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Opposition Mounts on Hawaii Shared Services Deal

The Hawaii chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists, Common Cause, and Americans for Democratic Action are on board with an organized opposition to the new shared services agreement between Honolulu stations KGMB and Raycom’s KHNL-KFVE duopoly, reports the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

Last month, Raycom and KGMB owner MCG Capital announced their agreement to work together. About a third of the employees at the three stations stood to lose jobs, according to published reports. “The economic reality is that this market cannot support five traditionally separated television stations, all with duplicated costs,” Raycom CEO Paul McTear said 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.”

Media Council Hawaii president Chris Conybeare told the Star-Bulletin he’ll ask the U.S. Justice Department to take a close look at the arrangement. He said there is “growing public support for a new look at necessary regulation in the public interest.”

Raycom did not return a call for comment at presstime.