Syracuse Stations WSTM, WCNY Begin Repack Tower Work

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Syracuse, NY, television stations WSTM and WCNY began going off the air during the day last Tuesday in preparation for tower work necessary for the broadcast channel repack. WSTM Chief Engineer Vinny Lopez told Syracuse.com upgrades are being made to the 805-foot-tall tower the stations share in Onondaga, south of Syracuse, to prepare for a new antenna installation.

Viewers who receive the stations over the air can expect random daily outages during daylight hours until the new antenna is installed and operating, he said.

 The stations’ air signals will be back up in the evening because the tower work is not being done at night. Viewers who watch via a cable or satellite television service won’t be affected.

A helicopter is scheduled to install the new antenna on October 18, according to Syracuse.com. After technicians install the antenna and conduct tests, it’s scheduled to go into operation on October 28, according to Lopez. He cautioned that the schedule depends on the weather, because the work cannot be done during rain or when there’s strong winds.

The new antenna is necessary for NBC affiliate WSTM, and non-commercial WCNY, to meet the FCC’s deadline for their frequency change. The two stations are among nearly 1,000 around the country that are moving to the lower portion of the 600 MHz frequency band to make room for new wireless networks. WSTM and WCNY are using an Auxiliary antenna to meet the FCC’s requirement until their new primary antenna is installed.

October 14, 2019

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