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GCI Asks FCC to Block Gray TV Purchase

Alaskan cable operator GCI has asked the Federal Communications Commission to stop Gray TV from purchasing Anchorage broadcast station KYES, stating that pairing the broadcaster with its other pending buy of NBC affiliate KTUU would give it too much control.

Gray TV agreed to purchase Schurz Communications’ 10 TV stations in September for $442.5 million. Included in that deal was KTUU, the NBC-affiliate in Anchorage. In a separate deal, Gray said it has agreed to purchase KYES, a MyNetworkTV affiliate in Anchorage from Fireweed Communications for about $500,000. Gray has asked the FCC for a “failing station” designation for KYES so it can combine the two stations into one.

GCI, which offers cable, broadband, telephone and cellular service throughout the state and owns CBS-affiliate KTVA in Anchorage, said that because Gray is already purchasing the Schurz station, it should not be allowed to add the Fireweed station to its portfolio.

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