NPG welcomes two more Idaho Falls stations

On July 12, 2013, News-Press & Gazette Company entered into a transaction with VistaWest Media LLC which will, after FCC approval and closing, result in new ownership of Television stations KIDK(TV) (CBS) and KXPI-LD (Fox), in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

KIDK and KXPI serve eastern Idaho and western Wyoming and are located in the Idaho Falls-Pocatello ID (Jackson, WY) DMA, which is recognized by Nielsen as market number 162.

The stations are currently owned by Fisher Communications, Inc., a Seattle-based television and radio company, with operating support provided by NPG of Idaho, Inc. pursuant to a shared services agreement between the companies. NPG owns and operates KIFI-TV, the ABC affiliate serving Idaho Falls.

Under the terms of the agreements between NPG and VistaWest, NPG assigned to VistaWest its existing option to purchase the stations and, contemporaneously, entered into a shared services arrangement with VistaWest to provide operating assistance to the stations, after FCC approval and closing. NPG will provide back office, engineering, and sales support services to VistaWest. General management, programming and sales management functions at KIDK and KXPI will be managed by VistaWest owner, Lyle Leimkuhler.

VistaWest has agreed to pay Fisher some $5.9 million dollars for the stations and related assets. In addition, VistaWest has, in turn, granted NPG an option to acquire the stations under specified terms and subject to regulatory conditions. VistaWest expects to finance the acquisition of the stations via a third-party bank loan, which would be guaranteed by affiliates of NPG.

 VistaWest is a newly formed company, owned and operated by Lyle Leimkuhler, a seasoned broadcast executive, who formerly served as Chief Financial Officer of NPGCo.

As noted, the transaction is subject to the approval of the FCC. It is expected that the transaction will close in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Questions regarding NPG may be directed to John Kueneke, President of NPG at (314) 727.6353, Questions relating to VistaWest should be directed to Lyle Leimkuhler, owner of VistaWest at (816) 390.5870,