My Story: A Family Legacy in Danger

The Parsons family, owners and operators of KTTA-LD, reaches over 85,000 viewers in South Central Utah, broadcasting 12-14 hours a day.

“KTTA-LD was formed to enhance local area programming to the same TV translator network that my father Kent Parsons pioneered. KTTA-LD went on air in January of 201,” said Michael Parsons. “It works in conjunction with the county TV translator network to bring our local outdoor way of life to our local area viewers.”

ParsonsThe translator allows programming to reach eight counties and is carried on two separate local area cable systems. Airing live basketball games, state championship basketball, wrestling, baseball and volleyball, sports action is delivered to homes across the Richfield, Utah, area. However, for the Parsons, there is more to the LPTV/Translator service than sports and weather.

“Our primary focus is to carry on the service with TV translators and KTTA-LD which my father Kent Parsons pioneered,” said Parsons. “He had a great interest in the addition of our small LPTV station and its added dimension to the county TV translator system. He even initiated four local area documentaries which have been of great interest to our area before his passing”

Local LPTV has a unique impact on its community and KTTA-LD used that to honor Kendall Willardson, the play-by-play announcer for many football and basketball games on KTTA-LD and active community volunteer by donating a $1,000 scholarship in his honor.

As the FCC continues its plans to auction off the LPTV spectrum, family legacies that provide needed services and programming that unites a community such as the Parsons are being threatened.

“The proposed Spectrum Auction not only puts the future of KTTA-LD in question” said Parsons, “but more importantly it affects the entire state of Utah on a large scale. Utah has 715 licensed digital translator and LPTV stations. Because of the daisy chain effect, 95% of the entire system will be affected.”

As the Federal Government encourages the FCC to implement the digital standard, operations that service rural communities are in danger of losing their primary feed for news, weather and programming, according to Parsons.

“We have built a system that is unlike any of its kind and runs with very little down time on funding that cannot be equaled,” said Parsons. “For rural viewers who use these signals, they are their primary service feeds, not secondary as broadband activists suggest. After all that, with the proposed broadband plan, we now face the possibility of losing this much needed system which our elected officials promoted. It is more frustrating to know that much of the spectrum which has already been taken.”

For Parsons, the combination of TV Translators and LPTV are one of the few true values left to citizens of this great nation. Parsons said, “If after the proposed spectrum auction and repack TV Translators and LPTV lose channels, or lose quality and then look at additional unused spectrum which also lays vacant, then our system has failed us!”

KTTA-LD operates with a strong desire to carry on the legacy of R. Kent Parsons in serving rural people and is completely operated by family members – Mauri, Tamara, Michael and Reggie Parsons.

“We are always open to new ideas within reason to better serve our viewing audience,” said Parsons. “At the present time we are focused on watching close to see how this proposed spectrum auction and repack unfold. The big question is – will we be able to continue with our much needed TV translator network along with all LPTV stations & translators nationwide?”

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