Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Some Loose Ends

Continuing in our "non-theme theme" week:

WABQ/WERE: We wanted to get the details on what potential overlap there will - or rather, won't - be between soon-to-be Good Karma Broadcasting's WABQ/1540 and the station which is rumored to be partnered with it in running nighttime programming, Radio One talk WERE/1300.

WABQ chief engineer Chris Quinn gives us the heads up on the facility he currently tends to.

In November and December, for example, the station signs off entirely at 5:45 PM, leaving an hour and 15 minutes between that time and the reportedly possible 7 PM start of ESPN Radio programming on WERE.

As we suspected, WABQ's minimal post-sunset authority power level is small - anywhere from 18 to 21 watts.

And the FCC website notes that 5 PM is the alloted sunset time for WABQ's facility in those months, which means the last 45 minutes of that time will be on "sub-lightbulb power", as it were.

But a look at the sunrise sign-on times for WABQ - which has no pre-sunrise authority - could be an even bigger problem for Mr. Karmazin and company.

"ESPN Cleveland" (presumably) would lose up to an hour and 45 minutes of ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike" show...between WERE breaking off from the LMA at 6 AM for local talk host Ronnie Duncan's morning drive show, and the 7:45 AM sign-on for 1540 in the EDT hours of October, and all of December and January.

Again, it's roughly the same problem Karmazin has in Milwaukee with WAUK/1510 Waukesha WI. And assuming Radio One is on-board in brokering the 7 PM-6 AM hours on 1300 to Good Karma, they aren't going to be flexible beyond that due to their incumbent urban talk programming.

The WABQ signal is, at best, marginal...particularly beyond the core inner urban areas of Cleveland's East Side. We'd have to believe Karmazin is working with his engineers in Wisconsin to squeeze out a power upgrade somehow.

But we've talked about this at length before. There's just not a lot of room for WABQ to get a substantial power increase...and any such power boost will have to be a tightly directional signal to get it between the existing powerhouses on or near the 1540 frequency, let alone smaller stations nearby...

WRQK PROBLEMS: While we're talking about engineering, we don't know much more about what's plagued Cumulus-to-become-Clear Channel rock WRQK/106.9 Canton on a technical level.

But OMW reader John Amrhein, operations manager of talk/religious WCER/900 in that city, tells us he's seen engineers working on the WRQK transmitter. WRQK's transmitter site is at the facility which houses WCER, at 22nd Avenue near Whipple in Canton...

CORBY'S WIFE PASSES: Our most sincere condolences to WTVN/610 Columbus host John Corby, whose wife Jennifer has died of cardiac arrhythmia at the age of 50.

WTVN program director Bruce Collins calls Jennifer "a neat person, a really sweet person" in an interview with the Columbus Dispatch. The station is giving Corby "all the time he needs" in this time of grieving...


Anonymous said...

WYFM is now broadcasting in HD. I just heard it on the radio. http://www.y-103.com/ Now Youngstown has two HD radio stations.

david5258 said...

corby is one of those rarities in radio-someone who canlook at subjects from both perspectives-talk objectively about it and yet let you know where he comes down on the issue. he is a joy to listen to when i travel to columbus on business. i am saddened by corby's loss of his wife and pray that GOD will comfort and strengthen him as he grieves his loss and celebrates their good times

Johnny Morgan said...

Word out of Pittsburgh is that Sheridan Broadcasting (Radio One's main urban-programming competition) dumped the Syndication One talk line-up and went with classic R&B and urban music on WAMO 860.

Now, there are probably different levels of inter-business relations going on here (read: money) that caused Sheridan to dump the talk.

Does this mean anything for Cleveland's WERE, a Radio One O&O? Don't know.

But just as pure, unabashed speculation with no basis in fact, WERE's full-time signal sure would cure Craig Karmazin's ESPN clearance problems on 1540.

I expect that Roger Brown will post what I just wrote as a "word is" and the say that Ronnie Duncan should be kept on as morning show host and add duties as station imaging voice.