Another VHF to UHF move sought


WVUE-TV (Fox) New Orleans says its power on Channel 8 as a digital station isn’t sufficient to cover its market, so it is yet another major station seeking to move from VHF to UHF. As it happens, WVUE wants to go back to the UHF channel it was using for DTV prior to the analog shut off.

Like ABC O&O WLS-TV Chicago, WVUE has told the FCC that it has received complaints from thousands of people in the New Orleans market that they are unable to receive the station since the transition. And this has been the situation for a longer period of time than for most stations. The Fox affiliate, owned by New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson’s Louisiana Media Company LLC, turned off its old analog signal on Channel 8 on December 22, 2008 and station switched its DTV operations from its temporary assignment of Channel 29 to its permanent location of Channel 8. Now it wants to go back.

WVUE told the FCC it cannot increase power on Channel 8 without causing interference to an adjacent channel station in the Baton Rouge, LA market. “Louisiana Media believes that the proposed substitution of its pre-transition digital channel 29 for channel 8 will ensure that all of the station’s former analog and pre-transition digital viewers will once again receive service from the station,” the FCC reported in its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Comments on MB Docket N. 09-147 are due 15 days after publication in the Federal Register and reply comments 10 days after that.