King Broadcasting to Sell Its TV and Cable Units


King Broadcasting Co. said Friday that it had agreed to sell its television and cable operations to a joint venture formed by Providence Journal Co. and the New York investment firm Kelso & Co.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but analysts had valued the King assets at more than $400 million.

King’s controlling shareholders, sisters Priscilla Bullitt Collins and Harriet Stimson Bullitt, announced last year that they had put their media empire up for sale and would donate $100 million to a family-controlled charity for environmental preservation.

The Seattle-based company is one of the oldest family-owned broadcasting companies in the country, and its TV stations are considered prized assets.


Privately held Providence Journal Co. owns the Providence Journal-Bulletin newspaper in Rhode Island, four TV stations and Colony Communications, a cable TV company with more than 500,000 subscribers.

The deal comes at a time when prices for TV stations and cable systems have plummeted and sales of media properties have virtually ground to a halt, partly due to a lack of debt financing and a weak advertising climate.

King’s assets include King Videocable, a cable TV operator with 212,000 subscribers, including franchises in Los Angeles and Riverside counties. King also owns six TV stations.