The Value of Perseverance

LEAWOOD, KAN.—A lot crosses my desk on a daily basis, and there are times I see curious connections between seemingly unrelated items.

Usually, I keep these thoughts to myself, viewing them mostly as whimsical musings. But this month I thought I would share one that I hope inspires broadcasters and the lawyers and lobbyists in Washington, D.C., they depend on.

I am talking about the value of perseverance.

First, consider One World Trade Center (1WTC) in New York City. As of this writing, five stations are on air, according to John Lyons, assistant vice president of The Durst Organization, which is responsible for the building’s broadcast RF infrastructure.

They include WNJU, which is channel-sharing with WNBC, Ion’s WPXN, WCBS and Fox Television’s WWOR. Within the next 60 days, Lyons expects Fox’s WNYW and public broadcaster WNET to begin transmitting from 1WTC, as well.

Getting to this point hasn’t been easy. As I have previously reported, high winds and freezing weather frequently postpone scheduled work to mount antennas, transmission line and other associated items. As things stand, Lyons is targeting late spring for the last of the antenna work to be complete.

[Read: Details Emerge About 1WTC Transmitter Lineup]

While wind and weather delays may have modified the completion schedule, one thing hasn’t changed. That’s the determination to persevere and re-establish the site to its previous stature as a premier TV transmission site in the nation’s No. 1 television market.

The same day I spoke with Lyons, NAB reply comments crossed my desk that were in reference to Microsoft comments regarding FCC’s Further Notice on Next-Gen TV. Microsoft is asking for the agency to give unlicensed white space devices favorable treatment in the few unused TV channels that remain following the repack.

[Read: Microsoft’s White Space Redux]

TV broadcasters, however, may need those vacant channels during an ATSC 1.0-to-3.0 transition to continue fully serving legacy DTV viewers while rolling out Next-Gen TV services. That doesn’t even take into account the LPTV stations with secondary licenses that should be given priority over unlicensed white space devices once the full-powers are setup for their transition.

When I think about a company with a nearly $700 billion market cap (on its way to $1 trillion market cap according to some Wall Street analysts) going up against the broadcast industry, my recommendation is take a page out of Lyon’s book: persevere.

There surely will be blustery days ahead and this won’t be the only fight, but a successful 1.0-to-3.0 transition is too important to do otherwise.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.