Now a real zombie station: KVDO back from the dead

I reported back in September that low-power KVDO-LP’s license had been revoked for failure to broadcast for a 12-month period.

The station has now been undeleted from the FCC’s records. In the letter to Far Eastern Telecasters, the FCC said “Far Eastern Telecasters, Inc. filed a timely petition for reconsideration, supported by the declaration under penalty of perjury of its President, stating that while the station was taken off the air on November 10, 2009, it resumed operation on March 15, 2010. Far Eastern further states that its failure to notify the Commission that the station went back on the air was due to an accidental oversight.”

I am not saying here that Far Eastern’s president has perjured himself to the FCC. I am saying that in my daily scans of the TV band I have seen no sign of this station being on the air. (They may have been on at lightbulb power, and unable to be seen by anyone outside the area of the transmitter.)

Posted on November 16, 2011, in Up and Down the Dial and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. KVDO-LP is a low-power television station operating with 10 watts on analog channel 25. We are “Houston Hit Video TV 25,” programming classic music videos.

    The era of television signals actually being broadcast through the air is fast fading. More people now receive their TV programming through cable, satellite, and the internet. A day is quickly coming when all TV programming will be in the form of a digital stream playable on smart TVs, computers, laptops, tablets, phones, etc.

    Because of the limited reach of our broadcast signal, most viewers receive KVDO-LP TV 25 via our online stream — http://www.kvdo.webs.com

  2. KVDO goes dark… AGAIN!

    Hello, folks. My name’s Joe. Last summer, in posts on the late radiodiscussions forum, I chronicled my attempt to resurrect a long dead TV network and a dark Houston TV station. Because some of you may not be familiar with the saga, I’m going to recap from the beginning.

    In 1985, a low power TV station signed on the air as Houston Hit Video TV 5 (K05HU). The TV station garnered national attention by programming itself like a radio station — except with music videos. Within months, the local channel expanded to satellite (known as Hit Video USA) and was picked up by cable companies as an alternative to MTV. After MTV’s parent company Viacom attempted to stifle this competition, antitrust litigation was brought in federal court. Several years later, the litigation was settled with Viacom buying out the competing network.

    For more of a nostalgic sense than anything else, last year I felt an intense urge to try to resurrect the old TV network. I had, after all, already brought back 80s material from John Landers’ Q-Morning Zoo in an online radio station. That streamcast — http://www.93QClassic.com — remains quite popular. Thus, I established a low quality streaming video channel complete with classic music videos and old station bumpers.

    Folks began to encourage me to try to put this programming back on the air. One thing led to another, and I was to eventually discover that in this day of HD television there was, amazingly, still two low power TV stations in the Houston area licensed to broadcast an analog signal. Specifically, KJIB TV 5 and KVDO TV 25. Further researched revealed that the tower and equipment of these channels, licensed to a company known as Far Eastern Telecasters, was destroyed in 2008 by Hurricane Ike. A man named Roy Henderson, owner of Far Eastern, apparently walked away from operating the stations, and he let the DBA for the name Far Eastern Telecasters expire. Research also revealed that in 2011, the license for KVDO was revoked by the FCC, but that Roy Henderson’s lawyer managed to get it reinstated by filing a sworn statement (albeit a statement that one FCC has admitted to me the agency knew was false) stating that station was still on the air. See “Zombie station KVDO back from dead” https://houstondtv.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/now-a-real-zombie-station-kvdo-back-from-the-dead/

    After repeatedly telephoning Roy Henderson and leaving messages, I drove from Houston all the way to Traverse City, Michigan. There, the lady who had been taking my messages informed me the location was actually a mail drop, and gave me a new address for the elusive broadcaster in Brenham, Texas. As I chronicled this adventures on the radiodiscussions forum, a number of you all communicated to me in private messages about Roy Henderson. I was told that he was a scoundrel, unethical, ruthless, and was warned to be careful. Unfortunately, I was goal focused and didn’t listen.

    In Brenham, I didn’t find Mr. Henderson but rather his daughter. Lori Henderson was running a small contemporary radio station (KLTR 94.1). She promised to have Mr. Henderson get in touch with me, but instead of the elusive broadcaster I was soon talking to his lawyer — a man named Ben Perez of Abacus Communications Company in Pittsburg, PA. Mr. Perez explained that Mr. Henderson dreamed of putting KVDO and KJIB back on the air as HD digital stations and leasing out subchannels, but in light of financial realities it was probably never going to happen. I pointed out that there was still a valid license for KVDO to transmit an analog signal, and asked permission to revive this station as a noncommercial educational channel teaching the public about the history or analog broadcasting, and the impact of music videos on our culture. Mr. Perez agreed to allow me to do this, imposing only two stipulations — that I’d have to buy my own equipment, and I would have to turn off the analog operation if Mr. Henderson was ever able to get a transmitter to put a digital station on the air. He said if that ever happened, they’d make one of the subchannels available to me. Afterwards, he was very helpful in counseling me about equipment I’d need to buy to comply with Emergency Alert System requirements, and said that he’d take care of filing an STA and resumption of operations paperwork when I was ready.

    On 11/22/2013, I put KVDO back into operation as both an internet streamcast http://www.kvdo.net and a broadcast station. The low power transmission originated from a 48 foot tower adjacent to a commercial building in southwest Houston, and had a range of approximately 3 miles serving Westbury, Meyerland, and parts of Bellaire. I was was pleased to hear from about a dozen people who had discovered the on-air broadcast. Several were kids who had found the station while playing with old analog TV sets. Incidentally, the web-based streamcast garnered for more interest. Traffic for the channel has numbered at three to four hundred daily hits, with the channel consistently ranking in the top 20 on worldtv.com/world

    Folks, yesterday I received a message from an executive with a major religious broadcasting network. They want to buy KVDO. I, of course, do not own the license. After a bit of hesitation, I decided to do the “right thing” — I relayed the inquiry to Mr. Henderson’s daughter and their lawyer. And here’s where doing the right thing took things in a very wrong direction.

    Now that a lot of money is potentially involved in the sale of the station, Mr. Henderson’s lawyer, Ben Perez, has developed a sudden case of amnesia. He now claims he did not grant me permission to put KVDO back on the air and manage it. He doesn’t remember all the advice and help he gave about what equipment to buy. He even claimed that Mr. Henderson’s daughter had given me explicit instructions that Mr. Henderson didn’t want the station put on the air — an allegation that even the daughter denies. After seeing the direction this was going, I started recording all my phone conversations and have caught these people are uttering mistatements left and right. It sad, but money brings out the worst in people.

    More importantly, today I also discovered that Mr. Perez apparently never filed any paperwork with the FCC (e.g., resumption of operations with Special Temporary Authority (STA) to broadcast from an alternate location). After speaking with an FCC official at length, I was told this dispute is a civil court matter the FCC can’t intervene in, and that it would be advisable for me to shut the station down until everything is resolved and the appropriate STA paperwork is filed.

    Thus, at 4:38 p.m. on 1/8/2014, KVDO-LP has once again gone dark.

    Mr. Henderson and Mr. Perez, I hope there is a very HOT place in HELL for your kind!

    • Wow… an interesting tale. Glad you got to live your dream, if only for a short time. Do you plan to keep the Internet stream going?

      • Yes, the Internet station will remain active. I get far more viewers through it, anyhow. Actual over the air TV viewership is dwindling.. there’s no real future. But it was nice to be able to associate a stream with an actual station with a channel number and call letters. And I haven’t given up on the station yet. I’m meeting with a lawyer tomorrow to discuss my options. The likelihood, however, is that in the near future you will see yet another televangelist spouting his “send me all your money” message on KVDO. 😦

  3. What did I say? I don’t even own an Airbox. I have a regular digital antenna and it works just fine. For movies I watch, I have Netflix. You might be talking to my granddaughter, she uses my phone from time to time for Facebook. What is it that was said for you to be so upset? At any rate, sorry for the inconvenience. I don’t want any trouble over television. Have a good day.

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