Thanks for visiting!
This website has a very simple goal.
With the recent interest by local and national reporters regarding our former partners, Aubrey McClendon and Tom Ward, we felt this was the most expeditious way to provide accurate answers for them, as well as for so many of you (past viewers and industry colleagues) who have had questions for us regarding:
- Family Broadcasting Group, Inc. (FBG), the company Angie and I founded, and KSBI-DT, the independent television network we owned and operated (note: the network's broadcast footprint has decreased since my departure due to loss of ability to broadcast in various outlying areas)
- Our founding of and the original goals for Family Broadcasting Group, Inc.
- Timeline of various occurrences within the history of our company
- Our partnership with Aubrey McClendon and Tom Ward, and why we recently sold our founding stock (ownership breakdown, recapitalization information, board of director information, etc....all of which is public information required by filings with the Federal Communications Commission and is found within the public FCC database)
- Public filings with the FCC detailing our original purchase of the network
- Other information, including some fun behind the scenes photos from our personal photo files which we had taken over the past many years while creating FBG and growing the KSBI network
Note: All information provided herein is in the public domain, and readily available through the Internet, newspapers, television broadcasts, television station public files, and court records. Much additional information regarding station ownership, such as LLC's and umbrella company specifics can be found online within the FCC database as required by law. The control of a television broadcast license (and in this case many licenses) requires a great deal of transparency from those in control (ownership control) which most privately held companies do not require.
Again, the sole purpose of this site is to be an informational portal to answer the questions we continue to receive regarding Family Broadcasting Group, Inc., the company we created over a decade ago. We also hope to answer questions many of you have asked some of the wonderful employees we had employed. Many of those employees were like family to us, with a specific and common goal, dedicated to the creation and growth of a television station reaching nearly the entire state of Oklahoma with family friendly programming, high school sports, news, weather, and other sporting events. Many of these past employees have shared with us that they are often asked questions regarding what has happened to the direction of the original goals of the station.
Firstly, my wife, our boys, and I would like to thank each and every one of you for your emails, phone calls, social media communication, and of course personal face-to-face conversations we have had with you while out and about in the community. We appreciate very much your concerns, comments, and thoughts regarding missing the family friendly station with news, weather, and high school sports we had worked diligently to create. Both Angie and I have been in Oklahoma for over 40 years, as my family moved to Oklahoma when I was 18 months old, and Angie was born in Oklahoma City. Our goal was to serve the state of Oklahoma with quality family friendly programming, and I believe history shows we did that well during our many years of ownership of KSBI-DT and the associated translators.
Angie (my high school sweetheart and wife of now 21 years) and I founded Family Broadcasting Group about twelve years ago. The main purpose for our company was to purchase KSBI-TV, an independent statewide television network which had come up for sale in 2001. Many large corporate broadcast entities sought to purchase the independent network from the then local owners, Locke Supply Co., whose founder Don Locke had created the TV network in the late 1980’s. The statewide broadcast footprint made it attractive to many potential buyers (national and local).
Having been a meteorologist at a local OKC television station for nearly a decade, I had developed a desire to take the positive areas of the broadcasting business, remove the sometimes less than pleasant internal workings of TV stations, and create a broadcast entity focused purely on family friendly programming.
Ultimately, Angie and I became the purchasing group chosen by the board of directors at Locke Supply, Co. In our meeting of notification for their decision, the Locke Supply Board explained that our vision was most in line with the original founder of the TV network (Don Locke).
Angie and I worked diligently to fund the purchase for KSBI, and ultimately secured the multi-million dollar down payment for the total purchase price set at $25M. Upon finalizing the exhaustive purchase agreement, which included the full power main station and twelve additional translator stations reaching across Oklahoma and into southern Kansas and northern Texas, we then went to work on our business plan to upgrade the network.
(Public information…articles were written about this deal in industry magazines such as Broadcasting Cable, and others.
Also see FCC data base filings below). 1 )
After taking over the station in 2004, we began to implement our changes. Things were progressing very well. We were experiencing record month after record month, market share was falling in line, and KSBI was enjoying many great successes along the way.
We were able to implement many firsts in the OKC market in programming, commercial station reach, sports events, weather coverage, and technological implements. Things were going so well, at one point in April, 2006, I was contacted and requested to be a speaker at the National Association of Broadcasters in Las Vegas, NV and explain to others in the industry just how we were growing this independent network so successfully. (Various trade stories) 2
In 2005, I was able to negotiate a long term deal with the OSSAA to secure the exclusive broadcast rights to post season high school sports in Oklahoma. This ultimately led to KSBI broadcasting more high school sporting events in more school class sizes than had ever been accomplished in the history of Oklahoma broadcasting. This also became a significant landmark opportunity for the station to secure new, very large sponsors. The station's award winning sports product was recognized locally and nationally, and became a staple of the station's existence.
Over the years we developed so many great relationships across Oklahoma with high school administrators, game officials, students, commercial sponsors, community leaders, and of course, the viewers. I want to personally thank every one of you for those great times we had in your communities, and the hospitality you showed our staff. We cherished those times, and it was a true pleasure to broadcast your community and your students across the Oklahoma television airwaves. (It is sad now to see, since we have left, KSBI has no real presence in your communities, or support of your schools through high school sports. We are as disapointed as you have shared with us you are.)
To view past KSBI information, visit ksbitv.com through the Internet archive, "Wayback Machine": (http://web.archive.org/web/20100209045750/http://www.ksbitv.com/about) and (http://web.archive.org/web/20100603031702/http://www.ksbitv.com/)
As time progressed, Angie and I determined it would be best to eliminate expensive bank lending and opt for the route of equity investment partners. We spoke with various potential investors and we eventually settled with Aubrey McClendon and Tom Ward. We were excited, thinking at the time, we had joined with investment partners who were of like mind with our goals and vision for the station. (Press releases, 2007)3
We continued to grow the station and its market share. Ratings were increasing solidly, and the station was continuing to dominate in areas such as LIVE high school sports coverage and family friendly programming. As one example, we were even able to out position other powerhouse local TV stations for the Oklahoma State vs. Indiana Insight bowl, partnering with the NFL Network. (Past press releases and news articles) 4
When three main networks have owned and dominated the market for so many decades, there are very deeply entrenched relationships with business owners, advertising agencies, and the like. It makes the new kid on the block fight a major uphill battle. But, because this was a labor of love for our family (our three young boys included) we, along with some
extremely dedicated and talented staff continued to push forward with undeterred focus.
The positive momentum carried us into 2008, and I was able to negotiate and close the first ever broadcast deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder for exclusive over the air broadcast rights in the Thunder’s first year in Oklahoma City. (Past press releases and articles written) 5 Aubrey McClendon and Tom Ward were part of the ownership group which brought the Thunder to Oklahoma City. (press coverage examples) 6
After we had owned and operated KSBI for a number of years, McClendon and Ward decided to come in as equal investors within Family Broadcasting Group. Then in 2009 they invested additional funds into the company. Angie and I were still the majority owners of the common stock, along with my continuing role as President, and Chairman of the Board. (All Information detailing this is available via FCC database-required public filings) 7
As time went on, we finally broke ground on and began to build the new facility which I and my former engineer had designed.(http://web.archive.org/web/20091204011843/http://www.ksbitv.com/news/26840824.html)
I chose the frontage land on the Kilpatrick Turnpike due to the tens of thousands of cars which drive by each day. We finally built the building on the prime real estate which I had been able to secure from RAF Properties (Bob Funk, a friend and local OKC businessman). (public information via land purchase records) 8
We were excited to be in our new facility with newscasts just days away from beginning after many years of preparation. Significant growth was poised to take place with ad agencies informing us the full-blown newscasts were what they had been waiting for. (past press releases and news articles) 9 The date was now 2010.
Throughout the first ten months of 2010, I and our terrific staff worked night and day to complete the move to the new facility, while also accomplishing the day-to-day operations of a statewide television network. The daily efforts by some of our staff were near herculean. It was truly amazing to have such a diligent and dedicated engineering and operations staff working to complete such a terrific goal.
As the months passed from November 1, 2010, Angie and I, (still majority common stock shareholders at the time) grew increasingly frustrated and extremely disappointed with the direction of our other partners within the company. We ultimately concluded it would be in our personal best interest to just sell our stock in our company to McClendon and Ward and distance ourselves while we had a financial upside. We are thankful we made the decision. (Current and past public filings are available through the FCC data base regarding Family Broadcasting Group Inc., as are a number of other documents related to the history of station ownership, recapitalization, etc.) 12
The Board at this specific time (public information via FCC public filings) was made up of:
-Myself (Brady Brus)
-John Garrison: Executive Business Manager for Chesapeake (according to various campaign donation filings), and Trustee of Aubrey McClendon's children's Trusts within McClendon Venture Company LLC (according to public FCC filings)
-Scott Hartman: Executive Business Director for Sandridge Energy (according to Linked In and ZoomInfo), and Trustee of Tom Ward's children's Trusts within 192 Investments LLC, a member of Ward Asset Management LLC (according to public FCC filings)
-Frank Jeldy: Accounting Manager at Sandridge Energy (according to Linked In)
-Joe Bowie: Certified Financial Planner (wealthtrac.com)
My replacement as a director was recorded in the 2011 FCC filing. (Information available on FCC database) 11
We hope this answers some of the questions many of you have had. We have always felt it is best to use the internet to state accurate facts. That is sole intent and goal herein.
As mentioned at the beginning of this portal, we so appreciate the wonderful comments we continue to receive from those in the viewing public. Our family is doing very well, as we are currently moving forward with some other rather significant business endeavors...choosing carefully our partners.
Life is good. We do miss serving the state of Oklahoma through KSBI, however, as we had such great relationships with so many of you across the state. We hope everyone is doing well, and please do not hesitate to continue to contact us.
Please visit the other pages within the website for additional information.
Our best to you and yours as always !
The Brus family
Below you will find the links to all publicly available information. This list is not exhaustive by any means.
Original KSBI purchase information
1) Original KSBI purchase filing
Asset Purchase Agreement attachment within transfer of control filing with FCC
(The data for these references can be found by going to the FCC CDBS Public Access Page and clicking on the third choice in the selection box: "Search for Application Information". Upon choosing this option, type "KSBI" in the call sign box and then and click your "enter" button. When the new page comes up click the "GET DATA" button.
Investment press release story examples
Thunder and other marquee sports on KSBI article examples
McClendon/Ward NBA ownership public article examples