Good News Television to construct commercial station
by Terri K. Benson - Macon Telegraph, February 9, 1988
Get ready, Macon: Within two years, the city will have four -- count 'em, four -- networks broadcasting from here.
Good News Television recently received FCC approval to construct a full-powered commercial television station broadcasting over channel 64.
Right now, plans call for the station to broadcast from its current studios on Beech Avenue with an antenna on WMAZ's tower, although that will depend on "weight and engineering studies," noted Donald R. Wood, executive director of Macon Urban Ministries/Good News TV.
The idea of becoming a full commercial station is something GNTV has thought about off and on for several years, Wood said.
"We've been here over 14 years as a cable station, and in the past we looked at broadcasting as a logical step for us," he explained.
The decision was put off because there was no real reason or rush to go commercial, until now.
"The trigger was it became obvious when we applied that this was the last frequency in Middle Georgia," Wood said of channel 64. "The decision was a logical step for us."
The FCC application submitted by GNTV calls for the project to cost approximately $1.5 million, although that figure could go either higher or lower depending on the specific construction costs., Wood said.
"So far our ministry has its own income, and we paid for everything as we bought it. We will attempt to raise the money to put us on the air so that we'll have cash. We have a line of credit we could borrow on, but our basic goal is to raise cash. We don't want to start out in debt," he said.
Although a specific time line has not been settled yet, Wood said, the station will begin broadcasting Aug. 16, 1989.
"We have to be on by the 17th (according to the FCC)," he explained with a laugh, adding "Within six months, we hope to have a time line down to hopefully within weeks of when all the different elements will come together."
Wood is excited about the possibilities as a commercial station will afford GNTV and said most of the reaction so far has been favorable.
"I have been pleasantly surprised by how many folks are excited about it - not just Good News TV but the mainline church," he said.
(Good News TV operates under Macon Urban Ministries, a non-profit corporation owned by the United Methodist Church and operated by a board of directors elected by the Macon district conference.)
Although they are still in the process of ceciding what the programming mix for the new station will be, Wood added, it will probably be a combination of Christian and family programming."
Possibilities include airing some programming from a new Christian network sponsored by the Methodist Church, as well as some things from the Gospel Music Network.