GCI subsidiary Denali Media Holdings has announced the sale of its NBC affiliates in southeast Alaska — KATH-LD Juneau and KSCT-LP Sitka — to Gray Television. Denali Media Holdings was established in 2012 and also owns KTVA (CBS) in Anchorage along with three CBS stations in Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan.
Score one for the new guy in Alaska’s brewing television war. The FCC has granted Denali Media, a subsidiary of Alaska telecommunications giant General Communications Inc., the go-ahead to buy CBS affiliate KTVA Anchorage and NBC affiliates KSCT-LP Sitka and KATH-LD Juneau. Other broadcasters in the state had urged the FCC to deny the sale, saying it could result in GCI being able to squash competitors by charging exorbitant rates, assigning unfavorable channel positions or bypassing local programming altogether.
Dennis Egan, a member of the Alaska Senate, has asked the FCC to take a deeper look at General Communication’s intent to purchase low-power KATH Juneau and KSCT Sitka. “I want to make it very clear that I have nothing against GCI. It is a great corporate citizen.” Egan said. “I’m just really worried about free over-the-air television. I just don’t know how it is going to work.”
Station owners in the state want the commission to deny General Communication Inc.’s Denali Media Holdings purchase of three stations, saying the deal “would result in the combination of ownership of television stations in two of the three television markets in Alaska with ownership of the largest, indeed in many cases the exclusive, provider of terrestrial cable and broadband service to much of Alaska’s population.”
The telecom is purchasing CBS affiliate KTVA Anchorage and NBC affiliates KATH-LD Juneau and KSCT-LP Sitka from Alaska Broadcasting and North Star Broadcasting.