The Cinci Enquirer’s Peter Bronson today has a writeup on the backlash the CBS locals are feeling. Apparently, according to the article, the stations are getting small mountains of E-mail, all of them angry. Bronson quotes the station manager at Channel 12 in Cinci..

“We don’t have any influence over CBS”

…. and saying he’s taken to forwarding them to CBS in NY… who, one presumes is dropping them in the bit bucket.

He quotes other CBS stations having the same reaction form THEIR viewers.

But with all respect to the Channel 12 Manager, he and the rest of the stations do have greater influence than they’re willing to use… It’s called having the stones to back up the complaints with actions…. Such as, for example, backing out of the agreements with CBS… No longer putting CBS on the air in their markets until this situation is resolved to the satisfaction of the affiliates and the viewers.

And yes, I do understand very well that such actions may open up the stations to legal concerns. But first, I submit that not reacting in that fashion will also place them in legal problems with the FCC. The TV stations which are CBS affiliates are like every other station on the air, allowed to operate, by the federal government to serve the public interest… Those are the terms under which their operations are allowed. The stations are, with that operational condition in mind, being placed in a rather tight spot, if they continue to carry such CBS programming as has been clearly demonstrated over the past weeks to be NOT operating in the public interest. 

Even without the Commission as a concern, I doubt CBS’s reaction to a viewer/affiliate revolt would go quite so far as to initiate legal action…. How would it look, CBS going after stations over this matter? It would only serve to heighten the image that CBS is out of touch and forcing their will on stations and viewers.

The only way this is going to change is serious financial pressure on Viacom.
It’s time, gang, to force that issue.

By the way… you can help:

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You know what to do with this one, right?