Talks are heating up in San Francisco on a several fronts.
Viacom's CBS is now talking with Young Broadcasting about a possible KRON-TV
deal, according to sources involved.
CBS already owns KPIX-TV and KBHK-TV and may be looking to upgrade its
Current FCC rules would prohibit the network from acquiring a second station
that's among the four highest rated stations in the market (which KRON is).
But sources note that Viacom has not been shy about challenging federal
regulations, as evidenced by its pending law suit challenging the 35% station
Sources also say Disney is still expressing interest in KRON, but it was
unclear how strong that interest is.
Meanwhile, NBC, in addition to talks with Young about KRON is talking to
Granite about possibly buying KNTV, which is set to get the NBC affiliation on
January 1, in exchange for $372 million over 10 years.
The next payment isn't due until 2003 and sources say that if Granite misses
that payment, NBC has the right to acquire KNTV at 'fair market value,'
determined by third-party appraisers.
By selling now, Granite might receive a premium for KNTV, which would cost
NBC far less to buy than KRON.
Meanwhile, Granite is talking to Tribune about buying WDWB Detroit, which
Granite is selling to help reduce debt.
Sources say Tribune has proposed buying WDWB and Granite's KOFY-TV San
Francisco, which would give Tribune a station in each of the top 10