A ‘Failing Station’ Deal In Idaho Seeks FCC OK

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There’s a full-power TV station broadcasting from Howard Mountain in Idaho that serves the cities of Pocatello and Idaho Falls.


It’s a “failing station,” says the company that just filed an Asset Purchase Agreement with the FCC, which must give its approval in order for this transaction to happen.

In a Form 314 filing with the Commission made on Tuesday (11/28), Pocatello Channel 15 LLC has agreed to sell KPIF-15, a former MeTV affiliate with four DT multicasts including Heroes & Icons, Grit, Lifehacks, and Tuff TV. KPIF, according to public records, is presently a Retro TV affiliate.

The licensee is an affiliate of KM Communications, led by Kevin Bae.

The buyer is Ventura Media Communications — a Fresno-based entity wholly controlled by Mark Shirin.

His company already owns the new MeTV affiliate, KVUI-31, obtained along with a construction permit for KVUI-LD in Twin Falls, Idaho, in January 2017 for $575,000.

Now, it seeks a duopoly with its proposed purchase of KPIF for $305,000.

In its waiver request, Shirin notes that Pocatello does not have enough stations for the “eight voices test,” which is set to fade into the annals of FCC history, as it is is DMA No. 162. It then notes that KPIF has low all-day audience share, has had negative cash flow for the last three years, there is no out-of-market buyer interested in the station, and that the public interest will be served by the co-ownership.

This is supported by George Kimble, a broker with Kozacko Media Services. In a letter dated April 5, 2017, Kimble said, “I have been working on trying to find a buyer for KPIF-TV—a full-power station in the Pocatello, Idaho market since last summer. Pocatello is very small market … with 6 full-power stations. All the networks are taken, and KPIF is left with a minor source of programming such as Retro TV. I have approached numerous existing operators and my list of want-to-be operators and could not find anyone who would be willing to take on this challenge.”

An escrow deposit of $145,000 has been made to the seller by Shirin. The remainder will be paid at closing.

KM was represented by Aaron Shainis of Shanis & Peltzman; Shirin was represented by Oakland, Calif.-based Michael Couzens.