West Virginia Media Pulls the Plug When Viewers are Most Vulnerable

Local news blacked out despite severe weather conditions, July 4th Holiday week

Washington, D.C. July 2, 2012 – Nice way to rain on everyone’s parade. Despite severe weather conditions prompting the state’s governor to declare a state of emergency, broadcasters have pulled the plug in several West Virginia communities. To add insult to injury, this latest stunt in broadcaster greed takes place just in time for the 4th of July.  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 need to repair our nation’s broken retransmission consent policy. 

Until Congress and the FCC reform outdated regulations, viewers will be at the mercy of West Virginia Media and other broadcasters who take advantage of outdated rules to unnecessarily harm American consumers. 

Stations affected: WBOY (NBC and ABC) in Clarksburg; WOWK (CBS) in Charleston; WVNS (FOX and CBS) in Bluefield; and WTRF (CBS, FOX and ABC) in Wheeling.

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