Tuesday, July 31, 2007



TVNEWSDAY, Jul. 31, 4:07 PM ET

Upon the consummation of a $20.6 million, three-way deal, Schurz will run the market's ABC and NBC affiliates in tandem. In approving the deal, the FCC dismissed opposition from market rivals.
By Harry A. Jessell

The FCC today approved a three-way deal that will, in effect, give Schurz Communications an ABC-NBC duopoly in Springfield, Mo. (DMA 76).

In greenlighting the deal, the agency rejected the opposition from two market rivals, Equity Broadcasting and Koplar Communications.

As it announced almost a year ago, Schurz, the owner of KYTV, the NBC affiliate in Springfield, is teaming with Bill Perkin, a local former broadcaster, to purchase KSPR, the market's ABC affiliate, from Piedmont Television for $20.6 million.

Under terms of the deal, Schurz would acquire the stations assets; Perkin, the license and intellectual properties. Through side deals with Perkin, Schurz would manage the station and operate it in tandem with KYTV. Although Perkin is putting up nearly half the money, Schurz is guaranteeing his financing and holds an option to buy him out.

Equity, owner of KWBM, Springfield’s MNT affiliate, and Koplar, which holds a permit to build a new station in the market, had urged the FCC to block the deal. They argued that Schurz, not Perkin, will control KSPR in violation of the FCC’s own small-market duopoly ban. Equity and Koplar also pointed out that the Shurz duopoly would actually be the second virtual duopoly in the market.

Nexstar already has a CBS-Fox duopoly, they said. It owns KSFX, the Fox affiliate, and operates KOLR, the CBS affiliate, through its “alter ego, Mission Broadcasting,” Equity said. In approving the deal, the FCC said Shurz-Perkin arrangement is consistent with previously approved deals.
“Based on the limitations that the various agreements ... put on [Schurz] with respect to the operations of KSPR and the requirements those agreements impose on Perkin and the incentives they create for his active involvement, we find that the allegations [that Schurz] will exercise de facto control over KSPR in violation of our multiple ownership rules are unfounded,” the FCC said.


Sniderman said...

News, news? Is there news?

Theres more to the story you ain't'tellin.

Art Morris said...

Deals like this have been done all over the country. Some would say that it concentrates too much media power in the too few hands, and I can't say I disagree with that on principle. However, does anyone expect the quality of the product on KSPR to go DOWN when KY3 fully takes over? Schurz/KY3 has a steller reputation for quality and service to the Springfield community.
So, while I'd like to see FOUR independent companies owning the FOUR major stations in the market (with FOUR independent news departments), that's not going to happen.
I think this is best possible situation, given the financial realities of the Springfield media market.
Art Morris

Anonymous said...

KSPR product will go up. Why would it go down? KY3 wouldn't take over unless it was going to make money.

Anonymous said...

How could the KSPR product possibly go down? It's already in the basement. Letting Ron Davis into that newsroom may not be a step in the right direction but surely the KYTV news gurus will have other better ideas. It will be interesting to watch.

Anonymous said...

OK, so now I hear that you, Michelle, are going to move over to KSPR. And that Joe and Christine Daues will be the anchors there. I might have to tune in.

Michelle said...

All I'm going to say is that you should definitely tune in to KSPR. From what I hear, it will have a fresh look with new programming. KY3 Inc. will not let it go to the wayside.

dan and marcy brown said...

Michelle, why do people keep leaving KY3? You're one of my favorites, and if you go, you'll just be replaced by another generic face...like so many other KY3 people before you. Oh well, if you do go over to kspr, then congrats...and we'll be watching!