Essential customers


Rolling blackouts returned to California last week as a power-saving measure, but, this time, TV stations were, for the most part, spared. California Association of Broadcasters President Stan Statham said he is "happy to report" that the public utilities commission will classify broadcasters as "essential customers."

During the rolling blackouts that paralyzed several California stations for hours in January, Statham had met with California Gov. Gray Davis and with the state Energy Commission to lobby for a change in station status. This time, Statham said, the association could find only one station, KADY-TV Oxnard, that had been taken off the air-briefly and apparently by accident.