The FCC released the Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice (CCRPN) (http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db0413/DA-17-314A1.pdf) on Thursday this week (April 13, 2017). The big question for many TV stations is now what do I do?
For many stations changing channels as part of the FCC’s Repack is a daunting challenge. Figuring out how to even start on this huge undertaking can be intimidating. My business partner Gary Sgrignoli often says to me some sage advice “How do you eat an elephant?” – The answer is one bite at a time. So, first, don’t panic. A methodical and sequential plan is what will help you get organized and ready to file your TV Station’s Construction Permit Application (due prior to July 12, 2017) and your TV Station’s Budget to complete the transition to your new channel. (The budget Schedule 399 is also due prior to July 12, 2017).
My first suggestion is to put together a Station Repack Team. You’ll need resources from the Engineering Department of course. But, you’ll also need other folks on the Repack Team including the following:
- Engineering / Technical Consultant
- Station Engineering – Local Station Lead Technical Person
- RF Consulting Engineer – FCC Applications
- System Design – Transmitter, Antenna, Tower, Transmission Line, Building Modifications
- Equipment Procurement – Vendor Selection, Request for Proposals, Bid Specifications
- Project Management if Required
- Budgeting for Project
- Reimbursement Processing
- Equipment Procurement Process
- FCC Counsel
- Tower Leases, Equipment Procurement
- Medical Notifications
- MVPD Notifications
- Communications / Public Relations
- Public Communications Plan
- Channel Re-Scanning & Other Outreach
- Manage Repack Process and Lead the Team
Put together an organizational meeting of your repack team to discuss the time-lines, schedules, and logistics to get your FCC Construction Permit Application (Form 2100) and Budget (Schedule 399) ready for timely filing.
Of course, include your station’s RF Consulting Engineering firm as well as FCC Attorney to make sure you have all the resources you’ll need to get through the process.
One of the first questions that usually comes up with a Repack project is do we have to buy new equipment or do we re-channel our existing equipment. We can help answer those questions by looking at an inventory or your station’s existing equipment. You’ll find a simple and quick MSW Equipment Inventory Form for your use here.
Next time, we’ll give you some tips on getting the most of out of your repack reimbursement from the FCC.
Of course, Meintel, Sgrignoli, & Wallace, can help your station with its DTV Repack project. Our services are tailored to meet the needs of our clients. If we can be of assistance please don’t hesitate to contact us.