Tuning out New Jersey

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) hit the “pause” button on WWOR TV’s license renewal application last week thanks to the prompting of US Senator Frank Lautenberg.

The likelihood FCC will pull the plug on My9NY – – it’s geographically biased web handle – – is low. But Sen. Lautenberg made the point, and the questions he raised highlight one of New Jersey’s identity problems – 150 channels and nothing on as far as a state-wide commercial TV station. Bad enough we get Lady Liberty’s backside, let alone a television station that sits in Secaucus.

Increased news coverage of the Garden State and community outreach programs would be welcomed. Yet no amount of Jersey airtime at Channel 9 is going to make it much below I-195 – – NJ’s answer to the Mason-Dixon Line. The station is simply not available to viewers in southern New Jersey.

The real solution to providing New Jersey with its own state commercial television station may be to combine Lautenberg’s feet-to-the-fire licensing approach with some mandated channel coverage by cable and FIOS franchises at the Board of Public Utilities.

Tuning in would then be up to viewers.

Tuning out New Jersey