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Fresno Diocese TV station could go off the air as it tries to sell broadcast license

New bishop for Diocese of Fresno named as Ochoa retires

Rev. Armando X. Ochoa announced Rev. Joseph V. Brennan as the new bishop for the Diocese of Fresno at a news conference Tuesday morning, March 5, 2019. Brennan takes over May 1.
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Rev. Armando X. Ochoa announced Rev. Joseph V. Brennan as the new bishop for the Diocese of Fresno at a news conference Tuesday morning, March 5, 2019. Brennan takes over May 1.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno is in talks with a party interested in purchasing its KNXT’s broadcast license for the diocese’s TV station — the second time the station has been on the market in three years.

Teresa Dominguez, chancellor at the diocese, confirmed the news with The Bee on Thursday.

“Right now we are in negotiations with an interested party under attorney client privilege and in consultation with the (Federal Communications Commission),” Dominguez said. “If an agreement is reached and is approved by the FCC we will then release a statement.

According to documents obtained by The Bee, the diocese said a decision was initially made to sell the broadcast license in fall 2016.

But after no nonprofits showed interest in the license, the diocese entered into a partnership with The CatholicTV Network, based in Massachusetts, to continue broadcasting.

As part of that partnership, 80 percent of the programing came from The CatholicTV Network, with the other 20 percent coming from the diocese, according to the documents.

Church officials decided to put KNXT’s broadcast license back on the market after the findings of a Financial Task Force Report were delivered to Bishop Armando X. Ochoa on March 7.

If efforts to sell the license are not successful, “the station will still go off the air,” according to the documents.

Bishop Joseph V. Brennan will be taking over the diocese on May 1 after outgoing Ochoa retires.

“The timeline ( for the station’s operation) will be finalized following the installation of Bishop Joseph V. Brennan,” the documents say. “A public notification will be released 30 days prior to KNXT going off the air.”

In an email obtained by The Bee, minutes of an April 2 Priests’ Council meeting show that the Financial Task Force Report is under review by incoming Bishop Brennan, who will further discuss whether that report will be made public.

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