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Pulitzer buys 2 more web affils

Pulitzer Publishing Co. said yesterday it plans to buy two television stations from H&C Communications Inc. of Houston for $ 165 million.

The stations are WESH-TV, the NBC affiliate serving Daytona Beach, Orlando and Melbourne, Fla., and KCCI-TV, the CBS affiliate in Des Moines, Iowa.

“This acquisition will significantly enhance our broadcasting operations and underscores our belief that commercial broadcast television will continue to be a very good business,” said a statement released by chairman Joseph Pulitzer Jr. and Michael E. Pulitzer, president and chief executive.

The deal is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission. The sale would increase Pulitzer’s stable of network-affiliated TV stations to nine.

WESH’s market in Florida is the nation’s 23rd-largest market and would be the largest for Pulitzer. Des Moines is the 70th.

WESH began operations in May 1956 and KCCI in July 1965. Both stations were bought by H&C Communications from Cowles Broadcasting Inc. in 1985.

H&C owns and operates three other TV stations: KPRC in Houston, KSAT in San Antonio and KVOA in Tucson.

Pulitzer is the publisher of newspapers in St. Louis, Tucson and suburban Chicago.

Pulitzer’s broadcasting operations include TV stations WYFF in Greenville, S.C.; WGAL in Lancaster, Pa.; WXII in Winston-Salem, N.C.; KOAT in Albuquerque, N.M.; KETV in Omaha, Neb.; WLKY in Louisville, Ky.; and WDSU in New Orleans. It also owns two radio stations, KTAR-AM and KKLT-FM in Phoenix.

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