WRNN-TV, an all-news channel serving the New York area, aims to be the second TV station in the country to give up its analog channel and operate digital-only.
Station Vice President Christian French said WRNN, which needs FCC permission to shut off its analog transmitter, stands to gain more viewers in the New York City area because the new digital ch. 48 covers more of the metro market.
Even though few homes can pick up WRNN digital signal over the air, most can nevertheless view the channel through their cable system. French also will save roughly $7,000 in monthly electric costs by shutting off analog ch. 62.
The station has been powering two transmitters since its digital signal went on the air in September. He’ll also save on maintenance of the analog transmitter tower, which WRNN operates alone atop an isolated 3,000-foot mountain in the Catskills where winter snows often block access.
“I have to employ a full time maintenance person to keep it operating,” French laments. The easily accessible digital tower is 45 miles to south in the town of Beacon, N.Y. Other broadcasters using the facility will share in maintenance.