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Why WIVB-TV was unique...

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    Why WIVB-TV was unique...

    OK, this is a kind of niche post, but this has bothered me for a LONG time. In the analog era, Buffalo's WIVB-TV channel 4 was authorized to operate at 100kw to an antenna 1,200' above average terrain.

    This should not have been permissible. Analog stations in Zone I on low-VHF channels 2-6 were limited to antennas no higher than 1,000'. If the antenna was higher, power must be reduced to compensate. For example, Schenectady's WRGB channel 6 was a mere twenty feet too high --and had to reduce power to 93kw. The entire state of New York was well within Zone I.

    I stumbled across the answer while looking at the Dec. 5, 1955 issue of Broadcasting Magazine.

    However, the Commission added a footnote to the present antenna height-power rule to permit vhf stations in Zone I which had received permission to relocate their transmitters and build towers in excess of 1,000 ft. after the issuance of the Third Notice (March 1951) and had completed or substantially completed such construction prior to the issueance of the Sixth Report (April 1952) to use maximum power at the height specified in such authorization. This applies to WBEN-TV Buffalo, N.Y., which built its 1,210 ft. antenna at Colden, N.Y., under such an authorization.
    These Notices & Reports were part of the Commission's consideration of the rules that would, basically, mold analog television from 1952 through its demise 2-1/2 years ago.

    Their old licensing records are available at: getimportletter_exh.cgi (​ I see a 100-kw with a 1196' antenna construction permit in 1950 (granted on 8-29-51) but I am not seeing an operational date.

    They were at several lower powers until 100-kw with a 1200' antenna was granted on 2-13-56.