Tower work could take local TV stations off air next week


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Originally Posted Online: Aug. 10, 2012, 8:55 pm
Last Updated: Aug. 10, 2012, 9:27 pm
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By Lindsay Hocker, lhocker@qconline.com

Three Quad-Cities television stations likely will be off the air for all noncable customers at various times next weekend.

Mediacom customers won't be affected, but others probably won't be able to see WQAD-TV 8, KWQC-TV6 and FOX 18 KLJB from 4 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 18 and 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 19, according to WQAD chief engineer Rick Serre.

He said the transmitters for the three stations, all on a tower near Orion, will be shut down so a new antenna can be added to the tower. The work times could change if there is rain or wind, Mr. Serre said

American Tower Corp. owns the 1,106-foot tower, and the stations lease parts of it. WQAD owns the land the tower is on.

Mr. Serre said the antenna is being added for WMWC, a station that will feature Trinity Broadcasting Network religious programming.

FOX 18 KLJB/KGCW chief engineer Don Bargmann Jr. said KLJB will be affected, but KGCW won't be because it is broadcast from another tower.

Mr. Bargmann said that, while the station doesn't like having to go off-air, "we share community towers, so when another tenant needs help, we have to help them out."

KWQC general manager Ken Freedman said he hadn't heard confirmed times for the work on the tower as of Friday morning.

Mr. Freedman said the stations are trying to set up "alternative delivery means" so DIRECTV, DISH and Comcast customers still could view them.

Mr. Serre and Mr. Bargmann confirmed that.

"It's complicated," Mr. Freedman said. "We don't know if we will be be able to work it out in time."

Calls to American Tower Corp. and Trinity Broadcasting Network weren't returned as of late Friday afternoon.

















 




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