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.
New Moon Bringing NBC To 4 Small Markets
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.