Rural translators threatened with loss of their frequencies
Translators — the lonely relay-runners of broadcasting — are a rural institution under siege. While pubcasters use hundreds of them to reach remote pockets of their audience, they are being bumped off, one by one, by competitors for the frequencies that they use. In both radio and TV — particularly radio — they’re sitting ducks, vulnerable to being shoved aside by any applicants for full-service stations on the same frequencies. And religious broadcasters are filing apps by the hundreds. In TV, many translators will soon be knocked off the air as sheriffs, fire companies and DTV stations start using the UHF channels the FCC has given to them.