By John R. Schirmer
Community TV station KJEP will leave the air Tuesday, Sept. 15. The board of directors and station manager Mike Aylett have a number of plans for the station’s final day of broadcasting.
Aylett is working on videos to play starting at 8 a.m. Sept. 15. The videos will include comments by board members about the station, things they remember and what it has meant to them.
At noon, KJEP will begin a live broadcast. “Anyone who wishes to come out to the station can do so,” Aylett said. “If they would like to say a few words regarding KJEP or their experiences, we can make that happen also.”
There will be hotdogs, soft drinks, chips, dip and popcorn, along with activities such as ladder ball and horseshoes.
The live broadcast will run until 7 p.m. “That is when KJEP will sign off the air,” Aylett said. “It is going to be a sad day, but sad as it may seem, technology means change, and change means progress.”
The KJEP board decided earlier in the year to stop broadcasting Sept. 15, the day when the Federal Communications Commission will require stations to switch to digital broadcasts.
Board President Mark Cassady said the station could afford the change, but viewership has dropped because more people have satellite TV instead of cable. KJEP is shown on cable systems in Nashville and surrounding areas.
“We all hate to see it happen, but it’s time,” Cassady said. “Since the announcement that we’re going off the air, look at what the school has done with livestreaming football games. Look at the radio station’s website and its video of local events.”
The KJEP board met Tuesday and voted to divide the station’s remaining money among the local churches which still broadcast their services over KJEP. The board asks that the churches use the money to “get their programs to the public by radio, DVD, internet and other means,” Cassady said.