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KHQ purchases television stations in Yakima and Richland

March 18, 1999

By Oliver Staley
The Spokesman-Review

KHQ Inc., the broadcaster of Q6 television in Spokane, has purchased a pair of neighboring stations in Yakima and Richland.

KNDO of Yakima and its satellite station, KNDU in Richland, were purchased Friday from Raycom Media for an undisclosed sum, KHQ President Lon Lee said Wednesday.

The deal is contingent on approval from the Federal Communications Commission, which is expected to OK the deal in June.

The move will allow KHQ to capitalize on economies of scale in buying programs and negotiating with advertisers, Lee said.

“For KHQ, it doesn’t have a big, direct impact immediately, but when you look at the advertising base and the number of advertisers (at the new stations), there’s certainly an opportunity to leverage that into the sales part of the business,” Lee said.

The Yakima and Richland stations share approximately 90 employees, all of whom are expected to retain their jobs.

KHQ, which has 110 employees, is owned by Cowles Publishing Co., which also owns The Spokesman-Review.

Montgomery, Ala.-based Raycom sold KNDO and KNDU because they didn’t fit into the company’s profile of 32 southern and midwestern stations, said Raycom President John Hayes.

The two stations were acquired two years ago as part of a package of stations when Raycom purchased Federal Broadcasting, said Hayes.

Raycom had originally hoped to combine the stations with an expanded presence in the Pacific Northwest, he said.

“We looked at buying a station in Seattle (KCPQ-TV), and if we had acquired it we would have kept the Yakima and Richland stations,” said Hayes. “Otherwise, it didn’t fit in with our geographic make up.”

Like KHQ, both KNDO and KNDU are both NBC affiliates and broadcast many of the same syndicated programs as well.

Together, Yakima and the Tri-Cities comprise the 123rd largest television market in the country, while Spokane is the 73rd.

KNDO and KNDU have their own news divisions, although they share a morning program. Lee said the acquisitions will share resources with KHQ on large, regional stories.

According to Lee, KHQ has coveted the stations but has not been able to make a deal until now.

“This has been something that’s been talked about since the early ‘80s,” Lee said. “When these opportunities come around, it’s like when you can buy the lot next to your house.”

Thursday, March 18, 1999

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From → KHQ

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