KPLC Signal Back On-Air Again - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

KPLC Signal Back On-Air Again

March 7, 2004
Reported by Graham Winch

Channel 7's signal is broadcasting to Southwest Louisiana once again. KPLC's General Manager Jim Serra says he is pleased with the progress.

He says, "we on the air [Saturday] night at 11:30 and boy, what a big moment that was. We are on the air on the in the immediate Sulphur-Lake Charles area and somewhat beyond. Our goal in coming weeks is to expand that reach. Our goal is to bring in a more robust transmitter.

"We also have a satellite signal that has been established which is going to multiply the number of cable systems that we come back on. We know we are on cable in Lake Charles-Sulphur area. DeRidder has us on cable and the rest of the communities will join us very soon.

"One of the other things we are doing is working with some low power television stations that are in our broadcast area -- and we hope to have those online as well -- that will be retransmitting the KPLC signal. The first one of those to go online will be Jennings."

It took many people working around the clock to get KPLC's new antenna in place, wired and transmitting. Serra says a thank you is in order.

"It really is the time to say thank you to some people that have worked very very hard over the past few days," he says. "The first people I have to recognize is KPLC's employees. Our technical staff and our support staff have done an absolutely Herculean job to responding to awful disaster for a television station, and doing it in a calm professional focused manner. Only two days after we had two 1600 foot towers fall to the ground, we have our signal back on the air. Now it's not as powerful as the original but it is a signal serving the core of our primary viewing area. We have a plan to which we are working on right now to expand our signal, so I have to say thanks to all our KPLC employees.

"Second of all, I have to thank the community in general that has rallied around us. That community is made up of several stake holders in KPLC. Number one --our viewers. Our viewers have sent the nicest letters the nicest phone calls wishing us well asking us what they can do to help.

"Area media has just been terrific about helping us get the word out from the moment the towers fell through today. I want to thank the American Press and the Southwest Daily News. I want to thank all the radio stations in town: Cumulous and Apex and Pittman and KZWA. They have all been just terrific. I want to thank Cox Cable because for many of our viewers this has been a none event. The guys I really want to thank the most are KVHP Fox 29, the TV station across town. We do compete with each other but there is special camaraderie among broadcasters when the chips are down. Nobody has been more gracious and helpful to us during this hard time than Lester Langley and the folks at KVHP."

To viewers who have asked how they can help, Serra has this suggestion: "Our viewers have asked what they can do and I want to tell them because there is one other group we have to say thank you to and that is our advertisers. I don't know if the public knows the special and unique relationship a TV station has with its advertisers, because those advertisers whose commercials run on TV, that is the life blood of the television station.

"The relationship KPLC has with its advertisers is this: Our job as a business is to sustain and support grow and nurture our client businesses. In turn they do the same with us and especially at a tough time like this as we quickly try to regain our viewership. So if you are a loyal KPLC viewer, the number one thing you can do is please take note, take note of who they are please let them know you appreciate their support of KPLC, as not just a business but a community asset."

Even though KPLC's signal is back on the airwaves there is a lot of work ahead.

Serra says, "our ultimate goal is to replace the tower that fell down. So we will be building and actually work has gone about the planning for a new 1600 foot tall tower, a 160 story tower, which will be built on the Fenton site. Also with that we will be build a brand new transmission facility, with transmitters for both our analog and our new HDTV channel 8 signal."

Serra says over the past few days, KPLC has tried hard to demonstrate its commitment to the community.

He says, "the bottom line is KPLC has been here 50 years. We plan to be here another 50 years and beyond. Our slogan is At Your Service and we have always meant that and we have never meant more than we do now. This is one of those events we are already working through and some point in the future will just be a footnote in history. We appreciate your support and we are getting through it and we look to being at your service for years to come."

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