KEARNEY — A locally operated television station may change leadership in October.
ABC affiliate KHGI, known as NTV, will be sold around Oct. 19.
Station Manager Vince Barresi said that no matter who the new owner is, NTV will remain committed to the local market.
“NTV isn’t going anywhere,” Barresi said in a phone interview last week. “We expect to perform at the same level, if not even a better level, in the months ahead.”
Also included in the sale are five KHGI affiliate and distribution stations: KFXL Lincoln, KHGI-LD O’Neill, KWNB Hayes Center, KWNB-LD McCook and KHGI-CD North Platte.
Parties interested in buying the stations must submit qualified bids by Oct. 19 to the law firm Pepper Hamilton in Wilmington, Del., and other related firms. If none of those bids are chosen, an auction will take place on Oct. 27. Either way, in a few weeks, change in ownership will come to the station.
Barresi said that the sale doesn’t reflect the station’s financial performance. Rather, it stems from a 2008 bankruptcy filed by Pappas Telecasting, which owned the six Nebraska stations. The Pappas Liquidating Trust is the organization that is managing the sale.
The station itself is profitable, Barresi said, and has made investments to the property in recent years.
The station has about 77 full-time and 15 part-time employees. Barresi has worked at NTV for eight years.
While the changes a new owner could bring to the station may be unclear, Barresi believes that the staff won’t be greatly affected by the sale.
“I tell (the staff) what they already know,” Barresi said. “We’ve got a very professional station, and our staff knows how good our news product is.”
“I’m very confident that no substantial changes will be made because we have been so successful,” he said. “It would be pretty hard to say ‘We’re going to change the by-far dominant newscast.’”
NTV began broadcasting as CBS affiliate KHOL in 1953. The main station is located 14 miles south of Kearney on Highway 44 near Axtell. NTV also has a Grand Island bureau located in the Conestoga Mall.