellite.

Gray proposed to acquire the station from Thomas F. Mitts’ Colins Broadcasting Corporation in a $1.25M deal filed with the FCC 12/23/12.

Attempts to run the station as a local-oriented indy have not borne fruit, and have left the station with losses including $137K in 2010, $72K in 2011 and $158K through the first ten months of 2012.

Gray’s KOLN carries CBS in Lincoln, and its population of television licensees is not sufficient to support a television duopoly, hence the need for a waiver.

In granting the waiver, the FCC noted Gray’s promise to upgrade the station’s facilities, to add 30 minutes of local news daily and to increase its capability to provide children’s programming and emergency alerts.

Testimony on behalf of allowing the acquisition was supplied to the FCC by Mitt Younts, who noted that brokerage firm Patrick Communications was engaged by Colins to seek a buyer for the station and failed. On its own, Colins found a pair of potential buyers, but only Gray actually entered into good-faith negotiations for the station. No potential out-of-market buyers were found.

For all these reasons, the FCC found the failing station waiver to be in the public interest and approved the deal.

Bob Prather, President and COO of Gray, commented: “We are excited by the opportunity to expand our investment in Central Nebraska.  This new station provides further evidence of Gray’s long commitment to serving dynamic markets and the valued residents and businesses in those communities.”

Note: Story was edited to make factual corrections.