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Channel 17 tower construction on track for November 1 deadline

UPDATE 10/17: ABC 17 News is just a couple of weeks away from construction on the new broadcast tower being finished.

Our stations have been operating from a temporary facility at reduced power since the beginning of August. Crews have been working to replace the 50-year-old tower the company had used since it signed on in the 1970s.

The building has passed the 900 foot mark on its way to 1,100 feet when its finally complete. Station officials say channel 17 should be back to full power during the last week of October. Channel 22 and its sub-channels are expected to go back on the air in mid-November.”

UPDATE 9/24: The first section of the new broadcast tower went up last week, marking a major milestone in the ongoing project. The tower will stand 1,100 feet when fully constructed.

Work on the tower will continue in segments until completion, which is expected by Nov. 1.

UPDATE 8/29: Work on a new Networks of Mid-Missouri broadcast tower remains on schedule.

Crews this week finished pouring concrete for the 1,100-foot tower’s foundation. The contractor is now prepping the steel before it starts to assemble the tower in the coming weeks.

The station is also working with local satellite and cable providers as some of our viewers using those services have experienced reception issues this week. We hope to have those issues resolved in the next few days.

UPDATE 8/15: It’s been two weeks since The Networks of Mid-Missouri started broadcasting from a temporary site as it builds a new broadcast tower to serve mid-Missouri.

The project is on schedule as crews are preparing to pour concrete for the tower’s foundation next week. Steel is arriving, and the structure will start to take shape once the concrete is cured in the coming weeks.

If you have lost your channel 17 signal recently, we recommend using an outdoor antenna and re-scanning for our channel. The project should be finished by early November.

UPDATE: The Networks of Mid-Missouri tower between Jamestown and Prairie Home is being replaced and came down on Saturday. LIVE PLAYBACK of the tower take down can be viewed in the player below.

UPDATE: The change to a temporary broadcast tower was completed at 5:15 a.m. Thursday.

Stations on channel 17 are broadcasting at reduced power. More information is available in an FAQ by clicking here.

ORIGINAL: Work has officially started to replace the Moniteau County tower that broadcasts the Networks of Mid-Missouri channels to the area after its 50-year run.

The tower between Jamestown and Prairie Home is beyond repair and is being replaced this summer, requiring the shutdown of one of the Networks of Mid-Missouri’s digital channels. However, all stations will still be available over the air.

“Our major concern is it has weakened to the point where we’re not sure whether a strong storm or even just ice in the winter might cause enough extra weight on it or enough extra force that it would just collapse,” ABC 17 Chief Engineer Eric Jones said of the aging tower. “Then we’d be without a tower for a lot longer.”

The switch from the old tower to the new one started at 10:35 p.m. Wednesday, though preparations have been ongoing for months. Overnight, company engineers moved the broadcast of digital channel 17 to a temporary site while the tower is replaced, resulting in a brief interruption of service.

“The impact to the viewer should be fairly minor, except for maybe the far reaches of the market,” Jones said. “But it will have an impact of Wednesday night of this week.”

Channel 17 returned to the air Thursday, but channel 22 will be off the air for the duration of the project, which is expected to wrap up by Nov. 1. During that time FOX 22 will be available on digital channel 17.4 but the Laff, Grit and Escape stations usually available on digital channel 22 will be off-air during the project.

Satellite and cable viewers should still get all the stations broadcast on digital channel 17 – ABC 17, Me-TV, MyZOU, FOX 22 and Bounce — with little to no interruption. Over-the-air viewers might lose signal because of FCC regulations that require the temporary broadcast power transmit at a lower frequency.

Jones said while the transmitter is at its temporary site, viewers should not notice any changes in broadcast quality.

ABC 17 News broadcasts on ABC 17 and FOX 22 are always available on the ABC 17 News website at News updates and live streaming video of news events are also available on the website.


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