KTUU, Channel 2, will go off the air in Juneau and Sitka on Saturday.
An agreement between GCI Cable and the Anchorage NBC affiliate has fallen apart. At 12:01 a.m., Channel 2 programming will not be carried on KATH in Juneau, or KSCT in Sitka.
The two Southeast Alaska stations, and Anchorage station KTVA, were recently sold to GCI Cable.
On Nov. 22, the companies reached a four-year carriage agreement that would preserve the programming in Southeast and restore KTUU’s signal in 22 other communities across the state. GCI had pulled the station off the cable in early November, affecting about 7,000 viewers.
Dec. 6 was the deadline for completing the deal.
Instead, GCI Corporate Services Vice President David Morris says KTUU requested a similar agreement for an additional signal, should the television station ever acquire another one.
“We had hoped there was going to be some movement on it, but it appears right now there’s not going to be movement. It’s simply not a cost that we can afford so what we wanted to do is give viewers the heads up that this is likely to occur,” Morris says.
Morris describes the request as doubling the cost of carriage, while KTUU Marketing Director Brad Hillwig calls it future protection for the station. He says he still hopes for an 11th hour deal.
“We’ve served Southeast Alaska for more than a decade through our partnership with KATH and sister station KSCT. We’d love to continue that, but certainly now that GCI owns those stations it has to be under the right terms and conditions,” Hillwig says.
The companies have been negotiating terms of carrying the Anchorage TV station on cable since September.
GCI’s Morris says the nationally syndicated One America News Network will replace Channel 2 News on the Southeast stations until an Alaska news broadcast is available. GCI has not yet set a date for its launch of a television news program to be produced by its subsidiary, Denali Media.
Morris says the Juneau and Sitka stations will continue to get national NBC network programming.
GCI, General Communications, Inc., is the state’s largest telecommunications company.
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