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Granite to state associations: Weigh in

Granite Broadcasting Corp. president Stuart Beck is pushing state broadcast
associations to take a stronger stand than the National Association of
Broadcasters has on relaxing TV-duopoly restrictions.

Last week, he pushed the Illinois Broadcasters Association -- where Granite's
WEEK-TV Peoria general manager Mark DeSantis is chairman-elect -- to pen a letter
urging duopoly deregulation, although neither opposing nor proposing any particular
scheme the letter to pains to point out.

Beck is now pushing state groups in California, Minnesota and New York, where
other Granite GMs hold board seats, to write similar letters.

He said the NAB's plan to permit TV pairs anywhere as long as one station has
less than a 10 share won't help in the many midsized and small markets where there
aren't enough stations for any to have a share that low.

The IBA didn't specify, however, whether the NAB's approach is inadequate, nor
did it endorse Granite's call to do away with all restriction on TV pairs.

It did, however, urge the FCC to relax sufficiently to help mid- and
small-market stations that are "more at risk financially."

Granite executives also came to Washington, D.C., to make their case for duopoly relief
to FCC staffers in person.