Broadcasters, Get Your Tower in Shape! Repack Season is Around the Corner

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screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-5-02-51-pmBroadcast owners should do everything they can to get their tower in shape now in preparation for the upcoming television channel repack. The same applies to FM owners who share tower space with television stations.

So says representatives for antenna manufacturer Electronics Research, Inc. “It’s important for you to be able to tell the FCC what’s on your tower now. Then you can find out what’s possible,” for FCC reimbursement purposes, said ERI Director of TV Sales Dave Benco. The company has hired more people and expanded its manufacturing capacity in anticipation of the repack.

“Tower mapping is a reimbursable expense you can do now,” he said at the SBE Chapter 37 meeting in Washington, D.C. Tuesday night. Benco urged FM owners to lease space on an aux tower as a back-up. “There’s going to be a lot of interruption” by TV work, he said.

In a shared situation, the tower owner is responsible for applying for reimbursement for everything on the tower; in most cases, the TV station owns the tower so that station then pays the FM station from the reimbursement funds, according to Benco. He ballparked tower mapping costs between $10,000 to $15,000.

“RF and structural engineering consultants are king now,” he told attendees during the meeting at WAMU(FM).

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