Lights out for UPN Albuquerque affil

KASY to become indie station

UPN went dark in Albuquerque Friday as Acme Communications officially acquired the Smackdown net’s KASY affil.

Led by Jamie Kellner, CEO of the WB, Acme already owns WB affil KWBQ in the market. KASY will become an independent beginning this week.

UPN chief operating officer Adam Ware said the weblet would start looking for other means of distribution in Albuquerque. Possible options include switching an existing station to UPN, building a low-power outlet or creating a cable channel in the market.

Acme announced plans to acquire KASY, previously owned by Lubbock, Texas-based Ramar Communications, earlier this year.

Since then the station group and the weblet had been negotiating to keep the station a UPN affil. Sources said UPN wanted to extend the station’s affilia-tion term, originally slated to expire in 2001, while Acme wanted affiliate compensation and possible secondary clearance for the WB in other markets.

Acme and WB execs were unavail-able for comment.

Given UPN’s rivalry with the WB, Ware said the two sides couldn’t come to terms. “Why would I want to be in business with someone who doesn’t want us to be in business?” he said.

The weblet will announce the change in an ad running in Tuesday’s Albuquerque newspapers.

Acme Communications went pub-lic in a first-time stock sale this fall, proceeds of which partly paid for the KASY acquisition.

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