Sinclair Broadcasting has announced the retransmission negotiations between its Toledo, OH, NBC affiliate WNWO and Buckeye Cable have ended without agreement.
“We apologize to Buckeye’s subscribers for the inconvenience this has caused,” Barry Faber, Sinclair’s chief negotiator said in a statement. “While we are aware that Buckeye has been providing its subscribers with a monthly credit of twenty-four cents ($0.24) as a result of the absence of WNWO, obviously this represents a mere fraction of the value of WNWO’s programming and is insulting not only to WNWO, but to Buckeye’s own subscribers.”
The very public fight began in December with the Block Communications’ owned Buckeye running ads about the blackout in its owned paper the The Blade. In one ad, Buckeye depicted Sinclair as a Grinch-like figure called “Sinclinch.” In another Buckeye called WNWO a “low-viewership, FREE, over-the-air station with inferior on-air news talent.”
Buckeye’s President and general manager Jeff Abbas said in an open letter on its website, “I want to assure our customers that we want to continue to carry WNWO, we are committed to negotiate in good faith to reach an agreement as quickly as possible, and we are willing to pay fair compensation for WNWO’s over-the-air signal on our system. We believe, however, that fair compensation should reflect WNWO’s value to our customers, compared to other Toledo stations.”