On April 1, EW Scripps formally closed on its deal to acquire Journal Communications’ broadcast assets, including KIVI-TV, KSAW-TV (Twin Falls), KTHI/107.1 K-Hits, KQXR/100.3 The X, KJOT/Rock 105.1 and KRVB/94.9 The River.
Not included in the deal was KNIN-TV Fox 9. You’ll remember in September, we walked through all the possible scenarios – as the FCC wasn’t going to allow Scripps to scoop up KNIN. I laid out five potential options – and the deal took door number four:
– Scripps keeps KIVI, sells KNIN with all programming intact to an outside owner and has little involvement in the station . (snip) (I)t’s conceivable that Scripps could continue to supply KNIN with news (or it could even come from one of the other two TV news providers in the market for the right price).
Alabama-based Raycom Media worked out a deal with the trustee for KNIN to buy the station, effective essentially immediately. Channel 6 and channel 9 will become separate stations with less and less to do with each other as time goes on. A lengthy and carefully-structured shared services agreement filed with the FCC lays out the ten-year deal – and even gets into detail like what portion of the big KIVI building in Nampa Raycom may use. Some of the particulars:
- Raycom paid $14.5 MM. Journal purchased the station for $8 MM in 2008, before it was a Fox affiliate.
- The stations will not share sales, programming, revenue or any other financial matters. KIVI and KNIN’s sales staff will be separate, will not be allowed to coordinate, will not be allowed to cross-sell and cannot go on calls together.
- The two stations will not be able to work together on retransmission consent deals.
- Scripps will deliver just less than 12-hours of news programming to Raycom each week for airing on KNIN: Two hours per day each weekday, and a total of two hours each weekend. The timeslots are the current 7am and 9pm newscasts.
- KIVI & KNIN will have to handle promotion independently. You’ve possibly already noticed that promotions on the two stations for the most part no longer mention each other (though for now they look identical).
- Scripps will handle technical & administrative services – i.e. master control.
- The deal is for ten years – but can be pulled apart with notice by either side.
- Raycom will hand over a check for $131,708.33 every month to Scripps for the news programming, technical services etc. That’s a cool $1,580,500 each year – with a 2.5% bump built in each year.
- Raycom will establish a website for KNIN. Currently “IdahoOnYourSide.com” services both stations.
- Right now, neither KNIN or KIVI are high definition in news. If Scripps decides to go HD someday, Raycom will give them some cash to get the upgrades done.
Bottom line: KNIN & KIVI will start to act separately in many ways – particularly in the sales area. Raycom is a big television station owner – and is competitive in many markets. Will this SSA last for ten full years, or will Raycom move to make the station even more independent? Time will tell.
Two quick sidenotes: In the past two years, every major station in the market has picked up a new owner – with Sinclair, Gannett/TEGNA, Scripps and Raycom entering the fray. Only independent KTRV’s Block Communications is unchanged.
In the Twin Falls market, a similar change is afoot – after Gray Television purchased CBS affiliate KMVT and FOX affiliate KSVT.