Pressing a case for extreme move-ins


It is a common practice for crafty broadcasters to take a station on the fringes of a market and find a way to edge it closer to an established, rated market – preferably with full coverage of the major population centers. It’s generally been a technique employed by radio stations, and usually involves an incremental move. Now comes a bold new version of the technique, put into play by radio/TV broadcaster Press Communications, which will take TV stations in out-of-the-way locations in Nevada and Wyoming and whisk them clear across the continent into close proximity to New York and Philadelphia. The purchase price to access markets #1 and #4: $1.2M total.

The key to making the proposal possible are changes to the TV table of allotments, on the occasion of the digital transition, that left both New Jersey and Delaware completely bereft of full power commercial television stations on Channels 2-13. The law relied on for the move-ins is the same one by which WWOR-TV, then on VHF Channel 9, moved its city of license from New York City to Secaucus, NJ in 1983 and received an automatic license renewal for embattled owner RKO. Under the DTV transition, WWOR has moved to a UHF assignment (Ch. 38). Delaware hasn’t had a commercial station in the VHF band in half a century, but the DTV transition has freed up spectrum to make it possible again to have one. Press has boldly stepped forward to use its two western fringe stations to come east and remedy that situation. It claims the FCC is required under the law to approve the long-distance move-ins.

Under licensee name PMCM TV LLC, it bought KJWY-TV (NBC, DTV Ch. 2) Jackson WY, then a satellite of an Idaho Falls-Pocatello station, from Sunbelt Communications for $1M, and earlier picked up KVNV-TV (DTV Ch. 3) Ely NV from the same seller for $200K.

Under the proposal, KJWY will relocate to Wilmington DE, part of the Philadelphia DMA, and KVNV will drop anchor in Middletown Township NJ, part of the New York DMA.

Press currently owns WHTG AM-FM, WWZY-FM., WKMK-FM, WHBX-FM & WBBO-FM, all located in the shadow of New York in the Monmouth NJ Arbitron market. Monmouth-Ocean is one of the markets embedded in New York.

Attorneys from Fletcher Heald & Hildreth are handling FCC matters for Press in this matter, including Don Evans, Harry Cole and Vince Evans.

RBR/TVBR observation: This is certainly the cleverest engineering and legal maneuver of the new millennium, and may well be the clearcut winner for top maneuver since the dawn of time. Of course, it’ll have to get through the FCC…