February 2019

The end of Phase 2 is less than two months away, and we still are working to confirm stations’ transition dates to help ensure viewers are prepared when your station moves frequencies. If you haven't already done so, please email with your exact Rescan Day and time so we can help spread the word to your viewers.

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FCC Lanches Consumer Hotline for Repack

NAB has been working closely with the Federal Communications Commission Incentive Auction Task Force to ensure viewers do not lose access to their local TV stations during station frequency moves due to the spectrum repack.

Recently, the FCC announced a consumer call center to help viewers navigate the rescan process that must occur each time a station transitions to a new frequency. Viewers may reach the call center at 1-888-CALLFCC (1-888-225-5322) and press 6 to speak to a help desk representative. The call center is staffed 8 -1 a.m. ET seven days a week. See the FCC's press release here.

We encourage stations transitioning as part of the repack to utilize this hotline, in addition to using the viewer education tools available at Stations should also ensure they are prepared to take numerous viewer calls on the days leading up to and immediately following their station's transition as many questions may be of a local nature.

NAB Hosts Luncheon Update for Partner Organizations with FCC Incentive Task Force

On February 5, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) briefed numerous partner organizations on its efforts to prepare viewers for TV station frequency moves due to the spectrum repack. NAB Education Foundation President Marcellus Alexander welcomed 50 partner organizations such as AARP, Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC), National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) and others to the briefing at NAB’s Washington, D.C. headquarters. NAB Executive Vice President of Marketing Michelle Lehman and Federal Communications Commission Incentive Task Force Chair Jean Kiddoo gave updates on education efforts and resources. Tracy Oliver, creative services director at WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh, Pa., discussed her station’s experience transitioning in Phase 1. Click here to read Oliver’s tips for stations to prepare for frequency moves.

“There are more than 72 million over-the-air viewers, or over 26 percent of all American households,” said Alexander. “We understand the diverse audiences that watch television and we want to give them the information they need. We learned a lot during the DTV transition, and if one thing stands out, we need your help.”

“These are lifeline services to many viewers nationwide and we need to make sure they have access to these services uninterrupted during the transition,” added Kiddoo. “Your organizations represent many of the viewers we want and need to reach.”

“Working together as we did during the DTV transition, we can accomplish great things and ensure viewers don’t lose access to the local channels they rely upon,” said Lehman.

Click here to view the briefing.

As a reminder, viewer education tools for partner organization are available at

TV Answers Blog: Preparing for an Increase in Viewer Questions Due to Repack

Stations preparing to move to new frequencies as part of the spectrum repack should expect and prepare for an increase in viewer questions. On the phone and through email and social media, viewers are raising issues ranging from the conceptual to the technical – and training station staff to handle higher inbound question volume helps to ensure a smooth transition. Reno’s KTVN did an excellent job handling viewer inquiries during their recent transition. The TV Answers blog talked to KTVN General Manager Lawson Fox to learn more about KTVN’s plan of attack. Click here to read our interview with Lawson.

Important Reminder: Don’t Forget to Remind Programming Guide Providers

We have received several questions from viewers asking why they could no longer receive information about stations in their electronic programming guides after transitions took place. Helping these viewers look into their issues led us to discover that some stations are forgetting to alert their programming guide providers when they move to new frequencies. It’s important that stations remember this important step to ensure your viewers continue to have access to the correct programming information. Read our interview with Heidi Steffen, senior vice president of Sales and Marketing at TitanTV, to find out what TV stations need to communicate to their data and online guide listing providers as they prepare to move frequencies.

Spectrum Repack Among Top Issues During Broadcasters’ Annual State Leadership Conference

More than 500 broadcasters from across the country will gather in Washington, D.C., February 26-27 for the NAB State Leadership Conference to learn more about the policies before Congress and to meet with their legislators on the issues that impact their businesses. The spectrum repack will be among the key issues that broadcasters plan to discuss with their legislators. Broadcasters will urge legislators to ensure viewers don’t lose access to local TV stations if stations can’t meet their assigned deadlines due to circumstances outside of their control.

Polar Vortex Causes Safety Concerns for Tower Crews

Sub-zero temperatures that have struck the Upper Plains and Midwest regions are impacting tower crews, causing much tower work to come to a halt. Equipment used by tower crews, particularly those that use hydraulic fluid-like drum hoists, skid steers and excavators begin to fail below zero degrees Fahrenheit.

“Our goal is to avoid frostbite damage to hands, feet, noses, cheeks, etc.,” said Barbara Houdek, CEO of Trillium Tower Development to Inside Towers recently. She added that projects across the region may be delayed for days or weeks before work can resume.

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