Raycom CEO Paul McTear says the recent announcement that Raycom will take on management duties of KGMB in Honolulu was a vital move to ensure its-and Raycom's own KHNL and KFVE-long-term viability. "The loss of any of these three stations, including KGMB, Hawaii's first and longest running television station, was a distinct possibility," he writes in a guest commentary essay in yesterday's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
Raycom announced last week that its two stations will share services with MCG Capital Corporation's KGMB, a CBS affiliate that Raycom will manage.
"The purpose is to not only secure the future of KHNL, [KFVE] and KGMB, but to operate them more efficiently and effectively without diminishing the quality of news and other programming provided to our customers in Hawaii," said McTear at the time. "Rather than experiencing the loss of one, or possibly two stations in Hawaii, we intend to preserve three stations that provide important and valuable local, national and international programming to viewers in Hawaii."
A report in the Star-Bulletin said 68 out of 198 combined staffers would lose their jobs.
McTear's 680-word essay stresses that the management deal means more news diversity in the #72 DMA, which he says is down about 30% in ad revenue since 2006.
"The important point here is that the same local stations will continue to serve the community in which they operate," he writes. "Although Raycom is based in another state, our model is not one of top-down control of operations and programming. We are made up of many stations, each of which is part of the community it serves. KGMB, KHNL and K5 will all continue to be locally managed and staffed by local residents. All will continue to be local stations."
McTear said he did not foresee issues with the FCC over the arrangement.
New Vision's KHON is the revenue leader in Honolulu.
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