12.01.2009 02:00 PM
Denver TV Towers Slated for Demolition
GOLDEN, COLO.: Three TV towers serving Denver are scheduled to
come down within the next seven months, The
Denver Post reports. The demolition marks the end of a 10-year struggle
between broadcasters in the market and neighborhood groups fighting to have the
tower facilities relocated. KUSA-TV, KMGH-TV and KCNC-TV all co-located their
digital antennas on a single 730-foot tower after the federal government
intervened in the local dispute.
Each of the stations had its own tower for analog operations, which ended June
12. The towers belonging to KUSA, the NBC affiliate owned by Gannett, and KMGH, the ABC owned by McGraw-Hill, will come
down by the end of the year, weather permitting. KCNC, a CBS O&O, had an
834-foot tower that is scheduled for a spring demolition.
Residents living in the Lookout Mountain area vigorously fought to have the
towers moved for aesthetic and safety reasons. Congress stepped in three years
ago at the behest of two Colorado senators who sponsored a law to end the local
deadlock. The citizen groups ultimately agreed to a deal by which the old
towers would have to come down within a year of the DTV transition.
TV and radio towers have elicited hostility across the country. Two in Seattle
were destroyed in early September by vandals who considered them a threat to
the environment. Another fell about the same time near Allentown, Pa., and was
found to have its guy wires cut. Later the same month, vandals felled a
120-foot communications tower in Ontario, Canada.
While neighborhoods typically don’t welcome radio frequency towers, no where
was the zoning struggle as fierce as it was in the suburbs of Denver. By the
time legislators stepped in, the stations had about a year to secure a
contractor to design and build a very specialized structure before the DTV
Now that the transition is complete, the FCC is focused on creating a national
wireless broadband network, which would require myriad towers around the
country. The commission recently adopted a ruling that directs local
governments to rule on tower applications within 150 days of submission at the
most. Failure to comply would trigger court action.