A Tale Of Tragedy, And A TV Station’s Bigger Loss



DAYTON, OHIO — In the wee hours of Sunday morning, 24-year-old Connor Betts of Bellbrook, Ohio, opened fire in front of a bar known for its late-night dancing and drinks, Ned Peppers. Bouncers and venue security quickly sprung into action, while Dayton police officers neutralized the gunman within a minute.

The tragedy unfolded just steps away from iHeartRadio‘s Dayton studios and offices. But, it was local television that sprung into action. The market’s longtime leader went into overdrive, and as of 11pm Sunday had only stopped its wall-to-wall coverage for CBS’s 60 Minutes ahead of live coverage of a candlelight vigil in the Oregon District, where Ned Peppers is located.

This was Cox Media Group‘s WHIO-7. The two other TV groups serving Miami Valley viewers also did a commendable job.

There’s just one problem: Not all Dayton DMA TV viewers could see what the Nexstar Media Group NBC affiliate was doing. Why? Blame a protracted retransmission consent deal that is now putting lives at risk.

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