Representatives from small-market local stations met with the FCC this week to argue the case for shared service agreements in the local news landscape, saying that such agreements can be necessary to survival for cash-strapped stations. Broadcasting & Cable has more details:
In their pitch to staffers with commissioners Robert McDowell and Mignon Clyburn, representatives of the Coalition of Smaller-Market Television Stations, the markets where FCC rules limit joint ownership, said that such agreements allow stations to preserve local -programming. They also tried to put in context the financial pressures on smaller stations that make such arrangements necessary.
According to data submitted to the FCC and based on NAB TV financial Surveys, the pre-tax profit average for markets 50-210 went from $908,462 in 1999 to only $42,003 in 2009, the last year for which figures were shown. That is a drop of 95.4%. The figures were only slightly better for Big Four network affiliates, dropping from a $1,096,054 average pre-tax profit in 1999 to only $131,863 in 2009, down 88%,