Gray Television announced today it has found buyers for six full power TV stations that may have disappeared otherwise.
In June, Gray said it was transferring the programming of the six stations it operated under shared service agreements and also had the option to buy, to stations it owned in the same market. Rather than surrendering the licenses of the now program-less stations, it hired the brokerage arm of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council to find new owners for the stations.
When it hired MMTC, Gray stipulated the buyers had to be “socially disadvantaged enterprises, such as businesses controlled by women, minorities, or innovative new entrants, or non-profit entities such as a school or religious institution.”
Major Market Broadcasting, a company which broadcasts a South Asian TV network, bought Fargo’s KXJB. In a Gray statement, “MMB President Ravi Kapur said, “Gray’s leadership to actively seek out diverse candidates to acquire their former SSA stations should be commended. We are humbled by this exciting opportunity to expand our reach in local over-the-air broadcasting.”
Jeff Chang and Gabriela Gomez-Chang bought KJCT in Grand Junction. According to the Gray press release, “Chang said their plans include adding programming aimed towards the market’s growing Hispanic population. Mrs. Gomez-Chang added, ‘We’re grateful that both Excalibur and Gray Television presented this opportunity for minorities and women to expand their broadcast ownership. This truly benefits the industry.’”
Female owned Legacy Broadcasting is buying KHAS in Lincoln, KAQY in Monroe, LA, KNDX in Bismarck, ND, and KXND in Minot. Legacy Broadcasting president Sherry Nelson said in the statement, “For our company, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. 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.”
FCC chairman Tom Wheeler commented on the transactions by saying, “We applaud the commitment of MMTC and Gray Television to find buyers for each of 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, keep stations on the air, and serve the public interest.”