KATV tower

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A photo of the KATV tower.

The KATV tower was a 2000 ft (609.6 m) tall television mast (or antenna tower) built near Redfield, Arkansas in 1967 at 34°28′24.0″N 92°12′11.0″W / 34.473333°N 92.203056°W / 34.473333; -92.203056.[1][2] It was the second tallest structure in the world, after the KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota, when it was built. As of August 2006 it was tied with 15 other 2000-foot masts, all built after it, as the fifth tallest structure in the world (sixth, counting the submerged Petronius oil platform).

In addition to the analog and digital transmitters of its namesake KATV, it also hosted the analog transmitter of KETS, the flagship station of the Arkansas Educational Television Network; KETS' digital transmitter is at the nearby Clear Channel Broadcasting Tower in Redfield.

On January 11, 2008, at 12:46 PM local time (1846 UTC), the tower collapsed.[3] The cause of the collapse remains unknown.[4] The crew replaced older guy wires, massive cables that keep the structure in place, and claimed that as they were loosening one of the older guy wires when the structure suddenly began to shake and then collapsed. No serious injuries took place.[5] The structure broke into three pieces as it came crashing down, which was what it was designed to do.

The tower was not rebuilt. In March 2009 a new tower was built[6] at 34°47′49.3″N 92°29′20.1″W / 34.797028°N 92.488917°W / 34.797028; -92.488917 on Shinall Mountain near the Chenal Valley neighborhood of Little Rock, where Little Rock's other major-network affiliates (KARK-TV, KLRT-TV and KTHV) are located, as well as KATV's temporary analog signal (on KTHV's backup tower) and digital signal (a subchannel of KARZ-TV).[7] Though the Shinall Mountain tower is shorter, the mountain's higher elevation raises KATV's antenna to a similar overall height.[6]

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