WWBT working with FCC on digital conversion

By Jola Szubielski - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Its safe to say WWBT certainly didn't anticipate viewers would have so much trouble seeing us once we made the switch.  But the staff here is working around the clock, hoping to get everyone tuned in as quickly as possible.

As far as NBC 12 goes,  we've got our end of this digital transition covered.

WWBT Creative Services Manager Michael Park says, "Currently WWBT is transmitting at full power as licensed by the FCC.  All of our equipment is working correctly right now."

But there are some other unexpected frustrations that are interfering with many viewers ability to watch 12.  NBC 12 is the only station in the market who had to move its digital signal as directed by the F-C-C.

Park says,  "Part of the problem is that were all on the UHF but then Friday Channel 12 went back to VHF 12 for a digital signal.  This causes a lot of problems because not everyone had a UHF/VHF antenna and not all the indoor VHF antennas are cutting it.

The problem isn't unique to NBC 12. Other stations across the country are experiencing similar issues.

WWBT General Manager, Don Richards says, "What we're trying to is share practices with these stations and find out what's working for their viewers, our viewers,  commonly,  that we can help our viewers with."

While keeping in constant contact with the FCC, trying to get the issue resolved.

Parks says, "They're well aware of what's going on in Richmond, they know it, they've been calling us and they've been very proactive on their part as well."

In the meantiime, the Call 12 staff is working overttime, one call at a time.

Don Richards says, "Its really kind of labor intensive. Each one has a different set of circumstances, due to the age of the TV,  converter box,  type of antenna. Its a process of talking the people through it, and in many cases we're able to help."

"Its frustrating for the viewers and and certainly I feel for that, cause we're trying to help. This is very important to us, and as such we'll be taking calls all week until we get this resolved."

 (c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.