The majority of mid-Missouri television viewers without a cable television hookup can now watch the local Fox affiliate without having to “stand on their heads” to get a signal, said Michelle Linn, KQFX director of promotions and public relations.
JW Broadcasting has completed the construction of a transmission tower in Ashland, more than doubling the number of mid-Missouri households that can receive KQFX/Fox 38.
The affiliate has been broadcasting since the beginning of May. The new tower has increased KQFX’s transmitter power to 150,000 watts. The increased signal is expected to reach more than 68,000 additional viewers, Vice President and General Manager Randy Wright said. Fox’s television programming includes “The Simpsons,” a local news broadcast at 9 p.m. and coverage of the St. Louis Rams and the Cardinals.
Wright would not specify the cost of the upgrade but said it was “well into the six figures.” He and Linn said the addition of Fox 38 as an over-the-air television station puts it on par with other network affiliates in the Columbia and Jefferson City areas.
“It definitely adds another level of competition,” Linn said. “But the programming is different enough on all the network affiliates that they are marketed for a different demographic. Fox has a younger demographic, and this being a college town, I think it stands a chance to succeed.”
JW Broadcasting received Federal Communications Commission approval for the transmission upgrade and began construction in March, Wright said.
Scott Barella, system designer and engineer for the upgrade, said crews faced some difficulty meeting the May deadline with springtime storms and wind.