A story we ran back in December is getting more traction in New England. We mentioned that Center Broadcasting’s WYCN-LP sale to New Hampshire 1 Network Inc. (William H. Binnie) may be a lot more than just an LPTV sale. Binnie is cobbling together pieces of signals to likely make something bigger in the way of a programming offering. Well now the Concord, NH Monitor did a report on this new network, and like with us, Binnie isn’t saying much.
From the 2/3 Monitor article:
Former GOP Senate candidate Bill Binnie appears to be quietly building a Concord-based television network with the ability to broadcast to most of southern and central New Hampshire and as far north as Lake Winnipesaukee and the Upper Valley.
Details about the new station remain scarce. Binnie’s office declined to discuss his plans yesterday, describing it as a “private business dealing.”
But Binnie, 53, of Rye, is listed in documents filed with the FCC as president of New Hampshire 1 Network Inc., which was created in November. That company is spending more than a half million dollars to buy LPTV stations and transmitters in New Hampshire and Vermont.”
Remember that NH is the only New England state with only one PBS and ABC affiliate. It is served by Boston stations and has always been the doormat of news coverage from Boston except for murders, floods and the Presidential primary.
If the FCC approves the changes Binnie will have six stations that nicely cover the key areas two times. He now owns two Class A’s and four translators, all adjacent to each other. The coverage is pretty impressive. Between W39AR, W33AK and W28CM, WVBK, WVBQ and WYCN, the combined coverage is over 90% of the New Hampshire population.
More from the article:
“And New Hampshire 1 Network has posted job openings for a “new television network” in Concord. The postings describe the network as operating a “multi-channel broadcast facility” and including news coverage.
It’s not clear what Binnie’s plans are for New Hampshire 1 Network. Paperwork incorporating the company was filed Nov. 8, and Binnie controls all of the private corporation’s 100 shares.
Christopher McKenna is a Carlisle executive who is listed as New Hampshire 1 Network’s vice president, secretary and treasurer. He declined to comment yesterday on the network, saying plans were “in a process.”
A few hours after McKenna spoke to the Monitor, Carlisle Capital put out a two-sentence news release saying the company was “considering an investment in Center Broadcasting Corporation and Vision 3 Broadcasting,” the companies that own the stations Binnie is purchasing.
“New Hampshire is a great place to do business and I am looking forward to working with these organizations to expand their operations and the quality of their programming,” Binnie said in the statement.
But Binnie’s plans may be more sweeping than a simple investment. Two job postings for New Hampshire 1 Network appeared last month on various job sites, describing a new Concord-based TV network. One posting was for a president and CEO, whose duties would include managing a news team. The other was for a sales manager.”
They’ve also advertised openings with RBR-TVBR in early January.
RBR-TVBR observation: Binnie also owns WVBK-CA Manchester VT and WVBQ-LP Charlestown NH. WVBK-CA is the Resort Sports Network affiliate for southern Vermont, licensed in Manchester. We wonder if the new signals will be combined with WVBK’s ski programming and tourism programming, or if something else will be done, such as a news network, given the job listings. One could also simply look at the name New Hampshire 1 and compare it to NY1, Time Warner Cable’s 24-hour news channel in NYC. Binnie may also be opting to grab a network affiliation and add a local news department. Whatever it is, combined it could cover quite a bit of territory and local marketing dollars.