Lake Tahoe officials lobby Charter Communications to restore Sacramento-based KCRA
August 22, 2018
Local officials are formalizing their plea to have Charter Communications restore a Sacramento-based news station to the local television lineup.
South Lake Tahoe City Council and the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors both unanimously signed off on a joint letter to Charter Communications, in which they ask the cable provider to return KCRA to its local lineup via a petition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Charter pulled KCRA in early June, sparking outrage among area residents who rely on the station for news from California's capital.
The decision stemmed from a move by Hearst Communications, which owns the station, to increase fees for providers to broadcast stations outside their market, the Tribune previously reported.
Despite being in California, South Lake Tahoe falls within the Reno designated market area (DMA) — a broadcast method regulated by the FCC. Being in the Reno DMA requires Charter to carry KRNV, the Reno affiliate.
Neither the city nor the county meet the criteria to petition the FCC to change the DMA so that South Lake Tahoe and the county could be incorporated in the Sacramento DMA, per the letter. Charter does have the ability, though, to petition the FCC.
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The letter, which was unanimously adopted by City Council and county supervisors Tuesday, cites a non-scientific poll conducted by the county, which found 95 percent of respondents had a desire to have KCRA made available again and 77 percent considered dropping the cable company.
The letter states the current situation meets all five suggested factors — such as the state the market is located in — to qualify as evidence that would warrant a change in DMA.
"There is no rational reason to prevent cable subscribers in South Lake Tahoe from receiving emergency information, news, weather and other content from the highest-rated Northern California news station and offer them only out-of-state content," the letter states.
A spokesman for Charter said the company will review the letter once it receives it, and then evaluate all available information before deciding potential next steps.