"It's been a long haul for us," he said. "We've had to get over
many hurdles, and getting the funds has been the toughest hurdle. But
now we can see the end in sight in terms of acquisition."
Coast Community College District in October 2003 chose the KOCE-TV
Foundation as the highest responsible bidder for the station. The
foundation was the only bidder promising to keep the station's PBS
format as opposed to others, which were going to switch to
predominantly religious programming.
Christian broadcaster Daystar Television Network contested the
district's decision in Orange County Superior Court. A judge rejected
the network's claim that its $25.1 million cash bid had a higher
value than the foundation's purchase price of $28 million -- most of
that financed on a long-term note.
Daystar appealed the ruling and asked the FCC to stop the license
transfer, further stalling the process. But the FCC found the
foundation is legally qualified to hold the license, and its
ownership will further the public interest.
Wednesday's announcement also puts an end to the legal issues
surrounding the sale, said Ardelle St. George, attorney for the
"It puts to rest any question about the foundation's financial
capability," she said. "We've already won in terms of Daystar's
filing. This puts the final capstone on the legal situation."
However, Daystar attorney Richard Sherman said the announcement is
by no means an end to the legal battle, because an appeal from
Daystar is still pending in court.
"If the appellate court overturns the trial court's decision, it
will undo this whole deal," he said.
Such a decision could either restart the bidding process or make
Daystar the highest bidder to be handed the deal, Sherman said.
"This is not over," he said.
But foundation officials were jubilant on Wednesday and very much
considered the sale a done deal.
The money that the foundation has secured -- through cash
donations and pledges from fewer than 75 donors -- is sufficient to
fund the $10 million needed for the actual purchase of the station,