Times Change–Prices Too

You get a more stations nowadays, but they’re nowhere near as profitable.

Back when I was searching for gainful employment I made a hard push for an opening at KGTV in San Diego. I didn’t get the job. In retrospect that’s fine. Actually, it’s now finer. McGraw-Hill just announced KMGH has been sold.

I wish the folks at KMGH the best. The period between this type of announcement and a transaction’s closing is often unpleasant. The seller has every incentive to take a short term attitude and spend as little as possible. The product (and morale) suffer.

McGraw-Hill is known as a good company. Maybe they’ll be different?

It was interesting to see what $212 million buys in 2011.

The Broadcasting Group includes ABC affiliates in Denver, Colorado (KMGH-TV), San Diego, California (KGTV), Bakersfield, California (KERO-TV), Indianapolis, Indiana (WRTV) and Azteca America affiliates in Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, San Diego and Bakersfield.

Here’s how that compares to 1985. That’s when WTNH was sold by CapCities.

An entity controlled by the partners of Whitcom Investment and Anchorage-based Cook Inlet Region Inc. has won the bidding for WTNH-TV, an ABC affiliate in the Hartford-New Haven area, for which it will pay about $170 million, according to the sources.

That’s one station, the building on State and Elm plus the transmitter facility in Hamden for $170 million. The Hartford/New Haven market is comparably sized to both Indianapolis and San Diego.

As the NY Times reported in 1985,

WTNH-TV’s 1984 operating income was $14.6 million on net revenue of $24.9 million, resulting in a 58 percent profit margin. Over the last five years, the margin has reached 62 percent and has never fallen below 58 percent. The station’s margins are unusually good.

Can you imagine?

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