There are areas where the closest TV market can be more than fifty miles away, while some like Syracuse and Utica here in CNY, or Baltimore and Washington are within that much distance of each other. Where I used to live in the Mid-Hudson Valley, I was almost eighty miles from Albany and New York City. While much of the area was part of the tri-state viewing area, there was less of a voice for everyone north of Yonkers and south of Catskill. RNN in Kingston provided local news for the region, although they moved operations down the river. WMHT has a translator W42AE in Poughkeepsie which has DCC classes in place of other instructional programming during the day and week. You'd have to have cable or a strong antenna to get anything. Satellite was only starting to have broadcast channels more easily. Only major stories would get any attention.
Other remote areas are dotted throughout the country. Stations can't exist in every city if there aren't enough people to serve.