FCC approves rebuild of KNTV transmitter site

A new FCC ruling gives KNTV-TV, in San Jose, CA, permission to build a new transmitter site on San Bruno Mountain, which the station claims will reach 400,000 people who lost service when KNTV became the Bay Area’s NBC affiliate in 2001. KNTV said it would take about six months to complete construction.

Rival television stations KRON-TV and KTVU-TV contested the location of the new transmitter site, arguing that NBC had shot itself in the foot when it dumped its longtime affiliate KRON in 2000, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. They also contended that as a result of the move, more people would lose service than gain it.

The shutdown of the transmitter on Loma Prieta Peak south of San Jose means that nearly a million people from the central coast to the Central Valley will lose KNTV’s signal. However, most of those viewers can still get NBC from stations in the Monterey-Salinas and Fresno-Visalia markets, the FCC said.

Kenneth Ferree, chief of the commission’s media bureau, ruled that the public benefit of restoring service to more than 400,000 people “outweighs the detriment” of 21,170 people in and around San Jose losing NBC reception. Ferree also said that KRON’s past affiliation with NBC was not relevant.

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