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Weigel's Analog Nightlight Could Help Chicago Stations With Reception Issues

With some Chicago stations continuing to have reception issues, Weigel Broadcasting's extended analog nighlight service could come in handy.

Weigel's independent WCIU continued an analog nightlight service to the market after June 12, but unlike other nightlight services, it is not required to shut it off 30 days after the DTV switch.

That's because it is using its co-owned, low-power station WWME-CA, which puts out a powerful 350,000 watt signal from the Sears Tower.

Weigel teamed with NBC's WMAQ and WGN-TV there to air the stations' newscasts, including morning news -- 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Unlike stations using their full-power analog signal as a nightlight, low-powers are under no deadline to pull the plug on analog.

When it is not airing the news, the low-power simulcasts WCIU's digital signal, and plans to do so "for the foreseeable future."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.