Two attempts to sell CKX-TV in Brandon MB for a grand total of $1.00 cratered, leading the owner to reluctantly pull the plug for good. The first potentional buyer was Shaw Communications, and the most recent was Bluepoint Investments. It pulled away from the deal after being unable to secure carriage on satellite TV services.
The station is part of the Winnepeg market, but provided local news for Brandon, a city of 124K. Station management expressed regret that local coverage is no longer possible.
The plight of CKX and other stations on the brink has Canadian television operators looking for the right to negotiate retransmission fees with local cable companies, as is done in the US. But the cable industry is naturally fighting that concept tooth and nail and so far has had the government on its side.
Station management decided that the merciful course was to pull the plug and let people move on to the next stage of their lives.
RBR-TVBR observation: There is definitely an advertising slump in progress, but that doesn’t mean stations can’t bring in more than they spend doing business. The problem is that so many companies can’t bring in cash fast enough to handle debt service. But how many US stations are like this one – that can’t pull in enough to cover expenses, and can’t find a buyer, even with pocket change as an asking price?