SYRACUSE and UTICA -- Plenty of news to share this weekend from local PBS affiliate WCNY-TV. The station is set to debut three brand new locally-produced series tomorrow. Construction is now underway for the station's future home in Syracuse. And observant CNYTVNews.com readers say the new digital repeater in Utica appears to be up and running.
First up, our thanks to reader Kurt Wiehenstroer, who checks in to tell us WCNY's new Utica-area translator, W22DO-D, "is up and I can receive it fine from about 2 miles away." The sign-on means that WCNY's high-definition feed, along with digital subchannels, are now available to Utica-area viewers for free over-the-air. Previously, the HD feed and extra channels were only available to cable subscribers.
W22DO-D's replacement of analog translator W59AU didn't come without incident; a little over a year ago, work was delayed when three workers fell from the WKTV tower, after the upper section of the tower buckled. Luckily, none of the injuries were serious; within three days, two of the workers were already out of the hospital, and one had already returned to work on the project.
W22DO-D is still in "construction permit" status, but FCC records show an application requesting "license to cover" status was filed on October 25 and "accepted for filing" by the FCC, which means final approval is all but guaranteed following the usual waiting period for public comment.
Two popular series return to the WCNY-TV lineup with season premieres on Sunday, followed by the debut of a brand new mini-series, all locally-produced here in Central New York:
Assuming everything goes according to plan, WCNY-TV and Classic FM should be settled into their new home on Syracuse's near west side by this time next year. A report in today's Syracuse Post-Standard says work on the $20 million construction project is now underway. Part of the new WCNY will be built inside an existing warehouse, which is being gutted and renovated; the rest of the building will be new construction.