New Jersey's Liberty Tower
News Articles

News articles that I have collected and found from October 2001 - January 2003

TV Stations Scrambling for Antennas, Rating and Revenue
New York Times (online)
October 30, 2001

...the local broadcasting industry, already reeling from economic losses of tens of millions of dollars, finds itself increasingly desperate to find a long-term solution that will restore its ability to reach every possible viewer.

WNET, Channel 13...has completely stopped on-the-air fund raising. "If nothing changes and we continue to lose one-third of our audience, we would be taken out of the business," the station's president, Bill Baker, said.

...the location will be critical, since the new antenna could interfere with television signals in cities like Philadelphia and Boston, and will have to avoid established flight patterns for local airports.

The collapse of the twin towers cost the stations more than their antennas. All the stations has also installed technical equipment for the coming switch to digital television signals. All of that was wiped out as well.

Mr Baker, whose channel had started its digital service two months before the attacks, said that the price for the lost equipment alone surpassed $20 million. He said he hoped insurance would cover the loss.

Tom Kane, the president of WABC, Channel 7, said that his station's ratings had dropped more than 20 percent, and that adverting revenue was off by roughly the same amount. "We've tried to figure the economic value of out lost business for insurance, but we don't know how quickly viewers will return, so damage will continue," he said.

Broadcasters need a clear path to viewers' homes.

Station executives said the Empire State Building management has been moving aggressively to try to offer the broadcasters what they need. "I think they have a shot at becoming the primary permanent location,"Mr. Kane said. "But they know they have to make their case quickly, before an alternative site is selected."

No other tall New York building is a likely site, several engineers said, because non were configured for such use. The G.E. Building, which houses NBC, for example, might be a likely candidate, but it would need a rooftop antenna about 1,000 feet tall. The engineers said one so large was likely to collapse the building.

GRID Magazine
April 5, 2002

Plans to erect a dramatic new icon for the New York skyline will be unveiled this Sunday in Las Vegas at the annual meeting of the National Association of Broadcasters.

In his keynote speech, WNET-13 chairman William Baker will present images of an 1,800 foot-tall broadcast transmission tower for an as-yet undetermined location in the metropolitan region.

With backing from the networks and cooperation from city and state officials and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, construction financing for the tower will likely not pose a significant challenge.

Revenue streams would come not only from the networks but also from public and private uses - including an observation deck and restaurant near the top, retail uses at the base and even potential naming rights.

TV Supertower Eyed for Trade Center Site
New York Post
April 6, 2002

Metropolitan Television Alliance chairman William Baker says, in text prepared for delivery at the convention, that the new tower would be 250 feet taller than the one that stood atop the trade center's north tower.

He goes on to mention several waterfront locations within 3.2 miles of the trade center, including downtown Manhattan, Brooklyn, Jersey City and Governors Island.

Each site is at least six acres, the Grid magazine reports on it's website.

The final design would include a skytop restaurant observation deck and retail stores. Grid goes on to report that the working title for the project is NYTTower/NYC 2012 , and that it could boost the city's bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Baker, who is also chairman of WNET/Channel 13, says a new tower is necessary to restore the stations' transmission capabilities.

"Our goal is to get back to full power as quickly as possible, to get back to the business of broadcasting in New York." he says in his speech.

Taller Tower proposed as World Trade Center Replacement
April 6, 2002

Though the structure would include only a small fraction of the office space that housed more than 50,000 workers in the old Twin Towers, final plans could includes skytop restaurant, observation deck and retail stores.

Signals Scrambled for Iconic Transmission Tower?
May 2002

Thirteen/WNET-TV chairman William Baker showed images of a 2,000 foot-tall broadcast tower...

The tower proposal comes out of the New York/New Jersey Broadcasters' Coalition, a task force formed by leading television network owners and executives aimed at replacing the transmission capabilities - including 19 television and four radio stations - lost in the destruction of the World Trade Center.

The task force is examining sites around New York Harbor, including locations on the Brooklyn waterfront; in Manhattan close to Ground Zero; on Governors Island; and even at Liberty State Park, which, because it is in New Jersey, makes its selection less than desirable for New York boosters and politicians.

The streamlined tower would require up to six acres of land and span 200 feet in diameter, both of which can be expanded depending on the site eventually selected for development. ...industry sources told GRID the tower could cost up to $200 million to construct, With backing from the networks and cooperation from city and state officials and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, construction financing for the tower will likely not pose a significant challenge. Revenue streams would come not only from the networks but also from public and private uses - including an observation deck and restaurant near the top, retail use at the base and even potential naming rights. ...the project is clearly being viewed as an important, if ad hoc, component of the city's bid to host the Olympic Games in 2012. Even without that, such a tower would provide a meaningful new skyline icon for the metropolitan region.

TV Stations want Needle Tower to Reconnect New Yorkers
May 1, 2002

TV executives want it to be built on Governor's Island on the southern tip of Manhattan, over looking the former site of the World Trade Centre.

The structure would include a restaurant and observation deck on top and space for shops at the bottom, the New York Times reports.

A Towering Proposal for the NJ Waterfront
May 2, 2002

The Liberty Science Center in Jersey City could become home to the world's tallest free-standing structure -- a 2,000 foot-tall television transmission tower, complete with a sky-high restaurant and observation deck.

"You'd get a view of New York that's pretty spectacular," said A Eugene Kohn, one of the architects.

...federal communications regulations require any new tower be located within 3.2 miles of the the World Trade Center site.

The science center, a private nine-year-old museum, is about 2.5 miles away in Liberty State Park.

"As a New Yorker, I would prefer it to be in New York," he said. "But its intent is to serve the New York region."

Originally , the broadcasters asked for a parsed-down structure that would be solely a transmission tower, Kohn said. But the vision was expanded to include a restaurant and observation deck at about 1,300 feet and retail shops around the base, in the hope that tourist revenue could help repay the tower's $200 million construction cost, he said.

...the tower could become an attraction akin to the 1,815 foot tall CN Tower in Toronto which is the tallest freestanding structure in the world. Most of the tower is hollow, but the base and top include two observation decks, restaurants, retail shops, an arcade, and a movie theater.

Broadcasters Study Sites for Tower to Replace One Lost in WTC Attacks
May 2, 2002

"They must have a tower to have a telecast,"said Phil Roberts, executive director of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association. "It has put high-definition TV on the back burner because they don't have the tower. And aside from high-definition TV, they're having trouble broadcasting regular TV right now."

The project could cost between $150 million and $200 million, but part of the cost would be offset by locating a restaurant and observation deck at about 1,300 feet and retail shops around the base.

Kohn said the tower could become a tourist attraction similar to the 1,815 foot-tall CN Tower in Toronto, which currently is the tallest freestanding structure in the world.

The world's tallest occupied building is the Petronas Tower in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia, at 1,483 feet. The World Trade Center's roofs were 1,360 feet above ground level, and the antenna on the north tower reached to 1,728 feet.

Kohn said he doesn't think the tower would become a tempting target for terrorists because it wouldn't have nearly as many occupants as a large office building. "Everyone's sensitive about building anything tall right now, but if you think about it, in addition ti destroying a symbol, the terrorists also wanted to kill a lot of people and do a lot of damage," he added.

Huge Tower Could Replace antennas lost in Trade Center attacks
May 2, 2002

...would exceed the world's tallest free-standing structure --CN Tower in Toronto - by 185 feet. The project would cost up to 200 million dollars. Part of the cost would be offset by locating a restaurant and observation deck near the top and shops around the base.

Broadcasters Eye New Tower to Replace Antenna Lost in Trade Center Attack
Associated Press
May 2, 2002

Two sites - Jersey City, New Jersey, or Governors Island in New York Harbor -- are being would have to be located no more than 3.2 miles (5 kilometers) from the trade center site in order to avoid interfering with broadcasting in nearby cities.

The project could cost between dlrs 150 million and dlrs 200 million, but part of the cost would be offset by locating a restaurant and observation deck at about 1,300 feet (390 meters) and retail shops around the base.

Kohn said the tower could become a tourist attraction similar to the 1,815 foot-tall (522.5 meter-tall) CN Tower in Toronto, which is the tallest free-standing structure in the world.

TV Execs Seek 2,000 Foot Tower, World's Tallest, for Jersey City
Star Ledger
May 3, 2002

The planned tower, which would include an observation deck and restaurant, would be the world's tallest structure.

The Metropolitan Television Alliance, a coalition of 10 New York-area-TV stations, has narrowed its search for a site to liberty State Park in Jersey City and Governors Island In New York Harbor.

"Let's just say there aren't a lot of other sites," said Jim Grossman, a spokesman for the alliance.

"This could be a very powerful image and one that emotionally could be very satisfying to the New York region," Kohn said. "In a sense, it would say to the world, 'We're back, we're not afraid.'"

The destruction of the Trade Center and its broadcast antenna left 350,000 homes in New York City and an unknown number in New Jersey with little or no clear reception on commercial stations, as well as on WNET, the area's public television station, Grossman said.

The broadcasters have lost millions of viewers and advertising dollars since the terrorist attacks and have been unable to carry out their mandates to serve the general public,

...the Empire State Building is not high enough to guarantee a strong signal throughout the metropolitan region.

In a written statement released yesterday, officials at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City acknowledge they have been contacted about a broadcast tower overlooking Liberty State Park.

"If the project serves Liberty Science Center's mission and that of the park, and if it makes sense from other crucial standpoints, such as the impact on the environment, we will consider participating in the project," the statement said.

Governors Island is Unlikely to Get Tower, Mayor Says
New York Times
May 4, 2002

A new broadcast tower - perhaps with restaurant and an observation deck - is an unlikely prospect for Governor's Island, mayor Michael R Bloomberg said yesterday,

Filling the Hole in the Sky and the Ache in Hearts
New York Times
May 9, 2002

At 2,000 feet, it would be as tall as a structure can go before the Federal Aviation Administration considers it a hazard to air navigation.

...some favoring a simpler structure supported by guy wires that would cost much less than the $200 million estimated for a freestanding tower. But a guyed antenna would take up more land and be "less aesthetically pleasing to some," said William F Baker, president for Channel 13-WNET and chairman of the alliance.

A freestanding tower "would be more attractive and would therefore likely be more acceptable to the community.

...perhaps a restaurant and observation deck.

The Federal Communications Commission requires it be within 3.2 mile radius of the trade center site to avoid interference with other signals, Dr Baker said, and "flight paths are a problem everywhere."

Red Hook Out as Tower Site
Daily News Online
May 5, 2002

...alliance chairman William Baker said the group is considering the Brooklyn location along with sites in lower Manhattan, Jersey City and Governors Island for the new broadcast tower.

...Grossman said the alliance had narrowed the list to potential sites down to Governors Island and Liberty Science Center in Jersey City.

"Those are the two that we're most focused on," he said...Governors Island is the groups first choice.

The alliance is still studying what type of replacement to build. One possibility is a 2,000 foot tower, possibly with an observation deck and restaurant at 1,300 feet and a group of stores at it's base. Another is a simple antenna like structure supported by guy wires.

Ground Zero TV Tower OK with Victim-Kin Activist
New York Post
May 23, 2002

New York politicians are worried about losing the antenna to New Jersey, where officials are considering a scheme for a broadcast tower on Liberty Science Museum grounds. proposal for Ground Zero includes an up-to-2,000 foot observation tower and restaurant.

Governors Island TV Antenna Plan Starts to Get Better Reception
New York Sun
May 29, 2002

..federal government is insisting the island (Governors Island) be devoted exclusively to educational purposes.

Brooklynites still have trouble watching "The West Wing" on Channel 4, Spanish-speakers in eh Bronx complained of seeing snow instead of soap operas, while Queens residents miss out on Channel 13. A total of 700,000 people have lost good reception of at least one channel.

It must be within 3.2 miles of the World Trade Center site, to avoid interfering with signals in other cities, It must be taller than the Empire State Building, so that the skyscraper does not block its signal.

"We should seriously consider Governors Island as an opportunity not only to build a tower, but to build a space needle that becomes a tourist destination," the president of the Bronx, Adolfo Carrion, said.

If the are unable to build on Governors Island, the station's second choice is to build a tower next to the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey. People familiar with the talks say the science center has been enthusiastic about hosting the tower and yesterday the center released a statement saying that it would "consider participating" in the tower project.

Chief of Effort for TV Tower is Dismissed Signaling Shift
New York Times
May 30, 2002

Some stations, like WCBS-TV (Channel 2), had powerful backup antennas and have sought to build the most inexpensive tower possible. Others with weaker signals have pushed for a more elaborate structure.

The station executives...said that they should have better anticipated Mr Bloomberg's opposition and argued more forcefully that low-income minority and elderly residents..are the ones most affected. Instead, the focus has been on the millions in ad dollars that broadcaster stations are losing because of the loss of signals.

"We should have come out of the gates saying that the people who can't get us are the disenfranchised, the poor and the elderly and we would be helping the city by putting up emergency communications systems for the police and fire officials," one station manager said.

Borough Presidents Will Back TV Tower
New York Sun
June 7, 2002

...the need driving the plan is real: television executives say that 700,000 households still get snow instead of signals on one or more channel. Most stations now broadcast from the Empire State Building, which offers less power and lower antennae than did the World Trade Center...a new television tower would have to be taller than the Empire State Building - otherwise, that skyscraper would block it's signal.

A freestanding tower could be a dramatic addition to the skyline, and could be reminiscent of Seattle's Space Needle.

...broadcasters have suggested linking the tower to a broadcast school.

Mayor Bloomberg Says NY Broadcasters' Planned 2,000 Foot Tower is not Welcome on Governors Island
June 24, 2002

When it comes to working the federal government, few players maneuver more deftly than the broadcasting industry. The likes of NBC, CBS, FOX and Tribune have loosened FCC ownership rules, They've prompted Congress to guarantee carriage of their TV stations' signals on cable and satellite TV. New spectrum that would have cost cellular-phone companies billions of dollars has been handed to them for free.

But those victories were all in Washington. In New York City, in their quest to replace the broadcast tower lost in the attack on the World Trade Center, broadcasters are striking out.

Albert Butzel, who, as president of the Governors Island Alliance, surprised that broadcasters haven't made a better case. "It's not been very well presented to begin with," he said. "I think there's always a certain lack of credibility that accompanies something like this. There's always a wringing of hands. But they're all on the air. The industry isn't going to crash; it hasn't crashed so far."

The struggle for a new tower started on Sept. 11 at 10:29 a.m., when the north tower of the World Trade Center crumbled, following its twin, which had collapsed half an hour earlier. Since the towers were built in 1973, they had housed the central facility for most local TV and radio stations. (Six engineers manning the transmission equipment died in the attack.)

...most (broadcasters) have relocated to the Empire State Building, But with the exception of WCBS-TV, which had its backup transmitter located there, the stations are operating at reduced power and at lower antenna heights...their signals don't propagate as well and they are not reaching as many viewers as they used to..fewer viewers mean less revenue.

The MTVA comprises all the city's major TV broadcasters: ABC (WABC-TV); CBS (WCBS-TV): Tribune (WPIX[TV]); Fox (WWOR-TV and WNYW[TV]); NBC (WNBC[TV]; Paxson (WPXN-TV); Univision (WXTV[TV]); and WNET. They have agreed to share the cost equally and according to baker, have already spent "millions" on engineering studies and lobbying.

A more elegant tower - sans guy wires - would require less land but cost $200 million to $300 million, particularly, if it had any kind of observation deck or restaurant as some local developers have suggested.

Some hold out hope for the Liberty Science Center, a museum along the New Jersey shore. Unfortunately, it's close to Newark International Airport. While a tower would not be in regular flight paths, it might be in the path designated for aborted landings and takeoffs. There are also concerns about the soil and the about the proximity to the Statue of Liberty.

"Everybody assumes that there are alternatives," said one broadcaster deeply involved in eh process. "If there were, we would be there already."

Broadcasters are trying to work with CUNY. They are prepared to pay for the use for the tower site - money that could be funneled to the school, which says it will need $20 million to $30 million a year to operate the island. And they would also support the teaching of broadcast engineering and journalism.

...there is the DTV transition. The broadcasters will argue that they need the tower so that they can build their digital stations and offer new services like high-definition television. The FCC is also pressuring stations to build DTV stations so that it can recover their analog spectrum.

"CBS has an enormous stake in the success for the [digital] transition," says CBS's Marty Franks. "And it's hard to see how that transition will go terribly well if the digital stations in the No. 1 market are not on the air."

Lawmakers Seeking Site for Antenna in New York
New York Times
June 30, 2002

The move comes as a broadcaster's group, the Metropolitan Television Alliance, has received strong indications from New Jersey officials that they would like to put an antenna tower along the waterfront in Jersey City.

Edward Grebow, a top Sony executive who became the president and chief executive of the alliance with week, said that while "Governors Island is still the most desirable site," New York's stance meant "we have to look for other positions, so we are thrilled that Jersey City and the State of New Jersey are interested."

Bill Ayala, chief of staff for Mayor Glenn D. Cunningham of Jersey City, said, "We are very supportive of it," and that the tower "could be a signature piece along the Jersey City skyline, like the Space Needle is to Seattle, the Eiffel Tower is to Paris and the CN Tower in Toronto."

The antenna at 1 World Trade Center reached up to 1,728 feet and supported systems for the local television and radio stations, police and fire officials the F.B.I., the Secret Service, the C.I.A. and the National Security Agency, the spy agency charged with monitoring foreign communications.

Exclusive Interview with Ed Grebow, New President of the Metropolitan Television Association, on New York Tower Search
July 2002

...Metropolitan Television Alliance (MTVA), the advocacy organization comprising all eleven New York area broadcasters. Grebow will spearhead the group's effort to build a new television broadcast tower to replace the one destroyed by the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

...primary goal is getting a new tower in the New York metropolitan area for broadcasters and emergency services.

...need to be within 3.2 mile circle.(of the former Twin Towers site)

A freestanding tower only requires about three one in history has ever built a 2,000 foot freestanding tower.

The third site possibility is the Liberty Science Center, but they're [government officials in New Jersey] only interested if it has an observation deck on top. And from security standpoint, that is not desirable. They want it to be a tourist attraction. but if you do that, you could also let in a nut with a bomb in his backpack and put people and the tower at risk.'s not just the broadcasters ho would use the tower, the fire and police department, the FBI, the Secret Service, FM radio stations, were using the destroyed tower and be on the new one.

There is no digital transition in New York without a new tower...only CBS and Fox have digital transmitters in New York...hard to see how we are going to have digital terrestrial television in America if you don't have it (in) New York,

LSP Antenna Tower Approved
The Jersey Journal
July 1, 2002

The City Council last week amended the Liberty Harbor Redevelopment plan to allow for the construction of a 2,000 foot communications tower, a project that would give Jersey City the world's tallest free standing structure.

The two primary sites proposed by area broadcasters are New York's Governors Island and Liberty State Park.

The tower is being touted as a future tourist attraction which will include restaurants, an observation deck, retail space and a movie theater.

NJ Favorite for New Broadcast Tower
Crain's New York Business (online)
July 2002

"As we sit here today, we're likely to end up in New Jersey," says Edward Grebow, president of the Metropolitan Television Alliance, a consortium of 11 local television stations.

The most likely location, My Grebow says, is the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City. That city has already passed a zoning ordinance encouraging construction of a tower.

NJ Favorite for New Broadcast Tower
Crain's New York Business (online)
July 2002

He (Mayor Bloomberg) has spurned the alliance's offers to pay more than $9 million in rent, contribute toward building the island's infastructure, endow a CUNY schools of broadcasting and journalism, and provide free space for police and fire radio transmitters.

He (Edward Grebow)...rules out making the tower part of whatever is built at the World Trade Center site, because construction is so far in the future.

The most likely location is at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City.

Overlooking Manhattan, the 2,000 foot structure could include a visitor's center and educational facilities.

...broadcasters have also promised to build television studios in Jersey and employ Jersey works. They were paying about $9 million (at the) World Trade Center, a sum that will now go to Jersey.

...the industry must prepare to convert to digital signals by 2007, and those transmitters will also be placed on the new tower. It will take about two years to complete the tower project.

TV Broadcasters Look to Jersey City for Huge New Antenna
Staten Island Register
August 20, 2002

...stations have been using extremely crowded facilities on the Empire State Building. Because of the overcrowding of transmission facilities there, antennae have been significantly lower (therefore, both a shorter range than when they were on the Twin Towers), and have broadcast with less power.

Viewership and advertising revenues have suffered as people in outlying areas have lost New York signals, and even residents of Brooklyn and Queens, for instance, have suffered with fuzzy reception.

Due to technical considerations, and to make sure the signals do not interfere with though of stations in other cities, a replacement for the Twin Towers antenna mast must be located within 3.2 miles of the original site, but because reconstruction of the World Trade center area is years down the road, the Alliance has ruled out its tower in the rebuilding proposals.

The Television Alliance's members were paying $9 million a year in rent to the Port Authority for the use of the World Trade Center antenna mast and has offered to pay the same to New York City, pay for rebuilding Governors Island's infrastructure, pay for the creation of a school of journalism within the City University of New York and give free space to radio transmitters for the Police and Fire Departments.

The Alliance, which is chaired by Dr Bill Baker of WNET (channel 13) recently hire Ed Grebow, formerly the top American executive at SONY and a former executive with several television companies, to coordinate its efforts.

Bayonne Towers Over Neighbor
The Jersey Journal
September 6, 2002

The world's tallest structure may be headed for the old Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne, not to Jersey City, according to people knowledgeable about the plan.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, sources said Gov. Jim McGreevey has told those involved in the plan to construct a 2,000-foot television broadcast tower that he favors Bayonne over proposed sites in Jersey City, near Liberty State Park.

One reason, they said, is that New Jersey Turnpike officials are concerned that if it is built in Jersey City and some disaster, natural or manmade, befalls it, the structure would topple onto the roadway.

Bayonne Mayor Joseph V. Doria Jr. did not return calls for comment yesterday. Nicholas Chiaravalloti, director of the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority, said he was unaware of a decision. He said he hadn't spoken to anyone from the Governor's Office about it.

Jersey City officials, who have been actively lobbying to host the tower and make it a tourist attraction, expressed surprise. "We haven't heard anything about it," said a spokesman for Mayor Glenn D. Cunningham.

McGreevey toured several Hudson County sites on Wednesday with representatives of the Metropolitan Television Alliance, which wants to build the tower to replace the one destroyed in last year's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The Alliance represents 10 television stations.

If the tower goes to Bayonne, some will no doubt see it as an extension of the political battle between Cunningham and the other 11 mayors in Hudson County that has been going on for the past year.

Coincidentally, those other 11 mayors have been invited to a meeting today in Bayonne to discuss the political situation and upcoming campaigns in the county. Cunningham was not invited.

Television Tower Seeks N.J. Home
The Record
September 9, 2002

Television broadcast companies stymied in their quest to build the world's tallest free-standing structure for an antenna in New York City, are now looking to build in New Jersey - most likely in Hudson County.

Jersey the only municipality to take public action so far. It has rezoned one parcel and is planning to rezone another to accommodate a tower of unlimited height.

...Grebow said, his group has had "great cooperation" from Governor McGreevey, along with a pair of Democratic power brokers - Rep. Robert Menedez of Union City and state Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak of Elizabeth.

"I would say at this point we're more likely to end up in New Jersey than New York," Grebow said. "Clearly, we've had better cooperation from New Jersey government officials than from New York officials, and we appreciate it."

Placing the new antenna much further away from lower Manhattan would cause interference with broadcasting in Philadelphia or Baltimore.

"The FCC, because of the unusual circumstances, we believe would be flexible," Grebow said. "The closer, the better."

"By us having zoning in place on a city site, it's the only place in the metropolitan area where you can build this thing," said Mark Munley, Jersey City's director of housing and economic development.

City officials hope the tower would become a tourist attraction akin to the CN Tower in Toronto, which now claims the title as the world's tallest free-standing tower. They would market it with the Liberty Science Center, which would be a few minutes' walk from either of the two sites Jersey City is offering,

"For us, it would be huge," said Elizabeth Romanaux, a spokeswoman for the nine-year-old museum. "We're a regional attraction now. We are not an international or national attraction. And surely having the world's tallest tower would put one on the international map."

The broadcasters have ruled out a sky-high restaurant and observation deck because of security concerns, Grebow said. The public may be allowed in, but only at the base - perhaps to view an exhibit of some kind.

"You don't want a person with a bomb in his backpack to do damage to the tower," Grebow said.

The City Council rezoned a city-owned property just south of the science center in June to allow for the tower...cost of relocating a sewage pumping station from the site prompted city officials to look to an alternative 10-acre site just north of the science center.

The council may vote on rezoning the second tract as early as Sept. 12.

"That's a good sign that the city is really embracing this idea," said Pat Smith, the broadcasters' spokesman.

But the Liberty Science Center whose properly has also been mentioned as a potential site for the tower, objects to the design first floated by the MTVA, which included a series of crisscrossing 10-inch steel cables that twist around the tower's core.

"That would kill significant numbers of migrating birds, so we just can't have it," Romanaux said.

"We want something that will be elegant, and that will fit into the location," he (Grebow) said. "Some of the municipalities we've talked to would like it to be part of a park, others are talking about giving it a museum quality to it... There are a lot of different ideas."

Jersey Likely Site of NYC Tower
September 9. 2002

"If we can find an appropriate site in New Jersey, that may be the easiest thing to do." (Ed Grebow)

An "appropriate site" at this point seems to be somewhere in the vicinity of Jersey City and the Liberty Science Center.

The Jersey City options include a site owned by Aramenis Utilities Authority, where the Jersey City car pound is located; a piece of property just north of the Liberty Science Center; and, just north of that site, privately owned land with a warehouse. The third option seems the most likely; the first is said to be all but off the table; the second is tricky because of wetlands, which could spur objections from the state government and environmentalists. Negotiations on a lease on the third site are proceeding.

Why has Jersey City been more aggressive than New York City in lobbying for the tower? A spokesperson for the Jersey City Economic Development Corp. says simply, "We want it" - especially if the tower includes a restaurant or observation deck."

Waiting for the World Trade Center rebuilding would take until 2007 to '08.

"Big projects in New York are always difficult, and, because of the emotions surrounding anything to do with the World Trade Center, rebuilding is a very difficult process," say Grebow. "We do believe, if we could wait, broadcasters could return to whatever gets built on the World Trade Center site. But, unfortunately, that's many. many years from now."

Rivarly on the Waterfront as 2 Cities Vie to Welcome a TV Tower
New York Times
September 9, 2002

Having the largest anything may not mean that much to residents of New York City, the home to many greatest, biggest, longest and widest things. But in addition to Jersey City and Bayonne, several local governments in New Jersey are stumbling over themselves to get a meeting with television executives who have been seeking a site for a replacement antenna since last Sept. 11.

...the Federal Communications Commission is demanding that New York broadcasters find a permanent location for an antenna. The Empire State not tall enough or strong enough to be the permanent home.

Edward Grebow, the president of the Metropolitan Television Alliance, which represents the broadcasters trying to build the tower, said that Goc. James E. McGreevey of New Jersey and his aides have "been terrific," but that "while a number of municipalities in New Jersey are interested in it, we continue to be surprised that New York City shows no interest in having the tower in the city, even though it is a very large construction project."

Mr Grebow also said that the broadcasters have agreed not to seek any breaks on property taxes, adding that the "active sites that we are talking about are all in New Jersey."

Officials in Jersey City, just a short PATH train ride across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan, have already begun rezoning two locations near the Liberty Science Center so a tower could be built in either place. If the tower were to be built at one of these locations, it would probably have a educational museum at it's base and weather instruments at the top, officials said.

Mayor Glenn D. Cunningham of Jersey City has been credited with attracting financial services and other companies across the river from New York.

Mr. Grebow, of the television alliance, said that he would like to see construction begin as early as next would take 24 months to complete the tower once construction begins.

In explaining how it was quite likely the tower would end up in New Jersey, Mr Grebow said. "Most of us involved in the project are lifelong New Yorkers, and as happy we are about New Jersey, we are surprised and disappointed as well about New York's lack of interest."

NYC Broadcasters Search for New Home
Broadcast Engineering (online)
September 11, 2002

As broadcasters commemorate the one year anniversary of the terrorist attack that knocked out their analog and digital transmission facilities, ten New York City broadcasters are no closer to finding a permanent home to operate their transmitters than they were soon after the World Trade Center attack on September 11th.

Offering a glimmer of hope, however, a northern New Jersey municipality has rezoned one parcel of land for a proposed 2,000-foot broadcast tower and plans to rezone another soon.

Still feeling the effects of the September 11th attack, some stations serving the New York metropolitan area are operating at reduced power levels from the Empire State Building, and supplementing that with additional transmitters in Alpine, New Jersey, but over-the-air signal coverage has reportedly been poor.

Desperate to remain on the air, local broadcasters have tried a series of makeshift installations. Thirteen/WNET, a major public broadcaster in New York, for example, has set up temporary digital transmission facilities on the roof of its building on Manhattan’s west side, while others have been reduced to virtually hanging coat wire out the corner window of a top floor on the Empire State Building.

The Jersey City Zoning Board, located across the Hudson River, a few miles southwest of the WTC site, rezoned some land in June to accommodate the new tower (which is still in the preliminary design stages.) It’s hoped that the structure, which would be the world’s tallest if the 2,000-foot proposal is approved, could bring considerable revenue in to the local community where it is located.

Ed Grebow, president of the Metropolitan TV Alliance, that represents the local stations as a group in their effort to find a broadcast home, said that it had requested New York’s Governors Island - both for its close proximity to the former site of the WTC and because it satisfied the FCC and FAA rules for avoiding interference and airplane flight patterns - but the proposal was denied by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Stating that a number of cities in New Jersey were being considered, Grebow told The Record, a north New Jersey newspaper, “It’s really a horse race at this point. I would say we’re more likely to end up in New Jersey than New York.”

New Jersey politicians, such as Governor James McGreevey, Democratic representative Robert Menendez and state senator Raymond J. Lesniak, are said to be “cooperating” with the MTVA, in the hopes of securing the “world’s tallest structure” distinction for the state. However there are rumors of a taller, 3,000-foot tower being considered in Australia.

The initial proposals for the tower included a restaurant and observation deck, but have since been shelved due to security concerns. Any transmission facility must be located outside (should say within) the 3.2-mile radius of the WTC site, as per FCC rules to avoid interference with stations in Philadelphia, Pa. and Baltimore, Md., located to the south. However, Grebow said given the unusual circumstances New York broadcasters find themselves in, the commission would be “flexible” in its limitations and that other sites, four or five miles from downtown NYC are also being discussed.

Grebow said that the tower would take approximately two years to build, after they get the necessary permits, which could prove difficult to obtain.

Echoing Jersey City’s enthusiasm for the unique tower project, Mark Munley, director of housing and economic development, told The Record, “By us having zoning in place on a city site, it’s the only place in the metropolitan area where you can build this thing.”

Liberty Park's Turning Point
Star Ledger
September 11, 2002

...Liberty State Park...will be the site of a permanent memorial to the 691 New Jersey residents who died in the terrorist attacks.

Environmentalists are pushing preservation and envision a 251-acre nature park, a historic train museum and free outdoor music performances.

"We want a park like Central Park,"said Sam Pesin, president of The Friends of Liberty State Park. "What the public has been overwhelmingly commercialization and privatization."

Today, the park includes the Liberty Science Center, the Liberty House restaurant, a privately owned marina, a public boat ramp, bike and jogging paths, a nature center and a ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Plan Board OKs 'Eiffel Tower Rival'
The Jersey Journal
September 12, 2002

(Jersey City's) Planning board gave the thumbs up yesterday for a 2,000 foot tower to be built...

Planning Director Robert Cotter,...said the antenna tower could rival the Eiffel Tower as a symbol. He said it will send a message to the world that the United States cannot be cowed by terrorists.

As a tourist attraction, the tower would bring in at least $5 million a year to Jersey City, Cotter estimated.

(Glenn D.) Cunningham (Mayor of Jersey City) said it was understandable that the TV alliance explores numerous sites but added that "it's also logical that it's going to end up in Jersey City."

Broadcasters Look Across Hudson for New Signal Tower
Star Ledger
October 21, 2002

Rebuffed in Manhattan, a group of Metropolitan area broadcasters want to build a signal tower in New Jersey. A big one.

Think star-toucher, cloud-buster.

It would soar to 2,000 feet, easily the world's tallest free-standing structure, take two years to build, create hundreds of construction jobs and pay millions a year in rent and taxes. Plus, the broadcasters promise, it would be spectacular to look at.

No existing skyscraper can be retrofitted for major antenna, he (Ed Grebow) said.

And while those charting Ground Zero's future are seeking an architectual icon to restore the city's shattered skyline, broadcasters say they cannot wait years for rebuilding to begin.

They focused on a site near the Liberty Science Center and then a spot at the tip of the now closed Military Ocean Terminal (in Bayonne).

A key difference between the Jersey City and Bayonne proposals is that those pushing for a site near Liberty Science Center want the tower to contain an observation deck. But broadcasters are opposed, fearing the deck might become a terrorist target.

Emlyn Koster, president and CEO of Liberty Science Center, is making a vigorous bid to bring the tower to Jersey City.

"It has to be aesthetically a beautiful design," Koster said. "Why would anyone in the New York area want anything else?"

Koster said an observation deck would open a spectacular window on the metropolitan area, while Liberty Science Center's mission, by serving as a site for meteorological tests. He dismissed broadcasters' security concerns over an observation deck, saying, "The right course is not to give in to terrorists - but to be bold."

State Wants Answers on Signal Tower
Star Ledger
December 16, 2002

After months of silence, the state has rebuffed a group of broadcasters who want to build a 2,000-foot signal tower in Bayonne, saying they have yet to prove that the structure would be in New Jersey's public interest.

Bradley Campbell, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, last week sent the president of the broadcasters' group a letter asking for quick answers to a series of questions about the tower and its impact on the area.

The letter made it clear that, so far, the state is not impressed with the proposed tower. The cities of Bayonne and Jersey City have been competing to be the tower site, but the broadcasters group, Metropolitan Television Alliance, has said it favors Bayonne.

"There is currently no record to support the conclusion that siting the proposed tower in New Jersey, let alone at a particular site in New Jersey, is a sound public policy choice," Campbell wrote. "Accordingly, by this letter, I am requesting that MTA make a submission to establish for the record why the siting of the proposed tower in New Jersey would present a substantial public benefit."

Campbell asked broadcasters to answer 14 questions, including an assessment of environmental impact, engineering challenges and the impact on area aesthetics. The commissioner seeks answers by Jan. 8, followed by a two-week public comment period with his decision coming soon thereafter.

If built, the $200 million tower would become the world's largest free-standing structure and serve 11 area television stations, in addition to some FM radio stations and emergency communications systems. It would replace the antenna lost atop the north tower of the World Trade Center in the 9/11 attack.

Rejected in New York, the broadcasters have come to New Jersey hoping for a warmer welcome.

They say the tip of the former Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne is their first choice for a tower, which would not include an observation deck. But officials in Jersey City, particularly at the Liberty Science Center, are pushing hard for the broadcasters to consider putting the tower there and include an observation deck that would attract tourists.

The broadcasters say the viewing platform would add $40 million to the cost and create a security risk.

"We've received Commissioner Campbell's letter and we plan to respond to the questions he has raised before Jan. 8, which is the deadline he has given us," Ed Grebow, the group's president, said in a statement.

MTA spokesman Pat Smith declined further comment.

The broadcasters say the new tower would enable them to provide service to more than 700,000 people in the metropolitan area who still do not have cable.

And they say the interim antenna, located once more on the Empire State Building, is not powerful enough and provides an inconsistent signal in several areas.

Gov. James E. McGreevey has asked the broadcasters to consider a Jersey City site, which could incorporate the tower into the Liberty Science Center's offerings. But the broadcasters only submitted the Bayonne site to the Federal Aviation Administration for review of safety issues.

The FAA is taking public comment on the Bayonne tower proposal until Jan. 2. The agency says some adjustments to flight paths and plans must be made at Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Linden airports as safety precautions.

Asked about the state's letter, Campbell said there have been many claims and counter-claims by the proponents of the Bayonne and Jersey City sites.

"Everyone will have a voice before the decision is made," Campbell said. "We won't rule out one site or another precipitously. The advocates who prefer a Jersey City site will have their shot in the process as well. I think both sites should be evaluated. If there is no benefit for New Jersey ... they might as well put it in New York."

Others with an interest in the project had little to say last week.

Both a spokesman for Bayonne Mayor Joseph Doria and a representative of the Liberty Science Center declined comment on the letter, saying they had not yet seen it.

The host city could receive as much as $6 million annually in tower tax payments.

Seeking the Tallest Tower
December 23, 2002

Could New Jersey gain renown for having the tallest tower on earth? ...Bradley Campbell, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection, has asked a group of 11 broadcasters who have proposed a 2,000 ft. signal tower to first outline the benefits that the state would reap. The tower, which Jersey City and Bayonne are competing to build, would replace the antennas lost atop the World Trade Center. Campbell want the broadcasters to answer 14 questions, including an assessment of the tower's aesthetic and environmental impact and engineering challenges.

...the Metropolitan Television Alliance turned to the Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne as a site for the $200 million tower, which would be the tallest free-standing structure ever. Jersey City wants the tower for the site of Liberty Science Center, where it could sport an observation deck. But the broadcasters say such a deck would add $40 million tot he cost and cause security problems. More than pride is involved in this tussle: the host city could receive as much as $6 million in annual tax payments from the tower.

Empire State Building Wins with Tourist and Tenants
New York Times
December 25, 2002

Up at the observation deck on the 86th floor, more than 2.7 million people bought tickets to take in the view from January through October this year, according to the managers, an increase of 400,000 from the same period in 2001.

"I think it's amazing," said Ann Dannan from Bedford, England...."It's just beautiful, It's lovely to see Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Now the sun's coming out, and it's glittering."

Bound for Bayonne
The Jersey City
December 30, 2002

Grebow did say...that his organization has negotiated a memo of understanding from the city of Bayonne about the project. Said Grebow, "We are waiting for the state to sign off on it."

According to the FAA's aeronautical study, departure procedures from two runways at Newark Airport will require re-routing, and the missed approach procedure for Newark runway 11 ILS will also have to be re-routed.

Descent gradients for jets approaching LaGuardia Airport's Runway 4 will be decreased to 660 feet per nautical mile due to the proposed tower. Linden Airport departures will require a departure procedure for runways 9 and 27, the FAA report stated.

Bob Cotter from the Planning Department (Jersey City) described the proposed tower as being 2,000 feet tall and suggested the tower also have an observation deck with restaurant for tourists.

"That was one of the reasons we decided against Jersey City," said Grebow. "We would not build the tower with observation deck."

Grebow gave a number of reasons why the Alliance declined to build the tower in Jersey City. Among them were security concerns about the deck.

"Security is always a concern with a tower like this," said Grebow.

"Putting a tower by the Turnpike would not work very well," said Grebow. "It would only create traffic hazards."

Seventy-eight percent of the people in Jersey City polled said an elegant and ecological sensitive tower in association with the (Liberty Science) center's programs "would give a real benefit to New Jersey," said Liberty Science Center CEO Emlyn Koster.

When asked about the possibility of locating the antenna tower near Liberty Science Center, Grebow stated that inadequate parking facilities made the project unworkable.

Broadcasters want TV Tower in Bayonne
Star Ledger
January 9, 2003

Metropolitan area broadcasters defended their plans to build a 2.000 ft tower in Bayonne yesterday, saying it's the best way to restore adequate television reception for 700,000 people who do not have cable.

"The Bayonne site satisfies the most criteria established for this project, including security, environmental concerns, size, economic factors and timing," Edward Grebow, president of the Metropolitan Television Alliance, wrote to Campbell.

Broadcasters say it would take too long to relocate the tower at the former World Trade Center site. The Empire State Building is the current backup site, but its antenna is outmoded.

Grebow's letter once again showed the broadcasters are intent on sitting the tower in Bayonne rather than at a competing site in Jersey City, on a parcel of land owned by developer Michael Mandelbaum near the Liberty Science Center. Science center officials want to make the tower a tourist attraction by including an observation deck, which also can be used for scientific experiments like weather tests. Gov. James E. McGreevey had personally asked the group to consider putting the tower in Jersey City.

"The MTVA carefully evaluated the Mandelbaum property and rejected it because of its proximity to the New Jersey Turnpike, the parcel's small size and irregular shape, potential aviation problems, security issues, environmental concerns, economic terms and timing," Grebow wrote.

The broadcasters are particularly averse to including an observation deck, noting that Bayonne officials are not requiring that as they seek to site the tower on the tip of the former Military Ocean Terminal. Putting the tower in Bayonne would mean $5 million in annual revenue for the city.

"An observation deck poses a significant security risk and will require extensive and expensive security measures to protect the tower," Grebow wrote.

But Elizabeth Romanaux, a Liberty Science Center official, said she remains optimistic the will still be built - with an observation deck - in Jersey City.

"We're still hoping the governor will recognize that our vision of this tower us very important for the state,"said Romanaux.

Patrick Smith, a spokes person for the broadcasters, said, "The letter speaks for itself. We're certain there's a valid reason for the tower" in Bayonne.

The Bayonne site also is being reviewed by the Federal Aviation Administration, which is holding its own public comment period until January 17 to determine if the plan poses unacceptable risks to planes using area airports. Campbell, meanwhile, has said he would issues his opinion shortly after he stops taking comments on the plan on Jan. 24.

"He's looking for those with the expertise to help advise him," said Elain Makatura, Campbell's spokewoman.