Articles in your newspaper written by Alan Pergament imply that
the WNEQ channel 23 sale has gone through and is a done deal. In
reality, the sale has not gone through and aspects of the sale will be
addressed in court in March in Washington DC. The Buffalo based
Coalition for Noncommercial Media (CNM) is determined to fight on to preserve
WNEQ as a public broadcast station for the Western New York community.
Currently, Western New York Public Broadcasting has turned over
the reigns of WNEQ to WIVB management who now call the station WNLO. The
sale, however, has not gone through. WIVB (LIN) leased
WNEQ. Such a lease by a commercial operator of a noncommercial station
and the subsequent airing of commercials and commercial television fare mixed
with public TV offerings is legally and historically unprecedented in the US
and raises a host of legal questions.
In early January CNM filed for an injunction to stop the lease.
The call for an injunction is currently under review by the FCC. Western
New York Public Broadcasting and LIN are attempting to short circuit the
legal process by moving ahead while an injunction is under consideration.
Such action shows contempt for the legal process.
Coverage of the WNEQ story in your publication ignores the core
issue. The real story is the fight to preserve public TV, not whether
Three's Company will be on at 11PM. For more information regarding
CNM and the fight to preserve noncommercial television in Buffalo, please see http://mediastudy.com/cncm.html.
- Dr. Michael I. Niman
Coalition for Noncommercial Media