Required FCC work may affect your KXAN/KNVA signal


Programming note from KXAN

Due to a required change by the FCC we are doing work at our Austin broadcast tower resulting in a slight coverage reduction with KXAN 36 and KNVA 54. 

Since May 25, KXAN has been working to replace the antennae on top of the 1,200 foot high broadcast towers in Westlake Hills near Loop 360 with newer and more efficient versions. A massive helicopter lifted pieces of steel up to 56 feet long and weighing nearly 20,000 pounds. The helicopter is 88 feet long and itself weighs 23,000 pounds. In comparison, STAR Flight’s largest helicopter is 42 feet long and weighs 8,000 pounds.

These updates have necessitated turning our transmitters off for a period of time. We have often seen that when we interrupt the broadcast signal, some TVs will drop our signal from the stored presets.

Fix timeline

Crews arrived on Saturday, May 25, to do the work at the broadcast tower, but the aircraft had a mechanical issue that needed to be addressed. It was repaired Saturday afternoon but then could not fly Sunday through Wednesday due to high winds.

On Thursday, May 30, crews removed the old antennas and installed a new support pole. When they attempted to install the new KNVA antenna, a gust of wind bumped it, causing slight damage. After consulting with the manufacturer, the team was able to repair the physical damage Friday but were not sure that the antenna was electrically sound (frequency and transmission pattern may have been affected).

On Friday, May 31, the manufacturer loaded up antenna supports and had a team drive them from Maine to Austin. KXAN received those late Wednesday and the electrical testing was done Thursday morning. We are waiting to hear back the review of the tests now.

The helicopter is still in town and doing the same work for another television station. However, after removing the first piece for them on Friday, May 31, the helicopter developed another problem. A replacement part arrived at the site Thursday and we’re waiting to hear if they can fly again. If so, they will finish up the other station’s work Thursday. If testing proves out the antenna, then KXAN hopes to have its antenna installed tomorrow.

Crews estimate they will need three or four days to finish work up on top of the tower once the antenna is installed. 

Fixing your signal and watching missed programs

If you are not receiving the signal currently, an additional channel rescan may bring the signal back. If you live further out in the Hill Country or far south/east of Austin, you may not be able to receive the signal until we resume normal operations early next week.

If you are in Austin and experiencing a weak signal, pixilation or dropouts, it is likely due to a slight change in our broadcast pattern and a minor adjustment of your antenna may help the situation.

If you are missing certain programs, these can be viewed online at and We apologize for the recent issues and interruptions and are working as quickly as possible to get an even better signal out soon.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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