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Hawaii’s KGMB-TV is Going Off the Air

HONOLULU: Hawaiian households relying exclusively on broadcast television will soon lose the CBS affiliate there, according to the Star-Bulletin. KGMB-TV will temporarily go off the air while its transmitter is being moved to a new location to facilitate better reception. KGMB has been the subject of scrutiny in recent weeks as its owner, MGC Capitol in Arlington. Va., entered into a shared services agreement with Raycom of Montgomery, Ala. Raycom owns KHNL-TV, the NBC affiliate, and KFVE-TV, the MyNetworkTV affiliate, in the market.

All three stations are said to be undergoing upgrades that were planned before the SSA was arranged. KNHL and KFVE general manager, John Fink, mentioned plans to move the transmitters when Hawaii went all digital in mid-January, the first state to do so. KGMB is expected to be down anywhere from two weeks to several months. Mike McCarthy, chief engineer of KGMB, will not be around for the project; he’ll soon be laid off as a result of the SSA.

The signal is expected to go off the air Monday, when the three stations launch their merged news operations.

A citizen media group in the state filed an objection with the FCC over the shared services agreement, saying it was a circumvention of media ownership rules.

Raycom chief Paul McTear said it was the only way to keep all three stations functioning in the current economy.

More on Hawaii’s TV stations:
September 16, 2009: “Opposition Mounts Over Hawaii TV Operational Merger”
“Media Council Hawai‘i--formerly the Honolulu Community-Media Council--will challenge the illegal Raycom Media deal involving Stations KHNL, KGMB, and KFVE at the FCC.”

August 24, 2009: “Hawaii TV Stations Strike SSA”
Raycom Media, owner of KHNL-TV and KFVE-TV, and MCG Capital Corp., owner of KGMB-TV, have hammered out a shared services agreement among the three stations.

April 27, 2009: “Hawaii’s KGMB-TV Completes First Week of Interactive News”
During second day of its new interactive newscast, “@i9News,” KGMB-TV producers got a tweet from a woman in Hilo who felt an earthquake that prompted anchors to seek viewer feedback on what was going on.