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Raycom Seeks Wheeler Meeting on Broadcast Issues

Raycom president Paul McTear wrote to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler earlier this month to express his disappointment that they were unable to secure a meeting with the chairman to talk about some key issues for the company—including program exclusivity, retransmission consent, and local TV ownership—after other commissioners and staffers had agreed to such meetings.

He said that he and several Raycom colleagues had met with the other four commissioners and their staffs last month. The meetings were to highlight Raycom public service as well as to talk about the impact the above issues would have on that service.

He then added: "I was disappointed that, although we made several requests to your office to schedule a meeting with you and your staff, we did not receive any response."

McTear did use the letter to summarize for the chairman the main points of his briefings with the other commissioners, which also included Raycom's concernes about the FCC's vacant-channel proceeding, in which the FCC wants to reserve for unlicensed use any vacant TV channel left after the post-auction repack.

Raycom also pointed out that the FCC had not acted on its petition, which it filed almost a half decade ago, to allow WMC TV Memphis to move to a UHF channel—currently prime real estate the FCC is trying to move broadcasters off, not onto—to restore its coverage area lost in the 2009 DTV switch.

McTear said if the chairman would make time for him, he would come back to Washington in January to brief in person.

At press time, an FCC spokesperson had no immediate comment on the letter and was checking on the status of the WMC petition.