Gray puts blinders on Fox O&O in Harrisonburg

By on Aug, 15 2013 with Comments 2

Fox Television’s WTTG-TV Washington is a big fish, but it will have to swim with most of its fins tied behind its back in the small pond that belongs to Gray Television’s WHSV-TV in Harrisonburg VA, which successfully enlisted the FCC to enforce its exclusivity rights.

Washington is Nielsen DMA #8; Harrisonburg is #178.

Gray TelevisionGray contended that WTTG is no longer significantly viewed in the main DMA community of Harrisonburg, and also in Staunton VA. Those two communities belong to the defined DMA of WHSV, but strangely enough, it is Gray that needs a waiver of the network non-duplication and syndicated exclusivity rules.

That’s because WTTG was deemed to be significantly viewed in the two communities way back in 1972.
The waiver Gray requests is the right to enforce its exclusivity despite WTTG’s existing significantly viewed status. To do that, it had to prove that the station no longer is actually viewed there.

To get the proof, it enlisted the services of Nielsen, which found no measureable viewership of WTTG whatsoever in either location.

The FCC agreed that Gray had made its case and granted the waiver, forcing any duplicative programming on WTTG to be blacked out in Harrisonburg and Staunton.

For the record, WTTG/Fox did not contest Gray’s action.

About The Author: RBR+TVBR has been reporting on the business of broadcasting for nearly three decades. Beholden to no one, it is independently owned.

  1. Aaron Pritchett Says:

    WHSV is a rinky dink operation and horrible to watch! AMATEUR TV!

  2. Bill Townsend Says:

    Aaron is right. Comcast has already dropped WUSA-9, in favor of WHSV’s CBS station WSVF. They don’t even bother to do a local newscast. Then again if they did…it would be the same rehashed crap they air on WHSV. In fact, that’s what they do on their Fox station. My cable company used WDBJ-7 out of Roanoke for our CBS affiliate. But noooo. WHSV saw to it, to have that dropped in favor or their CBS station. I lost a damn good news station for them.