February 3, 2006 at 8:40 PM CST - Updated July 26 at 9:46 PM
KLTV’s main broadcast tower collapsed this morning. The tower is located in the rural community of Red Springs, approximately ten miles north ofTyler. The tower was approximately 1,078 feet tall.
The structure carried the main analog, digital, and High Definition signals for KLTV, Channel 7. No one was hurt when the tower fell. People living nearby said they heard the sounds of the metal collapsing just before 7:30 a.m. The cause of the incident is under investigation.
Only subscribers to Cox Cable can currently see KLTV programming.
KLTV Vice President and General Manager Brad Streit says, “It is too early to tell what impact the loss of our tower will have on our programming schedule for the next few days”. Streit went on to say, “KLTV is scheduled to broadcast ABC’s coverage of the Super Bowl this Sunday. “Our hope is that we will be able to find a temporary solution to this problem and we are looking at other alternatives for carrying our TV signal.”
KLTV’s analog transmitter, which was housed in a building next to the tower, does not appear to be damaged. Engineers are dismantling the transmitter this morning and preparing to move it to a smaller tower near downtown Tyler. If the transmitter is still working, KLTV’s broadcast signal could be partially restored in the next few hours.
The KLTV tower at Red Springs was approximately 25 years old. In late 2005, workers installed KLTV’s new Digital and High Definition TV antenna on the tower.
KLTV is owned by Raycom Media of Montgomery, Alabama. Raycom currently operates 53 TV stations in the United States. Engineers from other Raycom stations who have had experience with similar tower problems are being flown by company jet to East Texas to assist KLTV.
KLTV is the sister station of KTRE-TV, Channel 9. Many viewers in the KTRE broadcast area actually receive KLTV as their “local” ABC station if they are on a satellite service such as Direct TV or Dish Network. For the time being, these viewers are unable to receive KLTV. Sources at KLTV tell us that efforts are underway to provide KLTV programming to Direct TV and Dish Network by alternate means.
The collapse of KLTV’s tower will not affect KTRE’s programming in any way. Programs carried by KTRE that originate in the KLTV studios, such as our “Daybreak” and “MidDay” news programs, are fed by microwave from Tyler to Lufkin. The microwave equipment was on a different tower, and remains in service.
Updates on this situation may be found on KLTV’s website at www.kltv.com.