As WEAU Honors Fallen Tower, Incident is Example of How Recent Technology Has Changed Broadcasting

By Andrew Gauthier Comment

The top story on WEAU‘s 10 p.m. newscast last night, which aired on a digital subchannel of rival station WQOW in addition to streaming on WEAU’s website, was the dramatic collapse of the western Wisconsin NBC-affiliate’s broadcasting tower.

“It was gut-wrenching,” said Ron Wiedemeier, WEAU’s chief engineer, in describing his reaction to the tower collapse, which left wreckage strewn in three different directions.

WEAU provided a eulogy for the tower, which has been around since 1966, during the 10 p.m. newscast. “We had great pride in it,” said WEAU engineer Ron Viste, the station’s longest-running employee.

While the station works to rebound from the collapse of their 35-year-old landmark, the incident works to highlight the ways in which recent technology has significantly changed the way WEAU reaches its community. Less than a day after the 2,000-foot tower was reduced to 25 feet worth of wreckage, WEAU was back on the air thanks to online streaming and digital broadcasting.

Here’s video from WEAU’s Wednesday night newscast: