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Meredith Buys Rest of KSMO

Meredith Broadcasting has received FCC permission to buy WB affiliate KSMO-TV Kansas City from Sinclair for a total of $33.5 million.

The FCC Wednesday gave Meredith a "failing station" waiver allowing it to buy the station.

Meredith already has a station in Kansas City, KCTV, and could't own a duopoly in that market absent the waiver because it would have left fewer than eight independently owned stations.
But the FCC waives that prohibition in cases where one of the stations has an audience share below 4% (KSMO has 2.7%) and is either losing money or not making much, which Meredith was able to demonstrate, though those numbers were confidential.

Meredith bought the nonlicense assets of the station back in November for $26.8 million, saying it would pay another $6.7 million when it got the waiver. It also struck a joint sales agreement and applied for the waiver.

Meredith plans to add more local programming, sports, and news, including a 9 p.m. newscast that will launch next month.

Wednesday's action creates Meredith's second duopoly. It owns two stations in Portland, Ore.