FCC: All TV Stations Impacted by Hurricane Ian Back on the Air

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WASHINGTON—For the first time since Hurricane Ian hit the Gulf Coast of Florida a week ago, all of the affected region’s TV stations are back on the air, according to the FCC. Five FM stations and two AM stations, however, remain off air. 

The situation has vastly improved since the commission reported 6 TV stations and 21 radio stations went off air due to the storm immediately after it hit the southwest region of the state on Sept. 28. The areas impacted include the counties of Baker, Bradford, Charlotte, Clay, Collier, Desoto, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Marion, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, Union, Volusia.

Although power outages were the chief culprit for the stations going off air, one station, WINK-TV went off the air after having to evacuate its studios due to flooding.  

Cell service has greatly improved as well as the commission reported only 3.1% of cellular service was down, compared to a high of nearly 18% on the 29th. Cell service outages are highest in Desoto (19.2%), as well as in Charlotte  (13.2%) and Lee (14.5%) Counties, where Ian made direct landfall.

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.