E. Iowa Stations Stick to Feb. 17 Date

TV stations in eastern Iowa will terminate their full power analog signals on Feb. 17, despite Congressional approval to move the deadline to June 12.

KWWL, KCRG, KGAN, KFXA, and KFXB announced their plans to keep with the original deadline this week prior to yesterday's vote on Capitol Hill. Many households in the market are still on a waiting list for DTV converter box coupons issued by the NTIA, meaning that--unless they pay full price for a box--they won't receive digital signals when the switch is made on Feb. 17. The stations said they would be ready to answer any questions viewers might have about the digital conversion through their Web sites and via phone calls to the stations during business hours.

“The stations in this market have done an outstanding job of educating the public to this conversion and that it would occur on February 17,” said Kim Leer, station manager at KWWL. “We greatly appreciate members of Congress for providing stations the flexibility to convert in February as we believe our viewers are ready.”

Jarrett Liddicoat, Chief Engineer at KWWL added, “Viewers who watch us via satellite or on cable don’t have to do anything. It is those who watch over the air with an antenna who need to purchase a converter box or a television set with a digital tuner.”

The stations are expected to be fully digital between noon and 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 17. Each station will inform their viewers of the exact time of the switch through station announcements and newscasts.