New York Times Co. to Buy Oklahoma City's KFOR-TV

Article excerpt

The New York Times Co. has reached a preliminary agreement to buy KFOR-TV, Channel 4, in Oklahoma City.

It also plans to buy WHO-TV in Des Moines, Iowa. The seller is Palmer Communications Inc.

Terms weren't disclosed. Both stations are NBC affiliates.

The two stations will join the company's Memphis, Tenn.-based broadcast group, which currently consists of six network-affiliated stations, a video production company and two radio stations.

"We are delighted to acquire KFOR-TV and WHO-TV as another step in our business strategy to increase our holdings in electronic media," New York Times Co.'s chairman and chief executive, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, said in a statement announcing the agreement.

"We also are happy to become a part of the Oklahoma City and Des Moines communities. The properties are outstanding television stations, with community involvement and public service second to none.

"With the Times Company as their new owners," he added, "the stations will continue their traditions of offering excellent programming to their viewers and will remain outstanding places to work."

KFOR operates in the nation's 43rd-largest television market with 595,000 television households, as measured by A.C. Nielsen.

WHO is in the 72nd-largest market, with 368,000 households.

"Each is a very strong station in an attractive market," said Lance R. Primis, president of the Times Co. broadcast unit.

"We are confident that our operating strategy of emphasizing local news and local advertising will be equally successful in Oklahoma City and Des Moines. …