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CONGRESSIONAL PING PONG

by Marc

KMOV.com

Posted on January 29, 2009 at 9:21 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 3:02 PM

As of today, the DTV transition is still on for February17th! But of course, the story doesn't end there. Here's the AP wire copy from today:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Bucking the Obama administration, House Republicans on Wednesday defeated a bill to postpone the upcoming transition from analog to digital television broadcasting to June 12 -- leaving an estimated 6.5 million U.S. households unprepared for the currently scheduled Feb. 17 switchover.
But the battle over a delay may not be over, with some predicting the House will take up the measure again next week.
Wednesday's 258-168 House vote failed to clear the two-thirds threshold needed for passage in a victory for GOP members, who warn that postponing the transition by four months would confuse consumers.

As the DTV reporter, this makes me very happy. However, I understand why some people are upset. KMOV-TV will of course honor whatever decision is made by Congress. Organizationally, delaying the switch poses a number of problems. We are already in the process of rebuilding our digital transmitters to broadcast on Ch. 24. On February 17th, we're scheduled to have a tower crew move in and replace the Ch. 4 antenna on top of our 1200 foot tower with a Ch. 24 antenna. Until that happens, we cannot return to our full power of 1-million watts. So if Congress ends up delaying the switch, we will remain at less than full power until June. Hundreds of stations across the country face the same situation. This bill included a clause allowing stations to switch earlier if they choose, but don't bank on that happening. No station I can think of would risk being the only one to alienate a segment of viewers. We'll keep you up to date as this is considered again in Congress.

Marc


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