TV station in GJ sold to owners of another in city

The owners of one Grand Junction television station are buying another in the city, but it’s unclear what the purchase will mean for Grand Valley viewers.

The parent company that owns KKCO-TV Channel 11 — Albany, Ga.-based Gray Television Inc. — and a newly formed company, Excalibur Broadcasting, announced Friday they are buying KJCT-TV Channel 8, which is owned by St. Joseph, Mo.-based News-Press and Gazette Co.

The total purchase price is $12 million.

The sale still is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission.

The new owners did not answer calls to provide more details, and television news reports were vague as to what the future of the two stations will be, saying only that changes would take place over the next few months as the two stations “merge.”

The sale will be the first purchase of a station by Excalibur, which is owned and operated by Don Ray, who formed the company after recently retiring as regional vice president of Gray Television.

The sale calls for KJCT’s “licensed assets” to be sold to Excalibur for $3 million and “certain other assets” to be sold to Gray for $9 million.

The station’s owners also announced in a tersely worded news release that, subject to completion of the sale of those assets, Gray will provide back office, engineering and sales support services to Excalibur.

It’s unclear what specific impacts the so-called merger will have on KJCT.

The companies said they expected the transaction to close by the end of the year.

The FCC sets limits on the number of stations a single entity can own in the same market area.

According to the FCC’s website, its rules do allow an entity to own up to two TV stations in the same “designated market area” if the service areas do not overlap or at least one of the stations is not ranked among the top four stations in the area based on market share and at least eight independently owned TV stations would remain.

With only three independently owned stations in the valley, neither exception would seem to apply.


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