Newport stations drift to High Plains


You’ve heard of renting to buy? In this case, Newport Television is selling to rent. James H. Martin has formed High Plains Broadcasting, which will kick of its existence with six full power television stations in five markets, all of which will enter into an SSA/JSA arrangement with the seller. The price for the sixpack, which includes numerous low power translators, particularly in Utah, is $135M. Newport is headed by Sandy DiPasquale, and backed by Providence Equity Partners. PEP will have a presence on the High Plains board and will be allowed to appoint an observer to attend all meetings. The stations bump up against local ownership caps either within Newport (as in Jacksonville FL) or due to PEP’s interest in Univision.

The stations going to High Plains include KGET-TV Bakersfield CA (NBC 17/DT 25, with CW on a DT2 channel); KGPE-TV Fresno CA (CBS 17/DT 34); KTVX-TV Salt Lake City UT (ABC 4/DT 40) and KUCW-TV Ogden UT (CW 30/DT 48); WOAI-TV San Antonio TX (NBC 4/DT 58); and WTEV-TV Jacksonville FL (CBS 47/DT 19).