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Written by: Tom Rieland
Date: March 18, 2009

A new ruling announced by the FCC has given public television stations an opportunity to shutdown their analog signals between March 27 and March 31. Given this ruling, WOSU has decided to shut down its analog transmitters for WOSU Columbus and WPBO Portsmouth on March 31st at 7am.

WOSU analog will have been on the air for slightly over 53 years. TV34 went on the air in February, 1956.

There are a number of factors that have led to this decision. Certainly, one is that in shutting down at the end of the month in lieu of June 12th, WOSU will save about $26,000 in utility bills at a time when that savings is critical to our budget. However, that’s not the only consideration. Through Nielson survey numbers, we have seen a dramatic drop in the number of “unready” households in the Columbus market. In fact, over 97 percent of the viewers in the Columbus market either have pay TV or have installed converter boxes on their analog televisions to receive over-the-air broadcasts. With the Fox affiliate in Columbus going off analog in February, many have gotten the message. Also, by going off now, we are able to begin the process of taking the analog equipment off our Westerville, OH tower, allowing us to maximize our digital over-the-air signal, which is now at half power. As more folks are tuning in through digital converter boxes or digital televisions, its critical for us to be at full power.

WOSU will continue to assist folks with the transition well into June and continue our relationship with COAAA and LifeCare Alliance to assist those most in need. If you haven’t applied for a DTV Coupon, please do so and contribute it to WOSU upon arrival. It will help us help the most in need in Columbus. Go to: to apply. WOSU has collected over 2,900 coupons to date to assist the elderly and poor in Columbus with the transition to digital broadcasting.