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WWAZ goes to 5, WLS gets sole possession of 44

Started by AA9VI, Wednesday Sep 14, 2011, 03:51:13 pm

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from northpine.com

The FCC has finalized its approval of a plan to allow a full-power TV station to move its transmitter from Dodge County to Milwaukee. Pappas Telecasting's WWAZ-TV was originally slated to broadcast on channel 44 from a tower near Mayville but will instead broadcast on channel 5 from Milwaukee. The company had said the move is needed because the original WWAZ tower cannot support any more antennas. ABC's WLS-TV/7 (Chicago) supported WWAZ's move because it would free up channel 44 for WLS to use, allowing it to escape VHF digital reception problems.

WDJT, Inc. opposed the move, saying it would be possible for WWAZ to use its existing tower if it removed the old analog antenna or made other changes. It also argued that making way for WLS was not a valid reason to allow WWAZ to move. The FCC disagreed and denied WDJT's petition for reconsideration last week. The commission said it is important to address WLS' VHF reception problems but did not note that WWAZ could experience the same issue.

The commission has not yet formally granted WWAZ's application, which calls for 25kW/354m on channel 5 from the WMVS tower. WWAZ will remain licensed in Fond du Lac, which is in the Green Bay-Appleton market, but could possibly ask to be reassigned to the Milwaukee market and seek carriage on Milwaukee cable and satellite systems.

The original construction permit for WWAZ, first known as WMMF, was issued in 1988 but the station did not sign on until thirteen years later. It carried FamilyNet until going silent in 2009. (9/12/2011)