Honolulu SSA in the works


When the dust clears, a CBS affiliate will be moving in with an already-up-and-running NBC-indy duopoly in the Honolulu market to share backroom expenses. The trio of stations will also be shedding employees. The stations will enter into an SSA, or shared services agreement.

Raycom Media, which owns NBC KHLN-TV and indy KFVE-TV, will provide studio space, making room in a couple of months for CBS KGMB-TV, owned by MCG Capital Corp. According to the Honolulu Starbulletin.com, both owners will keep their VP/GMs in place, with Rick Blangiardi filling that roll for Raycom and John Fink for MCG.
KFVE and KGMB are said to have already filed with the FCC to swap call letters.

Employees were reported to be in full scale gloom and doom mode once plans for the SSA became known. The combined staffing for the three stations is 198, and rumors had it that 68 jobs – just over a third – would be eliminated. Raycom execs said that rumor is completely untrue, but acknowledged that there would be cuts at all three stations.

RBR/TVBR observation: An SSA is a form of LMA. It is one of the three most common types, with the other two being a TBA or time-brokerage agreement (where in the broker programs a station – more commonly seen on the radio side) and a JSA, or joint sales agreement, where one of the two licensees sells advertising for the benefit of both. An LMA may feature all three types or may mix and match them freely.

The key to them being legal is the fact that both companies maintain a meaningful management presence at the station[s] they hold the license[s] for, take ultimate responsibility for programming and advertising carried on the station, and handle all FCC matters. Raycom and MCGT seem to have taken special care to make sure that is a feature of this arrangement.