NPG Buys ABC Affil In Columbia, Mo.
News-Press & Gazette Co. is buying its eighth full-power TV station and sixth ABC affiliate — KMIZ Columbia-Jefferson City, Mo. (DMA 138).
According to an FCC filing seeking approval of the deal, NPG is paying JW Broadcasting $16 million for KMIZ and a companion low-power Fox affiliate. KQFX. KMIZ carries MNT and Me-TV on subschannels.
JW is backed by Boston-based investment firm Alta Communications, which has a number of other broadcasting holdings.
"This was a great opportunity to expand our broadcast division in our home state of Missouri." said David Bradley, EO of News-Press & Gazette in a prepared statement. "We look forward to the award winning broadcast team in Columbia joining our family."
The KMIZ deal may have one sticking point. Bradley is current chairman of the board of curators that runs the University of Missouri, licensee of KOMU, the NBC affiliate in Columbia. FCC rules bar control of two top four-rated stations in small markets.
But in the filing, NPG argues that KOMU is a small part of the state university and that Bradley has had "no personal involvement" in the operation of KOMU.
In an email to TVNewsCheck, John Kueneke, head of NPG Broadcasting, said he is confident that the FCC will determine that Bradley's position with the university does not triggers ownership under the FCC ownership rules and that the FCC will find the the deal "would best serve the interests of viewers in the Columbia, Mo., area."
NPG's other full-power outlets.
- KESQ Palm Springs, Calif. (ABC)
- KRDO Colorado Springs, Colo. (ABC)
- KJCT Grand Junction, Colo. (ABC)
- KIFI Idaho Falls, Idaho (ABC)
- KVIA El Paso, Texas (ABC)
- KTVZ Bend, Ore. (NBC)
- KECY Yuma, Ariz. (Fox)