FCC Oks Journal Green Bay Duopoly With $2 Million WACY-TV Purchase

WASHINGTON: The Federal Communications Commission today approved a duopoly for Journal Broadcasting in the Green Bay, Wis., market, where the station group owns NBC affiliate WGBA-TV. The FCC’s duopoly waiver will allow Journal to complete it's purchase of WACY-TV, a MyNetworkTV affiliate, from Ace TV, for $2 million.

Journal has been running the station under a local marketing agreement since June of 1994, after it sat silent for two years following a bankruptcy. It applied to buy the station in April from Ace, a corporation solely owned by Shirley A. Martin. The FCC determined that Journal met the criteria for a waiver of commission rules prohibiting ownership of multiple TV stations in a single market. In this case, WACY was deemed a “failed” station—one that’s either been dark for at least four months or is involved in involuntary bankruptcy—and Journal was determined to be the only viable buyer.

“The applicants have submitted sufficient information to show that WACY qualifies as a ‘failed’ station under the commission’s ownership rules, because the station was silent for a period significantly greater than four consecutive months prior to the LMA due to its dire financial situation and related bankruptcy proceeding. WACY-TV’s operations were restored only through the financial assistance and operational efficiencies generated by the LMA. As a result, both WACY and WGBA have been able to produce and broadcast programming that furthers the public interest,” the FCC said in its letter granting the waiver. “Moreover, we have reviewed the assignment application, and find that the applicants are fully qualified, and that grant of the instant application will serve the public interest, convenience and necessity.”

Journal announced on Monday that it was buying CBS affiliate WTVF-TV in Nashville from Landmark Media for $215 million.