KCBS, KCAL go dark after power dip

Stations lose signals for roughly an hour

A power surge threw CBS’ two Los Angeles TV stations off the air Monday afternoon.

KCBS and KCAL were forced off air about 3:20 p.m., as the duopoly was knocked out by a “severe power hit.”

“It just went black,” said KCAL anchor Leyna Nguyen, whose 4 p.m. newscast was bumped by the outage. “We’ve never had something knock us out for this long before.”

KCBS was off the air for about 50 minutes, while KCAL was off for about an hour. That’s an eternity in broadcast time and means plenty of lost advertising dollars.

A Los Angeles Dept. of Power and Water spokeswoman said the agency experienced a “voltage dip on a transmission line in the Studio City area” — near CBS’ Radford lot, where KCBS and KCAL are based.

“The system showed no outages,” the spokeswoman added, meaning that the surge tripped something inhouse and forced the stations off the air.

The power surge also left traffic lights flashing in portions of the city. Phone service and Internet access also were briefly interrupted at CBS Entertainment, which is based in the same building as KCBS and KCAL.

In other local TV news, ABC-owned KABC has grabbed the syndie strip “Dr. Oz,” which will jump to the station effective September 2011.

KABC is expected to run “Dr. Oz” at 3 p.m., where “The Oprah Winfrey Show” has dominated the timeslot for years. But with Winfrey retiring her syndicated show and heading to cable, the ABC stations in top markets have been prepping backup plans.

“Dr. Oz,” fronted by “Oprah” regular Mehmet Oz, launched in September 2009. Fox-owned KTTV has run the show in Los Angeles, where it airs at 5 p.m.

At KABC, “Dr. Oz” at least keeps Winfrey’s Harpo Prods., which produces the medical-themed strip for distributor Sony Pictures TV, alive in that slot.

“Dr. Oz” has also been renewed on Fox’s WNYW New York and WFLD Chicago, while Fox landed the show for WTXF Philadelphia (where “Dr. Oz” previously ran on CBS’ KYW).

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