KNDO-TV to Get New Owners
Station’s new bosses are based in Spokane
By David Lester
The sale, which must be approved by the Federal Communications Commission, is the second involving a Yakima television station in the last four months.
The purchase price was not disclosed.
Lon Lee, KHQ Inc. president, said the firm reached an agreement last Friday to purchase KNDO and its sister station KNDU in Richland from Raycom Media, a Montgomery, Ala.-based company.
All three stations are affiliates of the NBC Television Network.
Lee said FCC approval to transfer the broadcasting licenses for the two stations could occur in May or June.
He said it is too early to speculate on any changes KHQ might make in the two stations. But he added there likely would be a greater investment in the news-gathering operation.
“Our slogan here is the local news channel,” Lee said referring to KHQ. “The important thing for any television station is to be active in the local community. That is exactly the way we operate here.” KHQ has had an interest in the two stations since the early 1980s when it failed in a bid to purchase the two stations, he said.
“It is an adjacent marketplace, we are both NBC stations with the same syndicated programming,” Lee said. “We feel the same about news. It just made sense to us from the geography standpoint.” Another suitor for KNDO almost 20 years ago was Fisher Companies of Seattle, the firm that late last year reached agreement to purchase Yakima’s KIMA Television and 10 other stations from Retlaw Enterprises Inc. of North Hollywood, Calif. for $215 million.
Approval of the Fisher purchase also is pending before the FCC.
Lynda Nicholls, KNDO vice president and general manager, said the agreement is good news.
“Based on their reputation and how they do business, I would expect them to be extremely committed local broadcasters. They are a first-class operation,” Nicholls said.
Thursday, March 18, 1999