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TV station KRCG to be sold

KRCG-TV 13 will be sold to Sinclair Broadcast Group as part of a $370 million package deal, pending regulatory approval.

Sinclair has agreed to purchase the local CBS affiliate and 17 other television stations owned by Barrington Broadcasting Group, based in suburban Chicago.

Sinclair has also entered into an agreement to operate or provide sales services to another six stations. The 24 stations are located in 15 markets and reach 3.4 percent of the U.S. TV households.

KRCG was founded in 1955 by Betty Weldon, who named it KRCG in honor of her father, Robert C. Goshorn. Weldon also owned and published the Jefferson City News Tribune until her death in 2007.

In 1967, KRCG was sold to Mid-America Television Company, a subsidiary of Kansas City Southern Industries, and in 1985 to Price Communications. Three years later, it was sold to Mel Wheeler Inc., which sold to Barrington in 2005.

KRCG’s CEO and General Manager Jon Van Ness declined comment about the sale on Monday.

The transaction is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission and antitrust clearance. Sinclair anticipates the transaction will occur in the second quarter of 2013. Sinclair expects to finance the purchase price, less $20 million in deposits, through a bank loan and/or by accessing the capital markets.

Other stations involved in the deal include seven in Michigan, one in Ohio, three in South Carolina, three in New York, three in Texas, two in Colorado, one each in Illinois and Georgia. Two other stations in the sale have Missouri viewers: KTVO, serving Kirksville and Ottumwa, Iowa; and KHQA, serving the Hannibal and Quincy, Ill., market.

To avoid ownership conflict rules, among other things Sinclair would have to sell two of its current stations.

Last week, Investor’s Business Daily reported that Sinclair stock (Nasdaq: SBGI) soared 13 percent after news of a retransmission deal with satellite TV provider DirecTV.

With the purchases, Sinclair would own and operate, program or provide sales services to 112 television stations in 61 markets. The broadcasting group would reach about 29.8 percent of U.S. television households. Its portfolio would include 27 FOX stations and 20 MNT, 20 CW, 17 ABC, 15 CBS, 11 NBC, one independent and one Azteca station.

If the deal goes through, it would be the second area television station to change ownership within the past year.

Last July, JW Broadcasting sold Columbia-based KMIZ-TV 17 to the St. Joseph, Mo.-based News-Press & Gazette Company.

On the web:

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