There will be one less television programming voice in Springdale AR, part of the Fort Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers AR DMA. However, the number of local broadcast outlets will remain the same – the shuttering station is a cable-only non-profit.
The station, which is referred to in the local press as Jones Television, has been operating since 1996 in a joint venture with Cox Communications on cable Channel 22. It has been funded by The Jones Trust, a benevolent organization tied to a Jones Trucking Lines, a corporation with local roots that is will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2018.
However, the constant expense of running the channel, in the absence of any appreciable income, has made it unsustainable. Jones Trust says it has kept it going as long as it could, but has now decided to turn out the lights. Its last broadcast will be 9/30/11.
It will cost five full-timers their jobs. They are said to be getting severance packages and assistance in the search for new employment.
Besides the loss of the channel’s unique programming, it will be a loss for the local non-profit community. The station has been making its facilities available for the production of public service announcements – another service that will be lost when the operation closes.
RBR-TVBR observation: It’s never pleasant to watch an entity of any kind fail. However, the closure of this particular operation bears all the hallmarks of a unique self-contained event, not the kind of thing that should be viewed as evidence supporting a trend.