WVIA-TV signal restored after fire; radio next


The Scranton Times Tribune reports broadcast programming has been restored to most households in that market following a devastating Friday blaze that destroyed the transmission facility of non-comm North Eastern Pennsylvania Educational Television’s WVIA-TV.

Programming for WVIA is on cable systems and DirecTV, and by the end of the day Sunday, the broadcast signal was transmitting on Channel 49, which had been WNEP-TV’s high-def channel. WNEP officials agreed to allow WVIA to use their channel for its programs.

The fire occurred Friday afternoon as electrical contractors were working in the building on Penobscot Mountain. An electrical arc ignited ceiling tiles, Kelly told the paper. Extinguishing the fire was made difficult by the remoteness, served by a one-lane dirt road. Four WVIA employees in the building were unharmed.

The over-the-air signal from Channel 49 is about as powerful as WVIA’s former signal, Kelly said. The signal will continue from that frequency as WVIA rebuilds.

Construction could take several months and could cost between $1 million and $2 million, he said.

Classical WVIA-FM radio is expected back on the air 2/15 with a reduced signal, but able to reach listeners in five or six counties.