ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska telecommunications company has completed a deal to sell its Anchorage TV station to a Georgia company that already owns an Anchorage channel and will now control the state’s two leading broadcast news stations.
The Anchorage Daily News reported Saturday that GCI Inc. and Atlanta-based Gray Television Inc. announced the agreement for Gray to buy most assets of Anchorage CBS station KTVA.
Gray Television already owns KTUU, the NBC-affiliated TV station in Anchorage.
The company operates TV stations and digital properties in more than 90 television markets.
The deal with GCI subsidiary Denali Media Holdings allows the company to retain the KTVA license and transmission facilities. GCI is not yet certain what will be done with those assets, spokeswoman Becky Windt Pearson said.
Denali Media Holdings in Anchorage employs about 70 people, including those who have worked at KTVA, Windt Pearson said.
About 12% of Denali Media Holdings employees are involved in cable advertising sales and will move to GCI. The remaining employees can apply for positions with Gray Television, she said.
Gray will operate two distinct news operations owned by the same parent company, Windt Pearson said.
Ownership of two television stations in the same market area involves federal restrictions. The Federal Communications Commission allowed the sale because KTVA was financially struggling and GCI could not find another buyer, Windt Pearson said.
Gray has moved KTVA’s broadcast program schedule to its KYES-TV Channel 5 in Anchorage, while cable programming will move over the next month to KYES.
Nancy Johnson, KTUU/KYES vice president and general manager, would not comment on the announcement. KTVA officials did not immediately comment.
Gray Television also announced its purchase of five other stations from Denali Media Holdings, including three CBS stations in Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan and NBC-affiliate stations in Juneau and Sitka.
The sales will allow GCI to focus on providing data, mobile, video, voice and managed services, the company said in a statement.