Repairs made, Fox back on air

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 16, 1999

"It was not our fault," said Bresnan.

Tuesday, November 16, 1999

"It was not our fault," said Bresnan.

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"It was our fault," said Fox 47, the network affiliate at Rochester.

It was not basically better TV, said hundreds of viewers who lost the signal to their favorite Sunday television programs.

When a power module "blew" on a television transmission tower near Ostrander Sunday afternoon, it couldn’t have come at a worse time.

For instance: 3:15 p.m., overtime, the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears tied. The Vikings about to kick a field goal that would win the game.

But that’s what happened Sunday and local cable television provider, Bresnan Communications, and the Fox Network affiliate in Rochester became immediate targets for viewers’ wrath.

When the signal remained out Sunday night and Monday, it was time to believe that things did go from bad to worse.

Bresnan Communications marketing manager, Mark Richardson said it was not the local cable television provider’s fault.

"If you were watching Fox Sunday anywhere, it would have went down. Whether you had an antenna, a dish or cable, it would have went down," Richardson said.

Richardson admitted the local cable television provider received many calls, complaining about the failure to deliver the Fox signal.

For most viewers, the local cable television provider was the likely target for abuse, when no other source was available Sunday to offer them an explanation.

But Lori Bailey, administrative assistant at Fox 47 offices in Rochester, was in the kitchen and had to stand the heated viewers’ comments.

"When I got to work Monday morning, I had 247 voice-mail messages," Bailey said. "I’ve been averaging a call every three minutes throughout the day."

Bailey supported Richardson’s assertion it was strictly a Fox 47 problem and she did it in a most candid fashion.

"If you were watching the Vikings’ game Sunday afternoon, you saw the screen go blank for a moment before the picture came back briefly and then you heard a ‘pop’ and saw the screen go dark again," Bailey said.

"A power module blew off our transmitter at Ostrander at 3:15 p.m. Sunday. It was a freak accident that couldn’t have been avoided. It just happened and we’re really sorry for everyone that it did."

The replacement power module was ordered and arrived at the Minneapolis International Airport at 3:45 p.m. Monday, where a Fox 47 technician was waiting.

It was rushed to the Ostrander transmitter and installed. The network affiliate’s signal flashed on at approximately 7:45 p.m. Monday.

Every popular program except the Vikings and Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys football games that were interrupted Sunday will be telecast Wednesday evening.

According to Bailey, the Simpsons will be shown at 9 p.m. and Futurama at 9:30 p.m. followed by two episodes of The X Files at 10 and 11 p.m. All other programming preempted by the equipment failure will follow the broadcast of The X Files.