Archive for Overmodulation

I always miss these things

But I suspect it was fun while it lasted:

MP Media has relaunched its recently acquired 105.1 WVWF Waverly TN and has begun stunting as “Trump 105.1.”

The station is running a brief loop of songs with a brief connection to Trump such as Gloria Estefan’s “Bad Boy” and Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall.” Sweepers include the predictable “Making Radio Great Again” and “Building A Wall Around Other Stations.”

The station is now imaging itself as 105.1 The Wolf. Still, I’m wondering how many songs one could associate with Donald Trump, besides the Beatles’ obvious “Baby You’re a Rich Man,” and your suggestions are welcomed.

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Sound bite, rebitten

It’s 44 years old, more or less, but the memory of this one segue has stuck with me all the while.

Tech Hi-Fi, an electronics retailer that bought tons of radio advertising in those days, had this one spot, which I heard on then-tiny WAAF, stuck at the far end of the dial in Worcester, Massachusetts. I can’t for the life of me remember the words, but they were set to a shortened version (no more than one minute) of “When I Was a Lad” from HMS Pinafore.

They cut off the song with the last line from the chorus, and one of the greatest songs of 1878 was followed by one of the greatest songs of 1972:

To this day, if I hear “When I Was a Lad,” I’ll expect it to be followed by “I’ll Be Around.” And if more people remember Gilbert and Sullivan than Thom Bell, well, life is like that sometimes.

I am also indebted to WAAF for playing the original Move version of “Do Ya,” which charted at a meager #93 in those curious days of 1972. Jeff Lynne, who wrote it, recut it with Electric Light Orchestra in 1976, but as the man1 says, the original’s still the greatest.

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A pause to remember

It was a single paragraph in the midst of several others:

Thomas Copenhaver is selling his two stations in Marion VA to CDM Broadcasting. Classic Rock 102.5 WOLD-FM and CHR “Z103.5” WZVA go from TEC2 Broadcasting and TECO Broadcasting respectively to CDM for $651,039. CDM began operating the two stations via Time Brokerage Agreement on August 1.

Wait a minute. WOLD?

Yep. Actually, that call predates the late Harry Chapin’s song by six years; they were a country station at the time and didn’t play it.

From a 1987 tribute to Harry, featuring brothers Tom and Steve, here’s Richie Havens with this song of the DJ who is no longer young:

I was suspecting, though, that like Harry and Richie, WOLD might be dead: their livestream produced nothing, and their Web site had been taken over. Nothing at WZVA either. I left a query at the WOLD Facebook page; they say they’re still around and that the new owners are implementing new Web stuff.

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Clear that channel!

Radio, notes Doc Searls, really isn’t “radio” anymore:

It’s just a name for one legacy-labeled stream among countless others on the Net. Radio’s boat-anchor legacy is called “range” and “coverage.” On AM and FM, those are limited to a city or region, and to legacy receiving devices mostly used in cars, where more and more sources of content (Apple, Pandora, Spotify, SiriusXM, et. al.) are appearing on the dashboard. The quality of legacy radio electronics is also limited to cheap available chipsets and by the fashion of concealing antennas, which makes reception even worse.

This latter, after looking at my car, certainly seems true to me: Bose, or whoever made this auto system for them, might have spent maybe 85 cents on the AM section, and the antenna is more or less hidden among the rear-defroster wires, good for aesthetics, not so good for reception.

But this I did not know, though I shouldn’t have been surprised:

AM won’t even work in all-electric cars, thanks to interference from computing machinery. That’s why it’s not included in Teslas.

Nissan will sell you an AM/FM/CD system for the all-electric Leaf, but then it’s probably got a lot fewer sources of interference than the Tesla.

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Where peacocks once roamed

During a Dodgers/Phillies game, I heard a reference to “NBC News Radio,” and wondered where that came from.

Now I know:

NBC News Radio has been distributed by iHeartMedia and its TTWN Networks since July 2016. It is provided to the network’s 24/7 News Source affiliates and includes a top of the hour newscast along with other audio content which is heard on over 1000 radio stations.

The original NBC Radio Network was purchased by Westwood One in 1987 as General Electric, which acquired NBC’s parent company RCA, divested most properties not pertaining to the NBC television network. NBC Radio’s news operation was merged into the Mutual Broadcasting System, then into Westwood One’s then-corporate sibling CBS Radio, and eventually assimilated into the syndicator itself. Initially just a service limited to one-hour reports from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, on March 5, 2012, Dial Global — who had acquired Westwood One — announced NBC News Radio would expand to a full-time 24-hour radio news network, replacing CNN Radio (that itself replaced both NBC Radio and Mutual in 1999).

Awfully convoluted, this story, but then that was to be expected.

Far as I know, they have no affiliate here in the 405; iHeartMedia’s one news-oriented station in this market is, like many of its corporate sisters, emotionally wedded to Fox.


Fading into silence

A hint at what radio used to be:

Advertisement for radio station KWK in St Louis, 1947

You’d think an original three-letter call from the 1920s would be worth preserving, but apparently not: starting in 1984, KWK went through a dizzying variety of call letters, ending in 2015 as KXFN. Before it was KWK, it was KFVE, and over the years they moved from 1280 to 1350 to 1380. For a while, there was also an FM, at 106.5. This made for some interesting situations:

Since the AM and FM stations were licensed in different cities, KWK was only allowed to simulcast on both frequencies for a portion of the day. John Hutchinson remembered “when the AM and FM broadcasts were split, the FM jock would play the playlist from the top of the page down and the AM jock would play tunes from the bottom of the page up. When the time came to simulcast we would pick a tune over the intercom and try to begin the tunes at the same time so that we could flip the ‘simulcast’ switch and purportedly no one would detect the merge. Of course this did not always happen smoothly … causing much hilarity amongst the air staff.”

The station has been silent since last December. The Mutual Broadcasting System was killed by Westwood One in 1999; the “Muny,” still in Forest Park, continues.

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The bloom is off

Ad for KVOS-TV featuring Jack Benny

This turned up at the International Jack Benny Fan Club, and yeah, that’s a great picture of Jack, but what puzzled me was the plug for KVOS-TV in “Canada’s Third Market.” Clearly not a Canadian call. I of course had to hunt this station down, and found it in Bellingham, Washington:

In 1955, [owner Rogan] Jones, realizing that most of his audience was across the border, incorporated KVOS in Canada, establishing a subsidiary company in Vancouver. The subsidiary, KVOS-TV Limited, brought in revenue for the station by allowing many Vancouver-area businesses to buy advertising time on the station, which is still the case today. KVOS-TV continued to broadcast from Bellingham, with much of its audience based in southwestern British Columbia.

Eventually, KVOS-TV gave up its CBS affiliation; it now carries MeTV. (Reruns of The Jack Benny Program air weekends on rival Antenna TV.)


No amplitude to modulate

Québec City has over half a million people, with a quarter-million more nearby. What it doesn’t have is any AM radio service:

Hit SCAN on your radio in the daytime and it’ll stroll nonstop while finding nothing. Hit it at night and it’ll stop at every channel, finding mostly skywave signals bouncing in from U.S. stations. The big ones on relatively clear channels — e.g. WFAN/660, WOR/710, WABC/770 and WCBS/880 from New York — come in like locals. From Canada the only two “clears” still left in Ontario or Quebec, CHWO/740 and CJBC/860 (former English and French CBC landmarks in Toronto) — come in too.

But Canada has pretty much abandoned the AM band. I’m a bit surprised, because only AM skywave can reach radios in Canada’s vast outlying rural and wilderness areas. Alas, the transmitter site for both the 740 and 860 signals turned out to be somewhat farther from Toronto than other AMs, with disadvantaged their signals in town, even though their night signals reached pretty much all of eastern Canada. So the CBC let them go.

When did all this happen? I found a pre-postmortem for the last AM station in the capital:

CHRC started in 1926, and spent most of its life as a talk station, notably the home of André Arthur (who expressed his thoughts to Radio-Canada). In 2005, it became Info 800, a sister station to Info 690 in Montreal. Then it was taken over by the Remparts and Patrick Roy. Its current format is mostly sports talk, with Quebec Remparts (QMHJL) and Laval Rouge et Or university football games (both of those will move to Cogeco’s FM93) and Quebec Capitales baseball games.

It’s not terribly surprising that such a station wouldn’t find a way to work, especially since there’s no other AM radio in the region and so little reason for anyone to even switch over to the AM band.

The last day was 30 September 2012.


Meanwhile on Channel 1

The FCC officially shut down TV channel 1 in 1948, but somehow a Channel 1 exists today: KAXT-CD in San Jose, California. How this works:

The DTV virtual channels between KAXT-LD’s Channel 22 (physical: 42, formerly 22) and KRCB’s Channel 22 (physical: 23) Cotati, had significant overlap that caused a PSIP conflict, allowing KAXT-CD to move to a new virtual channel, Channel 1. KAXT operates with a PSIP of Channel 1, with 12 different video program streams and one audio-only channels for a total of 13 virtual channels.

These are, yes, virtual channels: the actual KAXT signal is on channel 42, but to tune it in over the air, you’d set your TV to channel 1.

Or that’s what it says, anyway. I can’t seem to pick up their stream.


Must have been some pitch

What did KLAC (570 AM) in Los Angeles pay for the broadcast rights to Dodgers games? If you’re thinking an arm and a leg, you’re pretty close:

KLAC will be spun into Los Angeles Broadcasting Partners, a new holding company held by the two groups. iHeart [Media] will retain 51% of the ownership of the station as well as control of its day-to-day operations. The Dodgers through its LARadioCo will hold 49% of the station.

In case you weren’t paying attention, iHeartMedia is the group owner formerly known as Clear Channel.

And the Dodgers get one more chip:

As part of the deal, iHeart cannot launch another Sports station in the Los Angeles market for the next fifteen years without the written consent of the Dodgers.

Oh, KLAC is also carrying the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers.


An earful of Bollywood

Bollywood movies — indeed, South Asian cinema is general — can be expected to contain a whole lot of original, in the sense of “written for this picture, anyway,” music.

And with terrestrial radio hard up for programming of late, this was probably inevitable:

Cumulus Media has ended its LMA of Universal Media Access’ 92.3 KSJO San Jose CA.

Universal Media Access has flipped the station to Indian music as “Bolly 92.3”. They had registered anonymously in late January and the site is now live promoting it as “The Bay Area’s Bollywood Station.”

You didn’t think Cumulus would come up with this on their own, did you?

Not much so far on the Web site but a link for livestreaming: the stream has been somewhat erratic, but what I’ve heard has been great fun.

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Not a major market

Most of this is completely inarguable:

Why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?

Donald Trump isn’t buying TV ads in Super Tuesday states prior to the big day. Doesn’t need to. He’s got all the coverage he needs, and has since June.

New Hampshire TV stations got rich from Jeb Bush and his SuperPac friends.

Well, one New Hampshire TV station: WMUR-TV Manchester, the only actual Big Four network station in the entire state. (It’s ABC, if you care, and why would you?) Everything else is low-power, PBS, or aimed at the Boston market. Still, I’m sure Hearst Television, owner of WMUR, was happy to cash those checks from the Jeb! machine.

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Around the Edge

NOW 92.9, née NOW 96.5, is now THEN 0.0; Tyler, having failed to make any headway with a CHR-ish format against iHeartMedia’s KJYO (KJ103), has reworked this translator into The Edge 92.9, billed as OKC’s Rock Alternative. As before, it’s a side-channel of a big station — KOMA-HD2 — running 200 watts, which isn’t enough to reach the entire metro, though you can always spend a few bucks for an HD Radio receiver, as have at least ten other people in this town, or pick up their audio stream.

KOMA-HD3, in case you were curious, is the Classic Hip-Hop outlet at 103.1, known as V103; I find it amusing that three stations image with 103 in this town, starting with KJ103, which is actually at 102.7; Perry’s KVSP, long the urban (read: “black”) station in town, continues to be “Power 103.5.”

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A future without Bob

Monday, after playing “That’s All” by Genesis — in retrospect, an inspired choice — KQOB (96.9), the former Bob FM, earlier this year stripped of its Bob imaging, began stunting with Christmas music, and no, I don’t know what’s coming up. RadioInsight reports:

Jack Elliot and Ron Williams will slide from Hot AC “98.9 Kiss-FM” KYIS to 96.9 on Monday, December 3. The station will continue with Christmas music until after the holiday season when a new format will debut. Jack and Ron recently celebrated their 21st anniversary at Kiss. The opening at KYIS will be filled by Joey and Heather who are currently at sister CHR “Wild 104.9” KKWD.

The third of December is actually a Thursday, but most of this makes sense, especially since the local Cumulus cluster has been suffering mightily in the ratings of late. (KQOB didn’t even show up in the November numbers.) Jack and Ron didn’t give out any clues in their on-air announcement, but, said Jack, Cumulus is basically building this station around them.

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The Chicken Little Channel

The old newsroom saying: “If it bleeds, it leads.” Apparently this also works in weather:

Many local broadcast meteorologists say that the national reporting on severe weather is out of control, with sloppy reporting and almost incessant hyping of events. What this is doing, they add, is spreading misinformation that may be desensitizing viewers to actual weather risk.

In terms of my own hometown, I am at the point now where if there are any warnings beyond the most routine, I have to say something on Facebook just to reassure everyone that I am not in fact dead.

One critic, from Birmingham, Alabama:

[James] Spann, for instance, says national TV got the Houston floods story last May wrong by suggesting they were extraordinary, when, in fact, the city has a long history of such flooding.

“The networks just decided that this never happened before. That’s just idiotic,” he says, adding that the destructive flooding was a big enough story that it didn’t need hype.

Another, from a network O&O in Boston:

While indisputably powerful, the devastation caused by Sandy resulted from the storm hitting a heavily populated area rather than its sheer force. That fact was missed in many of the stories, he says.

“It was not a freak of nature,” [Eric] Fisher says. “Not everything has to be the worst, or the biggest or unprecedented.”

I blame global cooling/warming/stasis: it’s necessary to appear to have extreme events to prop up the narrative.

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U can’t watch this

‘Cause I said so:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Hacking your own home tv show?

Since this makes no sense by itself, the follow-up:

I want to learn to hack my home tv satellite and tv so that people cannot watch certain show or program and will change the show or program based on the data that I input

There are, I suspect, exactly two possibilities here:

  • Guy’s never heard of parental controls;
  • Guy’s heard of parental controls, but the Younger Folk know more about them than he does.

The question of whether this would be a violation of the agreement with the satellite company is left as an exercise for the student.

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Not the middle of nowhere

We’re talking far off to the edge. This was just another item from RadioInsight, but it led me to other stuff. Prepare for Major Tangent Exploration:

Gambell, AK is located on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Strait closer to the Russian mainland than North America. The Nome Seventh-Day Adventist Church has applied to bring the first radio station to Gambell operating with 90 watts at 9 meters on 89.3. The new station would operate as a satellite of 89.3 KQQN Nome (Coverage Map).

Wikipedia reports on the town:

St. Lawrence Island has been inhabited sporadically for the past 2,000 years by both Alaskan Yup’ik and Siberian Yupik people. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the island had a population of about 4,000.

Between 1878 and 1880 a famine decimated the island’s population. Many who did not starve left. The remaining population of St. Lawrence Island was nearly all Siberian Yupik.

Checking out the island itself (current population about 1,300):

The island contains two villages: Savoonga and Gambell. The two villages were given title to most of the land on St. Lawrence Island by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act in 1971. As a result of having title to the land, the Yupik are legally able to sell the fossilized ivory and other artifacts found on St. Lawrence Island.

Savoonga, you should know, is the Walrus Capital of the World. But this story from Gambell tore at the old heartstrings:

In 1982, George Guthridge brought his wife and two young daughters to Gambell, Alaska, a small village on the edge of the remote blizzard-swept St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea, one of the harshest and most remote places in Alaska. Guthridge was there to teach at a Siberian-Yupik school — a school so troubled it was under threat of closure.

For its own reasons, the school district enters the students into one of the most difficult academic competitions in the nation. The school has no computers and very few books. The students lack world knowledge and speak English as a second language. Still, George resolves to coach them to a state championship. But the students have an even greater goal of their own.

And I have to grin at Guthridge’s bio:

I have published over 70 short stories and five novels, and have been a finalist for the Hugo Award and twice for the Nebula Award, for science fiction and fantasy. In 1998 my coauthor, Janet Berliner, and I won the Bram Stoker Award for the year’s best horror novel.

I am probably best known for having coached ten students from the Siberian-Yupik (Eskimo) village of Gambell, on blizzard-swept St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea, to national championships in academics. They became the only Native American team ever to do that — and they did it twice.

Oh, and this is what they did.

If you’re curious, Guthridge and Berliner won that Bram Stoker award for Children of the Dusk, the third and final novel in the Madagascar Manifesto series.

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All static, all the time

Two years from now, there will be no FM radio in Norway:

Norway’s Minister of Culture announced this week that a national FM-radio switch off will commence in 2017, allowing the country to complete its transition over to digital radio. It’s the end of an era.

As notes, Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) will provide Norwegian listeners more diverse radio channel content than ever before. Indeed, DAB already hosts 22 national channels in Norway, as opposed to FM radio’s five, and a TNS Gallup survey shows that 56% of Norwegian listeners use digital radio every day. While Norway is the first country in the world to set a date for an FM switch-off, other countries in Europe and Southeast Asia are also in the process of transitioning to DAB.

The US can be expected to lag behind, mostly because the three major commercial radio formats — Rascal Flatts, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and Sports Guys Yelling — aren’t willing to give up their existing playgrounds.

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420 on your dial

Well, actually, they’re at 1580, but you know what I mean:

Listeners of KREL in Colorado Springs might have wondered if someone had spread cannabutter on their morning toast Monday when they tuned in and got marijuana programming instead of the radio station’s usual sports news and talk shows.

Unlike some towns I could name, Colorado Springs is not groaning under the weight of all that sports talk.

Southern Colorado Radio — SoCo Radio for short — has launched the nation’s first radio station dedicated to talk and news coverage of the legal marijuana industry, and it’s attracted dispensaries as advertisers and hundreds of followers on social media.

SoCo Radio leased the former KREL-AM 1580 from Vero Beach, Fla.-based Pilgrim Communications on April 1 and began broadcasting Monday under the call letters KHIG.

K-HIGH, get it?

(Via Fark.)

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Air waived

You might recognize this as a page from TV Guide, circa 1970:

TV Guide 1 April 1970

Now: which edition of TV Guide? The person who posted this on Facebook was from Philadelphia, but these channels don’t match up with Philly then or with Philly now. I resolved to find out without actually having to ask the guy.

The key, it turns out, is that NBC affiliate on channel 79. And while there were a few stations on 79, generally translators, only one fits with the rest of the scheme:

WVIT 30 Hartford once operated W79AI, a repeater in Torrington, Connecticut which is now abandoned.

And sure enough, 30 and 79 are carrying the same programs. So this is around Hartford, probably Springfield, and very likely Boston. The other NBC stations: WBZ-TV 4 Boston (now a CBS station); WATR-TV 20 Waterbury (now WCCT-TV, the CW); WWLP 22 Springfield; WRLP 32 Greenfield (now defunct).

I very likely would not have known any of this had I not been sojourning in central Massachusetts in the 1970s at the behest of Uncle Sam.

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“Fifty-seven channels,” mused Bruce Springsteen, “and nothin’ on.” And that was 1992. Today, there are more like 157 channels and still nothin’ on, or at least certainly nothin’ like this:

If I had a very large amount of money I wanted to possibly throw away — because I have no idea if anyone other than I would want this — I would start up two new cable channels: “Simply Weather” and “Simply News.” They would be as advertised. “Simply Weather” would be 24-hour-a-day weather forecasts. Each region of the country would get its own forecast at least once an hour (so it could be, for example: New England at the top of the hour, Mid-Atlantic at 10 after, Great Lakes at 20 after) and just repeat it, with the small variations needed as the weather changes, around the clock. And “Simply News” would be just that — half-hour broadcasts of world news. No commentators, no extended programs speculating on missing persons or forensics and no stupid celebrity news. (If a famous person died, that would be mentioned, but there wouldn’t be the idiotic, breathless, “BREAKING NEWS: Kim Kardashian changed her hair color!” stuff). Again, I don’t know if anyone else wants a channel like that but when it’s 8 pm and I kind of want to know what’s going on in the world, I have to go to the computer for that because, as far as I can tell, all the news channels have gone to either commentary programs or something like “Forensic Files.”

In other news, Kim Kardashian changed her hair color. Again.

I suspect, though, that the most effective way to end up with a small fortune in cable television is to start with a large one.

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Narrowish broadcasting

The FCC will put 131 vacant FM allocations up for auction on the 23rd of July, including four in small Oklahoma towns.

Minimum bid is $1,000 for a class-A (6,000 watts maximum) slot in Clayton (Pushmataha County) on 100.3. It will cost you at least $5,000 for a class-A slot in Hennessey (Kingfisher County) on 97.9. (Don’t even think of trying to move it to OKC.) Twenty-five thou might bring a class-A in Waukomis (Garfield County) on 106.3, or even a class-C2 (25,000 watts maximum) in Millerton (McCurtain County) on 100.9.

Elsewhere, minimum bids of as low as $750 are sought; a handful will command $75,000 or more.

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And that’s the way it is

Though Cronkite would never, ever have said so:

Like the national product is any better?

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Not necessarily frequency response

Joni Mitchell once sang “You Turn Me On, I’m a Radio.” This might have been one of her better metaphors of the day, though she admitted later on that what motivated her was not so much good old primitive lust as the desire to present her record label with a hit single so they’d quit pestering her. (This makes it the moral equivalent of, say, “Elenore” by the Turtles.)

Jack Baruth retunes that particular phrasing:

I’ve often said that female emotion is not FM, it’s AM. In other words, if you want to sleep with a woman, it doesn’t particularly matter whether she loves or hates you. What’s important is the strength of that emotion. If a woman tells you that you are the worst person on earth and that she prays for your violent death twice a day, you might as well start filing another notch on your guitar. If, on the other hand, she tells her friends that you “seem like a nice guy, I guess,” chances are you’ll be available for your nightly guild meeting in WoW after all.

I would contrast this with my own experience, except that no one listens to shortwave anymore.

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More music in north Texas

In most of the nation, actual classical music is something you hear on noncommercial radio, if then. However, WRR, a commercial station owned by the city of Dallas, is not only still alive, it’s playing more music than ever:

Beginning Monday, the station will go to two commercial breaks per hour, allowing for longer classical pieces to receive airplay… the station will add four hours of music programming each week. In an interesting move, non-music programming — including traffic reports, as well as financial reports — will be dropped.

Says WRR program director Mike Oakes:

No jobs were cut. We still believe very much in live and local programming. In fact, at the same time we are adding Performance Today and Exploring Music, we are also dropping roughly 15 hours a week of syndicated programming. We consider it a strong upgrade to the very best programming available.

The discarded syndicated programs will be replaced by more locally originated programming, says Oakes.

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Meanwhile on Channel 37

The FCC will not give you a construction permit for a television station on channel 37; that particular frequency band (608-614 MHz) is reserved for radioastronomy use, and has been since the early 1960s.

This is not to say that no one has ever applied for one:

[T]he only one who ever received a construction permit for channel 37 … was Eurith Dickenson “Dee” Rivers Jr., son of the former governor (1937-1941) of Georgia, hence the call letters for his WGOV/950. Rivers was one of the early filers when the FCC began accepting post-freeze applications in July, 1952, and received one of 19 CP grants (the most ever issued on a single day) on February 26, 1953. The senior Rivers was also interested in UHF broadcasting; he was 50% owner of the CP for WMIE-TV/27 Miami FL, which was used by George B. Storer to put WGBS-TV/23 on the air at the end of 1954.

Dee Rivers had enough of a commitment to television that he took co-owned WGOV-FM/92.5 off the air and surrendered its license one month after receiving the WGOV-TV permit, on March 23, and successfully petitioned the FCC in 1954 to change the channel 23 allocation at nearby Fitzgerald GA to channel 53 in order to eliminate spacing “taboos” that hindered his ability to find a usable transmitter site. Despite those efforts, he surrendered the WGOV-TV CP on November 9, 1954 after missing several announced start-up dates. At the time, Rivers told the Commission he was surrendering the permit “because it was not economically feasible to operate an independent non-network UHF station in Valdosta” (unfortunately, a not uncommon conclusion drawn by many early permittees).

There were applicants between the time of Rivers’ withdrawal and 1963, when the FCC issued a ten-year moratorium — later made permanent by treaty — on applications for channel 37, but none were granted construction permits.

Other channels have gone empty over the years. The FCC has never allocated channels 75, 76, 78 and 82 to anywhere at all, and following the reallocation of channels 52 and up to other broadcast services, they presumably never will.

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Half an anchor

Lett’s reply: “Look! I have no legs.”

This has to be a first: a female television anchor with no legs.

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It’s not even Scottish

The nation is awash in sports radio stations with silly names. In this market alone, we have to deal with the Sports Animal, the Ref, the Game, the Franchise, and the Pro. I assure you, this sort of naming is not required:

There are lots of sports stations called The Fan, The Ticket, The Score, and tons of those ESPN stations, but there’s only one station that’s Talking Sports KRAP 24 hours a day. It’s Sports KRAP.

Yeah, we know what you’re saying. “Dude, is this for real? A radio station named KRAP? You’re probably some internet-only station broadcasting from the basement of some guy’s Mom’s house.”

No, we’re for real. We’re an FCC licensed radio station broadcasting at 1350 Kilohertz pounding out a whopping 500,000 milliwatts. But we do realize that we’re KRAP. In fact, our transmitter is KRAP. Our signal is KRAP. Our studios are KRAP. Even our staff is KRAP.

KRAP is in Washington, Missouri, the Corncob Pipe Capital of the World, about halfway between St. Louis and Jefferson City. Those 500 watts (yes, we do the math around here) reach to within about ten miles of each, suggesting that the FCC knew what it was doing when it approved this facility. (At night, they drop to 84 watts, which barely gets out of town.)

Station owner Brad Hildebrand speaks:

Hildebrand tells the Post-Dispatch that it’s a set of call letters he’s wanted since he was 12 years old. But to get KRAP he first needed to wait until the call sign was released from an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. “When I tell people my call letters are KRAP, nobody forgets that,” he says.

Twelve. Yeah. Sounds about right. (He’s pushing 60 now.)

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Sports shortage alleviated

RadioInsight reports on recent sales:

Fred & Evelyn Morton sell 96.5 K243BJ Oklahoma City to Tyler Media for $100. The translator is currently operated by Tyler as CHR “Now 96.5” rebroadcasting 107.7 KRXO-HD2, however the application states Sports “The Franchise 2” 1560 KEBC Del City will be the originating station.

Because, you know, there just aren’t enough spots on the dial where you can get sports in this town.

The Now 96.5 programming seems to have landed on K225BN, at 92.9, where it will at least have 200 watts to play with instead of 120. It won’t be interfering with KBEZ Tulsa, also on 92.9, though it’s going to be a mess where fringe-reception areas meet.

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Texoma bailing

There are exactly two commercial radio stations in Durant, Oklahoma, population 17,000 or so, and they and a nearby sister are changing hands:

Texoma Broadcasting sells AC “B99.7” KBBC-FM Tishomingo, Country 106.3 KLBC Durant, and Oldies 750 KSEO/94.1 K231CE Durant, OK to Mid-Continental Communications for $2.45 million.

On the one hand, that’s a fair chunk of change for two FMs and an AM daytimer with a low-power FM translator outside any major metropolitan area. Then again, the buyer, Kinion E. Whittington, is a gynecologist in private practice in Durant, which suggests to me that he’s probably going to be keeping those stations right where they are, rather than apply for relicensing to somewhere across the Red River and then moving into north Dallas, as I might have expected.

As long as I’m mentioning Durant radio, I probably should bring up KSSU Power92FM, actually at 91.9, operated by, and presumably for, students at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Their Web page is, to be charitable, a work in progress.

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