Thursday, June 25, 2009

WOAC Flips

UPDATE 6/25/09 2:23 PM: A reader comment on this item led us to our digital tuner, and indeed, the WOAC call letters and channel 67 identification are both history.

PSIP information now displays the Canton-licensed station as "47-1, WRLM-DT". We did not have to rescan our Zenith converter box to get the new information.

The onscreen legal ID automatically inserted under the WOAC days appears to be in may well say "WRLM", but the last time we saw it, the call letters went above the top of the screen...


As expected, if a day late, Illinois-based Tri-State Christian Television (TCT) has taken over infomercial outlet WOAC/67 Canton, and has flipped it to its own religious programming under the new call letters WRLM.

TCT president and founder Garth Coonce is phoning in to his network's "TCT Today" show, live from the station's Brimfield Township transmitter facility.

He told viewers that TCT's Radiant Life Ministries "signed the papers this morning" to close on the station purchase out of the bankruptcy of Multicultural Broadcasting's TV arm. That echoes the information that Cleveland Classic Media's Tim Lones got when he called the TCT headquarters in Illinois.

As of the moment, WOAC's transmitter is still putting out PSIP information as "67-1". We imagine that will be changed at some point, to reflect the new WRLM calls, the apparently coming change to an ID of RF channel 47, and a second TCT channel in HD.

Changing PSIP information is probably not a good idea at the station's initial debut, since it could well throw some digital TV receivers (and for that matter, some cable systems)...


Anonymous said...

Not anymore.

The PSIP info is now coming in as WRLM-DT Channel 47. No sign of any new subchannels after a rescan of my converter box.

Andrew J said...

I also have an Zenith/Insignia box and the info automatically updated when I entered 67. I also have a digital stream box. When I entered in the RF channel number manually it came up as WRLM-DT/47. The WOAC-DT/67 PSIP information is still in the converter box, but it's completely useless since there is no picture or sound when the old PSIP information is showing. I might as well rescan the whole thing to delete the old information.

Scott said...

Technically speaking, WRLM isn't supposed to be changing its virtual channel from 67 to 47. The rules are pretty clear (if you can find the section of FCC regulations that incorporates the ATSC standard that says you're supposed to keep using your analog channel number as your virtual "major channel") - and a few stations, like KUSI in San Diego, have already gotten busted for failing to comply.

That said, the purpose of continuing to use the old analog number is to provide for a situation in which someone else is now occupying the former analog channel - i.e., if a new station were licensed in Cleveland on RF channel 5 or 19, it would have to have a virtual channel number to use - and so it would use "15" or "10."

But nobody will be using RF channel 67 ever again, so there's probably no harm in what WRLM is doing.

Ohio Media Watch said...

Of course, Mr. Vobbe is using 8 for WLIO in Lima.

But he's already going to be occupying 35 with his own LP, if that's the issue, he's got that covered as well.

I THINK that's what you told me last time we talked about this...

Scott said...

In practice, the FCC doesn't seem to care much so long as there's no conflict within a market, or with a nearby market. KUSI in San Diego apparently hit a snag with its plans to "move" from 51 to its RF channel of 18 because of Los Angeles-market KSCI, which was already virtual 18.

There's no possibility of conflict with WRLM, since the nearest virtual 47s are in Lansing and Altoona.

Same deal with Lima - the nearest virtual 8s are Grand Rapids, Indianapolis and WJW, and given that WLIO will be controlling the eventual new occupant of RF 35, which would have been virtual 8 anyway, it really makes no difference if WLIO wants to be "8.x" instead of "35.x."

At some point, I expect the FCC will allow some amount of negotiation among stations that want to change their virtual channel numbers. We shall see...