There has been much speculation about the fate of Channel 40, the station that broadcasts out of Linwood and reaches the Jersey Shore and home to beloved local heroes weatherman Dan Skeldon and sports guy Pete Thompson. Dropped by NBC as an affiliate, and owned by California-based LocusPoint Networks, which wants the station solely for an FCC bandwidth auction, the station's fate has been as shaky as, well, the Revel.
Station General Manager Roger Powe organized a "Friends of 40" effort but declined to discuss the fate of the station. LocusPoint did not return phone calls. But Tuesday afternoon, the station posted a statement saying that while their management company, Access 1 will not be operating the WMGM-TV channel (4 on Comcast), the company has "taken steps to continue and expand our news product on a new broadcast channel. In the meantime, looks like the newscasts and local content will end on Channel 40 Dec. 31.
The new company will be comprised of the current news, sales, management and administration teams, the statement said, and would expand to nine counties in southern New Jersey.
The company has been seeking financial backers that would allow it to continue broadcasting, possibly out of a new building or studio (Boardwalk Hall has been mentioned as a possibility). As they say, Stay Tuned. No word on what will fill airtime on WMGM come January, without NBC or local content, or how many people will be out of work, even temporarily.