A blackout is an increasingly common negotiating tactic that channel owners use to force cable and satellite companies to pay unreasonable rate increases during contract renewals. TEGNA, Inc. owns WQAD ABC (Quad Cities); WOI ABC and KCWI CW (Des Moines); WZDX FOX/My Network TV (Huntsville); WHAS ABC (Louisville); WMAZ CBS and WMAZ-D2 CW (Macon); KARE NBC (Minneapolis-St. Paul); WWL CBS and WUPL My Network TV (New Orleans); WVEC ABC (Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News); KPNX NBC (Phoenix); KFMB CBS (San Diego); KSDK NBC (St. Louis); and KMSB FOX (Tucson). TEGNA believes that by holding Mediacom customers hostage they can extract a higher price for their product than if they relied on objective criteria to value their stations such as ratings, quality of content, etc.

Much like your local gas station, Mediacom is the retail distributor of products that we purchase at wholesale. Just like the price of oil affects the price of gas at the pump, the price of cable and satellite television service is impacted by wholesale cost of the channels we carry. The fees we pay to retransmit local broadcast stations like ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC are by far our fastest growing wholesale cost component.

TEGNA has become the latest station owner to exploit our Nation’s outdated federal broadcast television laws in an effort to boost its bottom line.

After extensive negotiations towards a new agreement, TEGNA is still demanding a significant rate increase over our previous agreement. Since these costs will ultimately be absorbed by the hard working residents of rural Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, and Virginia, we have repeatedly communicated to TEGNA that their outrageous financial demands are unacceptable.

Mediacom remains willing to leave the stations on while negotiations continue, but in an attempt to force Mediacom to accept a bad deal, TEGNA has resorted to using the threat of a blackout to hold our customers hostage. Unfortunately, this ruthless tactic has become the calling card of the broadcast television industry in recent years.

This problem extends far beyond just Mediacom, and many cable and satellite companies regularly find themselves threatened with similar shutdowns.  In fact, TEGNA has blacked out its broadcast TV stations from hundreds of thousands of satellite subscribers in recent years including Dish Network in December 2018 and DirecTV/AT&T in December 2020.

Mediacom is continuing to work hard to achieve a viable and affordable solution; however, the decision to pull the stations from your channel lineup rests entirely with TEGNA.

Contact TEGNA and tell them you know the truth and that you want your stations to remain in your lineup at reasonable costs.

Market:                        Quad Cities, IA/IL

Station:                        WQAD ABC

Manager:                     Jim Kizer

Email:                           jkizer@wqad.com

Phone:                         309-764-8888

 

Market:                        Des Moines, IA

Station:                        WOI ABC

Manager:                     Randy Shelton

Email:                           rshelton@weareiowa.com

Phone:                         515-457-9645

 

Market:                        Huntsville, AL

Station:                        WZDX FOX

Manager:                     Mark Overstreet

Email:                           news@rocketcitynow.com

Phone:                         256-533-5454

 

Market:                        Louisville, KY

Station:                        WHAS ABC

Manager:                     Christy Moreno

Email:                           retransmission@tegna.com

Phone:                         502-582-7711

 

Market:                        Macon, GA

Station:                        WMAZ CBS

Manager:                     Jeff Dudley

Email:                           jdudley@tegna.com

Phone:                         478-752-1313

 

Market:                        Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

Station:                        KARE NBC

Manager:                     John Remes

Email:                           retransmission@tegna.com

Phone:                         763-546-1111

Market:                        New Orleans, LA

Station:                        WWL CBS

Manager:                     Todd Smith

Email:                           wwl-closedcaptions@tegna.com

Phone:                         504-529-4444

 

Market:                        Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, VA

Station:                        WVEC ABC

Manager:                     Doug Wieder

Email:                           retransmission@tegna.com

Phone:                         757-625-1313

 

Market:                        Phoenix, AZ

Station:                        KPNX NBC

Manager:                     Kate Morris

Email:                           publicfile@12news.com

Phone:                         602-444-1212

 

Market:                        San Diego, CA

Station:                        KFMB CBS

Manager:                     Alberto Mier y Teran

Email:                           dbranson@tegna.com

Phone:                         858-571-8888

 

Market:                        St. Louis, MO

Station:                        KSDK NBC

Manager:                     Alicia Elsner

Email:                           retransmission@tegna.com

Phone:                         314-421-5055

 

Market:                        Tucson, AZ

Station:                        KMSB FOX

Manager:                     Lec Coble

Email:                           retransmission@tegna.com

Phone:                         520-770-1123