Lakeshore PBS Back on the Air...Again

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(photo courtesy of Lakeshore Public Media) (photo courtesy of Lakeshore Public Media)

After another lengthy wait for repairs, Lakeshore Public Media in northwest Indiana says its Lakeshore PBS signal is back on the air. The station says it is running on a low-power transmitter after a tower crew from Oklahoma was able to perform the necessary repair work.

The station's troubles began last summer after a severe storm damaged its previous transmitter beyond repair and a temporary transmitter was further damaged by vandals. Lakeshore PBS went back on the air in October, however the station ran into further problems a month later.

When cold weather hit the region in November, a damaged portion of the transmission line near the top of the transmitter allowed water into the line, which froze. The ice in the system caused the station's signal to be reflected back, which kept the system from broadcasting. 

The station had difficulties finding a certified tower crew to climb the 1000-foot structure either due to the bitter cold or crews being overscheduled. A crew from Sky Tower LLC in Oklahoma City was able to complete the work to replace a 10-foot section of damaged line.

“Through all of this, we heard from many viewers and members during our outage, letting us know that they missed their programming and their PBS station,” said James Muhammad, chief executive officer of Lakeshore Public Media. “We want them to know that we truly apologize for the length of this outage.  It has been something that we never could have believed was possible.” 

Lakeshore Public Media says it has committed more than $400,000 in equipment and repairs, as well as purchasing a new solid-state transmitter over the past six months.

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