Broadcasters, BGSU faculty to discuss digital TV transition

Ohio television industry leaders will join academic experts from BGSU Feb. 4 to discuss the impact of the digital TV transition on consumers and the industry.

“Digital Television Transition in Ohio: Challenges to Consumers and the TV Industry” is the title of the program, which is free and open to the public at 4:30 p.m. in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union Theater.

Christine Merritt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Broadcasters, will provide an overview of the transition, which is set for Feb. 17. Other participating broadcasters will be Patrick Deville, president and general manager of Erie County Cablevision and former president of the Ohio Cable Television Association, along with Bob Chirdon, vice president and general manager of WTOL in Toledo, and Steve Crum, WTOL chief engineer. Deville will address “Digital Must Carry—The Debate and How It Will Affect Consumers and TV Stations in Ohio,” while Chirdon and Crum will discuss their station’s implementation of the DTV transition.

The other panelists are faculty members in the Department of Telecommunications, which is sponsoring the event. Dr. Louisa Ha, acting department chair, will present her research of “Ohio TV Stations’ Digital TV Education Efforts and Business Models,” while Dr. Sung-Yeon Park will outline her study of “DTV Readiness of Northwest Ohio Residents and WBGU-TV Viewers.”

Patrick Fitzgerald, general manager of WBGU, will serve as moderator of the program.

January 26, 2009