Harker hankers for Mississippi TV market


SoldSaga Communications is mainly known as a radio group, and will be even more so as it sells off its WXVT-TV in the Greenville-Greenwood MS DMA. The standalone station will not be so all once the dust settles on this one.

The station is the market’s NBC affiliate and is licensed to Greenville.

It is going to H3 Communications LLC for $3M. It will be H3’s only media property. The buyer is owned jointly by Christopher Harker, Timothy Harker and Jamie Harker.

The meat of the story lies with yet another Harker, Charles. He is supplying the cash necessary to acquire the station.

And whereas H3 Communications is just entering the broadcasting business, Charles Harker’s Commonwealth Broadcasting Group is up and running in Greenville-Greenwood with a full power station, a digital low power station and the affiliation agreements with all three of the remaining Big Four networks.

WABG-TV Greenwood MS carries ABC and Fox, and WNBD-LD Grenada MS carries NBC. The pair can be co-owned despite the diminutive size of the market since low power stations do not count against local caps. And digital technology allows the full power station to carry two major network program streams.

But there is no way that Commonwealth could own another full power in the DMA. So it proposes to provide certain services to H3.

The arrangement was spelled out in great detail in an attachment to the application and contract filed with the FCC. Here’s what it says:

“The members of Assignee are the adult independent children ages 29, 26 and 24 of Charles Harker who is the sole stockholder of Commonwealth Broadcasting Group, Inc. (“CBG”) which is the licensee of Station WABG-TV, Greenville, Mississippi. Charles Harker has agreed to personally guarantee a loan in the amount of $ 2.65 million to Assignee which will be used by Assignee to purchase Station WXVT, which guaranty is not collateralized. Charles Harker, who is a certified public accountant and who has extensive experience in buying and selling television stations assisted and advised his children, who have not previously been involved in broadcast ownership, in negotiating the purchase agreement for WXVT. After consummation of the assignment, CBG and the Assignee intend to enter into an agreement or agreements whereby CBG will sell advertising on WXVT and provide traffic, billing, marketing and related services to WXTV. If the Commission so requests, the Assignee will furnish a copy of the draft agreement for review.”