The weaker link

A New York public broadcaster is one step closer to selling the weaker of its two Buffalo stations. Federal judges have upheld an FCC ruling allowing the organization to switch the noncommercial designation of WNEQ-TV (ch. 23) to WNED-TV (ch. 17), a commercial-allotted station that licensee Western New York Public Broadcasting also operates as a noncommercial station. The transfer is key to WNYPB's plan to sell WNEQ-TV to LIN Television and generate funds for WNED-TV's digital conversion.

Amber honored

The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation is giving its Samaritan Award to broadcasters and law-enforcement agencies in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for developing the "Amber Plan." The plan uses the Emergency Alert System to find children police believe have been abducted. Thirty-two radio stations and eight TV stations participate in the program, along with 43 law-enforcement agencies. Oklahoma has implemented the program, and Michigan is developing it. The plan, which has led to the recovery of 10 children, was created in memory of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was abducted and murdered in Arlington, Tex.

Cable addition

Thomas Horan has been named senior legal adviser at the FCC's Cable Services Bureau. Previously, he worked in the bureau's consumer protection and competition division. He replaces Clint Odom, a former adviser to ex-FCC Chairman William Kennard, who had been serving in the cable bureau since Kennard's resignation in January.