Just got some info I thought I would share with anyone who was wondering about the CBS station from Fort Myers.
Here is the email that I received:
"My name is Keith Stuhlmann, I am the Director of Engineering for WINK-TV. In reference to WINK-TV's plans for DTV, we have been waiting for the FCC to rule on our DTV channel assignment. We have been waiting for over a year.
The FCC initially gave us channel 53. We petitioned for channel 9. The FCC
ran our request through their computer models and checked it out with their Engineering staff. They indicated that our request fit their criteria for
granting us channel 9. For technical and economic reasons, channel 9 is a
much more desirable channel.
This request for a channel change was made over a year ago. I suspect that the FCC has been so overloaded, that that is the reason that they have not yet taken up our request. Because of there inaction, we requested, and were granted, a waver of the May 1, 2002 deadline citing their delay in ruling on our channel request as the reason. The FCC agreed and granted us the waver.
Until the FCC rules, I cannot begin to build a DTV transmission facility,
for channel 53 requires a very different transmitter and antenna then
channel 9. Until the FCC acts, we will not be able to provide DTV service to
our viewing area.
If I can be of further assistance, please contact me at:firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Engineering
In follow up to the previous email Keith says,
"It is a mystery as to how the FCC works and predicting when they would act on our channel request is anybody's guess. The dismissal you are referring to is a legal technicality. Our lawyers filed for a Construction Permit extension as a precaution. As far as we knew, the FCC never issued WINK-TV a Construction Permit for WINK-DT. To make sure we had all of the bases covered, we filed for a Construction Permit extension, just in case there was one issued and it was not brought to our attention. The FCC researched the matter and determined that a Construction Permit had not been issued, so they dismissed the Construction Permit extension under the logic that you cannot extend something that was not issued in the first place. I just wished they had decided to act on our request while they were researching the Construction Permit.
I wonder what they are doing to force the FCC to act? Maybe the should take a more pro-active role. Seems crazy that the FCC can't make up their mind. Not suprised though considering what is going on with NBC-DT in Miami! If the FCC gave them channel 53 I don't see why they aren't required to use it at least in the mean time. Seems like a good way to skirt the rules. File a change of frequency request knowing all to well the FCC will ponder it over. If the FCC could grant them an extension why couldn't the FCC make up their mind on frequency? Same is the case for NBC in Miami! Seems like a great loopwhole for stations to take advantage of to delay DT.