Bay Area in for a Fox station shuffle?

Of course this comes up when I’m on vacation and trying clear a path to the bed in the guest bedroom for my son John. Guess he’ll just have to hope no earthquake comes so he’ll be safe from falling stacks of DVDs.

Alex posted this question on Thursday:

Hi Susan and is it true that the Fox network is shopping for a new affiliate station in the San Fran Bay area? It was leaked out on the Gary Radnich radio show Wed that KRON4 is in the running to be the NEW FOX network affiliate in the SAn Fran Bay Area in the future, any new news on this?

It’s an interesting question Alex. When the FCC met on Tuesday, it approved a new rule allowing a company to own both a newspaper and either a television or radio station as long as the market has at least eight other independent sources of news. The rule also requires that the television station cannot be one of the top four in the market.

This opened the door for MediaNews chief executive Dean Singleton, who owns the newspaper chain I work for and includes the Oakland Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, the Contra Costa Times and virtually every other paper in the Bay Area except the SF Chronicle, to achieve his long time goal of owning television stations.

Currently, MediaNews owns only one TV station in Anchorage.

Singleton was looking at several stations to purchase back in 2003 when it looked as if the FCC was going to back off on the ownership rules. When that fell through, he moved on.

Now, it would look as if he’s in a position to make a purchase. In this market, you have ABC, CBS and NBC owning their own stations, with only KTVU-Channel 2 working an affiliation deal with Fox making it a top four station.

So, I was assuming Singleton had his eye on KRON-Channel 4 and he would be looking in that direction to buy. KRON’s the cheaper date between it and KTVU, which has been for sale in the past.

KRON has been very nicely running Fox’s MyNetworkTV programming, which might suggest Fox would be looking to buy KRON. So maybe Fox buys KRON, making KTVU slip from a top four station which would allow Singleton to purchase it.

And, since KTVU is based in Oakland, it would be a nice little jewel in the East Bay-South Bay-North Bay circle of MediaNews power. But I still think that chances are better than Singleton might purchase KRON before Fox.

Again, if I was in a position to know such things, I would also be making enough money to hire someone to clean out that spare bedroom.

2 Comments

  1. Alex Martinez said,

    December 24, 2007 at 12:01 am

    Thanks Susan for your great reply and I always love reading your webpage. The only reason I assume Fox is considering KRON4 seriously is because KRON/KNBR Gary said with his great way “No Comment” when asked by his caller and he also said the caller who leaked the gossip that morning “He knows his Stuff” he said. I guess time will tell Susan and Happy Holidays to you and your family and a very Happy/Safe New year to you too in ’08.

    Alex

  2. TV Gal said,

    January 10, 2008 at 9:38 am

    here you go… as it happens:

    Hi Alex, how’s KPIX treating you??

    Young Broadcasting Inc. (YBI) (NASDAQ-YBTVA) today announced that it has retained prominent financial advisors Moelis & Company to conduct a process leading to the sale of the company?s largest station, KRON-TV, based in San Francisco, California. San Francisco is the sixth largest television market in the United States.

    KRON-TV, a multi-award winning station, is one of the most prestigious broadcasting properties in the country. Until 2006 when it became an affiliate of MyNetwork TV, KRON-TV was the largest independent station in the United States and the only independent VHF station in its market. KRON-TV is a unique station with an important position in the market as the television news source for San Francisco. The station, due to its many hours of local programming, is benefiting from the industry trend towards increased localism.

    Young Broadcasting stated that its goal was to conclude an agreement for the sale of KRON-TV before the end of the first quarter. In addition to the station?s considerable assets the buyer will benefit from certain favorable tax attributes.

    ?When we purchased KRON-TV in 2000 we believed we had acquired a jewel and we still feel that is the case today. KRON-TV is one of the most valuable television stations in the country?, stated Vincent Young, Chairman of Young Broadcasting. ?Our decision to sell is based on the high level of interest in the property that we have received. It is purely a strategic economic decision, allowing us to benefit from the proceeds of the sale to further our future corporate initiatives.?

    Moelis & Company is a relationship-based Investment bank that provides advice on mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and other corporate finance matters and manages investment funds which integrate capital solutions with the firm?s advisory expertise. Moelis & Company serves a broad client base through its offices in Los Angeles, New York and Boston.

    Young Broadcasting owns ten television stations and the national representation firm, Adam Young Inc. Five stations are affiliated with the ABC television network, WKRN-TV-Nashville, TN, WTEN-TV-Albany, NY, WRIC-TV-Richmond, VA, WATE-TV-Knoxville, TN, and WATE-TV-Green Bay, WI. Three are affiliated with the CBS television network, WLNS-TV-Lansing, MI, KLFY-TV-Lafayette, LA, and KELO-TV, Sioux Falls, SD and one is affiliated with the NBC television network, KWQC-TV-Davenport, IA. KRON-TV, as stated previously, is based in San Francisco, CA and is a MyNetwork TV affiliate.