Friday, December 19, 2008

Public stations in Maine to suspend operation

The public radio and TV stations in Calais, Maine and the radio station in Fort Kent will suspend operations for six months as a money-saving measure.

The stations affected are WMED-89.7, WMED-TV 13, and WMED-DT 10 in Calais, and WMEF-106.5 in Fort Kent.

Again, the stations will only be off for six months -- except for WMED-TV, which would have gone dark anyway in February as part of the DTV transition. This station obviously won't be returning to the air at all.

The impact will be lessened somewhat by the affected area's location along the Canadian border - the area should receive some service from CBC radio and TV stations in New Brunswick with similar programming formats. I might guess that cable operators in the area may pipe in the MPBN signal from the Bangor transmitter.

The remaining MPBN transmitters will be going off the air for five hours each night.

Maine Public Broadcasting Network press release on budget cuts.

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