WLBZ2 to keep analog signal until extended June 12 deadline

Posted Feb. 06, 2009, at 8 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — WLBZ2 in Bangor announced Friday that it will operate both analog and digital television signals until June 12, the extended deadline that was approved by Congress this week.

General Manager Judy Horan said that even though keeping both signals active will add considerable costs to the station’s budget, it was an easy decision.

“It’s all about our viewers,” she said. “There are still people out there who are trying to get everything done and it’s been tough. I know I wouldn’t want to install a new outdoor antenna in Maine right now.”

Both houses of Congress, and President Obama, approved delaying the switch from analog to digital to allow more consumers to purchase digital converter boxes if needed.

Bangor-based WABI-TV5 also indicated this week that the station would operate on both analog and digital signals.

Another area station, WVII ABC7, however, plans to make the switch to digital later this month and abandon analog. WVII will go digital on Feb. 17, not Feb. 16 as initially planned, station manager Michael Palmer said Friday.

In southern Maine, five of Portland’s seven TV stations likely will have made the switch to digital broadcasting by the original Feb. 17 deadline, according to the Portland Press Herald.

WGME and WPFO already have applied to shut off their analog transmitters on Feb. 17, and expect to receive that permission. WPXT, WPME and Maine Public Broadcasting Network already have shut off their analog signals after receiving federal permission.

WMTW says it will continue to broadcast an analog signal until June 12. WCSH hasn’t decided whether to turn its analog signal off early.

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