Where do you want to fly?
Friday marks two months since WDVM-TV was last available on Antietam Broadband’s cable system, and contract negotiations remain at a stalemate.
The contract covers the retransmission fee, which a cable company pays for the right to retransmit a station’s programs. Antietam and Nexstar, WDVM’s parent company, have not been able to reach a new agreement.
The previous agreement expired at the end of 2018. The station has not been on Antietam’s system since early on Jan. 1.
Andrew Wyatt, WDVM vice president and general manager, said Thursday he has tried to talk with Brian Lynch, president of Antietam, and offered to arrange a meeting with the president of Nexstar.
“I reached out to him (Lynch) on Monday. … He’s not returned the call,” Wyatt said.
“Nothing indicates to me that they have any intention of ever carrying our television station again,” he said.
Lynch was out of the office Thursday.
In an email, he responded, “I have been out of town most of this week and can’t confirm a message but will certainly evaluate the message when I return.”
He wrote that Antietam “has no updates to offer since the last article in The Herald-Mail.”
In that article, published a month ago, Lynch said Antietam had not heard from Nexstar since the last time they talked on Dec. 31.
Calls from Herald-Mail Media to Nexstar have not been returned.
Referring to the contract negotiations, WDVM has characterized its fee proposal as “very fair.” Antietam has called it “an unreasonable increase.” Neither will specify the terms it is seeking.
Both sides also have promoted alternatives for their customers. According to the previous article, Antietam gave away more than 450 antennas, which enables viewers to pick up the WDVM signal on free broadcast TV. WDVM has an advertisement on its website urging viewers to “Switch to Dish,” referring to the DISH satellite television system.
Nexstar is based in Irving, Texas. Antietam Broadband is owned by Schurz Communications Inc., which has its headquarters in Mishawaka, Ind.
Antietam and Herald-Mail Media had been sister companies until this year. Schurz sold its newspaper properties, including Herald-Mail Media, to GateHouse Media. That deal took effect Feb. 1.