Despite lawmakers’ approval of a plan to extend the digital transition period until June, at least three Orlando stations may pull the plug on their analog broadcasts as early as Feb. 17.
Public broadcaster WMFE-Ch. 24, Univision’s WVEN-Ch. 26 and indy WRDQ-Ch. 27 may turn off their analog signals 12 days from now, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
“I don’t think there is much of anything to be gained by postponing it to June 12,” WVEN VP/GM Antonio Guernica told the Sentinel. “I think everybody who is going to be ready is ready and those who aren’t ready now, I don’t believe they will prepare between now and June 12. There are some folks who will react only when they go to their TV and their favorite programming is not there.”
Meanwhile, among other stations: WKMG-Ch. 6, WESH-Ch. 2 and WKCF-Ch. 18 will likely wait until the new June deadline to end analog broadcasts, while WFTV-Ch. 9 hasn’t made a decision on what to do.
Why pull the plug early? Money. The stations could save thousands of dollars in electricity bills by turning off their analog transmitters by the original DTV deadline of Feb. 17. They’re already paying for power for both analog and digital transmitters now.
Read the full story here.
Continue reading Forget extension, Orlando stations set to drop analog signals
Public broadcaster WMFE is continuing to be hit hard by the economic downturn.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the local PBS/NPR station group laid off 28 percent of its staff — 15 employees — in its most recent cuts. This follows layoffs in October that cut 10 people from the stations’ staff.
Among the high-profile positions gone this time: classical-music radio host Dave Glerum and the six-person staff of TV’s “The Arts Connection.” Others losing jobs were a radio reporter, two receptionists, a program scheduler and a person each from engineering, membership and finance.
Jose Fajardo, WMFE’s president and CEO, told the Sentinel that the station is making the cuts to focus dwindling resources on maintaining key PBS and NPR resources, such as Masterpiece Theather.
“The core product of public broadcasting will still be delivered,” Fajardo said. “The cuts were necessary to protect those programs.”
Former WKMG morning traffic reporter Secily Wilson, who was part of “The Arts Connection,” told the Sentinel: “It’s very unfortunate. It marks the end of local TV production” at the station.
Read the Sentinel story here.
Continue reading More layoffs at WMFE TV/radio