MSU Announces Tower Restoration Following April Collapse

SPRINGFIELD, MO--Ozarks Public Television, which lost its broadcast tower in April, resulting in the death of one tower worker and injuring three others, has announced that it has secured space for a new tower at an alternative site in Springfield, Mo., with plans to begin operations in 2-3 weeks at the new site.

The remains of OPT's Fordland, Mo. broadcast tower. 

The remains of OPT's Fordland, Mo. broadcast tower. 

In the April 19 accident, tower crew members were working on the 2,000 foot tower to transition the Missouri State University-owned PBS affiliate KOZK-TV in Fordland, Mo., to a new channel when it collapsed. The work was part of an industry-wide channel repack resulting from the 2017 spectrum auctions. Most OTA viewers in the Springfield area lost access to the broadcast signal, although the university has been using a combination of cable and satellite to deliver a low-power signal from the Missouri State University campus in the interim. OPT said it now provides KOZK’s signal to approximately 70 percent of its viewing audience.

Although the new tower will “significantly increase” the station’s OTA coverage, OPT said some communities will still be without a signal with full restoration of the signal expected in several more months.

“Our intent, and our top priority, is returning OPT service to our entire viewing area,” OPT said. “While this is a complex task with many technical, logistical, and regulatory hurdles, we are working diligently to accomplish it as quickly as is possible. We cannot overstate how much we appreciate the support, patience, and kindness of our viewers and supporters as we work through this challenging situation.”

For all our news on the ongoing repack, visit TV Technology's repack silo.

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 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 (, 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.