in Digital Stymie
will leave four towers standing if county again refuses
combined tower proposal.
year after community opposition stymied efforts to build
a joint digital TV "supertower" on Lookout Mountain at
the western edge of metropolitan Denver, most area
broadcasters are backing a new plan being offered to
Jefferson County officials and residents in April
Efforts to build a
joint tower have been blocked for seven years by
foothills residents concerned about the health effects of
nonthermal RF radiation from terrestrial broadcasting
antennas above or level with their homes.
Under the latest
proposal from Lake Cedar Group, the limited-lia-bility
corporation created by a co-alition of local TV and radio
station as a litigation buffer, four towers would be
replaced by a single tower near the existing KCNC-TV
tower on Lookout Mountain.
and analog gear on the tower would be KCNC (CBS), KMGH
(ABC), KUSA (NBC) and KDTV (UPN). All four stations'
analog towers would come down, and their separate
transmitter buildings would be demolished and
consolidated into one.
If the county
denies the revised application, warned Peter McNally --
an affiliate of Intermountain Corporate Affairs, the
political consultancy hired to spearhead county approval
-- the Lake Cedar Group members will build interim
digital towers on "less desirable" Front Range sites such
as Squaw Mountain or Eldorado Peak, leaving the four
existing towers on Lookout Mountain standing until the
Federal Communications Commission forces an analog
shutdown, then replace those with four digital towers,
each with its own building, so the county would have
"zero gain" from saying no.
The new plan was
unveiled to mostly station engineers March 26
before a gathering of the Denver Web Forum for Advanced
Visual Systems at KCNC. A similar presentation will be
offered at a public meeting April 16.
nobody in the community likes us or believes us," Mr.
McNally said. "But we hope we can get this through
without litigation, because we've now turned our proposal
upside down to address all the concerns against us
To counter health
worries, the previous omnidirectional antennas will be
replaced by directional panel antennas aiming across the
city, sprawling onto the eastern plains and reducing
residual RF radiation in the foothill community to the
west (also reducing TV reception).
three-pronged candelabra proposed earlier, has been
abandoned for a single stick. The initial height of 850
feet has been shrunk, so it's now 110 feet shorter than
the existing KCNC tower-the tallest on the mountain-and
the site has been moved another 180 feet down the hill to
reduce risks of "ice fall" on neighboring homes in
collocated transmitter building proposed before has been
shrunk in square footage and would now be dug into the
mountain (60 percent underground) to disappear among the
evergreen trees. .