TV station transactions planned

Kelly Sloan

Kelly Sloan, The Business Times

A Grand Junction television station will be sold and its operations moved to a different building under the terms of transactions announced by three companies involved in the deals.

KJCT, an ABC affiliate, will be sold to a subsidiary of Excalibur Broadcasting, a newly formed company launched by a television executive, for $3 million.

In a separate transaction, other assets of KJCT will be sold to Gray Television for $9 million. Gray Television also owns KKCO, an NBC-affiliate in Grand Junction.

Gray Television will provide support services to Excalibur, including back office, engineering and sales services.

The deals are subject to the consent of the Federal Communications Commission and other closing conditions. The transactions are expected to close in the fourth quarter.

KJCT and its associated stations broadcast ABC, CW, Telemundo and local programming in Grand Junction and Montrose.

Representatives from neither Gray Television nor KKCO would comment on the transactions or potential changes in operations.

Kristy Santiago, general manager of KJCT, stated in an e-mail to the Business Times, the KJCT operation will move into a building owned by Gray Television in Grand Junction and will be managed by Stacey Smith, general manager of KKCO.

KJCT employs 36 people, Santiago said. Gray Television is expected to interview those employees over the next 90 days and make personnel decisions at that time, she said.

News-Press & Gazette Co., a family owned company headquartered in Missouri, will sell KJCT. The Grand Junction market is one of 10 served by a company that also operates newspapers in Missouri and Kansas.

If the transaction goes through, KJCT will constitute the first purchase for Excalibur Broadcasting. Don Ray, a former regional vice president of Gray Television who also served as general manager of the WSAZ television station in West Virginia, launched Excalibur Broadcasting.

Gray Television purchased KKCO in 2004.

Based in Atlanta, Gray Television owns and operates television stations in 30 markets, with 46 of its channels affiliated with the ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX networks.