Five months after a fire destroyed its transmission facility in Luzerne County, WVIA(FM), Pittston, Pa. returned to full power on 89.9 MHz Tuesday, Aug. 3. For the first time since the fire, listeners can again hear WVIA’s main HD Radio signal and its HD2 channel, as well as the full-power analog signal.
After the fire, the news and classical music-formatted station continued to transmit at reduced power from a trailer next to the fire site on Penobscot Mountain. The fire began when an electrical arc ignited ceiling tiles.
In a statement on its website, WVIA estimated fire left the station with $2 million in damage and “a signal that is spotty and barely satisfactory, to the complete absence of WVIA FM in several areas that once received it.”
Also, with the new transmitter, WVIA’s satellite station, WVYA, 89.7 MHz in Williamsport, Pa., is now also airing two digital channels at full-power.
WVIA continues re-building permanent transmission facilities and targets a spring 2011 completion. The station thanked its “broadcast engineering friends from several regional commercial radio and television stations” who helped the station after the fire.
FCC Rebuffs Full-Power Station’s Interference Concerns
One of the interesting questions about the recent expansion of the LPFM service is how the commission will handle objections from licensed full-power FM stations when the FCC grants second-adjacent-channel spacing waivers to low-power stations in order to fit more on the dial.