Soul of the South Television, which originates from Little Rock and targets an African American audience, will replace NBC programming on NBC40 at the Jersey Shore, a network official confirmed Wednesday.
The NBC affiliation was to expire at midnight Wednesday. After that, Soul of the South programming takes over, said Matthew Mixon, vice president of sales and distribution for Soul of the South Television.
The NBC40 news crew will not report for work to the TV studios on Thursday, NBC40 officials have said. NBC40 meteorologist Dan Skeldon said this week he would join the Atlantic City Press.
NBC40's last show is expected to be a one-hour documentary Wednesday night about the station, which serves Atlantic, Cape May, and Cumberland Counties.
Soul of the South telecasts a news show from Little Rock and a weekday political roundtable show out of Washington.
Prime-time programming on Soul of the South - which has been on the air for about 18 months - includes movies and wrestling, Mixon said.
Soul of the South is available on 30 over-the-air television stations nationwide, the network's website says.
NBC40's fate was sealed when Comcast Corp.-owned NBCUniversal pulled its affiliation so it could consolidate the regional TV market under NBC10 in Philadelphia.
The Jersey Shore station, technically WMGM-TV, is owned by LocusPoint Networks of California. LocusPoint is expected to sell WMGM-TV's wireless spectrum in a government-managed auction, possibly in 2016. The National Association of Broadcasters says the auction could put many independent and marginally profitable TV stations out of business.
According to 2013 estimates by the U.S. Census, 17.3 percent of the Atlantic County population is African American, as is 5 percent of the Cape May County population and 21.8 percent of the Cumberland County population.