WJHG-DT is the NBC affiliate in the Panama City DMA, operating on VHF Channel 7. However, attempts to rectify problems associated with the DTV transition have failed to resolve reception problems experienced by some viewers, and the station is on its way to UHF Channel 18.
IN support of its request for the channel change, Gray said, “This channel substitution serves the public interest by resolving significant over-the-air reception problems in certain areas of WJHG’s predicted service area.”
The FCC added, “After two power increases and numerous attempts to resolve viewers’ reception complaints, Gray concludes that the best solution is to move to a UHF channel. In addition, the proposed facility will increase the net total population served by the station.”
The proposal for the necessary rulemaking met with no opposition; indeed, it did not even draw a single comment. The FCC said that within 30 days of publication in the Federal Register, the Post-Transition Table of DTV Allotments would be amended to reflect the new channel, and within 45 days of the effective date of the FCC order, Gray has to get a CP in to make the change from Channel 7 to Channel 18.
In addition to providing NBC programming to the DMA, WJHG broadcasts CW, MyNetworkTV and a weather channel via its DTV multicast capability.
RBR-TVBR observation: While the battle over incentive auctions and channel repacking rages, this channel change is proceeding very quietly. That’s because the station is in an area with a small population base and spectrum isn’t such a sparse commodity. The whole nation is basically being dragged into a battle that is mostly significant only in the biggest markets and along the US border.