DMAS 169, 180, 182 & 199

New Moon Bringing NBC To 4 Small Markets

Darnell Washington's New Moon Communications has landed NBC affiliations for four LPTVs it's buying: WDON-LP Dothan, Ala.; KJNE-LP Jonesboro, Ark.; WZMC-LP Jackson, Tenn.; and KUMK-LP Ottumwa, Iowa-Kirksville, Mo.

A Tulsa, Okla., startup headed by a 27-year broadcasting veteran plans to bring NBC affiliates to four small markets by the end of this year.

New Moon Communications is buying four low-power TV stations from the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council: WDON-LP Dothan, Ala. (DMA 169); KJNE-LP Jonesboro, Ark. (DMA 180); WZMC-LP Jackson, Tenn. (DMA 182); and KUMK-LP Ottumwa, Iowa-Kirksville, Mo. (DMA 199).

And, according to New Moon CEO Darnell Washington, NBC has agreed to affiliate with each of the stations. “NBC deserves to be in every TV market there is.”

Washington’s 27 years in broadcasting includes stints with Allbritton Communications, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Pulitzer Broadcasting and Spartan Communications. He operated a full-power station in Great Falls, Mont., KTGF, before losing the Fox affiliation forced it off the air last year.

According to FCC records, New Moon agreed to buy the four stations late last year from MMTC for just $12,004. The stations are among 155 that Trinity Broadcasting donated to the MMTC last year. Last week, Luken Communications asked the FCC to approve its purchase of 78 of the stations for $390,000.

As low powers, the stations do not have the right to demand carriage on cable systems. “We will beg, borrow and steal for carriage on cable and satellite,” Washington says. “Being NBC affiliates, we believe those guys will want to carry us.”


Washington says that he has the capital to upgrade the facilities, staff the stations and buy syndicated programming to fill in around the network programming. “In smaller markets, there is a whole lot of syndicated programming available.”

He says he is also looking for multicasting networks to carry on the stations’ subchannels.

Comments (3)

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Hope Yen and Charles Babington says:

June 28, 2011 at 9:20 am

WOW! Talking about coming in ‘under the radar.’ With ABC affiliates in South Bend and NBC in Rapid City, owners have proven an LPTV can be an effective, cash-flowing affiliate amongst a world of full power traditional models. And hats off to NBC for giving ’em a break and tossing them an affiliation! Just pray that the NBC-Comcast people don’t decide to shuck the smaller affiliates in future years in the name of saving money, as often just supporting the small affiliates is costly for the webs. Good luck folks – BEST wishes for success!!

John McElfresh says:

June 28, 2011 at 9:38 am

Good luck. Just lucky they didn’t try and get FOX, The greedy boys at FOX would have wanted part ownership and half of the Gross.

Diane Tryneski says:

June 28, 2011 at 11:55 am

I can’t believe this guy still has a dime to his name after his efforts in Great Falls.

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