Thursday, May 18, 2006

The CW and WBNX

The CW Network, which premieres in September on many former WB and UPN affiliates, has unveiled its premiere lineup at a new website, complete with video of the network's opening promo.

Meanwhile, OMW hears that WBNX/55 Akron, the Cleveland market WB affiliate that's moving to The CW in the fall, may NOT have its digital signal up in time for the fall CW season's high-definition programming.

OMW reported earlier that WBNX had finally received a construction permit for WBNX-DT 30, which has been tied up for years due to interference concerns with a Canadian station. WBNX said it'd obtained the verbal OK from the Canadians, but didn't hear from the FCC until the CP was approved.

An OMW tipster tells us the station is now telling viewers who ask about it that WBNX may not be able to put up the digital signal until "spring 2007". The station says it has to still design and build an antenna, for one.

We're not engineers, so we don't know how much work a station can do on a new facility - legally - before the FCC approves the construction permit. We're guessing they can build the physical building that would hold a new transmitter, if needed, but they probably can't work on any of the actual technical pieces that would create the new facility.

In the meantime, we're wondering why WBNX isn't readying a cable-only HD feed for The CW in the fall...


Edward said...

The OMW so-called tipster that stated, "...the station is now telling viewers who ask about it that WBNX may not be able to put up the digital signal until "spring 2007"..." is completely incorrect. WBNX already has their engineers working on it and they will go digital this summer in time for the CW launch. WBNX is not saying "spring 2007" when you call them or in any press releases. That is a false statement and I verified with WBNX directly that this summer it will be ready with its digital signal. WBNX has obtained full FCC approval to go digital and just hasn't updated their website to reflect that in their Trends section. OMW needs to correct this false info that's been published as soon as possible.

Anonymous said...

False information from that so-called tipster is probably someone from a competing station (a sore loser maybe? - UAB?). Their antenna doesn't need re-built (its the newest and tallest tower in Cleveland market); it only needs a modification to add the digital signal according to FCC requirements. I'm surprised this story wasn't checked out a bit more before uploading.

Edward said...

Minor clarification for Anonymous. I think what you're trying to say is that WBNX's tower is the tallest and newest braodcast tower in the Cleveland market. But, they will be putting up an additional antenna on that tower so that they will be transmitting both their analog signal as well as their digital signal. They'll be ready with their digital signal by the launch of The CW, but I personally believe it will be carried by cable and sat. providers first and then additionally, later, they'll have an over-the-air digital signal (and maybe that will be 2007?). But, most of us who have TVs capable of receiving digital will most likely be more interested in seeing their digital signal thru our cable/sat. provider. I don't look at any of the local stations using an antenna. I know I'm a bit spoiled now. A plasma TV on the wall will do that to you.