Repack, Reset and Reveling: A Successful Spectrum Shift


On Friday, October 18, one of the biggest changes in the history of broadcast television impacted stations serving the Cincinnati market.

Viewers hardly noticed … and that’s great news, because they weren’t supposed to.

“Rescan day” went off without a hitch in the nation’s 35th-largest market. Well, mostly. There was one station that had an issue.

It was WKRP. Really.

From 10am on Oct. 18, all over-the-air stations serving Cincinnati moved to new digital TV frequencies. For the everyday viewer, that’s not supposed to mean anything. The “PSIP” channel known to most people didn’t change. Rather, the channel used to deliver its signal did.

Thus, The E.W. Scripps Co. flagship ABC affiliate WCPO-9 will still be “Channel 9” to those with a digital antenna affixed to their TV, thanks to the “PSIP” designation. But, its digital channel has moved to Channel 26 from Channel 22.

Hearst Television‘s NBC affiliated WLWT-5 moved to digital Channel 20 from Channel 35.

FOX affiliate WXIX-19, owned by Gray Television, moved to Channel 15 from Channel 29.

Deerfield Media-owned and Sinclair Broadcast Group-managed WSTR-64, the MyNetwork TV affiliate in Cincinnati, shifted its digital signal to digital Channel 18 from Channel 33.

Also shifting: the PBS member station serving greater Cincinnati, WCET-48.

The only station not scheduled to move is Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned dual CBS/The CW Network affiliate WKRC-12. In 2009 the station shifted to VHF Channel 12 from UHF Channel 31.

But, another station didn’t move either — and that was a problem. 

According to veteran local media reporter John Kiesewetter, now with, WBQC-LPTV, branded as “WKRP,” went silent for some 8 days on Oct. 17 before returning to Channels 20 and 25 via two LPTV signals on Oct. 25. This was after testing of WLWT’s new signal temporarily knocked WBQC-20/25 off the air from Oct. 15-17.

“WKRP” is owned by Elliott Block, and he told Kiesewetter his station is using a three-inch transmission line to the antenna on WCPO-TV’s tower. A crew returned to finish installing a four-inch transmission line.

WKRP airs digital multicast networks including Get TV, This TV, Cozi, Decades and Quest.

To ensure continued viewing of local TV stations, a “rescan” tutorial was promoted on WCET’s website. has a 5 1/2 minute YouTube video offering a brief and succinct instruction on what to do.

How to Rescan Your Antenna TV

  1. Select Scan or Autotune from your TV or converter box control menu to start the scanning process.
  2. Your TV will do the rest. This process usually takes a few minutes to complete.


When are channels moving in your market? Or, have they done so already? — a NAB microsite — has the answer here: