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Media Moves: WMBD, WYZZ Return for DirecTV Customers

DirecTV customers, your local CBS and Fox programming is back. 

A protracted dispute between WMBD/WYZZ parent company Nexstar and DirecTV parent company AT&T ended yesterday. The stations were yanked off the air on July 5. 

At issue was a new retransmission consent agreement. That's the fee local over-the-air TV broadcasters charge to cable and satellite providers to carry their signal. 

Retransmission consent was created by the 1992 Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act passed by the U.S. Congress. As the fees make up an increasingly large portion of local broadcasters' revenue pie, carriage fights have become more common. CBS owned-and-operated stations were yanked off the air for about three weeks for AT&T customers this summer in a similar dispute. 

Stations and carriers alike often mount PR battles during the disputes, calling on viewers to contact the other party and ask for their channels back. 

This isn't the first time in recent memory that Peoria-area television viewers have gone through this. Back in 2018, Quincy Media-owned WEEK and Heart of Illinois ABC disappeared for Dish customers for about six weeks due to a similar dispute. 

Obama-era FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler rejected the implementation of more rules to govern retransmission disputes in 2016. The FCC does offer a guide on how to obtain local channels as these negotiations impact audiences, however. Those tips mainly center around how to install an over-the-air antenna. 

New morning met on WMBD/WYZZ

The vacancy left by morning Meteorologist Lauren Rainson on WMBD This Morning didn't stay open for long...or any time at all.

Credit WMBD-TV
Molly Naslund

Last week, Rainson left the station after five years to take on a new role at AccuWeather. The morning show's new morning meteorologist is Molly Naslund. A Galesburg native, Naslund is a recent graduate of Western Illinois University. 

Full disclosure: WMBD is WCBU's news partner. Tim Shelley is a former Quincy Media employee. 

Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.