Could Impact Local News, Weather in Hurricane, Tornado & Flood Zones

Washington D.C. August 23, 2011 – In what is turning into the worst year in U.S. history for natural disasters, LIN Media is threatening to blackout viewers as Hurricane Irene bears down on the East Coast. When a broadcaster decides using viewers as bargaining chips is more important than fulfilling their public interest obligation to provide critical local news and weather information, it confirms the dire need to repair this nation’s broken retransmission consent regime.

LIN is the poster child for retrans reform. Earlier this year, LIN pulled the plug for eight days, blacking out viewers of 27 stations in 17 markets. It marked at least the fourth time since 2007 that LIN has blocked cable and satellite customers from viewing its stations. Until the FCC or Congress acts, viewers will be at the mercy of LIN and other broadcasters who take advantage of outdated rules to unnecessarily harm American consumers.

Markets affected by the potential LIN Media blackout: Norfolk – Portsmouth – Newport News; Mobile-Pensacola; Grand Rapids – Kalamazoo – Battle Creek; Green Bay-Appleton; Ft. Wayne; Lafayette; Terra Haute. Stations include ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and CW affiliates.