The television industry is in the midst of a "spectrum repack" resulting from a Congressional mandate to
repurpose television spectrum for wireless communications use. Roughly half of the television stations
in the United States are making changes to their transmission facilities to make way for the new users of
After the conversion to digital in the early 2000's many TV stations do not actually transmit their signals
on the channels they used in analog days. In many cases, the channel you tune to is actually a "virtual"
channel and the actual radio frequency (RF) channel is different. For example, our station, WCBZ,
broadcast on RF channel 22 in analog days. When we converted to digital, our virtual channel (the
channel you tune to on your TV) remained channel 22, but our actual RF broadcast channel changed to
channel 28 which we still use today. WCBZ is affected by the Spectrum Repack, and our broadcast RF
channel will change to RF channel 18 on or before April 1, 2019.
This will affect you as a viewer since you will need to rescan the channels in your TV sets once we
change to RF channel 18 so your TV can find the new signal once we make the change.
Our projected change-over date is April 1, 2019, but we will switch sooner if possible. We will be
running crawls on all of our channels reminding viewers that the change is coming and if we switch
early, we will advise you of the new date.
We have created a chart showing all of the stations in the Columbus area and what their new channels
will be. It is not important to know what the stations new channel will be, your TV will figure that out on
its own when you rescan. We are providing the information for those who want to dig deeper into the
details of the spectrum repack.
More information is available at the following resources...
The FCC has opened a call center to assist consumers who need assistance. Call (888) 225-5322 and
select option 6 to speak with a help desk representative. The call center is open from 8 AM to 1 AM
seven days per week.