Jim Geraghty, over at National Review, has a bit of potentially interesting media news coming out of one of the early primary states. Is there a state-wide television news channel coming to New Hampshire, controlled by a Republican?
“Former U.S. Senate candidate and Seacoast businessman Bill Binnie is in the late stages of purchasing Derry television station WNDS, which will serve as the flagship studio for Binnie’s statewide television network, New Hampshire 1 Network, NH Journal has learned.
Sources tell the Journal that New Hampshire 1 Network could launch as soon as April, giving Binnie plenty of time to influence New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary.
Binnie is a Republican. He won a bit over 14 percent in last September’s GOP Senate primary, in a race with four big-name GOP contenders; former state attorney general Kelly Ayotte won the primary and the seat in November.
Activists may being raising a fuss over this on two fronts, media saturation and media bias. And the former shouldn’t even be an issue. Having a state-wide news agency competing in the market and specializing on state / local news is nothing new. It also provides a niche market popular with people who don’t get enough local coverage from the big 24 hour cable outlets. In New York we have the YNN Network (Your News Now) which is broken up into multiple outlets covering each of the major metropolitan areas and runs on cable 24/7.
Should one person with a potential political bias own such an operation? Well somebody has to own it and it’s rather hard to find anyone with no political leanings at all. In the end, unless we want the government dictating who can or can’t provide television news coverage, the market will determine whether or not there is enough interest in the proposed new network to make it a success. And in a state as keenly active in politics as New Hampshire, it might be a welcome option to the national outlets.