Sunday, December 16


Boy, did I get that one wrong.

I said in today's earlier post that at least no TV tower had collapsed in the ice storm that swept through overnight. . I spoke way too soon. Apparently one of WNEP's two Penobscot towers toppled onto the transmitter building. I didn't notice this morning because WNEP uses microwave and fiber optics to deliver its signal to many cable companies, my supplier included. I was watching Channel 16 on a cable feed.

The collapse also damaged WYOU's power lines. CBS programming on my local cable TV is being routed in from KYW-TV in Philadelphia. A bit surprising to look up at 6:00 p.m. tonight and see the Philly newscast with Philly weather and sports. And Philly commercials!

WBRE has been on and off--but I saw the Channel 28 newscast at 6:00 on my cable. Truth is, I'm not sure anyone is actually on-air over-the-air right now, and information on a wicked weather Sunday is hard to come by.

This isn't a hard news, breaking news site--that's not my purpose--but it will be interesting seeing how this shakes out in the weeks ahead.

As for me: been there, done that. I was at WCIX (now WFOR) in Miami when our tower collapsed at the height of Hurricane Andrew in '92. At 1,860+ feet it was the tallest man-made structure in Florida.


If you're in the business, you know that towers are designed to crumple straight down into one heap. "Andrew" pushed that big stick straight over. It wound up stretched across 1,860 feet of mango groves down near Homestead. It also fell over the transmitter building. Two engineers were inside. They thought they heard something--but with the storm throwing mangoes at the side of the building at 120 miles-an-hour, they didn't want to stick their heads out to look.

They were OK. But I remember the GM, Allen Shaklan, sitting in my office when news of the collapse came. He leaned forward in his chair and put his head in his hands.

For about sixty seconds.

Then he--and we--pressed ahead.

I know the local broadcasters will do the same. Some engineweers are in for some sleepless nights, but it will work itself out.

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