Prior to his death in June, Jim Rogers, owner of the Intermountain West broadcast group, redid his trust to arrange for the sale of his beloved KSNV Las Vegas, says his widow Beverly, with the proceeds seeding an educational foundation. Rogers had been "entertaining several suitors," adds Beverly, including eventual buyer Sinclair.
Rogers died of cancer June 14 at 75, and made an effort to hide his illness from anyone beyond his inner circle-partially to avoid the appearance of a fire sale, said Beverly.
"It was not something I decided to do off the top of my head," Beverly told B&C. "He really knew what he was doing when he put his trust together."
A celebrated philanthropist, Rogers' first love was broadcasting, she said, while education was "a really big passion too."
The Rogers Educational Foundation will be the Rogers' second education-targeted foundation, focusing on students, educators and programs in southern Nevada. Once loose-end costs are paid out, roughly 80-85% of the proceeds from KSNV's $120 million sale to Sinclair will go to the foundation.
Sinclair acquired the non-license assets of Intermountain West's KRNV Reno for $26 million last year.
Beverly Rogers had a succinct response as to why Sinclair was the winning bidder this time around: "Money."
Several Intermountain staffers, she added, had worked at Sinclair and spoke well of the company.
In a statement, Steve Pruett, co-COO at Sinclair, spoke of the group's expanding reach across Nevada. "With the addition of the station, our news footprint will cover all the major cities in Nevada," he said, "allowing us to be a leading provider of local and regional news."
KSNV airs local programming up and down the grid, scaling back drastically on syndicated programming in recent years. The feisty Rogers told B&C in 2013: "I don't take any great pride in running someone else's programming. The only thing we can do that everyone else can't do is local news."
Beverly referred to her late husband as "a pioneer."