As much as I would love to have an outlet for my show in the Flower City, I know it will never happen. I just can't see WEOS, WRVO, or WAMC expanding into the Rochester market.
WRVO has tried for years to get some kind of signal in Rochester. They had several translator applications from 2003 along the eastern suburbs, like Webster and whatnot. Several got dismissed, I think mostly because they were over the 10-app limit or because the technical landscape changed between 2003 and now. I have no idea if WXXI did anything, formally or informally, in those proceedings...but it wouldn't surprise me if they did; it's smart business, ya know? After all, I won't deny that I was not thrilled by WRVO putting up that translator in Geneva.
I hadn't thought of WAMC trying to get into Rochester, and it seems a bit far-fetched but, then again, WAMC has not been shy about trying to expand their reach far, far outside of Albany.
I'd like to expand on something Mr. Giardina said earlier in this thread. He mentioned that WXXI would never (allow) another NPR station to enter the market. To that end, couldn't they make the core NPR shows "market exclusive" to the WXXI stations?
Short answer: no. NPR does not allow any member station to have market exclusivity over another member station. The only exception is that full NPR member stations have right of first refusal over grandfathered auxiliary (rural market) NPR members. WEOS is one of those handful (I think there's only four or five left in the whole USA) grandfathered auxiliary members. If WRVO, WXXI or WSKG moves into the Geneva market, or if WEOS moves into one of their markets, then the full NPR member can demand that WEOS stop airing an NPR show that the full member wants to air. But it's only in regards to programming the full member airs; if the full member airs Diane Rehm and the auxiliary member wants to air OnPoint, then the full member cannot "deny" the auxiliary member unless the full member drops Rehm and picks up OnPoint. This is happening right now with WEOS putting WITH on the air in Ithaca, in regards to WSKG's station WSQC 90.9, also licensed to Ithaca. It's a giant pain in our ass, to put it mildly...I have to find a LOT of alternative programming and some of it is pretty expensive.
For those who wonder, FM translators "don't count" in these issues...only Class-A-or-better FM's and AM's. That's why our translator W201CD hasn't triggered this rule. Also because WEOS doesn't own W201CD, Ithaca Community Radio does. Similarly, I don't think HD2 or HD3 channels "count" either.
This only applies to NPR shows. Public Radio Int'l has no such rule, and the only PRI show that allows market exclusivity is Whad'ya Know. AFAIK, American Public Media has no exclusivity of any kind. Neither does Democracy Now, Pacifica Radio, or most of the completely independent shows.
If it's any consolation, I'd like to point out that there are still a handful of opportunities for community members to have access to the airwaves in Rochester, which I assume is what Voice of Reason is ultimately advocating here. WGMC, WBER, and WITR are always looking for volunteers, providing that your show fits their format, of course.
Quite honestly, this is more access to the airwaves than most cities have for community volunteers. All three stations have decent-to-excellent signals and still have SOME room for new members. Most cities I know have one or two community signals and they're already booked solid in their air schedule...or they only have weak, tiny signals that aren't really worth the effort. Granted, I'm not familiar with EVERY city out there, but my hunch is that we shouldn't sell Rochester short in this dep't.