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Two TV stations say their transmitters are threatened by Station fire

Two TV stations said tonight that their transmitters are threatened by the Station fire, which is burning near the communications center atop Mt. Wilson.

KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KABC-TV Channel 7 said that viewers with cable and satellite TV will still be able get the signal if the transmitters are damaged.  Those without cable or satellite might lose their signal.

"If you receive ABC7 by off-air antenna, you could lose our ABC7 signal," KABC said in a e-mail bulletin.

Most TV stations and many radio stations have transmitters on Mt. Wilson, as do some cellphone carriers.

Video of a series of still images taken tonight by the Mt. Wilson towercam by YouTube user bananatarian

Comments () | Archives (6)

FYI, the front page photo (8-30-09 @7:30pm) of the fire approaching some microwave towers is that of Mount Lukens, in Tujunga, not Mount Wilson as the headline would lead you to believe.

Am I wrong in thinking that site ought to be pretty near the top of the priority list for putting-out-fires-by-planes-ness? (I'm too tired to come up with the right noun, and I'm not even putting-out-fires...)

Broadcast TV is surely not the only thing on those towers...

I agree with Baylink. All resources should be focused on the Mt. Wilson fire, because there are many vital radio broadcast systems up there, including CHP's network that answers 911 calls that come from cell phones. Also, I heard on the radio that the FBI has an infrastructure on Mt. Wilson.

FM radio will be out if Mt. Wilson goes. While there isn't much that's important about FM radio as a source of providing information, the economic impact could be devastating if major FM radio stations were unable to broadcast their music and entertainment shows for hours or days. Loss of advertising revenue = more people out of work.

The loss of over-the-air TV signals is less vital, since most people have cable TV or satellite. I have neither, so I wouldn't have TV service.

Who knows about internet communications? Someone from one of the fire departments said that they couldn't tear up Mt. Wilson with backhoes to stop the fire because of critical things like fiber optic cables that are buried underground. (Sorry I can't recall the source of this information, it was either an LA City or LA County FD spokesperson).

Nobody's house is as important as saving Mt. Wilson, in my opinion. That should have been done first.

why only these two? why not ALL tvs and radios?
not a very detailed article

Based on radio intercept, Mt. Wilson was given highest priority this afternoon with massive resources allocated to this location for fire suppression.

Mt. Wilson has all the major LA market TV stations' transmitters - including the ones licensed to Orange County cities - and quite a few FMs (though certainly not all).

Assuming the fire completely destroys all the facilities (extremely unlikely even if it's a direct hit), the TVs will be available on cable and satellite, and in many cases online. Most of the FMs have backup facilities located elsewhere and will continue to broadcast, albeit with slightly smaller coverage areas. And there are no AM stations on Mt. Wilson.

It's those non-broadcast facilities that will be the real issue.


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