FAC proposes a fine of $ 518,283 for Gray TV
WASHINGTON– The FCC has proposed to fine Gray Television half a million dollars for breaking its rules prohibiting the possession of two full-power stations in the same DMA that are among the four highest-rated stations on the market .
The FCC has found that Gray’s ownership and operation of KTUU-TV affiliate station NBC and KYES-TV affiliate station CBS from July 31, 2020 to March 3, 2021 violated its rules.
The action stems from an agreement between Gray and Denali Media, when Gray acquired most of the unlicensed assets of KTVA (TV) on July 31, 2020, the FCC reported.
“Gray started broadcasting the same program schedule on [Gray-owned] KYES-TV which had previously appeared on [Denali Media’s] CBS KTVA station (TV). Gray also owns KTUU-TV, Anchorage, Alaska, a subsidiary of NBC, and at the time of the shutdown, KTUU-TV and KTVA (TV) were ranked number one and two in the Anchorage market, respectively, under the share stream. Local Television Ownership Rule hearing. Therefore, Gray operated two of the four major power plants in the same market, ”the FCC noted.
In September 2020, Denali filed a request for KTVA (TV) to shut down and the station remains closed today.
“Gray neither contacted Commission staff regarding the admissibility of the transaction with the licensee of KTVA (TV) nor filed a Section 73.3555 waiver request prior to consumption,” the FCC reported. “Gray informed the Commission that, effective March 3, 2021, it has changed its operations by moving CBS’s programming formerly broadcast on KYES-TV at full power to the main channel of its current low-power translation station, K22HN -D, and by simulcasting CBS programming broadcast by K22HN-D on a digital sub-channel of its KTUU-TV powerhouse.
“The Commission has previously warned licensees that efforts to evade the top four ban by engaging in such a change in affiliation would be subject to ‘cession or enforcement action’,” he said. also noted the FCC. “As a result, we find that the continued ownership and operation of KTUU-TV NBC Affiliate Station and KYES-TV CBS Affiliate Station from July 31, 2020 to March 3, 2021, apparently violated Note 11 of the Rule 73.3555 and take appropriate enforcement action.