PMCM’s WJLP(TV), proud to be New Jersey’s full-service commercial VHF station


Long-time readers will recall that, back in 2009, we reported on a mind-blowing proposal to take Station KVNV(TV), Channel 3, then licensed to Ely, Nevada, and relocate it about 2,500 miles east, to Middletown Township, New Jersey. The proposal was advanced by PMCM TV, LLC, with the assistance of a team of FHH lawyers behind them. It turned out to be a long haul – chronologically as well as geographically – since the FCC was less than enthusiastic about the whole idea. But with the help of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit along the way, in October, 2014 KVNV completed the long trek east and signed on as WJLP-DT in Middletown Township.

That was less than two years ago, and we’re happy to report that the station is doing what it said it would do: serve the New Jersey audience with informational programming targeted to their needs and interests. Not New York. Not Philadelphia. New Jersey Channel 3.

How do we know this?

Don’t ask us. Ask the New York Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which last month awarded WJLP not one, not two, but three Emmy® Awards in the categories of On-Camera Talent: Reporter – Specialty Assignment, On-Camera Talent: Commentator/Editorialist, and Writer: Commentary/Editorial. The New York Chapter of the Academy encompasses New York State and Northern New Jersey, so little old WJLP was competing against network flagship O&O’s in nearby NYC as well as a boatload of other stations.

And we’re not kidding when we refer to WJLP as “little”. The photo above includes PMCM CEO Bob McAllan, PMCM Group VP Lee Leddy (hefting one of the trophies), and all but one or two staffers (somebody had to be running the station, for crying out loud) at a recent celebratory lunch. Also included in the photo are other PMCM execs and FHH’s Don Evans and Harry Cole. The Emmys® were there, too. We’ve highlighted them in the photo. And attentive readers will note that several of the station’s crew are sporting CommLawBlog sunglasses, as winners are wont to do.

We here at Fletcher Heald congratulate PMCM, WJLP – and its crack newsperson and commentator, Larry Mendte, whose name is on all three trophies. As Mr. Mendte graciously observed, credit for the prize goes not only to him, but also to the station’s staff and owners who have accomplished a whole lot in little time with limited resources.

PMCM’s accomplishments – both at WJLP and its sister station, KJWP-DT, Channel 2, Wilmington, Delaware (which made a similar cross-country move from Jackson, Wyoming along with WJLP) – demonstrate what good broadcasters can do. In addition to the three WJLP Emmys®, PMCM picked up a fourth Emmy® last year for Best Writer-News/Commentary/Short Form at KJWP, (again thanks to Larry Mendte), as well as a number of other awards and accolades for both stations’ programming. Both stations are, indeed, serving the public, and serving it well.

When Congress enacted Section 331(a) of the Communications Act in the early 1980s, its goal was to ensure that every state would have at least one commercial VHF TV station to serve the local audience. PMCM relied on that section to achieve the bold relocation of its stations. We’re pleased to report that PMCM, WJLP and KJWP have provided, and are continuing to provide, precisely the type of solid, locally-oriented nonentertainment programming that Congress had in mind. Congratulations again on a job well done!

And we here in the CommLawBlog bunker would be remiss if we didn’t toss in our own thanks to PMCM for allowing us temporary custody of one of the Emmys® to adorn our digs, however briefly. Since few visitors ever get past the multiple security checkpoints protecting us from the outside world, we figured we should provide readers a picture of the trophy as it sat in one of our several editorial conference rooms deep in the CommLawBlog bunker.