Community Television Network Inc., a Washington based minority-owned group, has asked the Federal Communications Commission to approve a low-power television network in 14 cities.
Booker Wade, CTN president, said the network would provide local news, public affairs, educational and children's programming for minority-group audiences in the 14 cities.
The group has the financial backing of Golden West Subscription Television, owned by Gene Autry and The Signal Companies Inc. of California. Golden West is providing the financing to establish the network and will lease network time during weekday evenings and weekends to provide movies and sports programming to its pay-TV customers.
CTN proposes to operate its television stations on unallocated channels at 1,000 watts of power -- low enough to avoid interference with adjoining channels, Wade said. Its programs can be viewed by anyone in the area of reception, while the Golden West programs can be viewed only by subscribers whose sets are equipped to "unscramble" the broadcast signal.
"Our proposed service gives the public what conventional television has seldom been able to provide -- programming directed to small and specialized audiences," said Wade.
"This network has been made possible only because of FCC policies endorsing diversity, minority ownership, competition and the development of new technologies."
CTN also proposes to provide, via satellite, a live nightly national black news program and weekly national public affairs programming.
The 14 cities CTN hopes to serve are New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, Tampa, Memphis, Louisville, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Denver, Kansas City, Ft. Worth, St. Petersburg, San Antonio and Seattle. In other cities, such as Washington, low-power broadcasting is not feasible because of likely interference with existing channels, Wade said.
His partners in CTN are James L. Winston and Samuel Cooper III.