WLS-TV Lights Up New Frequency

CHICAGO: WLS-TV activated its second channel allotment over the weekend, local reports indicate. The station started broadcasting on UHF Ch. 44 Saturday evening; adding the frequency to its original digital assignment at VHF Ch. 7. The UHF signal will be translated to Ch. 7.

A significant number of viewers lost WLS, the Windy City’s ABC O&O, after the digital transition left it with insufficient power. The station received thousands of calls following the June 12 transition from viewers who lost reception. The FCC sent engineers to the station and subsequently allowed to temporarily turn up its power, and was later granted a license for Ch. 44.

The Ch. 44 transmitter went live at 5 p.m. Saturday, ChicagoBreakingNews reported. The president and general manager of the station, Emily Barr, said the calls had continued to come in “regularly” since the transition, though volume had lessened.

“We do know there are people out there who have not been able to receive us despite their best efforts,” she said.

One reader commented that she went back to cable after the DTV transition because she simply couldn’t pick up the station, nor could she get through to anyone at WLS.

“I gave up. It is really a shame to have to pay for cable for just one channel & a handful of programs I want to watch,” she said.

“WLS-TV to try for final fix of high-def signal is at ChicagoBreakingNews.