massive acquisition of the Belo group last week, there will be a familiar
face back atop some of the Belo stations. Jack Sander, a former Belo Corp. group chief, will head up a group comprising the Belo stations in markets where it
and Gannett both own stations: Phoenix, St. Louis, Louisville, Portland and
Sander is a well-regarded broadcasting executive. He was
inducted into the B&C Hall of
Fame in 2009, and has been the NAB joint board chairman, among many other
industry posts. Sander was vice chairman at Belo and is a partner in
MagicDust, a Phoenix TV production company whose credits include RightThisMinute.
The Gannett-Belo deal, which was $2.2 billion, including
assuming $715 million in Belo debt, is subject to regulatory approval.
The stations under Sander's oversight include KMOV St. Louis
and KTVK Phoenix. He will own one of the two station licenses in question in Tucson; Gannett did not specify the other owner.
Gannett did not explain the terms of Sander's involvement
with the stations, but said in a conference call last week that it planned to
"restructure ownership" of the Belo stations in these markets, and
provide station services for a fee to the new owners. "We are confident
that we will be able to own or service all of the stations," said Gracia
Martore, Gannett president and CEO. "We expect to consolidate all the results
from these stations into our overall financial results."
Dave Lougee, Gannett Broadcasting president,
knows Sander well. Lougee was executive VP/media operations for Belo before
coming on board at Gannett.