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WUTV, WNYO will drop analog

The local Fox and MyNet-work TV affiliates, WUTV and WNYO, will drop their analog signals and go with a digital signal exclusively Feb. 18, even though Congress voted this week to allow stations to delay the digital conversion until June 12.

The congressional vote to delay the digital conversion -- supported by the Obama administration -- allowed local stations to make their own decisions on whether to drop the analog signals anytime after the original conversion date.

WKBW-TV, the local ABC affiliate, has been running a crawl this week saying it would drop its analog signal Feb. 18. However, station officials could not be reached Friday for comment to confirm that.

Nick Magnini, the general manager of Fox affiliate WUTV and MyNetwork affiliate WNYO, said the decision to drop the analog signals was made by the stations' owner, Sinclair Broadcasting.

"We feel we have done a tremendous job in letting viewers know by running crawls over programming, 30-minute programs with all the details and thousands of commercials," said Magnini.

Jim Toellner, general manager of Gannett-owned Channel 2, said the NBC affiliate will abide by the new deadline of June 12 and keep the analog signal for those viewers who aren't ready for the conversion.

Chris Musial, general manager of LIN-owned Channel 4 and Channel 23, e-mailed to say a decision will be announced within a few days.

WNED-TV, the local PBS affiliate, hasn't decided its plans.

When the analog signal is shut off, older analog TV sets that receive over-the-air broadcasts with an antenna will need a converter box to keep receiving signals. People who subscribe to cable or satellite TV will not be affected.

-- Alan Pergament

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