|Originally posted by rcibera
Ouch! That hurts!
Where the heck did this come from? I didn't even know this was on the table.
WJXT owner Post-Newsweek is sore over CBS's refusal to continue paying affliates compensation for carrying the network's programming. As CBS re-negotiates affiliate contracts when they expire, they're starting to exclude compensation agreements, even for very strong-performing stations like WJXT. The station began buying-up a load of syndicated programming rights last year in anticipation that this might happen, to fill the void left by the loss of their CBS affiliation.
The WJXT General Manager recently called a staff meeting to announce that the station would become an independent and do some 50 hours (!) of local news per week. There is some risk in this approach, but it worked very well for some stations that have lost network affiliations, like WSVN in Miami, which lost its NBC afiliation several years ago.
WSVN eventually picked up a Fox affiliation. Don't be surprised if, as other Jacksonville network affiliates' contracts come up for renewal, their networks try to enter negotiations with Post-Newsweek over possibly switching to WJXT. This sort of thing happens all the time.
If the current FCC rules that limit station ownership are raised significantly or even lifted as a result of a recent Federal Appeals Court ruling that instructed the FCC to evaluate the rules on the grounds that the court found them to be "arbitrary", many stations in big- and medium-sized markets will probably be "in play"...subject to possible purchase by the networks or by other very large TV broadcast groups.