Rival KOCE-TV Bidder Appeals

Times Staff Writer

The Daystar Television Network, which lost a lawsuit to force the Coast Community College District to sell its Public Broadcasting Service affiliate to the Christian broadcaster, filed its expected appeal Monday.

The basis of the appeal is that the Superior Court “was incorrect in its ruling and didn’t apply the education code properly and considered factors it shouldn’t have considered,” said Daystar attorney Richard Lloyd Sherman.

Said Milford Dahl, attorney for the college district: “We plan to defend [the court’s decision] and believe we will be successful.”


Orange County Superior Court Judge Corey S. Cramin ruled last month that the district could go forward with its sale of Channel 50 to the KOCE-TV Foundation, which is run by civic and business leaders and has pledged to maintain the station’s PBS affiliation.

Daystar, the world’s second-largest religious broadcaster, has argued that its all-cash offer made it the “highest responsible bidder for the station,” as required by the state education code.

Daystar offered $25.1 million for the station. Its sweetened offer of $40 million was rejected because it arrived the day after the bidding deadline.

The foundation offered $28 million, which included $8 million down with the rest to be paid over 30 years at zero interest. No payments are due for five years. Experts have said the bid was worth $12 million to $19 million in today’s dollars.

The foundation’s down payment is due June 30.

Cramin said that in his opinion, the highest bidder was not necessarily the one that made the highest offer in cash value. He said “a crucial factor” was a threat by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to sue the district for the roughly $22.6 million in grants it has given KOCE if the station were sold to a non-PBS bidder.