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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Dear Fellow LPTV Broadcaster and Industry Leaders,

The auction has ended and most of us are still here.  While it was not only our hope but the hope of many others that the auction would not take place . . . it did, but it did not have the devastating effect that it might have had. 

The world after the auction looks different and amazingly so has a very bright future!

What does that future look like?  Not only the amazing possibilities of ATSC 3.0 but the landscape of a nation of people who are increasingly cutting their cable cords and looking for free, over the air, broadcasting content.

That’s why it’s more important than ever that you join the Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance.  Our board of directors have a combined 500+ years of experience which beginning with your membership we are going to start making more available to our members on an increasing basis.

Soon as an ATBA member, you will be eligible to start tapping into not only this brain trust through unique services available only to our members but regular news updates regarding our collective broadcast future.  We are exploring new ways to tap into information from Washington as well as important updates that will benefit you right there where you live.

The need for the ATBA has increased with the new opportunities that are becoming available for those of us who still know that the future of LPTV, Class A and Translators is bright!  Are you selling your station to local sponsors?  Are you maximizing your spectrum to the advantage that you truly can?  Are you struggling with FCC rules and regulations that you either don’t understand or can’t get explained?

The ATBA is developing a database of information to help you find the answers you need! 

In addition we are still working with the true decision makers in Washington.  Your ATBA has earned the respect and the ear of the true movers and shakers that continue to shape our collective broadcasting future.

So what can you do to get involved and begin to take advantage of these, and many other, benefits?  Join the ATBA today!  Your membership benefits will include:

  1. Members only access to hundreds of years of LPTV experience through our new “Brain Trust”
  2. Early entry to our annual NAB LPTV evening event with access to our special event guest(s)
  3. Exclusive digital content regarding real world information you need to know
  4. Eligibility for recognition for your hard work through our ATBA LPTV Awards
  5. Access to equipment manufacturers with discounts available especially for ATBA members!

To be honest you can’t afford not to be a member of the ATBA! 

We’re making it affordable because it’s a win – win!  When you join, you’re going to receive more than just the benefits listed above but also you’ll be aligning with hundreds of others who, like yourself, have a vested interest in the continued forward movement of free, over-the-air broadcasting.  It’s a win for your ATBA because we will increase our strength through numbers as we grow together.

So what’s the next step?  If you’re ready follow this link https://www.broadcastingalliance.org/join-us/ to sign up.  If you have more questions please don’t hesitate to call a member of the ATBA board of directors by calling this number (877) 214-4277.   You’ll get a rapid response!

Thanks for taking the time to read this note and for your ongoing passion for the future of communication in this great country.

Respectfully,

The Board of Directors – The Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance