WTWO trying to get back on the air | Local News

WTWO-TV and WAWV-TV have been off the air since Tuesday and are  working to overcome a major transmission problem.

The trouble started about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday.

“We don’t know the cause of the failure,” said Tim Sturgess, general manager for WTWO-TV.

“The failure is about 840 feet up in the air inside our antenna. We ran scopes and tests and determined the issue is not in our transmitter, but up in the antenna,” Sturgess said.

Sturgess said the technical issue could involve a transmission line or one or more connectors.

One of the challenges has been finding a crew capable of working 800 feet in the air. Sturgess there are very few crews nationwide certified for such work. 

“We had to bring in a crew that arrived last night from Tulsa, Oklahoma,” he said. “They are rigging the tower (today).”

The plan is to get a temporary antenna up and bring the original antenna down to the ground.

The antenna, which Sturgess said looks like a big tube, weighs about 7,000 pounds and is about 60 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet in diameter. A large crane will be brought to the station today to help to repair the station’s antenna.

“We really don’t know at this point what the problem is, but we will access the damage,” to determine if a repair can be made or if the station has to purchase a new antenna. 

“If so, that could take several weeks,” Sturgess said, emphasizing the need for a temporary antenna.

A temporary antenna will not impact viewers who receive the stations via satellite or through cable, but could impact over the air broadcast viewers.

“We are working on some alternative solutions to see if it is possible to get a signal out sooner to satellite,” Sturgess said, but those are secondary considerations, he said.

“The why right now is not as important as getting back in business,” Sturgess said.

Sturgess said the…

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