Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Sounds of Silence - Er...Static

UPDATE (6/29/06 3:05 PM): OMW hears that WJMP's transmitter was hit by a lightning strike, taking the Kent-licensed AM station off the air. 1520 is expected to return to the airwaves sometime Friday...


If a radio station no one listens to goes off the air, did it make a sound?

A message board post prompted us to fire up our two best radios, and...sure enough... Media-Com sports WJMP/1520 Kent "Fox Sports Radio 1520" is still off the air this late afternoon/early evening, a good hour and a half before its prescribed sunset sign-off. WJMP has a scratchy signal here at the OMW World Headquarters in northwest Akron, but we can tell if it is on the air.

Considering how the much-neglected sister of popular talk WNIR/100.1 is usually treated, we wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't noticed even at Broadcast Park, give or take a silence sensor or three.

As far as we know, Media-Com's Klaus family hasn't anted up for a backup generator since both stations were taken off the air during the 2003 blackout, and WNIR itself is on the air with no difficulty.

WJMP's transmitter and towers are co-located with WNIR's studio complex on Route 59 between Kent and Ravenna, as is the computer running Scott Systems that is the only other component of WJMP's existence. (WNIR's tower site moved out to its current location - on Route 43 in Brimfield Township at the I-76 interchange - a few years ago.)

We haven't heard any mention of 1520's off-air status in the past half-hour or so on WNIR, but the "big brother" talker usually ignores its daytime rimshot sister station on the air...

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