KSBY, 14 other TV stations sold in $521 million deal

KSBY is the NBC affiliate in San Luis Obispo, California.
KSBY is the NBC affiliate in San Luis Obispo, California. KSBY

A deal to sell KSBY, along with 14 other television news stations owned by Cordillera Communications, to the E. W. Scripps Co., was finalized on Wednesday, May 1, Scripps announced in a news release.

The deal was first announced in October.

Scripps said in a news release in October that it would pay $521 million for the stations, which would bring the total number of television stations the Ohio-based company owns to 51.

“The Cordillera stations have strong local brands and are well-run and nicely positioned in their markets,” Brian Lawlor, Scripps’ president of local media, said in the release. “Through this transaction, Scripps will operate the No. 1-rated TV stations in a third of its markets, enhancing the durability of our portfolio.”

Cordillera, which is headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, owns television stations in 11 small and mid-size markets, according to the release.

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KSBY is the company’s only California station. The other Cordillera-owned stations Scripps is acquiring are located in Montana, Kentucky, Texas, Louisiana and Colorado.

“We are fortunate to be transitioning from one great family-owned company to another with E.W. Scripps,” KSBY president and general manager Kathleen Choal told The Tribune via email in October. “Both companies have a long history of providing outstanding news coverage as well as being a great community partner in the markets they serve.

“This is a good fit for KSBY-TV, its employees and the residents of the Central Coast.”

Choal declined to comment further on what the change in ownership might mean for the local station.

Broadcast trade paper TV News Check broke the news of Cordillera Communications placing its stations up for sale Aug. 1.

“Our stations are as strong as they’ve been across any point in our 32-year history,” Terry Hurley, Cordillera’s president, said the company’s news release. “We’ve had a good run, and we’re proud of how our stations have excelled over the years. We’re also heartened to know they’ll continue to be in exceptional hands.”

KSBY, the local NBC affiliate serving San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, is up for sale by its parent company. Kaytlyn Leslie

KSBY was founded in 1953 as KVEC-TV, the first local television station built on the Central Coast of California, according to its website.

Over the past 65 years, the station has switched hands eight times — most recently in 2005, when ownership of KSBY moved from New Vision Group to Cordillera Communications, the broadcast branch of the Evening Post Publishing Co.

“Although I am sad to say goodbye to Cordillera after working with them for 14 years, I am looking forward to the future and all of the exciting possibilities with E.W. Scripps,” Choal said.

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