fcc no match for superboy

Oct 27, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell and Commissioner Michael Copps were among those in Charlotte, N.C., last week to hear how local media serve the community, but viewers of one local outlet apparently were unhappy-but not about the discussion. The gripes came from the handful of viewers capable of receiving Capitol Broadcasting WB affiliate WWWB-TV’s digital broadcasts. The station pre-empted its regular programming for several hours to provide coverage of the hearings as a public service. “They were not happy,” said Joe Heaton, WWWB program director, of the four or five viewers who complained. “They were upset that they couldn’t watch ‘Smallville’ and ‘Angel’ in high definition.” Would he pre-empt again if presented with similar circumstances? “I’ve been in this business 30 years,” Mr. Heaton said. “The FCC has been to town once. It’s not something that happens often.” The station was unsure how many viewers actually watched the FCC hearing. The signal is not carried on local cable and the station has yet to figure out how to estimate how many DTV broadcast sets are even in the market.