Maybe so. PBC Networks, New Vision’s virtual duopoly partner in Youngstown and Savannah, is buying ABC affiliate KTKA in Topeka, Kan., where it could be operated by New Vision in tandem with its NBC affiliate there, KSNT. The seller in Topeka is the owner of the local paper, which has no other broadcast interests. Price was $1.5 million, according to one source.
PBC Networks LLC is acquiring ABC affiliate KTKA Topeka, Kan., from Free State Communications.
Terms were not disclosed, but one source said the price was $1.5 million.
PBC is New Vision Group’s virtual duopoly partner in Youngstown, Ohio, and Savannah, Ga.
Because FCC rules prohibit common ownership (duopolies) of two Big Four network affiliates or of any two stations in small markets, broadcasters have been circumventing the ban by owning one station and contracting to manage another. Such virtual duopolies are becoming increasingly common.
In Youngstown, Ohio (DMA 110), PBC owns ABC affiliate WYTV, but has turned over the management to New Vision, which owns CBS affiliate WKBN and Fox affiliate WYFX-LP there.
In Savannah, Ga. (DMA 96), PBC owns Fox affiliate WTGS, but has turned over its management to New Vision, which operates it in tandem with its ABC affiliate, WJCL.
New Vision also owns a station in Topeka, Kan. (DMA 136), NBC affiliate KSNT, but principals could not be reached Saturday to say whether a duopoly is planned there.
PBC is headed by CEO Todd Parkin, who holds 100% of the voting interest, but just 1% of the equity, according to FCC ownership records.
CobbCorp represented Free State in the deal; Kalil & Co., PBC.
New Vision is headed by Jason Elkin and John Heinen.
The seller of KTKA, Free State, is a subsidiary of The World Company of Lawrence, the publisher of the Lawrence Journal-World. It has no other broadcast interests.