Malara Broadcast Group
Malara Broadcast Group of Sarasota, Florida, a Delaware corporation, also known as Malara Broadcasting, is a broadcasting holding company. Malara Broadcasting was founded in 2004 by Tony Malara, former president of affiliate relations for CBS. Malara currently owns two television stations: KDLH in Duluth, Minnesota and WPTA in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
On March 8, 2005, Malara Broadcast Group entered into a credit agreement with Granite Broadcasting Corporation. This agreement gave Malara Broadcasting $48.5 million and a revolving credit line of $5 million, which it used to purchase KDLH (from former owner New Vision Television) and WPTA, from Granite. In addition to this agreement, Malara also entered into a second agreement with Granite, under which Granite would operate, promote, and sell advertising for the two Malara stations. This is known as a local marketing agreement.
The future of Malara Broadcasting may be in doubt given several recent occurrences stemming from the death of group founder Tony Malara from leukemia and a heart attack on August 24, 2006, as well as financial woes of partner Granite Broadcasting which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on December 11, 2006. Both the future of the Granite group and any rulings on who would get control of Malara could lead to massive changes with the company. Granite emerged from bankruptcy in mid-2007 under the control of the Connecticut-based private equity firm Silver Point Capital, who also controls Communications Corporation of America, White Knight Broadcasting and selected Spanish-language stations acquired from Equity Media Holdings.
Malara Broadcasting files its financial results to the SEC jointly with Granite, leading many to believe that it is simply a shell corporation for Granite. If this is true, Granite and Malara would be in violation of the FCC's rules on duopolies. FCC regulations do not allow duopolies between two of the four highest-rated stations in a market. Additionally, neither Fort Wayne and Duluth have enough full-power stations to legally permit a duopoly in any case. Fort Wayne and Duluth have only six full-power stations each, and FCC regulations require a market to have eight unique station owners once a duopoly is formed—effectively restricting duopolies to markets with at least nine full-power stations. Similar allegations surround Cunningham Broadcasting, which many believe is simply a shell for Sinclair Broadcast Group.
On February 11, 2014, it was announced that, as part of its purchase of several Granite stations, Malara would sell WPTA to Quincy Newspapers and KDLH to SagamoreHill Broadcasting. As a result of the deal, Quincy, which is acquiring KBJR-TV from Granite in the deal, will provide services to KDLH, while WPTA will provide services to WISE-TV, which Granite is selling to SagamoreHill (currently, WPTA receives services from WISE).
- "Quincy Buying Stations From Granite, Malara". TVNewsCheck. February 11, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2014.