Digital multicasting networks have the potential to provide a critical new stream of income to stations, provided they invest sufficiently in content to be able to garner interest -- and retransmission-consent fees -- from cable providers, columnist Harry A. Jessell writes. "Right now, it's been said, the industry stands on a three-legged stool -- auto, political and retrans," he writes. "A fourth leg would make the biz a lot sturdier."

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