KEZI-TV Eugene, Ore. accuses ABC of thwarting the station's efforts to expand local news and sports coverage.
The ABC affiliate's charges were made in reply to the FCC's review of network practices and allegations by the Network Affiliated Stations Alliance that the Big 4 nets have violated rules governing relations between stations and their primary programmers. "It is as though ABC felt it-not we-owned KEZI and therefore had the right to program the station," wrote KEZI General Manager John Prevedello.
Specifically, Prevedello complained that his station has been unable to pursue its plan to launch a 10 p.m. newscast because ABC won't allow the station to begin the network's primetime lineup to 7 p.m., one hour earlier than currently aired. ABC also fought KEZI plans to reschedule network programming in order to air the University of Oregon's appearance in the NCAA tournament and a one-hour special on the impact of the west coast energy crisis on Oregon.
NASA has asked the FCC to order a stop to a range of alleged transgressions, including denying affiliates the right to reject programming, interfering with station sales and forcing affiliates to cede much of the extra programming capacity coming with the switch to digital transmissions. - Bill McConnell