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Telemundo buying two Az. stations

Citizen Staff

Subject to FCC approval, it is acquiring KHRR Channel 40 in Tucson and KDRX Channel 48 in Phoenix.



Spanish broadcast network Telemundo announced yesterday it was buying Telemundo affiliates KHRR Channel 40 in Tucson and KDRX Channel 48 in Phoenix, as well as a California station.

Miami-based Telemundo paid The Apogee Cos. of Burbank, Calif., $19.3 million in cash plus other broadcast properties for the Tucson and Phoenix stations, Apogee chief executive officer Tom Camp said. He declined to comment on which broadcast properties Apogee would get in the deal.

The network, bought by NBC last year for $1.98 billion plus $700 million in debt, also announced the acquisition of KNSO Channel 51 in Fresno, Calif., from Sainte 51, L.P., a Telemundo subsidiary, for approximately $33 million.

The acquisitions bring to 15 the number of stations Telemundo owns and operates.

Camp said Telemundo employs about 40 people at its Tucson station and the company’s office operations and 30 people at its Phoenix station.

Camp said there were no contractual obligations made for Telemundo to retain any number of employees, but he said it’s unlikely the stations would lose any jobs once the network takes over.

“I’m sure they will be continuing the basic operations and probably be needing more people as they grow,” he said.

The sale is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission. Camp said if the sale is approved by the FCC, he expects to close the deal by the end of the year.

Tucson is the 24th-largest Latino market in the country, Phoenix the ninth largest and Fresno the 14th largest.

Because Apogee owned both Arizona stations, the affiliates were able to share news information to cover more of the state’s news, Camp said.

“The ability to share has made it practical for the Tucson market to have its own newscast, which is unusual,” he said. “I don’t know what NBC’s plans are, but I expect they would continue to do the same.”

Officials at Telemundo in Miami did not return calls seeking comment.

The Apogee Cos. have owned the two Arizona stations since January 1999.

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