WNEO Goes Full Power

OMW hears that Western Reserve PBS’ Youngstown market outlet, WNEO/45 Alliance, has successfully raised its power to the post-transition 500KW level.

As readers here already know, WNEO signed off its analog transmitter in Salem in mid-November 2008, going digital only with a 44KW authorization on its former analog channel, 45.

But as station manager William O’Neill notes in a station press release, Western Reserve PBS quickly found out that 44KW was just not enough, and filed for a special temporary authority to run the post-transition power at 500KW.

“Once we made the transition from analog to digital in November, it quickly became apparent that the new digital signal was not powerful enough to serve our WNEO viewers,” said William O’Neill, Western Reserve PBS station manager. “The FCC granted approval to significantly increase the power in February, but we asked them for permission to upgrade earlier since so many viewers were unable to pick up our signal. We received that approval earlier this week.”

Approval to run the higher power level, early, was issued by the FCC earlier this month (on January 8th), and our good friends at Campus Center Drive tell us that the station “upped the juice” on WNEO digital channel 45 on Wednesday afternoon.

In its filing of the STA application, Western Reserve PBS noted that it had received viewer complaints about the earlier, lower-power signal from locations as close as WNEO’s city of license (Alliance), its transmitter site (Salem), and from communities all over the Mahoning Valley.

Western Reserve PBS’ other outlet, Akron’s WEAO/49, is operating at full digital power, and that facility will continue after analog channel 49 signs off at the digital transition…

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