Unlisted: New TV stations off the grid
Larry Jacksina buys the Daily Progress on Saturday for its weekly television listings insert. Two stations he couldn't find: WCAV Channel 19 and WVAW Channel 16, the new CBS and ABC affiliates, which have been on the air since August.
Jacksina is a Seinfeld fan, and the popular sitcom airs twice a day on WVAW. Finding out what time isn't easy. Even the WVAW website doesn't have a working program schedule. And the Adelphia Channel 17 listings crawl is not an option because Jacksina doesn't have cable.
"It's frustrating," says Jacksina, a Charlottesville teacher. "Here's our local paper, and they're not giving us all our local resources– not to mention the difficulty of actually reaching someone." He says he's called the paper three times over the past three months to voice his complaints, only to end up in the land of voicemail with no calls back.
And he's puzzled that the daily paper publishes listings for ABC channels 3 and 8, and CBS channels 6 and 9, none of which broadcast from Charlottesville.
The Hook checked in with Progress publisher Lawrence McConnell to ask why the local daily doesn't carry listings for the local CBS and ABC stations. "We're not interested in speaking to your publication," answers McConnell.
A spokesman for the company that owns the Daily Progress is a little more helpful. A national news service provides those TV listings, and sometimes there can be a delay in adding new stations to the distribution, explains Ray Kozakewicz, corporate communications manager for Progress parent company Media General.
"The Progress said it's already been done," reported WCAV/WVAW general manager Roger Burchett on January 24. "They're just waiting for the national service to update the list."
"It sounds like something didn't happen when it should have," says wannabe Seinfeld watcher Jacksina. But at least soon he'll be able to check the times in his local daily.
He'll be watching.
Even from the WVAW website, it's not easy to find out that Seinfeld airs at 6 and 11pm.