Telemundo—second yet again

Poor Telemundo. Second to Univision Communications in the ratings, second again when it comes to announcing what it had hoped would be the nation's first Spanish-language TV duopoly, in Los Angeles.

Telemundo Group has been confirming recent reports that it was in negotiations to buy KWHY-TV Los Angeles, which it would pair with its KVEA(TV) in the nation's top Hispanic market. But that deal was still in the works last Wednesday, when Univision said it would pay $1.1 billion for USA Networks' 13 TV stations. The deal gives Univision not just one duopoly in Los Angeles (with KMEX-TV and USA's KHSC-TV), but in five more markets.

As of last Thursday, Telemundo's purchase of KWHY was still being finalized, said Ted Guefen, spokesman for the nation's No. 2 Spanish-language network. While a broker familiar with the market pegs KWHY 's value at about $200 million, the going price now is higher than that, several sources say. No word on when that
deal will be announced.

Telemundo likes the independent KWHY 's self-produced shows, which could be used on the national Telemundo network. "[Ch.] 22's always been an innovator in programming," Guefen said. In fact, Telemundo already plans to start running a "tweaked" version of a KWHY court show in January or February 2001. All Spanish-language KWHY, currently owned by Harriscope Corp., also airs three evening newscasts.