03.08.2004 12:00 AM
Old KPLC TV Tower Collapses, Takes Down New Tower
KPLC-TV Ch. 7 in Lake Charles, La. lost two transmitting towers at its transmitter site near Fenton last week. One was an older tower that was being dismantled when it collapsed, and a newer tower nearby. Both towers were nearly 1,600 feet tall, but fortunately no one was injured. In a Letter to Our Viewers, Jim Serra, vice president and general manager of the station, said the tower collapse destroyed the transmitter building and the transmitters inside it. KPLC-TV was back on the air Saturday night with a lower power transmitter and antenna on KPLC's original 450-foot transmission tower in downtown Lake Charles. The station plans to increase power once a larger transmitter is be installed.

Serra said, "Plans are already underway to clear the Fenton transmitter site and rebuild both a permanent 1,600-foot tower and state-of-the-art analog and HDTV transmission facility."

An article on KPLC's web site, KPLC Signal Back On-Air Again explained the steps the station took to restore service. This included working with some low power TV stations in the KPLC broadcast area to retransmit the KPLC signal. Jim Serra was quoted thanking the people that worked to get KPLC back on the air:

"It really is the time to say thank you to some people that have worked very, very hard over the past few days. The first people I have to recognize is KPLC's employees. Our technical staff and our support staff have done an absolutely Herculean job to responding to awful disaster for a television station, and doing it in a calm professional focused manner. Only two days after we had two, 1,600-foot towers fall to the ground, we have our signal back on the air. Now it's not as powerful as the original but it is a signal serving the core of our primary viewing area. We have a plan to which we are working on right now to expand our signal, so I have to say thanks to all our KPLC employees."

For more information and pictures of the collapsed tower, see the KPLC article, KPLC Towers Fall, Services Interrupted.

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