News-Press moves into Columbia MO


SoldThe television side of multimedia company News-Press & Gazette has six newspapers in Missouri, and now it is adding broadcasting to its sphere of operation in the state with a deal to acquire KMIZ-TV and KQFX-LD.

The seller is JW Broadcasting LLC, which is controlled by Alta Communications.
NPG will spend $16M for the stations in a deal which also includes a 5-year non-competition pact. KMIZ is an ABC affiliate, and renewal of that affiliation, due on or about 9/30/12, is a contingency of the transaction. KMIZ also provides programming from MNTV and Me-TV on digital side channels. This is also a case where the low power outlet has significant value — KQFX is the local Fox affiliate.

None of NPG’s newspapers serve the Columbia-Jefferson City MO DMA.

David Bradley, NPG’s CEO, had to take pains on the application to explain an interest in at least one station local to Columbia. As a member of the Board of Curators of the University of Missouri, he has a peripheral interest in all of the University’s stations, and that list includes KOMU-TV Columbia MO. NPG stated that his involvement with the University has nothing whatsoever to do with the operation of the station and that it should not be considered attributable for local ownership cap purposes.

NPG’s other broadcast markets include Palm Springs CA (where it also has an AM-FM combo that makes up the sum and total of the company’s current radio holdings), Colorado Springs CO, Grand Junction CO, Idaho Falls ID, El Paso TX, Bend OR and Yuma AZ.

RBR-TVBR observation: JW bought KMIZ with two TV translators pursuant to terms of a 4/30/03 contract. And this is one case where the price for the station has risen significantly. In fact, NPG will pay a little more than four times the $3.9M JW paid back in 2003.