WMGM TV 40 to be dropped from NBC affiliates

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WMGM TV 40 home at 1601 New Road in Linwood. WMGM TV 40 home at 1601 New Road in Linwood.

LINWOOD – It appears that NBC will end its affiliation with WMGM TV 40 at the end of 2014.

A contract between NBC and Access 1 Communications, which manages the station, ran through 2012 but was extended through the end of this year. That contract is not expected to be renewed.

Headquartered at 1601 New Road in Linwood, WMGM TV 40 is the only television station in the state of New Jersey affiliated with a major network. It has been part of the NBC family of stations since the late 1960s.

Roger Powe III, general manager of NBC 40, declined to comment Friday morning on the termination of the relationship, directing inquiries to Access 1. A call to Access 1 CEO Chesly Maddox Dorsey has not yet been returned.

Access 1 Communications, once the owner of the TV station, is now in a management relationship with the station as they sold it to LocusPoint LLC for $6 million in November 2013. The deal was finalized in February of this year. Throughout all of the changes, NBC maintained TV 40 as an affiliate.

LocusPoint LLC has purchased other stations in smaller markets and is positioned to sell off those small market stations' bandwidth space when the FCC conducts a bandwidth auction, scheduled for June 2015. The space is highly sought by cellphone and data providers.

U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo has spoken out recently in support of keeping TV 40 as a viable source of South Jersey news and weather.

New Jersey District 2 Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo called the news a very tough blow for the area.

"We have been relying on Channel 40 for our news and to learn specific information for our region. I understand that it is a business, but if there is anything we can do, we will be trying," he said.

"TV 40 is such a big part of the South Jersey community – for high school sports, for the weather and the people at the station, they are very involved in the community and come out and are part of every event. I don't know how we lose an asset as important as TV 40."

Mazzeo said that relying on Philadelphia and New York for information would mean missing something important. He mentioned the key role the station played during the derecho and Hurricane Sandy as prime examples of the importance of local information.

WMGM TV 40 has about 60 full- and part-time employees.


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