9 May 2003
The city of Dallas owns a prime piece of FM broadcast spectrum in north Texas: WRR-FM 101.1, currently broadcasting classical music at 100,000 watts.
How prime is it? Other broadcasters would like to get their hands on it. The city isn't considering selling WRR outright, but the possibility of a move down the dial has presented itself.
A number of proposals have been entertained, but apparently the one most likely to get past the city council is one by Susquehanna Radio, which wants to move its KDBN-FM, currently at 93.3, to 101.1, and fill 93.3 with KRNB-FM from 105.7. The city would receive the 105.7 facility, which runs 93,000 watts from a stick in Wise County, and $60 million.
Downside? Wise County is a long way away the tower is almost 50 miles northwest of Fort Worth and even 93 kw will barely reach into the south side of Dallas, to say nothing of the southern suburbs. Since the station is owned by the city, opponents contend, at the very least it should be able to reach the entire city without noise or interference.
The historical record shows many instances where a classical station relocated to an inferior facility in exchange for lots of money; the best-known, perhaps, was the move of Cleveland's WCLV to a 6-kw channel in exurban Lorain. It was argued at the time that the move would help secure the station's then-uncertain future, and maybe it did, but I'd hate to have to try to tune them in from the parking lot at Severance Hall.