FCC Asked To Turn Down Alaska Station Buy

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.”

 

A group of Alaska TV station owners on Friday urged the FCC to deny applications by Denali Media Holdings, a subsidiary of General Communication Inc., to buy three TV stations: CBS affililate KTVA Anchorage (DMA 145) and NBC affiliates KATH-LD Juneau (DMA 201) and KSCT-LP Sitka (in the Juneau DMA).

“Grant of these applications 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 broadcasters said in their petition to deny.

“GCI officials have boasted to business executives and employees of other television stations that they intend to use their combined assets to restrict competition in Alaska, and to reduce the diversity of news and information sources for Alaskans,” the broadcasters continued.

A spokesman for GCI, which identifies itself as Alaska’s largest telecommunications firm, could not immediately be reached for comment. GCI’s cable plant, which provides voice, video and broadband services, passes 80% of Alaska’s households.

The broadcasters who filed the petition to deny: Northern Lights Media Inc., licensee of KTUU Anchorage; Coastal Television Broadcasting Co., licensee of KTBY Anchorage; Ketchikan TV LLC, licensee of KDMD Anchorage, KUBD Ketchikan, KTNL Sitka and KXLJ-LD Juneau; Vision Alaska I LLC, licensee of KYUR Anchorage, and Vision Alaska II LLC, licensee of KATN Fairbanks and KJUD Juneau.

Denali wants to purchase KTVA from Alaska Broadcasting Co./Media News Group (Affiliated Media Inc. FCC Trust) of Denver. KATH and KSCT would be purchased from North Star Broadcasting, based in Juneau. No purchase prices were announced.

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Bill Vernon says:

March 1, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Then the FCC should do its job and deny the sale of these two affiliates in the first place and second of all they should’ve denied the sale of the ABC affiliate in Topeka, Kansas.

John Murray says:

March 1, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Hey, Northern Lights, Coastal Television, et al: You guys are LOSERS. Running to the FCC. Get a life and stop bleating for the FCC to perpetuate ownership rules that deserved to be scrapped DECADES AGO. If you don’t think you can compete, then sell your stations and let someone else have a go at it. You should be ashamed running to the government. And you guys no as well as I do that the “reduce the diversity of news and info” argument is total BS…

April Davis says:

March 3, 2013 at 4:34 pm

You cannot see my comments here. You can, however, on the FCC web sites. And we just got the GCI-ACS-AWN opposition and Motion to Dismiss. http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/proceeding/view?z=stpof&name=12-187 Look for Fireweed and then Alaska Communications Systems Group, Inc. & General Communication, Inc. 03/01/2013 Actually, I learned a whole lot writing this. It is quite interesting.

April Davis says:

March 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Here is the KTVA link.. http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_det.pl?Application_id=1525780 Click on View Correspondence Folder. The KTVA lincensee Opposition is not filed electronically, so is not in yet. But they sent it to me.

Bobbi Proctor says:

March 4, 2013 at 9:25 am

We moved from Anchorage to Topeka last year so have had viewing experience in both cities mentioned by Tripp. He (or she) is right. We had GCI cable in Anchorage and were quite unimpressed with their service as they didn’t carry all of the local channels and the signal was quite poor–even on the HD tier. I put up an antenna to get the additional channels and to watch real HDTV from local network affiliates. In Topeka the ABC–with CW on channel 49.3, NBC and Fox affiliates all provide the same newscasts (“Kansas First News). As a result there is a loss of local TV news with the CBS station coming out the real winner. GCI should definitely not be allowed to make this purchase in Alaska.

Bill Vernon says:

March 4, 2013 at 6:34 pm

(Kansas First News) is a combination of NBC, FOX and ABC affiliates based in Topeka and all three stations are based out of the same studio with different anchors for the weekdays and weekends.


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