TV sale to Native Americans gets senatorial boost


LIN Television has a deal pending to sell KREZ-TV Durango CO to Native American Broadcasting LLC. The deal received an unusual friend-of-the-deal letter from Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), who fired off a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski urging its approval.

NAB, headed by Denise Renee St. Andre, Laurie Kain, have agreed to pay LIN $2M for the station, which LIN had been using to carry the program of its Albuquerque CBS affiliate KRQE into southwestern Colorado. The deal was accepted for filing by the FCC on 4/21/11.

Bennet praised the LIN’s stewardship of the station, and then proceeded to lobby hard for the deal’s approval. “While LIN has done a fine job operating this station,” he wrote in a 5/6/11 letter, “I am pleased that after the transfer is complete, the station will be owned and operated by a company that is headquartered in the city where the station resides. In fact, the minority owner of the station has a home in Durango, Colorado, and the majority owner lives in La Plata County. These owners are intimately tied to the local community served by KREZ’s signal, and are committed to help solve the unique problems of Coloradans residing in La Plata and Montezuma counties who currently cannot receive easily accessible in-state broadcasts and programming originating from Southwest Colorado.

He noted that the proposed owners are both local, are women, and are also Native Americans. He copied the other commissioners and key Media Bureau executives.

Genachowski thanked Bennet for his interest, and let him know that the FCC was waiting for a 30-day public comment window to expire.

According to the FCC database, the deal has been approved. It is still listed as being licensed to LIN.