KMOV-TV in St. Louis and KTVK in Phoenix will compete head on with Gannett's existing stations in those two cities when GCI completes its $2.2 billion acquisition of Belo Corp. later this year, according to a published report today.
In three other cities -- Louisville, Ky.; Portland, Ore., and Tucson, Ariz. -- Belo stations in the deal will also be spun off to a third party. But GCI will have more of a hand in their operation through a shared services contract, according to the report in Media Bistro's TVSpy.
In announcing the acquisition plans last week, Corporate told GCI employees that five of the 20 Belo stations in the deal would be owned by the as-yet-unnamed third party. Jack Sander, a senior advisor to Belo, will lead that entity, Broadcasting Division President Dave Lougee told TVSpy.
Lougee's remarks clarified how GCI and Belo will satisfy any regulatory concerns about maintaining competition in those markets where GCI already has a presence. Federal Communications Commission regulations generally prohibit investors from owning more than one station per market, or a station and a newspaper in the same market.
In St. Louis and Phoenix, GCI already owns KSDK and KPNX, respectively. In Louisville, it owns The Courier-Journal. In Tucson, it publishes The Arizona Star with Lee Enterprises. And in Salem, Ore., near Portland, it owns the Statesman Journal.