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NBC Teams With MMTC To Identify Buyer for KWHY

NBC is looking to sell Spanish-language independent KWHY Los Angeles to a minority or female buyer, according to a copy of a filing at the FCC.

Comcast, GE and NBC collectively told the FCC Monday (May 17) they want permission to assign the station's license to a divestiture trust, a move they have already signaled. But they have now identified the trust, Bahia Honda LLC, with its sole member Jose Cancela.

The companies also told the FCC that they have struck a deal with the Minority Media & Telecommunications Council to "use its expertise to identify prospective qualified buyers, particularly minorities and women."

The companies promised to either sell the station or put it in a divestiture trust before they closed on their proposed $30 billion joint venture. They would otherwise have had to ask for an extension of NBCU's waiver of station ownership rules since NBCU already owns two other stations in the market.

"The application submitted today is the next step in implementing the commitment made by NBCU on May 4, 2010, to either sell KWHY-TV Los Angeles, or transfer the station to an FCC-approved divestiture trust at or prior to the closing of the Comcast/NBCU transaction," said the company in a statement. "The application seeks FCC approval to form a trust that would take charge of the sale of the station in the event that the sale has not been completed by close of the deal. The proposed trustee, Bahia Honda LLC, is managed by Jose Cancela, a respected and highly qualified professional with more than 30 years experience in Hispanic broadcasting.

"NBCU has engaged the investment bank Moelis & Company to assist in selling the station...If the station has not been sold prior to the closing of the Comcast transaction, Moelis and MMTC will work with Mr. Cancela to effectuate a sale to a third party."

NBC had originally asked the commission for a temporary, six-month extension of its waiver of the FCC ownership rules to continue owning three stations in the market. The station group promised that within six months of the NBCU-Comcast deal's close, it would either sell KWHY, one of its three stations there, or put it in a trust.

But earlier this month it told the FCC it no longer needs the extra six months and will have either sold KWHY by then or put it in the trust.