One Way the NBC-Comcast Merger Could Change the Way KXAS-Channel 5 Makes News

Everything I've learned about the more-n-likely-to-happen Kabletown ... pardon, Comcast-NBC merger I've learned from 30 Rock. Well, OK, not everything: This morning's New York Times alters our attention to a December 23 letter Comcast's veep of Regulatory and State Legislative Affairs sent to the Federal Communications Commission that suggests the marriage could impact KXAS-Channel 5, one of 10 stations the network owns and operates as part of its Local Media and Toaster Oven Division.

Says the missive, should the FCC sign off on the merger, NBC pinky-swear promises to get all hyperlocal up in this joint. Which is to say, it'll replicate in some markets the same kind of deal it has in San Diego, where KNSD-TV and the nonprofit website Voice of San Diego share content "and technical facilities and personnel," per the letter to the FCC, and do plenty of cross-promoting. Says the letter, Comcast would implement the same kind of deal in at least five of the 10 markets in which it owns and operates stations, with each agreement good for three years.

The letter doesn't specify in which markets it'll roll out the San Diego model; it's far too early for that, given that it won't even be up and running till one year following the sealing of the deal between NBC and Comcast. But, writes Comcast's Kathy Zachem:

Cooperative arrangements such as this advance the Commission's interest in ensuring that all Americans have access to vibrant, diverse sources of news and information as well as promoting the positive effects of the digital revolution on news-gathering, journalism, and information dissemination. The arrangement between KNSD and voiceofsandiego.org has proved to be a successful model in this market, and Applicants believe it can and should be expanded.

What --- "Fancy Bras the New Economic Indicator" not good enough for ya, Kabletown?

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