Two TV towers gone, replacement plans underway - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Two TV towers gone, replacement plans underway

WFXL's tower formed a figure "4" around a pine tree, leaving it untouched. WFXL's tower formed a figure "4" around a pine tree, leaving it untouched.
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June 7, 2006

Doerun -- It's THE story many of you have been talking about for a week. And it led to stunning images we showed you live on Wednesday. We wondered for days if WFXL's television tower damaged last Thursday in a deadly Army helicopter crash would topple.

It did, with some help. And WALB's tower fell with it.  

So what's next?  

It took only a matter of seconds for both towers to come crashing down Wednesday afternoon in Doerun. The world renowned Controlled Demolition Incorporated crew was hired to take down the damaged WFXL-TV tower with explosives. But it didn't go exactly as planned.  

An explosion that was heard for miles, brought down the damaged WFLX-TV tower, also brought with it the tower of WALB-TV.

"It began to fall like a tree just exactly like they planned but then the guy wires wrapped around the guy wires of ALB's tower and brought it straight down. It was a pretty rough thing to watch," said WALB-TV General Manager Jim Wilcox.

WALB's General Manager Jim Wilcox says the chance of the demolition taking down his station's tower was at least 60-percent. But it was a chance parent company Raycom Media was willing to take with the demolition crew.

"The company found the best demolition company in the world that has had numerous successes, so they tried everything they could," said Wilcox.

Now, thousands of South Georgians who use antennas are left without NBC TV coverage. But the problem will be resolved as soon as possible.

"As soon as the demolition occurred I got nothing but phone calls from the leadership at Raycom to commit to getting us back up and a new tower and back in business full power just absolutely as soon as humanly possible," said Wilcox.

Both stations hope the dust will settle soon and television reception in south Georgia will be back to normal soon.

Controlled Demolition is one of the best implosion and demolition companies in the world. They say they dropped all their other projects to take on this unique job.

There was always a good chance that the WALB tower would go down along with WFXL's when the demolition occurred. There's no word yet on whether one big tower will be built to hold antennas for both WALB and WFXL or whether two towers will be built farther apart.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=TowerPlans