Gray TV has been ordered to pay the FCC a fine for violating the rules around owning two of the top four rated stations in the same market.
The FCC says Gray TV “willfully and repeatedly” violated the ownership prohibition between July 202o and March 2021 when it bought the non-license assets from Denali Media’s Anchorage CBS station KTVA and began airing the CBS schedule on its owned station KYES. Gray TV later moved the broadcast to a digital subchannel on its NBC affiliate KTUU, according to the notice.
KTVA went off the air last September.
The FCC has proposed fining Gray, $518,28 for the violation. The rules governing local television ownership, exists to “promote competition and a diversity of viewpoints in local markets,” the FCC says.
“By executing and consummating an agreement to apparently purchase the CBS affiliation from KTVA(TV) for KYES-TV, Gray caused a change in network affiliation that resulted in Gray’s owning and operating the top two of the top-four stations in the Anchorage DMA, as of July 31, 2020, in violation of Commission rules,” the FCC wrote.
The Anchorage Daily News says it’s unclear “what the FCC action against Gray Television will mean for KTUU going forward.”
Gray TV currently owns and or operates television stations in 94 television markets.