A Los Angeles-area TV station that wanted to terminate analog broadcasting immediately was denied permission Wednesday by the Federal Communications Commission.
The transition to digital-only broadcasting is a top FCC goal, but the agency wants to ensure that an analog cutoff won't harm the interests of viewers who do not subscribe to cable and satellite.
KJLA, a bilingual station in Ventura, Calif., owned by Entravision Holdings LLC CEO Walter Ulloa, sought permission to cease analog broadcasting. But FCC Media Bureau chief Kenneth Ferree denied the request, citing the negative impact on the Hispanic population in Ventura and Los Angeles counties.
“The loss of analog over-the-air Spanish-language programming could have a significant impact in these areas,” Ferree said in a three-page letter.
KJLA told the FCC that 0.25% of the station’s viewers relied on over-the-air reception. Because Ventura’s Hispanic population is 33.4% and that of Los Angeles is 44.6%, Ferree said, “The loss of analog over-the-air service to even 0.25% of a station’s audience could result in the disenfranchisement of a significant number of persons.”
Had KJLA gained FCC approval, it would have been allowed under the agency’s rules to demand analog-cable carriage of its digital signal.