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MSU Restores TV Tower Following April Collapse

The tower of Ozarks Public Television's KOZK-TV, in Fordland, Mo., collapsed April 19, 2018, killing one worker and injuring three others.

The tower of Ozarks Public Television's KOZK-TV, in Fordland, Mo., collapsed April 19, 2018, killing one worker and injuring three others.

SPRINGFIELD, MO -- Ozarks Public Television, which lost its broadcast tower in April, resulting in the death of one tower worker and injuring three others, has announced that it has secured space for a new tower at an alternative site in Springfield, Mo., with plans to begin operations in two to three weeks.

In the April 19 accident, tower crew members were working on the 2,000-foot tower to transition the Missouri State University-owned PBS affiliate KOZK-TV in Fordland, Mo., to a new channel when it collapsed. 

The work was part of an industry-wide channel repack resulting from the 2017 spectrum auctions. Most over-the-air viewers in the Springfield area lost access to the broadcast signal, although in the interim the university has been using a combination of cable and satellite to deliver a low-power signal from the Missouri State University campus. Ozarks Public Television (OPT) said it now provides KOZK’s signal to approximately 70 percent of its viewing audience.

Although the new tower will “significantly increase” the station’s OTA coverage, OPT said some communities will still be without a signal with full restoration of the signal expected in several more months.

“Our intent, and our top priority, is returning OPT service to our entire viewing area,” the station said. “While this is a complex task with many technical, logistical and regulatory hurdles, we are working diligently to accomplish it as quickly as is possible. We cannot overstate how much we appreciate the support, patience and kindness of our viewers and supporters as we work through this challenging situation.”

This story was originally published by TV Technology.