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FCC Denies Journal's Request For Failing Station Waiver

The FCC has denied Journal Broadcast Corp.'s request for a “failing station” waiver that would have allowed it to buy KNIN-TV, the CW affiliate in Caldwell, Idaho, from Banks-Boise Inc.

Journal needed a waiver because the purchase would have created a duopoly with Journal’s KIVI(TV) Nampa, Idaho. Both stations are in the Boise DMA and the duopoly would have left fewer than eight independently owned TV stations in the market, which violates FCC ownership rules.

The denial came down to a difference in the definition of cash flow. The FCC won't grant a failing-station waiver unless the station has had negative cash flow for the previous three years. Banks-Boise said that was the case, but used "free cash flow," which includes income and expenditures, "even those which are discretionary and/or not directly related to station operations," said the FCC.

With those expenditures removed from the equation, and "operating cash flow" the measure, the station only lost money two of those three years, said the FCC. Thus, wavier denied.