KMIZ to be sold to St. Joseph media company for $16 million

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 | 3:40 p.m. CDT; updated 2:41 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 26, 2012

COLUMBIA — The News-Press and Gazette Co., based in St. Joseph, has filed with the FCC to purchase KMIZ-TV for $16 million.

KMIZ-TV is being bought from JW Broadcasting, which is controlled by Alta Communication. Alta Communications is a Boston-based firm that invests in media and communication companies. JW Broadcasting bought the KMIZ-TV station for $3.9 million in 2003. JW Broadcasting operates KMIZ-TV, KQFX-TV and subchannels MyZouTV and Me-TV in Columbia.

Under the agreement with JW Broadcasting, the News-Press and Gazette Co. will buy the two television stations and the two subchannels.

David Bradley, the director and CEO of the News-Press and Gazette Co., is also the chairman of the UM System Board of Curators.

The application for the sale with the FCC goes into detail about multiple ownership rules. 

The FCC does not allow ownership of two of the top four rated stations in terms of audience share in a designated area. 

Because MU is the licensee of KOMU-TV and Bradley is the UM System Board of Curators chairman, there were concerns over conflict of interest. 

The application states that Bradley "has had no personal involvement in any KOMU-TV matter during the last four years" he has served as a curator.

Bradley will recuse himself from any discussions or votes concerning KOMU, according to a press release from the University of Missouri System. Bradley did say he would not recuse himself from conversations involving the School of Journalism unless his counsel thinks there is a conflict.

Bradley said he was comfortable extending business to the Jefferson City/Columbia market. He is the third generation of his family working for the media group and members of the fourth generation also work for the News-Press Gazette Co. Bradley said he intends to keep the staff as it is.

"I could not be happier," Gene Steinberg, general manager of the stations, said about the sale.

Steinberg recognized that Alta Communications was an investment company and they would eventually sell KMIZ-TV. He began to search for possible Missouri media groups to buy the station and found News-Press and Gazette.

Steinberg said he was happy with how News-Press and Gazette handles other small market television stations and their history in Missouri.

"They're the right buyers to take us wherever the future is," said Steinberg.

The filing with the FCC begins the 30 days allowed for petitioning of the sale.

The News-Press and Gazette Co. currently operates one television station in St. Joseph, which it announced in March.

In that announcement, the News-Press and Gazette Co. said it would use the St. Joseph station as a centerpiece extending services to the St. Joseph and surrounding region.  Along with other television stations across the country, the company owns six newspapers in Missouri.

Supervising editor is Celia Darrough.

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