UPDATE 6/10/09 4:15 PM: OMW hears that Winston Broadcasting CW affiliate WBNX/55 has been promoting a 10 AM analog shutdown time, adding the station to the growing list of Cleveland market stations turning off the analog transmitter at that particular time.
And Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 confirms the 10 AM time in this item on its NewsNet5 website, along with announcing its own "On Your Side" DTV help phone bank...Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM, and Monday from 8:30 AM to 5 PM.
We've also corrected an error in the list below - Raycom CBS affiliate WTOL/11 Toledo will make their switch (literally, from analog 11 to digital 11) at 4;25 AM Friday, not 4:05 AM Friday. That was a typo on our part.
The original list is below...
It has taken us far too much time to compile this list...and it's not even complete.
As far as the Internet is concerned, pretty much all local TV stations in our coverage area seem to regard the shutoff time for their analog signals on Friday as a state secret.
In the Cleveland market, only NBC affiliate WKYC/3 and PBS affiliate WEAO/49 (Western Reserve PBS) have made an effort to let their website visitors know when their analog signals will go away.
In general, almost all stations have done a very poor job with the DTV sections of their websites. Many are regurgitating national-only information from their networks, or their website hosting company.
But we slogged through, and here's your market by market list. We are not listing Cincinnati and Dayton, as our colleagues at Tri-State Media Watch/Tri-State DTV Watch have extensively covered those areas...
CLEVELAND: As far as we know, the "Big Four and a Half" network stations in the Cleveland market are still planning on a 10 AM analog shutdown on Friday. That would be: WKYC/3 (NBC), WEWS/5 (ABC), WJW/8 (Fox) and WOIO/19 (CBS)-WUAB/43 (MyNetwork TV).
Only WKYC has actively publicized the time, both on its website (via our blogging colleague Frank Macek's "Director's Cut" blog) and on-air. If WEWS, WJW or WOIO-WUAB have put up the time on-air, we haven't run into it.
The "19 Action News" front page's DTV Countdown Clock now tracks to 10 AM on Friday. A clock linked through WUAB's My43.net, though, counts to midnight on Friday. Who knows? We suspect the latter is just something left behind from an earlier setup, since the WOIO front page clock now matches the time we've reported here.
Western Reserve PBS' WEAO/49, as reported here, is planning to shut down analog channel 49 at 11:59 PM.
We've heard that Univision O&O WQHS/61 is shutting down analog 61 at 11 PM, but we haven't confirmed that.
We have found no analog shutdown information for: WVIZ/25 (PBS) or WBNX/55 (CW). Ditto for ION Network O&O WVPX/23, which must perform a "flash cut" to debut its digital signal on RF channel 23 for the very first time.
The folowing stations have already turned off analog: WDLI/17 (TBN), WOAC/67 (informercials) and WMFD/68 Mansfield (local independent).
YOUNGSTOWN: We only have one confirmed analog shutdown time in the Youngstown market.
PBRTV's Tom Lavery tells us that officials with Vindicator NBC affiliate WFMJ/21 say it'll shut down the analog transmitter at 11:59 on Friday night.
We've searched, we've asked, and we can't find the analog shutoff times for the other two stations still needing to do so in the Youngstown market: WKBN/27 (CBS) and WYTV/33 (ABC).
Since both stations are controlled by the New Vision folks, we would expect them to turn off their analog transmitters at the same time.
Western Reserve PBS' WNEO/45 Alliance, of course, consigned analog 45 to the scrap heap way back in November...
TOLEDO: Thanks to a very helpful OMW reader, Toledo's analog shutoff time list is almost 100% complete.
And if you're a DTV watcher, you might want to head for Toledo Thursday night, and stay up all night...maybe getting a short nap or two between switches.
Here are the analog shutdown times for Toledo, in order of time early Friday morning:
12:07 AM - WTVG/13 (ABC)
2:05 AM - WNWO/24 (NBC)
4:25 AM - WTOL/11 (CBS)
10:00 AM - WUPW/36 (Fox)
OMW hears that WUPW had planned a 6 PM analog cutoff, but moved it up to 10 AM, due to FCC regulations about call center hours.
There's probably a reason for the early Friday morning times in Toledo - both WTVG/13 and WTOL/11 are "flash cutting" their digital signals onto their soon-to-be former analog channels.
We have no information about: WLMB/40 (religious/independent). Toledo's MyNetwork TV outlet, WMNT-CA 48, is a low-power station, and isn't affected by the end of full-power analog.
COLUMBUS: We're also missing a lot of information from Central Ohio's stations.
The only confirmation comes from Dispatch CBS affiliate WBNS/10, which has this message on its "Viewer Services" page:
"On Friday night at approximately 11:59 p.m., WBNS-10TV will sign off our analog signal as part of the government mandated DTV transition."
We can't find any information on analog shutdown times for the remaining Columbus market stations still putting out analog signals: WCMH/ 4 (NBC) and WSYX/6 (ABC).
A number of Columbus market stations have already turned off the analog juice: WTTE/28 (Fox), WOSU/34 (PBS), WSFJ/51 (TBN) and WWHO/53 (CW)...
LIMA: We wish all TV engineers were like Block NBC affiliate WLIO/35's VP/engineering Frederick Vobbe, who is well noted for sharing information online.
Vobbe's separate engineering site, WLIO.net, confirms the station's analog shutoff time for channel 35:
"On June 12th at 6:59AM we will sign off WLIO analog.
During 'First Edition' from 6AM to 7AM, we will be talking about the transition, and at the end of the news show we will press the button for the last time.
During the day, our technical staff will be disassembling the 1964 transmitter, which will be scrapped out."
We'd like to put a call out to viewers within range of WLIO's analog channel 35, especially...we'd love to see that in video, even if it's posted to YouTube or something. (We'll presumably also find it on WLIO's website, under the news rebroadcast section, but we'd like to see it off of analog 35.)
Lima's only other full power station, religious/independent WTLW/44, shut off its analog signal some time ago.
Lima's other network affiliates, WLQP-LP/18 (ABC), WOHL-CA 25 (Fox) and WOHL-LP 38 (CBS), are now owned by Block/WLIO, and are not subject to the full-power mandated analog shutoff.
WLIO VP/engineering Vobbe detailed the digital plans for the Lima LPTV stations in an earlier item on his blog...