FCC Grants Must-Carry to WRNN-DT

WRNN-DT has won a petition with the FCC that will extend the must-carry coverage of its digital signal in the New York market. The commission today denied an appeal from Cablevision, the affected cable carrier, to review WRNN’s application to modify its markets to include Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island.
“We order Cablevision to commence carriage of WRNN-DT within 60 days from the date on which WRNN provides the necessary specialized equipment to receive a good quality signal at Cablevision’s principal headend,” the commission ordered.
WRNN is an indie station based in Rye Brook, N.Y., branded “Regional News Network,” but the programming schedule also includes a raft of infomercials. The must-carry order was granted in part because Verizon picked up the station in the same area 15 months ago and created what was termed “historical carriage.”
Democratic Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein dissented on the must-carry order, saying the claim of historical carriage was inadequate, and that the station didn’t carry as much local Long Island programming as it claimed.
“We find none of the statutory factos supports the addition of the Long Island communities to WRNN’s local market,” they wrote in a joint statement. “There is a point at which the concept of a ‘local market’ reaches the breaking point, and expanding it further will actually damage t¬¬he localism interests we are trying to serve.”