Monday, June 27, 2005

Gannett-Emmis Deal May Be Unlikely

An alert reader forwards a snippet from Television Business Report suggesting that the reported Gannett purchase of Emmis stations (including Omaha's KMTV) may not be happening after all. According to TBR, the primary obstacle to such a deal deal would be an FCC rule that prohibits companies from owning newspaper and broadcast outlets in the same market. Gannett already owns newspapers in at least eight of the markets in which Emmis holds TV stations.

"There would have to be so many spin-offs that the deal wouldn't be worth doing," the article says, adding that Gannett doesn't seem prone to enter into the protracted and expensive legal battle that would be required to challenge the regulatory limit. The article concludes, calling it "unlikely that Gannett would bid to buy all of Emmis TV if it then has to spin-off eight of the 16 stations."

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