Tom Benson’s Fox affiliate will be the first station in the market for Raycom, which has operated it since 2013.
The Raycom Media Investigative Unit will partner with local investigative units across Raycom Media. It will be headed by investigative journalist Lee Zurik.
Raycom Media on Sunday, March 26, reached an agreement with AT&T U-Verse to restore Raycom Media stations to the AT&T U-Verse cable lineup in 23 markets. The stations went dark at 11:59 p.m. ET on March 15. “We are pleased to have reached an agreement that restores our Raycom Media station’s signals on the AT&T U-Verse system,” said Raycom Media President-CEO Pat LaPlatney. “We apologize to our viewers for this inconvenience, and appreciate their patience during the impasse.”
The broadcaster says the MVPD “appears to be using programming disruptions as an opportunity to switch AT&T U-Verse customers to its DirecTV service. When disgruntled AT&T U- Verse subscribers call to lodge a complaint, they are offered a subscription with DirecTV, the very same company as AT&T. In some instances, subscribers are also pushed to DirecTV NOW, a service that in many markets does not carry any local broadcast affiliates: a zero-sum game for subscribers.”
Unable to reach an agreement on a new retransmission consent contract with Raycom, AT&T U-Verse subs in 23 markets found themselves without their local Raycom stations late Wednesday night. Raycom says U-Verse has been harder to deal with since AT&T’s merger with DirecTV two years ago.
If you’ve heard the rumor that MNT affiliate WUAB Cleveland will be going off the air, relax. It isn’t gong anywhere. Its owner, Raycom Media, which also owns the market’s CBS affiliate WOIO, has sold the WUAB ch. 43 frequency as part of the FCC’s spectrum auction and will be airing WUAB on WOIO’s ch 19, with no disruption in signal, according to the duopoly’s GM Erik Schrader.
Raycom promotes the Tucson CBS affiliate’s former news director from interim GM to succeed the retired GM Nick Ulmer.
The new technology, CEO Pat LaPlatney says, “will help us continue to enhance our services to the communities and families that rely on us” in times of crisis.
At last week’s TV2020 conference, TVNewsCheck Editor Harry Jessell sat down with station group heads Jack Abernethy of Fox, Pat LaPlatney of Raycom, David Smith of Sinclair and Perry Sook of Nexstar for a nuts-and-bolts discussion of the money-making potential of ATSC 3.0. Abernethy liked the technology, but was skeptical about the business models. However, the other three said adopting the new technology is a no-brainer. Said Sook: “It’s the next technological evolution of our business. I think it’s just a matter now of how fast we can roll things out.” Watch the session above.
But three other major stations group heads led by David Smith of Sinclair expressed unqualified enthusiasm for implementing the new broadcast standard, saying it will transform broadcasting into a fast-growing business again. “It’s essential for this industry to survive to have ATSC 3.0 in the marketplace as fast as possible,” said Smith.