KCSM-TV discontinues MHz programming, citing FCC regulations

KCSM-TV in San Mateo, Calif., has dropped international programming from MHz Networks after determining that the programs did not meet legal requirements for noncommercial stations. MHz and KCSM negotiated for several months before the station discontinued the content July 15, said Jan Roecks, v.p. of administrative services for licensee San Mateo Community College District, which operates KCSM. KCSM’s website notes, “We complained to MHz repeatedly regarding underwriting and political call-to-action messages that did not comply with FCC regulations. MHZ has been either unable or unwilling to bring its broadcasts into compliance with the applicable requirements.”

KCSM Technology Director Michele Muller declined to provide examples. The station’s attorney, Larry Miller of the Washington, D.C. firm Schwartz, Woods & Miller, characterized the situation as a “private contractual dispute.” Miller hasn’t heard of other MHz client stations raising similar issues.

PBSd venture and MHz project aim to export public television

Television viewers in Great Britain, the Middle East, Russia and India could soon be watching American public TV shows, if two initiatives get up and running in the coming months. The PBS UK channel is being bankrolled by W. David Lyons, an entrepreneurial oilman from Calgary, Alberta. The programming will be assembled by PBS Distribution (PBSd), a partnership of PBS and WGBH that holds international rights to a “significant number” of public television titles, said Jan McNamara, PBS spokesperson. In a separate venture, Virginia-based MHz Networks, which feeds international content to some 30 American public TV stations on its Worldview multicast channel, will reverse direction with its MHz America package, pushing local shows from at least five pubTV stations and independent producers to foreign markets. Each could be on the air abroad by year’s end or soon after.