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Friday, January 27, 2017


Took me a while to find this official logo.
The wait is over, North Country!  Jefferson County has waited well over three generations for this!  NBC finally have an affiliate to call their own in the border community.  I knew this day would come.  The call letters could stand for Watertown - Viggo (Mortensen of Lord of the Rings franchise fame, who grew up in the area) - North Country.  It's early days right now as they won't even have their own news operation for another year.  Perhaps once the digital tier is established with the FCC, MyNetworkTV could be on 45.3 (sharing space on DT 2) and two other fledgling networks on the other two or more channels (Antenna TV just got DT2 which has MyTV on it).  Spectrum, Verizon FiOs, NewVisions (Tug Hill), Dish and DirecTV would have it replace NBC 3 from my neck of the woods in accordance with the FCCs Must Carry rights unless it's low-power then rights must be sorted out (the local paper still lists WSTM).  Some first-run syndicated series like Celebrity Name Game (until its cancellation) and Wendy are included in the schedule alongside all-new SVU and soon Syracuses very own (ex-FNC) Megyn Kelly (who I call local girl).  I was prompted on Facebook when one asked about Laff to find this after looking at local affiliates for that network.  SagamoreHill Broadcasting from Augusta, GA own the new station and I applaud them for founding it.  WBQZ and WLOT (which could get ThisTV and other lesser known networks) were tied up in legal red tape and it is ironic neither may have considered licencing Americas first network for the St Lawrence corridor up to across from Cornwall, ONT.  As a low-power station, this is probably one of the few stations on this side of the seaway that older TVs can pick up without a converter (the FCCs Canadian counterpart the CRTC in Gatineau, QC have gradually phased out analogue signals in favour of digital in recent years themselves, as I could get CKWS in Kingston, ONT on an old school telly several years ago when it was still a CBC affiliate that are now under rival CTV).  Hopefully Lester Holt gave a shout out as his predecessors have in the past to latter-day franchises.  The late network brass Brandon Tartikoff would be proud that this small town three hundred miles from New York City finally have an NBC station based right in their own backyard. In any case, DT1 will be NBC Watertown and DT2 will be Antenna TV.  No official sites apart from Facebook for the station or owner are available at this time.  If I can find another portable pre-2009 TV at the charity shop I could use it to test for the signal if there's still an analogue channel otherwise it gets nowt and I'm lucky one chain back in town will take it for free.  A pocket model for DTV exists and that would be nice for long road trips and I do make it up I-81 once a year as last time I mentioned to a pensioner on the bus how the Peacock Networks airwaves had yet to grace the northern skies.  Then the other week on a Golden Girls facebook group I bring up their old home and how people would have had to have cable, satellite (when it was mega-dishes) or a strong antenna on the roof just to get NBC 3 or 5 (Plattsburgh and Burlington) when it was still on up to 25 years ago this May.  At least today those who have to have a smaller aerial don't have to miss out anymore (the ladies left syndication two decades ago for cable and lately went on Hulu, taking them off free TV in North America).  Now Alpena, MI across the Great Lakes region from the Thousand Islands can be the Peacock Networks next frontier to conquer with a new affiliate, but I don't know the first thing about that area, so that'll be for another day (maybe even today).

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