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Voided Sale of KOCE to Be Appealed

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Times Staff Writer

An Orange County community college district will appeal to the state Supreme Court a decision to void the sale of its PBS station to a foundation with close ties to the district.

The Coast Community College District’s board of trustees, which governs Golden West College in Huntington Beach, Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa and Coastline Community College based in Fountain Valley, voted late Wednesday to appeal the 4th District Court of Appeals decision regarding the sale of KOCE-TV.

The controversy erupted two years ago after the district sold the station to the nonprofit KOCE-TV Foundation, led by a group of business and civic leaders, and which was once was the station’s fundraising arm.

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Dallas-based Daystar Television Network sued, saying its offer of $25.1 million cash was the highest bid and that the law required the district to accept it. The Christian broadcaster increased its bid to $40 million a day after the deadline but the district’s trustees declined to consider that offer.

The foundation contended its offer was worth $32 million, but the appeals court valued it at between $19.5 million to $23.5 million. The court called the sale “the rankest form of favoritism.” The appeals court has twice voided the sale and said the district can either keep Channel 50 or put it up for bid again.

This week, Daystar resurrected its offer to buy the station for $25.1 million.


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