Ever heard of Hoak Media? No? Me neither. Not till this morning, anyway. It's a Dallas-based broadcasting company that, according to its Web site, acquires and operates TV and radio stations in "small and medium-sized markets...that rank 75 to 200," as ranked by the A.C. Nielsen Company. Hoak Media, which offices out of the Crescent Court, is named for its chairman, Jim Hoak, whose bio is impressive: legal assistant to a commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission in the late '60s; co-founder and CEO of Heritage Communications Inc. in the early '70s, before it grew into one of the 20 largest cable television providers in the country. Sold HCI to Tele-Communications Inc. for $1.5 billion in 1987. Started Heritage Media Corp. after that. Sold that to Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorporation for $1.4 billion in 1997. Started Crown Media Inc., a cable television company that partnered with Hallmark Cards Inc. in 1991. It was sold in 1995. Serves as a director of three public companies: PanAmSat Corporation, Pier 1 Imports Inc., and Texas Industries Inc. Started Hoak Media in 2003. Now owns seven network affiliates in such markets as Wichita Falls; Grand Junction, Colorado; and Hastings, Nebraska. Only Dallas Morning News reference I can find to a Jim Hoak is the chairman of Hockaday's board of trustees. Really, when did I miss all this?
Anyway, says here the man bought three television stations and their affiliates in North Dakota and South Dakota: KVLY-TV of Fargo and KFYR-TV of Bismarck, both NBC affiliates, and KSFY-TV of Sioux Falls, which is an ABC affiliate. Doesn't say for how much. The deal has to be approved by the FCC; it will be. Seriously, who the hell is Jim Hoak? --Robert Wilonsky