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At Press TIme

Dec 30, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Denver-Denver’s ABC affiliate, McGraw-Hill-owned KMGH-TV, and local cable system AT&T Broadband are working to resolve a dispute about their retransmission agreement by its expiration tomorrow at midnight.
If the two parties don’t reach an agreement, the ABC station may not be available to AT&T subscribers Jan. 1, when ABC will telecast popular college football games the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl.
The impasse has caused a heated fight in the Denver media. The cable operator has run full-page ads in the local newspapers claiming that “Channel 7 is threatening to take ABC away,” while Channel 7 has broadcast spots stating that AT&T plans to pull its programming.
“We will not pull their station off our network unless they force us to do so,” said Jeannine Hansen, a spokesperson for AT&T Broadband.
At the heart of the dispute is KMGH’s desire to launch a 24-hour Denver news channel, for which it wants carriage guaranteed by the AT&T system as part of retransmission renewal.
Sinclair invests
Los Angeles-Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. is investing $20 million in a car dealership holding company controlled by Sinclair CEO David Smith.
Sinclair, which made the announcement Tuesday, said the purchase of a 17.5 percent equity stake in Summa Holdings Ltd. was scrutinized by outside legal counsel and a special board committee. As part of the arrangement, Summa will buy advertising time on Sinclair stations.
Sinclair will also get a seat on the board of Summa, which owns dealerships, retail tire franchises and a leasing company. The $20 million investment will be used by Summa to buy more car dealerships, Sinclair said.