August reminds me of why I am glad that federal rules were changed a little over ten years ago that permitted a broadcast licensee to own two television stations in the same area. Here’s a brief history.
Years ago, the FCC established rules regarding ownership and control of radio and TV stations, along with cable systems and newspapers, in the same market. When companies first got into radio and TV, many were already operating a daily newspaper. The A.H. Belo Company owned The Dallas Morning News and WFAA-AM/FM/TV. The Amon Carter family of Fort Worth owned The Fort Worth Star-Telegram and WBAP AM/FM/TV. The Dallas Times Herald and KRLD AM/FM/TV were co-owned as well. As these rules were put into place, some companies were able to be “grandfathered” or in other words not be subject to compliance; others were not so lucky. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, we started seeing the breakup of these groups. Belo was one who was grandfathered but later got out of the radio business and concentrated on expanding its TV holdings. The Carters sold out completely. The owners of the Times Herald and KRLD split up as well. At one time, the law only allowed a company to own seven AMs, seven FM’s, and seven TV stations. That was big 30 years ago, but not by today’s standards. CBS owns 29 television stations today in most major markets and in other growth areas around the country.
Since 2000, federal regulations permit the co-ownership of two TV stations in the same. CBS11 and TXA21 are a great example of this and have been co-owned since that time. The great thing about having a second station is the flexibility to move programs from one station to another when there is special programming.
This weekend, CBS11 begins another season of carrying Dallas Cowboys Preseason Football. We have been their home for preseason games for nearly two decades. This Saturday, CBS11 will carry the Dallas at San Diego game with the pregame show, “Countdown to Kickoff,” at 7pm followed by the game at 8pm. The CBS Saturday prime-time lineup will be seen live starting at 7pm on TXA21. So our viewers not only get their Cowboys, they get Saturday’s CBS lineup at the normal time, just moved over to TXA21.
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See you next time.