LIMA — A new transmitter building and tower are underway for West Central Ohio Broadcasting as the Federal Communications Commission looks to change select television frequencies by early next year.
The new estimated $625,000 project will include a 1,600-square-foot transmitter building and tower built on 765 St. Clair Ave. The WLIO news station will remain on 1424 Rice Ave.
“It has to do with FCC selling spectrum over the last two or three years which was a really big deal,” said Kevin Creamer, WLIO General Manager. “The stations have been repacked and we have to get new frequencies so we had to build a new tower and a building to go with it where all of the engineering equipment will be housed.”
WLIO is phase two of 10 by the FCC to change new signals and frequencies across the United States, according to Creamer. Creamer expects the new tower to be in use by mid April.
Once the project is complete, channel 35 will change to channel 15.
“In digital television you have this thing called PSIP, which is the channel identifier that your TV uses,” said Fred Vobbe, WLIO and WOHL president and chief operator. “The station can transmit on another channel but it will show up as being their old channel.”
Currently ABC Lima is on 35.1, CBS Lima is on 35.2, NBC Lima is 8.1 and Fox Lima is on 8.2.
There will be a public notice after the first of the year on the air once the frequency change takes place, according to Creamer.
“When the channel change is about to take place all of the stations will put on an announcement that particular day,” said Vobbe. “People should scan their TV for the new channels and at which point you have an over-the-air television set that you’re receiving us on it will delete the old frequency and replace it with the new frequency.”
Bowling Green State University’s station WBGU-TV will also be moving its broadcast frequency, however the station will remain on channel 27, according to Lori Wilt, WBGU-TV / PBS Marketing/Communications Specialist.
The WBGU station, which reaches parts of Lima, had also switched its frequency from an UHF spectrum to VHF back in 2015 after a FCC spectrum auction.
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews