Gray Gets OK For Legacy Plan In Nebraska


A September 2018 asset purchase agreement submitted to the FCC by Gray Televison has passed muster with the Commission.

As a result, it can move forward with a plan to use the station it is acquiring as a full-time satellite of another station within a very large DMA — one in which some broadcast signals cannot be received over-the-air in key population centers.

The FCC on Tuesday (2/12) granted a request for satellite authority and, thus, Gray’s application to acquire KNHL-TV in Hastings, Neb., from Legacy Broadcasting.

Gray wishes to operate KNHL as a satellite of KSNB-TV in Superior, Neb.

As such, Gray is executing its originally conceived plan to retain control of the former KHAS-5 by avoiding altogether a Shared Services Agreement through an outright reacquisition made possible by a loosening of market concentration regulations by the Republican-controlled FCC.

In an agreement dated May 21, 2018 but not filed with the FCC until September 14, 2018, Gray is purchasing KNHL — today a SonLife Broadcasting Network affiliate —  from Legacy from $475,000.

There is no broker associated with this transaction.

The plan to make KNHL “a satellite” of KSNB was created because KSNB’s over-the-air signal does not reach western parts of the Lincoln-Hastings-Kearney DMA, ranked No. 106 by Nielsen. As such, Gray needed television satellite station authorization from the Commission.

By operating KNHL as a satellite of KSNB Gray would be able to add the network as a multicast channel for KNHL. Further, with KNHL becoming a satellite of KSNB, “it is a more attractive proposition for the ION Network, which also would be broadcast on both stations,” Gray said in its Form 314 filing.


Gray’s Legacy Grows In Nebraska

In August 2014, then-FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler applauded a deal, crafted with the assistance of the MMTC, that saw Gray Television sell several stations to qualified minority and/or women-owned companies. One of these stations is now being reacquired by Gray, thanks to a loosening of local TV ownership rules carried out by the Republican-majority Commission under Chairman Ajit Pai.


Gray Television will release its earnings results for the fourth quarter of 2018 on Thursday, February 28.

Gray executives will host a conference call to discuss its operating results at 11am Eastern.