© 2005 Updated: 12/19/05

EDITORIAL : March 2006

Denver TV stations Big Brother advertising campaign

The 30-second broadcast TV ad that says "a SMALL GROUP of People is PREVENTING US from bringing you the benefits of free over-the-air digital television" is airing 15-25 times a day on four stations. The massive propaganda campaign proclaims benevolent protection of the community, wholesome entertainment, sports and news "for more than 50 YEARS." Any other advertiser would have to pay $50 million to blame victims for protecting themselves, assuming any notion of "truth in advertising" would be ignored.

Photo: 200 of the 50,000 residents impacted by 1200 antennas on 48 towers attended a Golden City Council meeting to testify in support of Golden’s willingness to acquire the land intended for a Supertower (much like the Sutro in SF) to preserve the Mountain Backdrop for future generations.

The actual truth is the stations are responsible for preventing the Denver metro area from receiving digital TV. Excellent alternative sites have been and are still available. The old fashioned commitment to ethical investigative reporting is ignored by KCNC-4 (CBS/Viacom), KMGH-7 (McGraw Hill), KUSA-9 (Gannett) and KTVD-20 (Gannett). This advertising campaign is the most recent strategy by consultants milking media corporations (based in Virginia, Chicago, and New York) that own Lake Cedar Group, a limited liability consortium of the 4 stations.

The real purpose of the proposed 730-foot Supertower on Lookout Mountain is not digital TV transmitters. The real purpose is to profit from renting space to four additional TV stations and limitless wireless services—email and internet, text messaging, music, video games, news, soap operas, video streaming of sport events, and advertising. Channels 4, 7, 9, and 20 want to "beam" pay-per-view movies into your home, office, and cell phone. They are not considering the negative impact of increasing electrosmog in an already saturated area.

The base altitude of the proposed Supertower site is 6800 feet on land owned by LCG. More than 1000 Lookout and Genesee families living above 7,200 feet are already being polluted by 1200 transmitters on 48 towers. LCG stations have to remove their old towers on residential-zoned land, which cannot be extended or expanded. The existing pollution effects more than 50,000 Greater Golden citizens, many businesses, Colorado School of Mines, and 75 landmarks listed on the National Register of Historic Places within five miles. Responding to their constituents and recommendations of professional staff, JeffCo Commissioners denied the tower and Golden City Council is using its Home Rule powers to acquire the land to protect the Mountain Backdrop for future generations.

There are excellent alternative sites, already zoned for towers, available for digital TV transmitters in and around Denver. The unpopulated Mount Morrison towers are based at 7,881 feet (the PUD permits elevating the tall tower owned by Gannett) above historic Red Rocks Park. Towers on unpopulated Eldorado Mountain (at the Jefferson-Boulder County border) are based at 8,320 feet. Hunt Broadcasting owns a new 1,996-foot tower 30 miles east of DIA. The Squaw Mountain Communications site at 10,800 feet in Clear Creek County has no homes at the elevation of the antennas and has been legally available long before the TelCom Act was passed in 1996. SMC zoning permits towers less than 200 feet high, which do not require red blinking lights. A U-shaped, double tower and building up to 31,000 square feet are permitted.

Five qualified electrical engineers conducted extensive reception research on the plains for digital TV signals sent at 4.2% of FCC-permitted power from SMC. The independent engineers were surprised to discover amazing reception nearly everywhere, even in "shadow" areas like the town of Golden and east of the Table Mountains and Green Mountain. The 2006 TV ad propaganda tells viewers to a go to a website that claims 250,000 Jefferson County residents do not receive signals from Squaw Mountain, where KYGO-FM sends its signal.

JeffCo Commissioners Auburn and Congrove requested information on City and County of Denver regulations for telecommunications facilities. According to Planning Director Tim Carl, "In fact, they cannot preclude these towers from being located on buildings. The only review would be in regard to structural standards, weight loading of such structures and design, if they were to be placed on any of the buildings downtown." However, Denver does limit the tower height to 75 feet for single users and 90 feet for two or more users.

Broadcast media are powerful in Washington, where all politicians want good publicity. JeffCo citizens who have worked to protect their families and property for eight years discovered the FCC protects broadcasters, not citizens. The current FCC emphasis on indecent programming diverts attention from its primary agenda of media consolidation that will limit competition.

This TV ad campaign is an extraordinary abuse of power by Denver channels 4, 7, 9, and 20. The masters of "spin" want to hypnotize the public for profit, regardless of harm to others. While JeffCo residents generously finance acquisition and maintenance of 150 miles of trails within 55,000 acres of open space for the entire metro area to enjoy, they resent metro dumping of polluting antenna towers when there are many excellent alternative sites available.

The Lookout antenna towers stand on land intended for a resort in 1890. Buffalo Bill was buried there in 1917 for the extraordinary views. There were 265 homes in the area in 1953 when TV was as popular as DDT, asbestos, and tobacco. Citizens now know about power lines, chemical pollutants, and electromagnetic radiation. Harming 50,000 people in the greater Golden area will not bring 90% of viewers back to broadcast from satellite and cable.

Photo: Hundreds of Lookout Mountain and Golden residents were inspired by this rainbow that appeared last October as a link between the two communities, with hope that the broadcasters cannot defeat the 50,000 people against the Supertower.

Miracles do happen. Integrity is a choice available for everyone, even media corporations. The Lookout antenna resort could be replaced by a profitable event center/restaurant resort for all metro residents and visitors to enjoy.

For more information, see Antenna Tower Update.

— Carole Lomond