ATBA Announces Yankee Communication Network’s WYCU-LD as 2017 Station of the Year

WYCU-LD, ATBA’s 2017 Station of the Year, showcases the qualities that make LPTV stations a hallmark in their communities. With so much going against Low Power TV in the current age, it takes a station with dedication and determination to see a future for themselves in broadcast. It also takes a certain amount of courage to continue to update to reach their current audience and plan for expansion.

Cross Hill Communications did just that when the company acquired Yankee Communications Network in 2011 and also bought WVBQ-LP. Upgrades were completed in 2013 to the facility to carry digital and HD signals to provide a carefully tailored blend of local programming and syndicated television from Retro TV through an arrangement with Luken Communications. In addition to the upgrades, CHC rebranded their new network to YCN and station call letters to WYCU to reflect the brand rather than the delivery system.

The network saw the station as a way to focus on multiple platforms for delivery and therefore bring local content to communities through web and broadcast.

YCN implements web traffic heavily into their delivery services. With over 98,500 views and almost 57,000 visits in 216, YCNnow.com makes available on demand every show and segment they produce displays logos and links to major advertisers. Show segments are also posted on Facebook and Twitter to help drive traffic to the website.

Meeting the must carry requirements with local programming and an LPTV license in a county without a full power stations, it wasn’t long before WYCU was picked up by two cable providers. Combined with their over-the-air signal and cable, the stations reaches approximately 70,000 homes in the Darmouth/Lake Sunapee region of New Hampshire and Vermont.

YCN produced on average six hours of original programming a week in 2016 that directly focused on the communities in their viewing audience. Coverage of 13 high school football games to produce the game of the week has led to recognition with the New Hampshire Broadcasters Association’s Granite Mic. Another important facet for this network is grass roots politics, giving a weekly look at politics with the program Capitol Connections. No small feat was featuring every presidential candidate when they visited the area. A unique segment, YCN SoapBox, is a cultivated Pre-Election series that allows any candidate up to five minutes for an unedited stump speech, played at the end of the YCN News and again on Election Eve.

YCN provided the communities with an outlet for events and issues important to them. The Kearsarge Chronicle has provided a magazine style broadcast for the Lake Sunapee region, and recently, YCN added River Valley Chronicle for the Dartmouth and Connecticut region. Both provide a voice for non-profits, cultural institutions and churches with over half of the guests serving in one of these venues. With tourism a major industry for the area, YCN’s Explore provides a seasonal look at recreation activities.

All of this content and so much more is accomplished with just five individuals on full time. The General Manager & COO, Sales Manager and Master Control Operator each pitch in to help with production responsibilities, allowing them to stay connected to their communities and in touch with local officials and industry leaders in the area.

Looking toward the future, CHC expects the network to continue to expand with more sports and live recreation programming. That future was briefly threatened when a local cable provider tried to drop the station. As a result, leaders from six communities urged the provider to continue coverage. Today, WYCU is still carried and has been extended into other towns, bringing their schools and community events into their line-up.

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Dear Fellow LPTV Broadcaster and Industry Leaders,

The auction has ended and most of us are still here.  While it was not only our hope but the hope of many others that the auction would not take place . . . it did, but it did not have the devastating effect that it might have had. 

The world after the auction looks different and amazingly so has a very bright future!

What does that future look like?  Not only the amazing possibilities of ATSC 3.0 but the landscape of a nation of people who are increasingly cutting their cable cords and looking for free, over the air, broadcasting content.

That’s why it’s more important than ever that you join the Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance.  Our board of directors have a combined 500+ years of experience which beginning with your membership we are going to start making more available to our members on an increasing basis.

Soon as an ATBA member, you will be eligible to start tapping into not only this brain trust through unique services available only to our members but regular news updates regarding our collective broadcast future.  We are exploring new ways to tap into information from Washington as well as important updates that will benefit you right there where you live.

The need for the ATBA has increased with the new opportunities that are becoming available for those of us who still know that the future of LPTV, Class A and Translators is bright!  Are you selling your station to local sponsors?  Are you maximizing your spectrum to the advantage that you truly can?  Are you struggling with FCC rules and regulations that you either don’t understand or can’t get explained?

The ATBA is developing a database of information to help you find the answers you need! 

In addition we are still working with the true decision makers in Washington.  Your ATBA has earned the respect and the ear of the true movers and shakers that continue to shape our collective broadcasting future.

So what can you do to get involved and begin to take advantage of these, and many other, benefits?  Join the ATBA today!  Your membership benefits will include:

  1. Members only access to hundreds of years of LPTV experience through our new “Brain Trust”
  2. Early entry to our annual NAB LPTV evening event with access to our special event guest(s)
  3. Exclusive digital content regarding real world information you need to know
  4. Eligibility for recognition for your hard work through our ATBA LPTV Awards
  5. Access to equipment manufacturers with discounts available especially for ATBA members!

To be honest you can’t afford not to be a member of the ATBA! 

We’re making it affordable because it’s a win – win!  When you join, you’re going to receive more than just the benefits listed above but also you’ll be aligning with hundreds of others who, like yourself, have a vested interest in the continued forward movement of free, over-the-air broadcasting.  It’s a win for your ATBA because we will increase our strength through numbers as we grow together.

So what’s the next step?  If you’re ready follow this link https://www.broadcastingalliance.org/join-us/ to sign up.  If you have more questions please don’t hesitate to call a member of the ATBA board of directors by calling this number (877) 214-4277.   You’ll get a rapid response!

Thanks for taking the time to read this note and for your ongoing passion for the future of communication in this great country.

Respectfully,

The Board of Directors – The Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance