LIN Media Pitches Rolling Channel-Changing Deadline

LIN Media executives met with FCC Media Bureau and incentive auction officials to argue for a rolling deadline for TV stations to make the switch to new channels in the FCC's repacking of TV stations after the incentive auctions.

The FCC has given all TV stations 39 months after it releases new channel assignments to make the transition to those new channels or go dark on their pre-auction channels.

LIN says that could prove a hardship, particularly if the FCC has still not resolved international coordination issues — LIN's stations include ones along the border (in Buffalo, N.Y., for example) — before repacking stations.

Brett Jenkins told the FCC officials that the 39-month hard deadline would "unfairly punish" stations that still had issues, like that international coordination — with Canada and Mexico.

He said a negotiable station-by-station deadline would square with statute and be a more workable approach.

LIN also put in a plug for loosening ownership regs, which it says would make it easier to channel share.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.