sowny.net | The Southern Ontario/WNY Radio-TV Forum


You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

September 15, 2020 4:16 pm  #1


Almost Every TV & Radio Station In L.A. Could Be Forced Off The Air

You've probably seen the coverage of the devastating fires in California, but you've likely never heard of anything like this: imagine if almost every TV and many radio stations in the second biggest market in the world were suddenly forced off the air, possibly for weeks? 

It could happen if the flames approaching a place called Mt. Wilson reach a series of TV and radio transmitters collectively worth about a billion dollars.

According to Deadline:

"Every local network affiliate uses the towers atop Mt. Wilson to transmit their signals, as do PBS, Univision and KCET. At least nine local radio stations also use the equipment."  

If the flames were to reach the site, it could mean dozens of over-the-air stations could go silent very suddenly, with no way to restore full power until the crisis passes and everything could be rebuilt. And at present, there's no word on when that could happen. 

I've heard of hurricanes taking select stations off the air in the southern part of the U.S., as they get back on air through back-ups or with the help of co-owned affiliates. But I can't recall hearing about anything quite so extensive in a single market - especially L.A.

Pretty incredible. Not to mention pretty terrifying. 

Bobcat Fire In Los Angeles Is Burning Within 500 Feet Of Mt. Wilson Observatory, Threatens Local TV And Radio Transmission Towers Worth $1B 

 

September 15, 2020 4:41 pm  #2


Re: Almost Every TV & Radio Station In L.A. Could Be Forced Off The Air

I take it they don’t have backup transmitters in another location, like many New York stations did on the Empire State Building.

 

September 15, 2020 5:38 pm  #3


Re: Almost Every TV & Radio Station In L.A. Could Be Forced Off The Air

I'm sure they must, and they'd probably still be able to stay on cable and satellite. But to have so many TV TXs potentially go down at the same time is simply stunning. As for the radio stations involved, back-ups usually aren't full power, so that would seriously affect who could hear them.  

     Thread Starter
 

September 15, 2020 5:40 pm  #4


Re: Almost Every TV & Radio Station In L.A. Could Be Forced Off The Air

All the commercial radio stations have pretty relioable backups that run at good power but less height. Some of the smaller stations may not. From what I've read elsewhere, the TV stations many not have reliable backups, but it's obviously less of an issue for TV, as they doesn't rely primarily on OTA.

Last edited by RadioAaron (September 15, 2020 5:41 pm)


 
 

September 16, 2020 7:33 am  #5


Re: Almost Every TV & Radio Station In L.A. Could Be Forced Off The Air

Mt. Wilson is roughly 5800 ft. high. That would give a pretty good coverage area.