West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 6, 2009




Grand Rapids Press:

Congress has authorized a delay in the shutdown of analog TV broadcasts, but that doesn't mean local TV stations have to wait. The drop-dead date for the much-publicized switch from analog to digital broadcasting has been moved from Feb. 17 to June 12. However, stations are allowed to turn off their analog signals before June if they notify the Federal Communications Commission. Stations planning to execute the full digital switch by Feb. 17 have until Monday to file notice. Fox affiliate WXMI (Channel 17) intends to proceed as planned with the switch this month. Patty Kolb, the station's general manager, said Thursday the station "most likely" would file notice and turn off its analog signal Feb. 17. Kolb said general managers of area stations planned this morning to discuss how the local market should respond to the directives of Congress and the FCC... Delay digital conversion? Grand Rapids TV stations consider choices (Fri, 2/6)

Public service announcements airing Friday morning on WXMI-TV (Channel 17) said the Fox affiliate was going ahead with a change to digital broadcast on Feb. 17, despite Congress's approval Wednesday of a bill to delay the much-publicized switch from analog to digital until June 12. But before noon, the announcements had been pulled. "There's been a lot of confusion," said General Manager Patty Kolb, who added the station is now leaning toward the June 12 date because of the number of people in the market who do not have the necessary converter boxes to receive digital broadcasts. "We have a lot of very popular shows, and we don't want any viewers to miss their favorite show," Kolb said. Kolb and spokespersons from several area stations said a final decision on whether to proceed with the Feb. 17 switch or wait won't be made until Monday, a deadline set by the Federal Communications Commission... WXMI switches directions, now considers not making Feb. 17 digital switch (Fri, 2/6)



St. Joseph Herald Palladium:

Analog broadcasting will die as scheduled for at least three stations that broadcast in Southwest Michigan, despite Congress approving a four-month reprieve Wednesday. WSJV, Channel 28 of Elkhart and WNDU, Channel 16, and WSBT, Channel 22, both of South Bend, reported Wednesday they will use only digital signals starting at 12 a.m. Feb. 17. Information on how other area stations will respond was not available Wednesday. The House voted 264-158 Wednesday to extend the digital conversion deadline to June 12 deadline, but it gave local stations the option to go ahead with the Feb. 17 conversion if they felt their markets were ready. The Senate already approved the bill, which President Barack Obama promised to sign. House and Senate leaders wanted the delay because they said the transition has not been as smooth as desired or expected for viewers. For viewers, analog's demise will mean no broadcast television unless they have digital-ready television sets or equipment for converting digital signals into analog ones. Viewers using cable and satellite services are not affected. U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, voted against the bill to extend the deadline. He said the transition appears to be going well in his Southwest Michigan district... Area stations reject digital delay (Thu, 2/5)




With the digital TV transition likely delayed until June 12, broadcasters still have a chance to transition early, if they choose. WZZM channel 13 and WXMI channel 17 report they will continue to broadcast in both analog and digital until the June 12th deadline. WOOD-TV is still waiting for the president to sign the bill and for lawyers to go over it before making a decision. "The law, while it pushed the date back to June 12th, it also includes a provision that stations may go early," Mike Leamers, WOOD-TV engineer, said this week. "We're still trying to figure out what the law says, whether there'll be FCC rules that we'll have to give notice to the public before we go, so there are a few things still up in the air," Leamers said. WWMT channel 3 in Kalamazoo has yet to announce any decision, and WGVU reports it will probably wait until the others decide before they make that decision... Some Local TV Stations Plan A "Wait-and-See" on DTV Switch (Fri, 2/6)







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This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on February 6, 2009 8:28 AM.

Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 5, 2009 was the previous entry in this blog.

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