NPG to Acquire California TV Station From Smith Media

News-Press & Gazette Co. (NPG Co.) has agreed to purchase KEYT-TV, an ABC-affiliated television station serving the California coastal communities of Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo, from Smith Media, LLC (Smith Media). A related digital television property, MyRTV, is included in the sale.

NPG and Smith Media announced the transaction Thursday. The sale is expected to be completed later this year after receiving required Federal Communications Commission approval. No financial terms were disclosed.

The acquisition, along with a pending purchase in Columbia, Mo., will give NPG stations in 10 television markets in the United States. KEYT competes in the 122nd largest Designated Market Area (DMA) in the country, with a potential reach of 230,000 households.

David Bradley, NPG chairman and chief executive officer, said, “We look forward to operating a top-flight station serving the Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo communities and advancing their interests in this beautiful part of the country.”

For Smith Media and its predecessor, which have operated the station since 1987, the sale is a major milestone.

“My late husband put in place his vision of a community oriented, first-class television station dedicated to and reflecting the unique mix of talents, resources and caring that make Santa Barbara so special to us all. It has been a major part of the Smith Family’s lives for these last 25 years to be directly involved in the traditions that have become KEYT,” said Anne Smith Towbes.

The current board member of Smith Media added, “While nothing is forever, we take comfort and pride in passing these traditions on to NPG, another family owned and operated media company well qualified to carry on Bob Smith’s unique legacy.”

At the completion of the sale, Smith Media is exiting the Santa Barbara market.

“We have greatly valued the opportunity to serve the communities of California’s Central Coast,” said Michael Granados, general manager of KEYT and chief executive officer of Smith Media. “Fortunately, this transaction will pass on this great asset and a dedicated group of talented employees to a new owner also committed to local service and broadcast excellence.”

News-Press & Gazette Co. is headquartered in St. Joseph and owns and operates television and radio stations in eight Midwestern and Western markets including stations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Oregon and Texas. The company launched FOX 26 KNPN this spring in St. Joseph, along with local affiliates for Spanish-language Telemundo and entertainment network The CW. It announced in July its acquisition of a cluster of stations in Columbia – KMIZ-TV (ABC), KQFX-LP (FOX), MyZouTV (MyNetworkTV) and Me-TV – operated as The Networks of Mid-Missouri. That transaction is expected to be completed in November.