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Three Citadel Stations Prepare To Go Dark At Midnight

Citadel Communications' ABC affiliate WOI Des Moines, ABC affiliate KLKN Lincoln (Neb.) and CBS affiliate WHBF Davenport (Iowa) are set to go dark for DirecTV subscribers after midnight central time tonight as the broadcaster and satellite TV operator continue to clash over retransmission consent payment.

Citadel and DirecTV met March 26 to negotiate, but the two sides still see the issue differently.

A DirecTV spokesperson says Citadel is demanding a 100% increase in fees and refuses to keep its signals on past deadline so the parties can negotiate without viewers losing the stations' programming.

Citadel's Ray Cole did not return a call at presstime.

The affected stations are featuring "Important DirecTV Subscriber Advisory" banners on their websites' home pages.

"We have made numerous compromises in an effort to satisfy DIRECTV's demands," read the statement. "We are disappointed, however, in DIRECTV's refusal-so far-to conclude a mutually acceptable agreement in a timely fashion."

Basketball fans who may not be able to see the NCAA championship games next week on WHBF are advised to get their CBS programming through other providers. "Should DIRECTV terminate carriage of CBS4, you may continue to receive it free, over the air; or from your local cable company; or from the DISH Network," reads the statement.