Viacom Beefs Up Down South

Viacom Inc. has bought two class-A low-power stations in south Florida, subject to Federal Communications Commission approval.

The company will add WTCN-CA, an independent reaching 1.6 million viewers--according to Viacom--with programming targeted to young adults, and WWHB-CA a Spanish-language TV Azteca affiliate.

Class A stations are low powers that enjoy many of the same interference protections as full-pwoer stations.
At press time, a CBS spokesman wasn't sure whether that 1.6 million  audience number for WTCN included cable carriage or might be some kind of cumulative viewership total (like, say, a month's worth of viewing).

Viacom bought both from American Netcom.

The move bulks up its South Florida media presence to five stations, including UPN/WB dual affiliate WTVX West Palm Beach and WFOR (CBS)/WBFS(UPN) Miami.

Viacom is already at the FCC's 39% cap on audience reach, but low power stations don't count toward that limit.

The two stations will be run by Brien Kennedy, VP and GM, of WTVX.

"West Palm Beach is one of the fastest growing markets in the country," said Statoin Group President/CEO Fred Reynolds. "By leveraging resources of our stations already in South Florida, we can provide viewers in West Palm Beach with better, more robust programming while also expanding our coverage of events of local interest."

Viacom isn't talking about any new programming plans for the stations if they have them.

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.