Here's What's "Coming Soon"

By: Todd Baucher
By: Todd Baucher

Imagine TV's hottest show, AMERICAN IDOL, one of TV's longest-running shows, THE SIMPSONS, and Fox dramas and sports, all coming from WTAP. Imagine no more.

Starting in just a few days, Fox and UPN network programming will be coming to cable from our Parkersburg studios. Both Charter and CAS will transmit the stations, which will be called "Fox Parkersburg", and "Your UPN". They'll be coming from brand-new control room facilities we've been working on all winter to ready for the new cable stations.

WTAP has been operating its current control room for the past 16 years. We thought it was pretty amazing when we moved here in 1990, but it's nothing compared to what's about to come.

What's coming is a more elaborate control system, and what's more, we haven't had to expand our current station building to construct it.

"We're not used to having four master control streams here," says Doug Waldron, systems integrator for the Toronto company installing transmission cables for the new venture. "Not with different affiliates, Fox, UPN, NBC, and NBC-HD all in one small building. It's a pretty neat concept, and this will be the future of a lot of small towns."

Charter channel 14 will air Fox Parkersburg, while your UPN will be on charter channel 5. Channel locations for CAS will be announced soon, and other cable systems may also soon air the new channels.

"Since this is all a new HD facility, state of the art, it will be pretty nice for Parkersburg and all the stations that are in it," Waldron said.

Incidentally, the new Fox channel will feature a 10 p.m. Fox news update, and we'll tell you more about its debut later on.

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