Muskegon, Michigan TV station for sale

ancient

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May 12, 2014
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From mlive.com:

Muskegon TV station for sale, owner retiring after 40-plus years in broadcast

The article pretty much tells the story but there are a couple of additional points any potential buyer should know.

First, the station has (in my opinion) a history of carrying crap programming in crap quality ever since its 1990 revival. Seriously, I don't know how a digital TV station can be made to look so bad. It's as if they are receiving the shows on an old CRT television set, then pointing a cheap webcam at the TV and sending that to the transmitter. I'm exaggerating, but not by much. I don't think they know what they are doing with their new digital transmitter. If they are breaking even with the video quality they are sending out now, I have to think that any serious effort to improve the video quality and programming selection would yield a significant increase in viewership. I think they might believe their target audience is the small redneck population of the county that's too drunk to notice that even their 20 year old TV hooked to a converter box is displaying a lousy picture. Just my opinion!

It's even more of a shame that the signal is being wasted in this way because this is on the northern end of the Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo DMA, and most of the major networks in the market (except ABC) put a relatively poor signal into the area. The NBC and FOX affiliates run local translators, but the CBS affiliate (which also transmits a widescreen SD signal for The CW and Comet) does not, and is difficult to receive reliably in the northern part of the county. If this station could somehow cut a deal with that station to carry even just CBS as a repeater it would greatly increase their viewership. Or maybe they could cut a deal with the ION affiliate, since that station's signal isn't received reliably in that area. Anyway, for antenna users that don't have tall towers and boosters, there is not a huge selection of channels that come in reliably in that part of the DMA, so you'd think the station would be doing better than just breaking even.

Another thing that's not very obvious is that the tower next to the house in the photo is not the actual transmitter, but instead a microwave link. The actual transmitter is in the backyard of a house in a residential area (that I believe is owned by the station owner) a few miles to the north. I do not know if that tower would be part of the sale, though if not he may well rent access to it or sell an easement to it.

My opinion is that he will be very lucky to find a buyer. I will be surprised if the station doesn't wind up going dark, because someone buys the station for the land, which I suspect is valuable as commercial property even though there's a house there now. I wish him the best of luck in his retirement, and I suspect the area could sustain a local broadcast station for at least a few more years if it were properly operated, but given the overall decline in broadcast TV viewing among the younger demographic I suspect all local TV stations are on borrowed time, and that this one won't be among the last to go dark.
 

comfortably_numb

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Nov 30, 2011
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From mlive.com:

Muskegon TV station for sale, owner retiring after 40-plus years in broadcast

The article pretty much tells the story but there are a couple of additional points any potential buyer should know.

First, the station has (in my opinion) a history of carrying crap programming in crap quality ever since its 1990 revival. Seriously, I don't know how a digital TV station can be made to look so bad. It's as if they are receiving the shows on an old CRT television set, then pointing a cheap webcam at the TV and sending that to the transmitter. I'm exaggerating, but not by much. I don't think they know what they are doing with their new digital transmitter. If they are breaking even with the video quality they are sending out now, I have to think that any serious effort to improve the video quality and programming selection would yield a significant increase in viewership. I think they might believe their target audience is the small redneck population of the county that's too drunk to notice that even their 20 year old TV hooked to a converter box is displaying a lousy picture. Just my opinion!

It's even more of a shame that the signal is being wasted in this way because this is on the northern end of the Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo DMA, and most of the major networks in the market (except ABC) put a relatively poor signal into the area. The NBC and FOX affiliates run local translators, but the CBS affiliate (which also transmits a widescreen SD signal for The CW and Comet) does not, and is difficult to receive reliably in the northern part of the county. If this station could somehow cut a deal with that station to carry even just CBS as a repeater it would greatly increase their viewership. Or maybe they could cut a deal with the ION affiliate, since that station's signal isn't received reliably in that area. Anyway, for antenna users that don't have tall towers and boosters, there is not a huge selection of channels that come in reliably in that part of the DMA, so you'd think the station would be doing better than just breaking even.

Another thing that's not very obvious is that the tower next to the house in the photo is not the actual transmitter, but instead a microwave link. The actual transmitter is in the backyard of a house in a residential area (that I believe is owned by the station owner) a few miles to the north. I do not know if that tower would be part of the sale, though if not he may well rent access to it or sell an easement to it.

My opinion is that he will be very lucky to find a buyer. I will be surprised if the station doesn't wind up going dark, because someone buys the station for the land, which I suspect is valuable as commercial property even though there's a house there now. I wish him the best of luck in his retirement, and I suspect the area could sustain a local broadcast station for at least a few more years if it were properly operated, but given the overall decline in broadcast TV viewing among the younger demographic I suspect all local TV stations are on borrowed time, and that this one won't be among the last to go dark.

I think there is a RISE in broadcast TV viewing among the younger demographic because it is free, and they're willing to try it. Think "cord cutters." See research study here: http://www.tvtechnology.com/news/0002/17-percent-of-us-households-are-otaonly/278987


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Juan

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I think there is a RISE in broadcast TV viewing among the younger demographic because it is free, and they're willing to try it. Think "cord cutters." See research study here: http://www.tvtechnology.com/news/0002/17-percent-of-us-households-are-otaonly/278987


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Digital conversion cut off free TV for a huge amount of people..the spectrum available continues to shrink

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