Most stations can turn off for overnight repairs without too much fanfare, but not in New York.
AM news station WINS found itself the lead item in a tabloid news column this week because it plans to shut down for several hours over the course of several nights to go digital.
“For about 10 more days through the end of August, WINS will be off the air from 12:30 to 4:30 a.m., so engineers and technicians can do the work needed for the station to start broadcasting in high definition (HD),” the New York Daily News columnist David Hinckley wrote.
He quoted the station’s Mark Mason saying, “We hate to go off the air any time, because even though late nights in August are one of our lowest listening times, there are still plenty of people out there. But this needs to be done for us to switch to HD, and it’s not the kind of work that can be done while 50,000 watts are jumping around.”
WINS will continue to stream online and can also be heard on the FM multicast signal of WWFS(FM) in the market. “Should a major news event happen, said Mason, WINS will interrupt the work and turn its signal back on to resume broadcasting,” the newspaper reported.