Gray Television has entered into definitive agreements to transfer six TV stations to new owners. Gray retained the brokerage arm of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) to find owners for the stations that it has acquired in multi-station deals, but cannot technically own.
Legacy Broadcasting, owned by Sherry Nelson and her daughter, Sara Jane Ingram, takes over KHAS Hastings/Lincoln (Neb.), KAQY Monroe (La.), KNDX Bismarck (N.D.) and KXND Minot (N.D.). Both have extensive experience in local television. In Grand Junction, Colorado, husband and wife duo Jeff Chang and Gabriela Gomez-Chang will acquire KJCT. The couple owns stations in San Francisco and Los Angeles through its Chang Media Group.
Major Market Broadcasting acquires KXJB Fargo (N.D.). Its president is Ravi Kapur. “Gray’s leadership to actively seek out diverse candidates to acquire their former [shared services agreement] stations should be commended,” said Kapur. “We are humbled by this exciting opportunity to expand our reach in local over the air broadcasting.”
Gray and closely aligned Excalibur announced a deal to acquire the Hoak Media and Parker Broadcasting stations for $335 million last year. At the same time, Excalibur agreed to acquire KNDX and KXND from Prime Cities.
"These transactions are a prime example of a corporation 'doing good and doing well' at the same time,” said David Honig, MMTC president and CEO. “Gray has shown how a corporation can deploy its assets creatively for the great benefit of the industry and the public."
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler praised the move. “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," he said. "Such actions demonstrate how our rules can actively promote both competition and diversity, keep stations on the air, and serve the public interest.”
Honig added: "There's never been a day like today for diversity in full power TV transactions."