TV stations settle interference dispute

An educational DTV will reduce its power level to eliminate interference with an analog CBS affiliate.

Both WHRO-DT of Hampton Roads, Va., and WBOC, an analog station in Salisbury, MD, are assigned to channel 16. Although both are about 100 miles apart, WBOC claimed that the DTV, owned by Hampton Roads Educational Telecommunications Association, was interfering with its power. Last June WBOC filed an emergency request with the FCC for suspension or modification of WHRO-DT’s program test authority and amendment of the construction permit. In response WHRO-DT dropped its power to one-half of its authorized 950 kW ERP. WBOC has a 4070 kW ERP and a HAAT of 1183 feet, compared to WHRO-DT’s HAAT of 1183 feet.

Last week, the two stations announced an agreement whereas WHRO-DT will cut its power to a quarter of its authorized ERP until the analog WBOC goes dark and the Salisbury broadcaster permanently moves to channel 21 WBOC-DT. At that time WHRO-DT will go back to its full authorized power level. The agreement still needs the FCC’s blessing.

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