Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thursday Bullet Point: KRON Sold; Update: Confirmed: Media General Merger Deal with KRON

KRON sold? Yes.

UPDATE 10: 33 PT: The deal has been confirmed. KRON has been sold. Really, a merger. (See below).

Thursday item making the 415 Media lounge.

KRON has been bought by Media General. The staff has been invited to attend meetings for a presentation about what is being called a merger. It is.


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  1. This will usher in the long-awaited return of NBC back to the Bay Area on Channel 4.

    New Young Broadcasting adds these stations to the Media General merger:

    KRON San Francisco, CA
    WKRN Nashville, TN
    WTEN Albany, NY
    WATE Knoxville, TN
    WRIC Richmond, VA
    WBAY Green Bay, WI
    KWQC Davenport, IA
    WLNS Lansing, MI
    KELO Sioux Falls, SD
    KLFY Lafayette, LA
    Digital Media Solutions
    Mobile News Apps

    Included in the merger are 5 ABC affiliates, 3 CBS affiliatons, 1 NBC affiliate, 1 FOX and ! CW affiliation.

    The new merger will mean a 30-station group for Media General, based in Richmond, VA, where the group will stay. It is an all stock merger.

    Long into newspaper publishing before selling their papers to Birkshire-Hathaway (Warren Buffett), the Buffett involvement will mean a 17% stake in the new broadcast merger.

    Would a much needed call letter change be in the works to disassociate with the Chronicle be forthcoming? The SEC stock deal on the merger is expected to close in the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2013.

    Will NBC Bay Area stay afloat as a separate NBC affiliate in San Jose?

    1. Why in the world do you think this will user the return of NBC to KRON? NBC owns KNTV. They get all of the money that KNTV makes. If they affiliate with another company, they have to share proceeds with them. Sorry, but it is pure nonsense to think that NBC would disaffiliate with a station they own simply because KRON changed hands. KNTV has a similar footprint to the SF stations and well over 1/2 of the population of the Bay Area lives south of San Francisco. Some might consider it advantageous for them to be the only station physically located in the most populous city and county in the market. If NBC had been the company buying KRON, you might have something. The fact that it's some other company doesn't make a logical argument that the affiliation will change.

    2. Interesting, but KNTV, an NBC/Comcast O & O, is licensed to NBC / Telemundo. This makes a lot of sense. Move Telemudo to channel 11 and spin off the other smaller station in San Jose that NBC owns.

      Or, turn it into a CW affiliate.

      The market value of a full network affiliate in San Francisco is much greater than in San Jose, on a channel where the better NBC affiliates are (KNBC, WNBC, and others) has been channel 4 for a long time.

    3. NBC / Comcast would make boatloads more revenue with an affiliation in San Francisco on channel 4. It would also fill the coffers with millions of dollars to go and buy another station in a lucrative market somewhere else, while maintaining a huge affilliate in the Bay Area.

      NBC won't have the cost of operation -- Media General will -- nor will NBC have to sell here. Rather, they make affiliate fees from advertiser dollars in San Francisco and not from smaller market San Jose.

      Further, more affiliate clearances for NBC shows can be much easier negotiated with an affiliation in a major market, as opposed to money being spend in a smaller market like San Jose.

      It's like owning KGO in San Francisco as opposed to owning KSCO / KOMY in Santa Cruz / La Selva Beach.

      No muss, no fuss.

      Spot rates for network clearances are much higher in San Francisco on a much better channel on 4 than in San Jose. Media General makes more money in revenue, NBC / Comcast makes more money for spot clearances in a top 5 market. That simple. Ownership, as we've seen before, is not the holy grail. NBC is more interested in networking big affiliates. This is perfect for them.

    4. As an O&O, NBC has big expenditures as well as receiving the revenues from local ad sales. On a national basis, an affiliation -- O&O or not -- is not as valued in San Jose (population wise) as in San Francisco.

      NBC will make plenty on a sale of KNTV if it decides to do so. Plus, more population in San Francisco than San Jose. Footprint has little to do with it, nor does "similar." Channel 4 is a much better frequency to be on with what little amount that matters as over-the-air signals don't matter much these days.

    5. Read the ACTUAL article on this. KRON wasn't sold. Young now has controlling interest of Media General. It's amazing that people come up assumptions and idiotic theories on a story like this. KRON won't EVER be an NBC affiliate. PERIOD. If you want actual facts read the actual facts!

      How about this from Reuters "The new company, with 30 TV stations in 27 U.S. markets, will retain the Media General name. Following the merger, the new company will be owned 67.5 percent by Young Broadcasting shareholders and 32.5 percent by Media General shareholders.

      I hope to God none of you are reporters.

    6. I don't see where it was said that KRON was "sold". It is, or course a merger of, now, 30 stations combined, elimination of a class of stock, refinancing of $900-milllion of debt -- over $500-mil by Media General and $164-mil by New Young. It also lowers the stock share value of Berkshire-Hathaway from 17% to a much lower figure, possible by half.

      With your snakiness, don't hope for what you wish for because you could be very very wrong. I wouldn't bet against it.

      NBC would not have the expenditures of paying for San Francisco O&O requirements. That is now the "new" Media General's problem. I don't see KRON being an independent under this merger plan. Don't believe everything you read. That's not what reporters do. Learn from it until you know what you may be surprised to find.

    7. Not sure how the comments that NBC would make more money with a San Francisco-based station make any sense. The San Francisco Bay Area DMA includes San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose. It doesn't matter where the station is physically located. As long as it has the numbers, it will make the same amount of money regardless of where the studio is located.

    8. 7:08, you are incorrect on your facts. The U.S. census estimates San Francisco's population at 825,863 for 2012. San Jose's population is estimated at 982,765 for 2012, and Santa Clara county is almost double that.

      Ad for spot rates in a top 5 market, the SF-Oak-SJ market is actually #6. The top 5 are NY, LA, Chicago, Philly, and Dallas.

    9. Why has Comcast poured so much money into KRON? NBC Universal Marketing seems to be a part of the regular daily programming. I think there is more to this story and this has been in the master plan for Comcast/NBC Universal to take over KRON at some point soon. NBC has always wanted a presence in SF and now that there is this opportunity I highly doubt that they are just going to ride this one out. Your comment that NBC will never come back to KRON period is incredulous!

    10. Comcast pours a lot of ad money into ALL local stations. They are the nation's second largest advertiser, behind Proctor and Gamble. They sponsor sportscasts on multiple stations, not just on KNTV.

      Comcast does own NBC Universal and Comcast (Xfinity)cable, but they are still separate and distinct entities within the Comcast corporation.

      As for NBC Universal being a part of regular daily programming, don't confuse NBC Universal's television studios & distribution with the NBC Network. All of the major networks are affiliated with studio operations. In syndication, they sell their programs to the highest bidder. That may not be their own network's stations. "The Office" is on FOX O&Os, for example. That doesn't mean NBC is going to be taking over WNYW or KTTV anytime soon. It's on KBCW, here, which is a CW station owned by CBS.

  2. Back in 2006 NBC did a station swap with WCMH in Columbus, WNCN in Raleigh and WJAR in Providence - they were all sold to Media General. This may be Comcast/NBC Universal's chance to return to Channel 4 by this purchase. The current FCC ruling does not permit Comcast/NBC Universal to purchase a third station here in the Bay Area. With this transaction today this will allow NBC to go back to 4.

    As to the fate of KNTV it could very well turn into a My Network TV affiliate and perhaps the 11.2 could be another Spanish station service. There is a heavy concentration of Spanish in the South Bay and that would benefit the market in that respect.

    1. NBC could still have the affiliation in San Jose, with the added costs of ownership as well. However, though San Jose is a "different market", it still comes under the San Francisco DSMA.

      Over-the-air transmission won't matter in either market as cable pentration and satellite distribution is so high now. Less than 10% of viewers need or care about over-the-air or HD as long as long as it's delivered that way through their cable provider (Comcast) in digital quality.

    2. San Jose is not a different market. It is technically the "San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose" market, according to Nielsen. Those west of Treasure Island, north of San Mateo county, and south of the Golden Gate like to live in their own little bubble, where only SF matters. San Jose is counted separately for radio, though.

      However, I don't know why this NBC thing comes up every time KRON is mentioned. That ship has sailed. Seriously, it's time to move on. NBC made their choice and went with KNTV. They have invested too much in the station to abandon it, and KRONs news ratings are way too far in the tank to want to start afresh. Only 7.5% of the Bay Area receives TV over-the-air, and 63.5% get it from cable. That means for almost 2/3 of the population, KNTV is on channel 3, not 11. Of the remaining "alternative delivery group", AT&T U-Verse accounts for a percentage of that, and KNTV is on channel 3 for them, too.

  3. I like it real well but they can sell KRON directly to NBC wtihout any bureaucratic red tape and combined the operations with KSTS to improve reception of NBC service in the bay area as a continuance of the NBC station being from KNTV NBC 11 Bay Area to KRON NBC 4 Bay Area and KRON being housed at NBC Bay Area division with KNTV being spunned off to either Hearst or a real local broadcaster with interest to keep it going plus with real benefits for both NBC finally wanting to own KRON and KNTV being spunned off and be a real San Jose orientiated station

    1. What is the advantage of KRON on channel 4 vs. KNTV on channel 11? KRON is actually a UHF signal on channel 38, KNTV is a VHF signal on channel 12. The coverage area for the market is actually equal to or better for KNTV than it is for KRON. The only advantage would be for it to be another "NBC4". However, of the NBC O&Os, only Washington DC, New York, and Los Angeles are on channel 4. Chicago (DMA #3) and Dallas (DMA #5) are on channel 5, Philadelphia (DMA #4) is on channel 10, Miami (DMA #16) is on channel 6, San Diego (DMA #28) is on channel 39 but uses their cable channel 7, and Hartford (DMA #30) is on channel 30. Would they really spend millions of dollars just to get "NBC 4" when so few NBC-owned stations are there now? It's not like "11" is a really high number. Plus, they're on channel 3 on most cable systems and they don't market the channel number, anywya. CBS doesn't seem interested in acquiring KTVU just so they can have CBS 2 like they do in NY and LA, and FOX doesn't even have consistent channel numbers in any of the top markets.

    2. CBS isn't the one looking for a true San Francisco O&O -- they have a well established on, as you know, on PIX 5. KRON is a whole nother story. Again, you miss the point. it's not the over-the-air signal that matters. Less than 10% of viewers receive TV that way these days.

      The bulk of the population is in the San Francisco market (#4) and not in San Jose. Media General isn't one to run independent stations. It's the presence of a Big Four affiliate in a top 5 market that adds to the revenue base for both KRON and NBC/Universal/Comcast.

      I'm betting the NBC paid talent at KNTV would rather be making the higher wages of San Francisco and compete with Fox, ABC & CBS in the bigger market.

    3. Why so much misunderstanding of TV markets? San Jose (for TV purposes)is now in the "San Francisco market" (San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose), and has officially been so for over a decade. Maybe the product is not to your liking, but KNTV is the San Francisco market's NBC station. The staff is paid within the range of the other major network affiliates/o&o stations in the market. They're in the 'bigger' market. The fact that their physical plant is not in San Francisco, has no relationship to market status. The only variable lies in audience draw. Have they successfully captured audience share in SF and the East Bay? And have they maintained a once-loyal following in the South Bay?

    4. San Francisco is the number 4 RADIO market, and it does not include San Jose. Radio markets are defined by Arbitron.
      Radio-wise, San Jose is market 35.

      TELEVISION-WISE, both cities are part of the "San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose" market, as defined by Nielsen. The name of the market has all 3 city names on it, not just "San Francisco".

    5. ...and television-wise, the SF/Oak/SJ market is #6.

    6. OP that was the longest run on sentence I think I have ever read.

    7. Actually 11:12 your are incorrect Arbitron's radio measurement of the SF market DOES include SJ as part of its TSA (total survey area).

      But yes...SJ alone is #35.

      We are like that they measure all of NYC (including Long Island) but then also measure Long Island/Nassau separate at #19

  4. From the link you provided: "He's got 17 years in the business, and was happily employed up the road in San Diego with Lincoln Financial Media, but the opportunity to run a killer cluster of call letters lured him away. Steve Sklenar has been named Market Manager for Cumulus' 7 stations in San Francisco."

    WTF? Killer cluster?


    Really, guys?



    Here's KILLER for YA!

    * KSFO's embarrassment for conservatives, Melanie The Meanie Morgan and Brian The Socialist Sussman.

    * Jared The Huckster Hart, who is not mature or experienced enough to have the job he has, and who makes Ronn (that's two n's for mattress man) Owens seem even more ineffectual, materialistic, shallow and effeminate as ever (perhaps he's always been that way).

    * Mike Huckabee, a disgraceful former governor who paroled murderers who murdered again(maybe it was "only" one but one is too much) as the stand by 9 a.m. show after the two local tea bags are done throwing out all their hate while claiming to love Jesus. Oh, and yes, Mike loves Him too. So do I.

    * Michael Savage (sorry, Rich, I used to like Savage but not lately) who spends most of his time talking about his own books, his great intellect, why he's the best talk-show host in America, etc. I'm sick of it. Give me the Savage of 2000-2006. The Savage of today needs a reality check. And, Michael, stop the crap about giving us the "light" side of you. Your dark side has made you the populist you are, even though your keen intellect fails to see the idiocy of your "borders, language, culture" b.s. This is the age of tech, Michael, not the Bronze Age, ok? Update your rant. It's old, worn out, kind of like you.

    * "news" on a talk station that will never, ever be accepted as a news station

    * newbies' efforts to pull in the 20-somethings who are too busy on their tablets and phones to care about radio

    * newbies, like that guy who went back to Sacto who may have great looking profile photos on LinkedIn (he thinks) but doesn't know a darn thing about running a news station. This Einstein ran off KGO's old audience and then wondered where the "new" audience went. Duh. They were never there, idiot. That's why you back in in the oven that is the Central Valley.

    * a guy on air who constantly whines and talks about his love life, like we care, and constantly, to the point of making his audience retch, reminds us he's gay. Oh, goodie for you. There are millions of others like you. Move on. We're sick of it. Your love life. Stop being the poster child of dysfunction, Karel, and get a grip, you whiner.

    The one bright spot? Pat Thurston.

    Throw out all the rest.

    Oh, wait, what did you say, Rich? What did you say, Rich? What's that? Really?

    No way. They're not bringing another outsider in are they?

    And he's bringing his slave, the one who made him look good all those years, with him? Can't he do it alone? If he's such a whiz, take the local talent and move 'em on up by training them and showing them the way. Oh, no, he's not gonna do that? Oh, the person he's bringing with him is gonna do that. Oh, ok.

    I can't wait for the ride. It might be bumpier than that old Santa Cruz imitation roller-coaster at Great America that was spine-jarring and would send you packin' to a chiropractor.

    Better hold on, or you might be in for more than a neck ache. With this mental midgets, you might be break your neck.

    Let's go! Killer stations, here I come!

  5. The only part of a KNTV/KRON swap it the over air signal. KNTV's transmitter is in the South By and coverage isn't as good. My girlfriend uses over the air in Berkeley and can't get KNTV.
    But all that hassle for 10% of the audience makes no sense.

  6. KNTV's transmitter is not in the South Bay. It is atop Mt. San Bruno.

  7. I wish that KRON would just go back to being an NBC Affiliate, I do not like the current NBC Affiliate that is located in San Jose. KNTV is just awful, awful, awful...

    1. I have to agree 100% - I feel that with the new company Media General whose had a seemingly great relationship with Comcast/NBC Universal can work a deal to have NBC return to Channel 4 where it belongs. This can be accomplished and perhaps it has already been taken seriously into consideration by the boards of Young and Media General.

  8. The one thing that I never understood is why San Jose needed a Major TV/News Affiliate. When we have KPIX, KGO, and KTVU reporting on current events in the South Bay at least 50% of the time?!?! Sometimes when I am viewing Channels 2, 5, or 7 I feel like they devote most of the newscast to the San Jose area! Isn't that why San Francisco was stripped of their NBC Affiliate for KNTV???

  9. Yeah, why would anyone in San Francisco care about anyone out side of San Francisco? Heaven forbid that a Bay Area newscast would devote more than 50% of their time on events South of San Francisco, where more than 50% of the Bay Area lives. It's recognition that the population center in the Bay Area is not San Francisco.

    San Francisco was not stripped of their NBC affiliate. Television is a business. Young outbid NBC for KRON. It still ranks as the highest price ever paid for a TV station, and ultimately is seen as what ended up driving Young into bankruptcy. After buying KRON, they then could not come to an agreement to keep affiliation with NBC. KNTV, then owned by Granite (who still owns KOFY), was able to come to an agreement and took over the affiliation. Then Granite, who had financial issues of their own, sold KNTV outright to NBC.

    1. @ June 7, 2013 at 6:10 PM....Why in the H3LL should I care that a new Ross opened in Downtown San Jose?!?!

    2. Why in the hell should I care that Apple wants to build a new store in Union Square?

    3. If you were in the viewing audience of the vast 'Southland' would be treated daily to stories originating in the Inland Empire, the OC, the LA basin, West Side, Hollywood, etc. The movie and tv industry would be highlighted in all possible ways.
      Similar, but smaller situation in Bay Area- too big to be local. Stations have to try to represent a wide area. Smaller staffs make it all but impossible, but that's what it is for now. And, why would Comcast/NBC even think of spending an additional cent on another change- back to SF? Doesn'tmake any financial sense.

    4. Sure it does. NBC / Comcast would be the owner nor shelling out expense money. That's, soon to be, Media General's job. NBC just needs to switch affiliations to channel 4 ... for better coverage via cable and satellite and not rack up the expenses. KRON wasn't sold, remember, it's a merger. NBC doesn't need KNTV. They just needed a Bay Area affiliate after being dumped by KRON. Now, they can go back without the expense.

      Flip a switch, turn the satellite dish and they're in. NBC sells San Jose and makes a ton.

    5. I think Comcast has already made some progress with Channel 4 in the Bay Area. With the establishment of their new 24/7 Newschannel and more complete CSN Sports coverage. It will be an easy and streamlined transition and the Bay Area will be extremely pleased seeing NBC back on 4.

      With respect to the economics of this whole issue getting rid of KNTV and San Jose is a wise decision.

    6. "With respect to the economics of this whole issue getting rid of KNTV and San Jose is a wise decision."

      ...except that Comcast has made no such decision and really has no reason to. Wow, it really bugs you San Franciscans that NBC is in San Jose, doesn't it? Sad.

      Look at the facts. Media General is merging with Young. Young is still in majority control. That is all that the posting said. KNTV was never mentioned. NBC was never mentioned.

      If NBC wanted to go back to KRON, they've had ample opportunity to dictate terms to Young over the years. The value of KRON is a very now a small fraction of what it was when they bought it and Young would've been dumb to turn down any overtures from NBC. Their news ratings are in the tank, while KNTVs news ratings are competitive with the rest of the network stations in the market.

      There's no channel position advantage to do change. 703 vs. 704 on most cable systems. Affiliation switches are not cheap and you don't want confuse the viewers by moving around.

      So, it's time to wake up. The repetitious dream that KRON will be the NBC affiliate, again, has no basis in reality. You're just going to have to live with the fact that San Francisco is not the center of the known universe.