Thursday, May 20, 1999

may be sold

The station's parent,
A.H. Belo has hired a firm
to explore the sale

By Peter Wagner


NBC affiliate KHNL Channel 8 may be up for sale, according to Dallas-based parent A.H. Belo Corp.

Belo yesterday said it has hired ING Baring Furman Selz LLC to explore the possible sale of KHNL and its Fox-affiliated KASA-TV stations in Albuquerque, N.M.

The news came as a surprise to John Fink, KHNL's president and general manager, who said sees little fallout from a sale.

"If we remain with Belo, that's great," said Fink. "If another entity picks us up, that's great too.

"There are absolutely no changes expected at the station now or in the future."

Belo said it is considering selling the stations because they are distant from its television groups, concentrated in Texas, the Pacific Northwest and Mid-Atlantic states.

The company, which owns 17 television stations, the Dallas Morning News and other newspapers, also handles programming for KFVE-TV in Honolulu.

While business has been difficult at KHNL in recent years -- an effect of Hawaii's stale economy -- Fink sees no correlation to Belo's possible move out of the market.

"In terms of their other holdings, these are two very distinct and remote markets," said Fink. "Our market share has increased over the last few years."

Belo, the third owner of KHNL in the past seven years, bought the station along with parent company Providence Journal Co. in 1996. Rhode Island-based Providence acquired KHNL along with its former parent King Broadcasting Co. of Seattle in 1992.

KHNL began operating in the 1960s as KIKU, broadcasting Japanese programs.

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