WPBI, the new sign on station in Lafayette, Indiana saying that it will start giving weather reports on the station in January.
Mike Reed, president of Waypoint Media, which owns the station, said the weather reports, followed by full newscasts within the first six months of 2017, are still planned despite some recent technical difficulties.
Since WPBI began broadcasting in October, some viewers say they have struggled with the clarity of the station's signal. Reed said this is because the station is delivering data through a rented fiber pipe.
Within the next month, however, Reed said the station will have its own pipe, which will dramatically improve access to — and the quality of — WPBI's programming.
"It's all the growing pains of starting a new station," Reed said.
Waypoint Media has gone into markets across the United States and established newscasts there. A joint Fox/NBC newscast in Lafayette would compete head-to-head against CBS affiliate WLFI's, which is long-entrenched in the market.
"People are just not used to a new TV station," he said. "It’s been 60 years since a new station started up in Lafayette."
Reed said the plan to establish a new station and news service in under a year is an accelerated timeline. In other places, it has taken much longer to accomplish this.
"We think the market in Lafayette requires it," he said, adding that he plans to facilitate tie-ins between WPBI and the four area radio stations Waypoint Media also owns.
Reed said he thinks WPBI will fill a void between Chicago and Indianapolis. Already, he said, an inpouring of job applications shows substantial interest in the station and its newscast.
"We’ve received more resume and applications for jobs than any startup we have ever done," he said.