Editorial: Stations’ Efforts Key to Digital Transition

Apr 13, 2008  •  Post A Comment

With less than a year before the era of analog television signals ends, educating the public about the digital transition is getting more urgent. Television stations, both corporate and public, should be lauded for their efforts to inform the communities they serve about the switch.
In this edition of TelevisionWeek, we recognize the leadership of WIS-TV, the Raycom
Media-owned NBC affiliate in Columbia, S.C., for its efforts in preparing for the Feb. 17, 2009, transition to digital signals. It was a difficult choice, as more than two dozen stations submitted entries detailing the lengths to which they’ve gone in trying to get the word out.
WIS’s service area typifies the kind of region that might be hardest hit when analog signals end.
About 20 percent of the homes in the area the station covers receive only over-the-air television. WIS’s director of marketing and programming, Barry Ahrendt, notes that those most at risk of losing their signal in the switch are people in rural areas, the elderly and the poor.
To keep those people from losing their TV signals, WIS personnel have hit the street, attending community events to talk about the transition. The station has run informational spots and set up a phone bank to take questions. The WIS Web site, like others in the Raycom group, carries information about the digital transition (with Spanish translations in areas with heavy Hispanic populations). Members of the station’s news department even have gone door-to-door, visiting homes with an exterior antenna to show residents a converter box and how it works.
It’s that kind of dedication that shows the leadership of the TV station community in the run-up to the digital switch. Other stations TelevisionWeek honors include runners-up KOPB-TV in Portland, Ore.; WCVB-TV in Boston, Mass./Manchester, N.H.; WSLS-TV in Roanoke/Lynchburg, Va.; WHYY-TV in Philadelphia and KTEN-TV in Dennison, Texas.
Those honorees represent only a sliver of the effort the broadcasting companies and public TV stations are pouring into making sure their audiences don’t go dark on Feb. 17 next year. Those efforts, which often progress person-by-person, illustrate the depth of the connection between TV stations and their viewers.
So let’s wish broadcasters well as they try to make sure all TV viewers, including older folks, the poor and people living in remote locations, don’t get left behind. For some of those people, broadcast TV is their only reliable link to the outside world, bringing information, entertainment and vital news and safety information.


  1. Great blog!! You should start many more. I love all the info provided. I will stay tuned 🙂

  2. Love all the opinions expressed here! How is everyone? Love how everyone expresses whatr they feel 🙂

  3. Hi everyone I really thought about the article, good info, Can we fix the RSS feeder. . .? or is it my browser. Well, keep up the good work.
    http://www.facebooknuke.info – Make Money With Your Facebook Account – Hey, it Works!

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)