“Secondary” doesn’t mean taking a backseat to wireless operators

Greg Herman, president and CEO of LPTV operator WatchTV and head of Spectrum Evolution, says low-power television broadcasters are only secondary to new full-power stations and Class A stations.
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Greg Herman, president and CEO of WatchTV, wants legislators and policymakers alike to understand the exact meaning of “secondary service.”

As Congress moves closer to giving the FCC authority to hold a voluntary incentive auction of broadcast spectrum, Spectrum Evolution, a group advocating for flexible use of broadcast spectrum by broadcasters, issued a paper to clarify how the term “secondary service” should be defined as relates to broadcasting.

The move may seem curious to many. But according the head of the group, Greg Herman, it was necessary to do so to emphasize that LPTV stations are considered to be a secondary service to new full-power stations and Class A stations — not to wireless operators looking to take over broadcast spectrum to meet demand for wireless broadband service.

In this week’s podcast interview Herman, who also is president and CEO of WatchTV, a low-power broadcaster in the Portland, Ore., area talks about incentive auctions, the tenuous future of LPTV operators and even how the federal government will shortchange itself if it moves forward with these incentive auctions as currently envisioned.