I've been doing some research on FCC rules concerning Class A+LP stations, as well as looking at WBQC-CA's/WOTH-LP's current operating permits/CP's etc.
WOTH-LP 38(analog - Independent - Home shopping/Beverly Hilllbillies/etc) has had their STA for channel 38 renewed recently. STA's are granted for 6 month time periods. WOTH-LP currently also has a CP(construction permit) to move to channel 25 and use WBQC's current facilities.
WBQC-CA 25(analog - UPN) CP For Channel 38 expires in Dec 2004. They could of course ask for a extension past that date I suppose.
In the recent NPRM(notice of proposed rulemakeing) adopted late last summer by FCC Concerning DTV and Low Power(LP) Stations --- The way it currently stands, LPTV+class A stations don't have a 2nd channel assignment for DTV, and LP stations can't convert to digital on their analog assignment -- However, in the LP NPRM(among other things) FCC is proposing LP stations be allowed to convert to digital on their current analog assignment.
However --- From what I can tell from present rules, Class A stations CAN evidently currently convert to digital on their analog assignment(WBQC is Class A, and although they are currently on 25, their current "class A" analog assignment would be channel 38), and that has been the rule since early 2000 - To convert to digital, they would need to file with FCC for a minor change in facilites, which would need to be aprroved by FCC.
Follows is a footnote from the recent LP NPRM from FCC, the entire document can be found under the 10/3/03 date at the following site: http://www.fcc.gov/dtv/documents.html
Footnote #154 : Class A stations may convert their existing analog channels for digital operations at any time, thus becoming digital Class A TV stations (Class A Report and Order, 92). Class A TV facilities changes, other than channels changes, are considered to be "minor" changes, provided the protected signal contour resulting from the changed facilities would overlap some portion of the protected contour based on the Class A station's authorized facilities (Class A Report and Order, 110). The Class A Report and Order did not explicitly characterize an on-channel digital conversion of an analog Class A station authorization as a minor change. We here clarify that Class A station licensees and permittees may seek an on-channel digital conversion by filing an application for a minor facilities change pursuant to the definition and application processing criteria given in Sections 73.3572 at paragraphs (a) and (f). An analog-to-digital converted digital Class A station would have the same interference protection priorities as an analog Class A station.
Follows is relevant section (paragraph 92) from the "Class A Report in order"(issued in 2000) which is referenced above -- The entire document (and other Class A television service rules/documents) is available under the 4/4/2000 date) at the following site : http://www.fcc.gov/mb/policy/classa.html
92. Decision. As an initial matter, we note that Class A stations may convert their existing channel to digital broadcasting at any time.
Its probably there in the rules and I'm not looking in the right place, but one thing I couldn't find in the rules was any info concerning what the DTV ERP power limits would be for any Class A stations which might apply to switch to digital on their current analog assignment.
So, anyone have any news concerning the WBQC move to 38 and/or WOTH-LP's move to 25, and if we'll get to see UPN HD(Enterprise+some UPN movies are currently sent by UPN in HD+by some UPN digital affiliates as well) in Cincinnati anytime soon?