Owners of the legendary local TV outlet; WMGM TV-40, turned out the lights on December 31. Mourners said goodbye to this beloved yet financially struggling news outlet in South Jersey. Dropped by NBC Universal as an TV affiliate, the TV station not only lost NBC programming, but also its local newscasts featuring weather wonders; Dan Skeldon and NorEaster Nick.
THE FACTS: Access.1 managed the station with studios in Linwood. A group of investors at California-based LocusPoint Networks recently bought the station for $6 million. LocusPoint is well known for it’s ability to turn struggling Broadcast stations into cash, typically by auctioning off the valuable spectrum (airwaves) attached to a broadcaster’s FCC license. The private equity firm; Blackstone Group, owns 99 percent of LocusPoint. There’s big demand from big wireless phone providers — Verizon, AT&T and Sprint for that valuable bandwidth/spectrum.
Upon hearing the news, a local South Jersey radio station (WOND) announced their plans to increase it’s news coverage in order to fill that small news void created by TV-40’s departure.
With the explosion of web based news and social media, many wonder if it’s even necessary.
Longport Media news/talk WOND 1400am says they’ll broadcast some local news each night at 6pm on WOND radio. It’s still unknown if WOND will tap the immediacy of it’s websites and not delay sharing of it’s news content til 6pm. While WOND president Dave Coskey said he saw it as an opportunity to step in and try to fill this small void, other local online media outlets have already ramped up their hyper-local efforts using smart phones and Go-Pro cameras.
Cool News Idea for Longport Media: Strap a live webcam to WOND morning man Don William’s head.
In what could be a short term deal at best, Longport is negotiating with Locus Point to provide local TV shows that would help WMGM meet FCC requirements. WMGM’s frequency is expected to eventually be sold as part of the FCC’s spectrum auction.
Watch former WMGM general manager statement:
Watch final WMGM TV-40 newscast: