Klobuchar Announces $792,000 Grant to Help Minnesota Transition to Digital Broadcasts, including $80K for MPR Transmitter in Hinckley
Washington, D.C. –U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar announced today that Minnesota’s public television and radio stations are the recipients of a substantial grant awarded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Minnesota received the second most grant dollars of any state. The $792,000 grant will go towards helping local public television and radio stations convert to digital transmissions. The conversion will offer consumers significantly upgraded audio and video quality and will allow grant recipients to offer new and innovative services such as increased programming options, more localized emergency alerting and more localized traffic reports.
“Preparing for the digital transition is especially important for Minnesota.” Klobuchar said. “More than 21 percent of our households depend exclusively on over-the-air broadcast TV – they will be most affected by the transition. This grant helps public television in Minnesota afford the necessary equipment to provide high-quality digital broadcasts for consumers. I continue to call for greater consumer awareness of this transition which will affect everyone currently receiving analog television.”
“These grants also will assist radio stations in converting to digital broadcasting, which will allow them to offer Minnesota consumers new and valuable programming and services, including enhanced emergency services,” Klobuchar said.
Federal law mandates that television broadcasters stop analog broadcasts after February 17, 2009, and broadcast digital television instead. The grant announced today provides funds to the Twin Cities Public Television station in St. Paul to aid their conversion efforts. Public radio stations throughout Minnesota were also awarded grants to provide equipment needed for digital upgrades.
Tens of millions of TV sets nationwide will be affected by the change to digital broadcasting, including 430,000 households in Minnesota.
Klobuchar has worked to supplement efforts to help consumers understand the switch to DTV. Earlier this year she partnered with Minnesota-based retailer Best Buy and officials from the Minnesota AARP and the Minnesota Broadcasters Association to help raise awareness of the upcoming switch to DTV.
In April, Klobuchar’s staff made visits to seven Minnesota cities to educate consumers about the transition. Many of the visits included employees from electronics retailers who helped explain and demonstrate the switch to DTV.
Senator Klobuchar has also created a special section on her Senate website here to provide detailed guidance to consumers about the digital transition, due to take effect on February 17, 2009.
Below are the details of the grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting:
$394,382 to Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul for purchase and installation of transmitter equipment in order to be compliant with federally-mandated digital broadcast regulations and parameters.
$105,000 to KMOJ/89.9 FM in Minneapolis for planning, purchase and installation of the equipment needed for digital radio broadcasting.
$80,000 to Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) in St. Paul for planning, purchase and installation of the equipment needed for digital (or “HD”) radio broadcasting on its WGRH-FM (Hinckley) transmitter;
$80,000 to MPR’s KRFI-FM (Redwood Falls) transmitter for planning, purchase and installation of the equipment needed for digital radio broadcasting;
$67,476 to MPR’s KITF-FM (International Falls) transmitter for planning, purchase and installation of the equipment needed for digital radio broadcasting;
$64,956 to MPR’s WIRC-FM (Ely) transmitter for planning, purchase and installation of the equipment needed for digital radio broadcasting.