Will 4 Wyoming Stations Go Dark Wednesday?


That’s what the owner of Rich Broadcasting, Richard Mecham, told The Jackson Hole News and Guide. Mecham owes American Tower three year’s worth of back tower rental fees but the two sides dispute how much should be paid.

American Tower wants $500,000. Mecham admits he owes the money but says the terms of his deal state the fees should be “reasonable and commensurate with the uses and occupancy of the facilities and services provided and consistent with, and not in excess of, other fees for similar facilities.”

Mecham said a reasonable and consistent fee would be more like $100,000. Rich broadcasting is also in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Mecham tells the paper that his research showed him that stations in markets five to 29 times the population or coverage area of his Jackson stations are paying as little as $500 a month. Mountain Home/Boise, with a coverage population of 667,565, pays $2,000 a month, while his two stations are paying $3,000 per month. Rich Broadcasting’s stations serve 23,125 people.

Mecham says his extension expires Wednesday and he expects the tower company to shut off his stations. “There have been no negotiations. They have not talked to us since January. They could care less. It’s mind-boggling.”

Read the full article HERE.


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