On September 24th, the FCC granted a request from WWAC-DT, an Atlantic City independent station, to cease analog broadcasting on NTSC Channel 53 and surrender its license for the channel prior to the end of the DTV transition. The station’s owner, Lenfest Broadcasting, wants to operate WWAC-DT as a single channel, digital-only television station on DTV Channel 44. The Commission has stated that it would consider requests by incumbent broadcasters on channels 52-58 to voluntarily vacate their NTSC channels prior to the end of the DTV transition on a case-by-case basis.
The FCC indicated the public interest would be served by permitting Lenfest to surrender its license for the NTSC channel. The FCC noted that prior to discontinuing analog service and surrendering its NTSC license, Lenfest would supply all cable systems carrying its digital signal with the conversion equipment necessary to translate WWAC-DT's signal to an analog signal.
WWAC-DT’s NTSC reaches seven southern New Jersey counties, is in more than 875,000 television homes and on direct broadcast satellite service to 300,000 more. Lenfest says that their WWAC-DT 44 digital signal from a new tower will increase the station's coverage area to the entire Philadelphia television market covering more than 2.8 million (DMA) TV homes. Their current NTSC has 12.3 kW ERP and a HAAT of 279 feet. Their DTV, currently operating under a STA, has 200 kW ERP, and a HAAT of 696 feet.
For more information visit ftp://www.fcc.gov/pub/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2002/db1003/DA-02-2478A1.doc.