Charles Harker has guaranteed a loan that will enable his three sons to buy the CBS affiliate in the Greenwood-Greenville market. If the FCC approves the deal, he intends to run the station under contract along with his other stations in town, which hold the ABC, NBC and Fox affiliations.
Ranking No. 187 on the list of Nielsen DMAs, Greenwood-Greenville, Miss., is not a large TV market, but for Charles Harker it’s huge. He may soon control all four major network affiliates there.
Through Commonwealth Broadcasting Group, Harker already owns ABC affiliate WABG and NBC affiliate WNBD-LD and airs Fox programming on a WABG subchannel.
Now, he has guaranteed a loan enabling his three adult children –Christopher, Jamie and Timothy — to purchase the CBS affiliate, WXVT, from Saga Communications for $3 million. And, if the FCC approved the transfer, he intends to run the station under contract with his children.
Harker entered the market by buying WABG from Bahakel Communications in 2007. It put the low-power NBC outlet on the air in 2010.
Saga is a publicly traded radio group (61 FMs and 30 AMs) with a handful of small-market TV stations. In addition to WXVT, it operates KAVU/KVCT (ABC/Fox) Victoria, Texas, and KOAM/KFJX (CBS/Fox) Joplin, Mo.- Pittsburg, Kan. It owns KAVU and KOAM and has operating agreements for the Fox affiliates.
The FCC filing for WXVT describes Harker as a certified public accountant with “extensive experience in buying and selling television stations.” The filing says he helped his children put the deal for WXVT together and that Commonwealth plans to “enter into an agreement or agreements whereby [it] will sell advertising on WXVT and provide traffic, billing, marketing and related services to WXTV.”