In this week’s issue… Repack deadline leaves some signals hanging – Alt, Breeze relaunch in Albany – Format flip in Olean – Simulcast split in NYC – More power in the Maritimes
By SCOTT FYBUSH
*If you know a TV station engineer anywhere in the northeast, this would be a good week to buy them a beer – if they’re not headed out for a well-deserved vacation after the most chaotic week in over-the-air TV the region has seen since at least the 2009 analog shutdown.
As NERW readers know by now, Friday marked the end of Phase 4 of the FCC’s big repack of the digital TV spectrum, the 39-month process that’s compressing TV stations down to a smaller chunk of VHF and UHF spectrum that will now encompass only channels 2 through 36 after selling the former channels 38-51 to wireless companies.
And as attentive NERW readers also know by now, Phase 4 was the part of the repack with the biggest effect on stations in our neck of the woods. From southern Maine down to Philadelphia and all the way over to northeast Ohio, more than 100 full-power stations and dozens of LPTVs had to coordinate a complicated dance to build out facilities for their new channels, all to be ready to switch over almost simultaneously as the phase came to an end.
Read on for our in-depth report on how it all turned out…
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