KHON filings with FCC not linked to possible sale
An attorney for the station's owners says May's license filings are a "coincidence"
A flurry of filings with the Federal Communications Commission to transfer control of licenses for KHON-TV and its mainland sister stations have nothing to do with their possible sale, according to an attorney for the owners.
The FCC accepted applications to transfer the stations' broadcast licenses May 25, five days before the stations' employees were told the company would consider purchase offers. The transfers were granted by the FCC Monday.
"I'm sure it's just a coincidence," said Wash., D.C.-based Montecito attorney Rick Bernthal of Latham & Watkins LLP, which represents Montecito Broadcast Group LLC.
The stations are owned by Montecito and New York-based private investment firm Blackstone Group, which is preparing for a possible public offering.
The applications state that control is being transferred from Blackstone Communications Management Associates I, LLC, to Blackstone Communications Management Associates I, LLC - NQ.
There are two kinds of transfers of control, one when there is an actual sale and one, called a pro forma transfer of control, "and that's really something of a formality," he said.
"If I held a license under Rick Co. and I decided, for tax purposes, to transfer it to Rick LLP, it's still me and I still control it."
Blackstone is realigning all of its FCC licenses for radio and television stations it owns with several other companies in several states, he said.