Gray Television has made deals, with the help of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, to sell the stations to three minority or women-owned entities to comply with FCC rules. The stations involved are KXJB Fargo, N.D.; KJCT Grand Junction, Colo.; KHAS Hastings-Lincoln, Neb.; KAQY Monroe, La.; KNDX Bismarck, N.D.; and KXND Minot, N.D.
Gray Television today announced buyers for the six non-affiliated TV stations in five markets that it has been operating under shared services agreements though same-market stations and that it put on the market in June to comply with the FCC’s strict new local ownership rules.
The stations are owned by third parties, but Gray controls them through contracts and options to buy.
The stations are being sold without their network programming. Rather than give up the valuable affiliations, Gray moved the stations’ programming to the multicast channels of other stations it owns in the five markets.
Gray hired MMTC Media and Telecom Brokers to find “socially disadvantaged’ buyers — women, minorities, or innovative new entrants, or nonprofit entities such as a school or religious institution.
For all the stations, MMTC found buyers that fit the mandate.
That six stations — and their buyers:
KXJB Fargo, N.D. (DMA 116) — Major Market Broadcasting, owner and/or operator of KAXT-CA San Francisco and KRJK-LP Chicago, which airs the South Asian programming of MMB’s Diya TV.
“Gray’s leadership to actively seek out diverse candidates to acquire their former SSA stations should be commended, said MMB Ravi Kapur. “We are humbled by this exciting opportunity to expand our reach in local over-the-air broadcasting.”
KJCT Grand Junction, Colo. (DMA 185) — Jeff Chang and Gabriela Gomez-Chang, husband and wife, who own and operate full-power and low-power television stations in Los Angeles and San Francisco through Chang Media Group.
“We’re excited about this unique opportunity in the Grand Junction-Montrose market,” said Chang. “We hope the local communities will enjoy the new programming we’ll be adding to the market.”
KHAS Hastings-Lincoln, Neb. (DMA 105); KAQY Monroe, La. (DMA 137); KNDX Bismarck, N.D (DMA 145); and KXND Minot, N.D. (DMA 145) — Legacy Broadcasting, owned by two women, Sherry Nelson and her daughter Sara Jane Ingram. Both are experienced broadcast sales and managements executives. Nelson is a 2012 graduate of the NAB’s Broadcast Leadership Training Program.
“For our company, this is the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Nelson. “It speaks so well of our industry that women like my daughter and me can break through the glass ceiling and build new programming services for television viewers.”
MMTC President David Honig said the deals are prime examples of a “corporation ‘doing good and doing well’ at the same time. Gray has shown how a corporation can deploy its assets creatively for the great benefit of the industry and the public.”
Terms of the deals were not disclosed. But Honig earlier told TVNewsCheck that Gray was asking only for the costs incurred in the selling.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler issued a statement on the deals: “We applaud the commitment of MMTC and Gray Television to find buyers for eachvof the six Gray stations that would increase diversity of ownership and programming in each of these markets. Such actions demonstrate how our rules can actively promote both competition and diversity,vkeep stations on the air, and serve the public interest.”