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Lin, 21st bank on minority ownership

Banks B'casting looking to purchase TV stations

WASHINGTON — Lin Television and 21st Century Group are teaming up to launch Banks Broadcasting, which will focus on acquiring television stations in medium and small markets.

Banks was created by Lin and 21st to create more minority-controlled TV stations. Banks will be headed by former Lin Television executive Lyle Banks, who is black.

“This transaction is an important first step for 21st Century, creating an excellent minority-owned-and-operated platform that will be the foundation for our buy-and-build strategy,” said John Ware, president of the 21st Century Group.

Kansas beginnings

Banks Broadcasting’s first deal is the purchase of a construction permit that will allow the company to build KWCW-TV in Wichita, Kan. Lin Television is buying the construction permit and will eventually transfer it Banks Broadcasting.

The Texas-based firm has a controlling interest in Lin Television, and also founded the 21st Century fund with Ware, a former Dallas city manager. Ware plans to raise $175 million to fund his company’s efforts to build minority-owned businesses.

Under FCC rules, Banks Broadcasting stations will be counted against Lin’s ownership caps.

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