Staggering Toward DTV Deadline: Cut-Offs Vary


Federal Communications Commission acting chairman Michael Copps always said he favored a staggered analog shut-off strategy. It turned out to be something of rolling start after all, given the early switches in Wilmington, Hawaii, and the Feb. 17 move of 784 stations, which was the original hard date.

 Turns out June 12 will be a rolling start as well.

 According to the latest figures from the National Association of Broadcasters, the majority of TV stations cutting off their analog signals (447) will do so between 6 p.m. and 11:59:59 p.m. on Friday, June 12.

But 175 will have pulled the plugy by the time most people get up (midnight-6 a.m.). Another 200 will make the switch between 6 a.m. and noon, leaving the balance (152) truning off the analog switch between noon and 6 p.m.

Among the top 10 markets, three have at least one station going at all four times of day--including the FCC's own home of Washington, D.C.

But there will still be some analog nightlights burning even after June 12. About 100 stations -- actually 99 so far, according to the FCC -- will keep an analog signal on for up to 30 days after the transition date to transmit DTV transition information.