It turns out that over the air TV and satellite viewers my old stomping ground wasn’t getting the US Open, CSI, Survivor or Big Brother. For the last week, WTVH, the CBS-affiliate in Syracuse, New York has been knocked off the air due to technical difficulties.
Yes, this is the same WTVH that had its news department virtually gutted by its owner, Granite Broadcasting earlier this year. The station is now being operated in a so-called, “Shared-Services Agreement” with Barrington Broadcasting’s WSTM-TV. Read my previous blog entry.
This is also the same Granite Broadcasting that has caused all kinds of trouble with employees in Buffalo. NABET-CWA Local 25 is currently in a major mobilization against Granite-owned WKBW-TV.
According to reports on Syracuse.com, WTVH Engineers are waiting for a part to arrive to repair the equipment and restore the signal.
To me, it is inexcusable for a broadcaster not to have the necessary equipment needed to operate. Unfortunately, broadcasters like Granite have chosen to operate their TV stations to the lowest common denominator in order to please its investment bankers.
If the FCC would do their job and actually investigate the financial stability of these ‘investment bankers’ when they buy TV stations, there would be no reason for this lapse of judgment to happen.
Responsible broadcasters have an obligation to broadcast in the public interest, not to answer to investors. In this case, this is what deregulation has done to broadcasting. A transmitter breakdown may be the answer company officials may give. But in reality, not investing in the right equipment and downright poor planning by those in charge is the reason why this happened.
If you’re in the viewing area of WTVH, the best way to get results is to write to the FCC, your Congressman, Senators or anyone else who will listen.
This issue shouldn’t go away! Granite and broadcasters like them must pay for their poor choices!