It was once the third-tallest structure in the entire world, but the famed
broadcast tower on Dobie Road in Okemos will be replaced over the next few months with a new antenna designed to improve radio and TV reception for public programming.
The Michigan State University
Board of Trustees approved construction of the new, 1,000-foot tower at its June 18 meeting. It will be finished by January 2011, after which the original 1953 tower will be dismantled.
The new tower will improve reception quality for WKAR’s television programming and its AM and FM radio broadcast channels. All have suffered from poor signal strength since the federally mandated conversion from analog to digital, said Diane Hutchens, WKAR communications manager.
“We have lot of people in Eaton Rapids and Jackson to the south of us who have a difficult time picking us up, even with converter boxes,” Hutchens said. “These are people who depend on public broadcasting for a lot of their news programs and entertainment programs, and they are so frustrated.”
During construction, WKAR will periodically operate at a reduced rate and will alert viewers and listeners ahead of time.
Funding for the project comes from a variety of sources, including grants, private donations and matching contributions from MSU.
Source: Diane Hutchens
Writer: Louise Knott Ahern