Tulsa: Oklahoma broadcasters go forward on transition to digital

BY ROBERT EVATT - Tulsa World Modified: February 6, 2009 at 6:08 am •  Published: February 6, 2009
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Most Oklahoma television stations plan to shut off their analog transmissions on or near Feb. 17 despite the deadline extension, said Vince Harrison, president of the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters.

Officials at the major stations in Oklahoma City have said they will complete the switch from analog to digital signals as planned.

David Griffin, president and chief executive officer of Griffin Communications, which owns both KWTV- 9 in Oklahoma City and Tulsa’s KOTV, said he has filed a request to use only digital transmissions on Feb. 17.

But he also said he reserves the right to rescind that request for one or both stations if other broadcast outlets do not convert or if there are signal interference problems.

Officials at some Tulsa stations are undecided, Harrison said.

"It’s a little fluid,” he said. "Many of them are testing the waters and seeing public reaction.”

Obama’s OK expected
Congress approved legislation Wednesday that would extend the deadline for the switch from Feb. 17, originally set by Congress three years ago, to June 12. President Obama indicated he will soon sign the bill into law.

Supporters of the extension said many Americans needed more time to prepare for the switch, which would leave many older televisions unable to receive broadcasts unless connected to a cable or converter box.

However, language in the extension allows television stations to cease analog transmissions at any time they choose, from Feb. 17 to June 12.

OETA plans to shut off its analog transmitters Feb. 17, said Mark Norman, director of technology.