The independent on ch. 48 is owned by the French family. At $212 million, it could be the biggest payout of the FCC's incentive auction.
WRNN New York Cops $212M In FCC Auction
WRNN, the quirky New York City independent, was sold for $212 million in the FCC’s reverse auction, topping every other station in the market and possibly the country, according to broadcast industry sources.
The station, which operates on ch. 48, is owned by the French family, which is headed by CEO Dick French and does business as RNN. According to the RNN website, the family bought the station in 1993.
WRNN airs mostly paid programming, but at 6 p.m. each weekday, it broadcasts a public affairs show hosted by Richard French, son of the CEO. That show, Richard French Live, is followed by a half-hour newscast, Newsline, produced by NHK, the Japanese public broadcaster.
Neither father nor son responded to requests for comment.
Under contract from Verizon, RNN also produces FiOS1 News, regional newscasts for FiOS cable systems in the New York area.
In the reverse auction, the FCC pledged to pay broadcasters $10 billion for their channels so that it could sell the spectrum to wireless carriers in a conventional reverse account.
Broadcasters who sold spectrum in the auction are free to say what stations they sold and for how much, but so far only a handful have done so.
Of the $10 billion pledged, only $1.2 billion is so far accounted for.
The FCC is expected to reveal all the stations that were sold in the auction and how much they are getting in March.