Hubbard believes failure will allow it to double in Albany
WNYT is the NBC affiliate for the Albany-Schenectady-Troy DMA, and it belongs to Hubbard Broadcasting. Hubbard has a JSA with WNYA-TV, bringing MNT into the market from Pittsfield MA. Hubbard has filed to buy WNYA, citing its lack of success as it seeks a necessary FCC waiver.
The seller is Paul Koplin’s Venture Technologies Group LLC. VTG also owns WNYA-CD Albany, which has been used as a repeater for the full power station being sold and is not part of the current deal; its calls will be changed.
The price Hubbard has agreed to pay is $2.3M.
In asking for a failing station waiver, Hubbard cited WNYA’s low viewership, and further noted three years worth of negative cash flow. The totals were minus $633,355 in 2010; minus $884,319.39 in 2011; and minus $607,494.41 in 2012.
Hubbard also stated that if granted the license, it will greatly expand WNYA’s local news programming.
Finally, the applicants cited the testimony of Kalil and Company broker Lou McDermott, who shopped the station around to out-of-market buyers. According to McDermott, that effort yielded only one interested party, and zero offers.
RBR-TVBR observation: It appears to us that all the elements typically required by the FCC to get a failing stations waiver are present. The elements – low viewership, red ink and the lack of an alternative buyer – mean that the choice is either giving an in-market licensee a chance to save the station, or watch it go broke and dark. The FCC routinely and wisely finds the public interest to lie with the continued existence of the station, and we fully expect that will be the case in this instance.