KTVA sale nears completion

Posted: Tuesday, May 23, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The sale of Anchorage's No. 2 television station to MediaNews Group could be completed as early as Wednesday, company officials said.

The deal, which has received federal approval, would give MediaNews Group a 95 percent stake in Northern Television Inc. Media NewsGroup is the nation's seventh largest newspaper chain and publisher of the Fairbanks News-Miner.

The deal is the chain's first foray into television.

''We bought (Northern Television) more because we like Alaska than we like television,'' MediaNews president William Dean Singleton told the News-Miner. ''We're very committed to Alaska. It was available and it expanded our footprint in Alaska.''

Broadcast pioneer Augie Hebert will own the remaining 5 percent. Terms of the transaction, which includes assumption of debt and other complexities, were not disclosed.

The purchase furthers a plan first seeded in 1998, when the News-Miner staked $500,000 on an option to purchase Fairbanks' top television station, KTVF, and two radio affiliates.

The Federal Communications Commission approved the buyout earlier this month, and Northern Television's shareholders signed off on Friday, according to MediaNews.

Denver-based MediaNews publishes the News-Miner and the Kodiak Daily Mirror in addition to 50 daily newspapers and 126 non-daily newspapers in 12 other states. KTVA will be a part of that portfolio, Singleton said.

''We're buying it to build it,'' Singleton said Monday. ''Viewers won't see any changes.''

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