Thumbs up for KOCE sale

Judge finds Coast board's deal sound

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A judge cleared the way Monday for the Coast Community College District to proceed with its sale of KOCE-TV to the KOCE-TV Foundation, ruling that objections to the sale by competing bidder Daystar Television Network were meritless.

Superior Court Judge Corey Cramin concluded that the decision by Coast’s board of trustees to sell the station to the foundation was sound, saying he would not interfere “absent a showing that it was done in an arbitrary or capricious manner.”

Dallas-based Daystar, the nation’s second-largest Christian broadcaster, argued in its complaint that it lost out, despite having offered more money, because it is a religious network.

The KOCE-TV Foundation, which has pledged to keep the station a PBS affiliate, offered $32 million, with $8 million up front and the balance paid over 30 years.

Daystar bid $25.1 million and contended its bid was worth more than the foundation’s because all the cash would be paid upfront.

A Daystar attorney said he would appeal the ruling, which is still pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission.

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