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TV Station Turns Off Analog

TV Station Turns Off Analog

Could it ever happen in radio?
This story is about a TV station; but given discussions over digital in radio, it might make one pause.
WNVT, a PBS television station in Goldvein, Va., has received permission from the FCC to shut off its analog signal and broadcast as a digital-only station.
The station is owned by the Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corp. According to TV Technology magazine, it petitioned the commission citing financial difficulties and a declining analog audience.
WNVT broadcast Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to midnight. During the school year, it broadcasts instructional programming for classroom use during the day.
WNVT told the commission the audience for its analog signal over Channel 53 numbered around 3,000 and that its budget had been reduced by 23 percent in the last year along, making it difficult for the station to justify the costs of continuing to broadcast in analog, the magazine reported.
According to Station Manager Frederick Thomas, the cost of upgrading the station’s tower to handle both analog and digital antennas would have cost approximately $500,000 and that “the bulk of the audience truly is cable.” Thomas adds that the station has received no public complaints since the analog signal was shut off.
In its petition to the commission, WNVT said it could save an estimated $900,000 in construction and operational costs over the next four years by operating as a “digital only” facility.