Sunday, December 16, 2007

There's Always Books, You Know

My brother and I were chatting on Instant Messenger this evening when he asked me if we had much of a snow/sleet storm down here.

“Sure did,” I replied. “Two tv towers up on the mountain collapsed from the ice and winds. We lost ABC and PBS. When the local ABC station’s tower fell, it snapped the power line going to the CBS and NBC affiliates.”

Since our cable company is the first one, from 1947 or ’48, this area has something like 90 percent penetration; not that many people pick their signals up from antennas. All the stations need to do is hook a direct line from the studio to the various carriers and they can serve the majority of the market.

But if you are in that ten percent, what to do? Well, you can always enjoy the art of conversation; you can read something (a book or a good magazine comes to mind), or you can bundle up and take a walk down the street. Even if all the stations were off the air for one reason or another, you will still survive; your grandparents did, as theirs before them.

There is no good time for your 800’ tower to come down. I’ve never heard a station manager say, “Well, the bright side is that it’s (fill in season or programming schedule).” But when the winter is starting to kick in, you can be sure it’s a bad time. I can’t imagine any tower installers wanting to put up that much steel on a windy mountain in January. One station has a backup; the other might co-op with another station.


Anonymous outthere said...

Books are a good thing, however it is madding when the station goes out in the last 2 minutes of the Eagles- Dallas game -- and Dallas has the ball on the Eagles 20 yard line..

December 17, 2007 10:53 AM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

"s" happens.

Tv scoreboard:

2 stations lost their towers (16 and 44, although 44 has a back-up).

2 stations are hanging on by a thread (22 and 56), as their guy wires are damaged and a good windstorm will bring them down.

Regular tv ends in 14 months and it goes digital then. Since 16 lost both its transmitter and tower, there's a possibility it might not rebuild the facility. Maybe just lease a transmitter and stick an adequate antenna on someone else's tower.

44 is in a different boat; they have a somewhat usable signal with their backup tower, but only need it for 14 months.

22 and 56 need to fix the guy wires that hold their towers up, or they are out of luck and there will be two less towers.

December 17, 2007 12:30 PM  
Anonymous ruthc said...

If that had happened in my area I would have been one of the unlucky 10%. Would not have been happy about that since it was the final episode of Survivor. Then there was still plenty of time to catch the end of the football game.

Todd won, in case any of your readers care to know. So did the Eagles.

December 17, 2007 5:27 PM  

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