Join Date: May 2011
Location: Bergen County, NJ.
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PMCM's Dumb Approach to Callsigns
Perhaps in today's terrestrial broadcasting world, the callsign is nowhere near as relevant to the programming content of a station nor as unique in its representation of the station's community of license, mission, or ownership as it used to be. But from a marketing perspective, you want your brand to be as wide-reaching as possible in order to realize the greatest possible rate of return.
This is all coming around to Press Communication, LLCs' PMCM TV (licensee of WJLP Middletown Township) and their recent acquisition of low-power channel 51 at New York. The callsign at acquisition on February 19, 2019 was WBQM-LD New York, with BQM standing for Brooklyn/Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, which represents a substantive portion of the highly desirable New York City audience. Then on April 18, 2019, PMCM TV changed the callsign to WNWT-LD New York, presumably to mean NeWsneT, the news-focused digninet which recently took to air over WJLP-DT 6 Middletown Township, sister to now WNWT-LD, and is now the programming transmitted over the primary stream of WNWT-LD. This callsign well represents the current primary programming on the station, but it narrows the station's perceived focus to its primary stream affiliation and a news-focused audience, thus limiting the marketing potential for this station as a whole comprised of the remaining streams if they are to be maintained.
Clearly a callsign change in most cases is not akin to station suicide, and this low-power station may someday wind up a casualty to the seemingly ever-expanding cellular build-out anyway, but it wouldn't hurt for more local broadcasters to take a see the forest for the trees approach when trying to satisfy their egos by implementing self-aggrandizing and perhaps short-sighted branding.
Regrettably, PMCM TV seems to be intimating their company's desire to keep a clearer focus on the trees.