GCI sells KTVA to KTUU parent company - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, August 12, 2020
HomeThe 907GCI sells KTVA to KTUU parent company

GCI sells KTVA to KTUU parent company

The media market continues to change in Alaska, with the sale of KTVA to Gray Television, the parent company of KTUU, which is the station’s competitor.

GCI said Friday it will leave the television business, which it entered in 2013 with Denali Media Holdings; it owned and operated stations in Anchorage, Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan. All of the stations are now sold to Gray, a company based in Atlanta.

The Southeast Alaska stations were recently sold to Gray as well.

According to the press release from GCI that Must Read Alaska has not yet seen, Denali had been trying to find a buyer, but was unsuccessful.

“The inability to identify a buyer threatened to jeopardize KTVA’s ability to continue to deliver local news programming,” the release stated.

No press release was released by Gray by midday. The price of the transaction was not given.

Programming from KTVA will be switched to KYES-TV, Channel 5 in Anchorage, beginning Friday, July 31.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • I wonder if we’ll finally get some non bias local news for a change?

    • If anything it will only become more biased with a single owner based in Atlanta.

  • And, as the media world gets bigger and bigger, the number of companies gets smaller and smaller.

    • Well that will means the news will continue to shift left, what happens to channel 11?

      • Why you’re going to buy it! (See the old car buff’s comment and my reply)

  • I can’t wait until Musk puts GCI internet out of business. Charged premium with 1980 hardware.

  • This is not a good thing. More diverse and alternative voices silenced. Channel 2 produces stories about puppies and all manner else about nothing. And always toes the left/liberal/politically-correct line. Christopher Constant and Forrest Dunbar are their poster boys. This is the new Pravda for Anchorage.

  • Need to figure how this FCC rule applies:

    Local Television Multiple Ownership
    An entity is permitted to own up to two television stations in the same Designated Market Area (DMA) if either:
    • The service areas of the stations do not overlap; or
    • At least one of the stations is not ranked among the top-four rated stations in the DMA based on
    audience share. However, an applicant may seek to make a showing, based on the particular facts and circumstances, that a top-four combination would nonetheless serve the public interest despite the prohibition.

    • I have seen this rule applied to stop sales of TV stations before, more than once. Just can’t seem to remember the details, except that all such sales had to be approved by the FCC. I’ve heard of no such approval. Does that mean the sale is still conditional?

      • That is possible. On the face of things, the acquisition seems to be subject to the rule. I am thinking about placing a call to the FCC on Monday.

      • Usually if somebody doesn’t step up to stop the corruption, it goes full speed ahead. We the people need to get off our collective arses and start getting vocal about things. We’ve almost lost our country because we’re too polite, too apathetic, waiting for somebody else to do something, all of the above.

        • That FCC rule wouldn’t be applicable unfortunately. Gray Television already owns KYES-5 and has since they acquired KTUU. You’ll note that KTVA/CBS programming is now on “CBS 5” while KTVA-11 is off air with a screen redirecting to channel 5.

          It would be more accurate to say that Gray acquired the Anchorage CBS Affiliation and KTVA intellectual property from Denali Media who’ll retain the channel 11 transmission facility and license. It’s likely DMH will surrender the license for Alaska’s first TV station and all its history back to the FCC, which is truly tragic.

          When Gray acquired KTUU and KYES, they did so under the pretense that KYES was a failing TV station. They were to refrain from becoming one of the big three networks for a time, that has clearly lapsed. I wish they would’ve taken down KYUR-13 as the ABC affiliate, but instead the only meaningful broadcast news competition was affected. A truly sad moment for the local media market.

  • Well there goes the comment section on KTVA.
    Just like KTUU and Yahoo they will turn off all comments until after the election is over. Too many rational people calling them out on their BS propaganda and lies.
    Welcome to the new reich!

    • First thing I thought!
      All news is now KTUU news!
      Well, at least we have Suzanne…I was going to make some joke about seeing Suzanne headed south in a new Behemoth RV, but I decided that would NOT be funny.

      • CONFIRMED!!!

        KTVA just turned off all the comments!

        Now just like KTUU and Yahoo, they can spew complete lies without people being able to call out their BS in the comments section.
        Its bad when the Governor has to make a video exposing the blatant liberal media twists and lies!

  • On Independence Day weekend this year, KTUU said nothing about it. The weather report had a cheesy graphic about some unknown holiday on Sunday the 5th but nothing on July 4th, Independence Day. KTVA talked about Independence Day and knew which day it was on. I haven’t watched KTUU since that day.

  • Oh for Christ’s sake, now I have to go back to listening to the weather report from the washed up, Bartlett Bear cheerleader who’s snorted so much coke that she can’t make it through one weather report without several “flubs” or stuttering. At one time, several years ago she was the “chief meteorologist” but they were forced to stop saying that because she has absolutely no education in that field.

  • Channel 11 is limited pretty much to Muni coverage due to the location of their transmitter site in Spenard and the relatively short tower there. Yes, some very sparse coverage around Palmer from a low-power translator on Lazy Mountain. Channel 5 not too long ago relocated to The Goose Bay (apx. 1,000 foot) tower which also hosts Channels 7, 2, 13 and all their sub-channels. This means CBS programming will be available – without overpriced cable – to more Alaskans. The two station limit others have discussed has the potential to seeing 11 sold again – possibly going dark at some point. The value to Gray in this package appears to have been not the channel itself; rather the CBS affiliation.

    • That makes sense. It also means that Gray will probably HAVE to sell 11 and being stripped of it’s CBS affiliation it will probably go dirt cheap. As CENSORED907 and I have pointed out, the places where Conservative voices can be heard are becoming less and less. And as CHARLIE pointed out, people need to get off their butts and do something. And personally, I don’t like to complain without offering possible solutions. So, MAYBE one or more of you should start saving money for that eventual sale. Not sure what you’d do for programming. Also, don’t come back to me in a few years and blame me for losing your shirt. I never said it was a “make money” idea!

      • Over-the-air television is fast becoming irrelevant. To get any real choice these days one doesn’t even go to (overpriced/overbundled) cable; one starts streaming. GCI made a good move walking away from KTVA but needs to watch its back, particularly in the more densely populated muni, where new technologies pose a serious threat to their near-monopoly on internet service. Facility costs make it highly unlikely that channel 11 will last long. If if doesn’t go dark it might be sold for a pittance but the power bills alone will eat any possible buyer alive. Want to play at television? Research what it would take to do that through streaming.

  • KTVA is going dark. KTUU already had a throwaway in Channel 5 that will assume CBS programming. No FCC rule precluding Gray from buying KTVA gear and programming only the license which Gray doesn’t need

  • With this news I can’t help but think about one of Alaska’s true pioneers. Augie Hiebert was a lead architect, engineer and visionary in his field. Before there was social media, google, the internet, cable and satellite TV, there was “over-the-air” broadcast television. For quite some time, it was considered a pretty big deal. Augie’s broadcasting legacy in Alaska began long before the rise of television. But it was his tenacious efforts to bring this new technology to Anchorage – and then Fairbanks – that cements his place as one of Alaska’s greats. At a time when TV stations were being licensed all over the country (and competitors vied for the opportunity in Anchorage), it was no small feat in 1953 to secure the KTVA call letters for Alaska’s first television station and to broadcast on a technically superior frequency known as Channel 11. Augie was particularly proud of KTVA’s long affiliation with The Tiffany Network, a moniker CBS was pleased to carry. Aside from network owned & operated, there probably aren’t many stations that have carried the same affiliation for as long as KTVA did. Times change, no question about it. But with this latest transition, it seems appropriate to recall and give due to a pertinent piece of Alaska’s history. Augie Hiebert was a true pioneer.

    • Thank you Brian. My first experience with broadcasting was visiting KBYR, which at the time was co-owned with KNIK-FM and KTVA through Northern Television. I know that nobody really cares about the sudden demise of KTVA-11, but it doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking for those of us that know its history.

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