Thursday, December 07, 2006

That WJER Update

Fire up those word processors at the Times-Reporter again, as OMW is about to weigh in again on the last days of Dover-based WJER-FM/101.7, soon to move to a Canton transmitter location and off the airwaves of Tuscarawas County...

As we hinted below, WJER operator Gary Petricola has officially announced on his own station the disposition of FM 101.7, and his impending re-purchase of AM 1450 - which has moved from hint to rumor to fact here on OMW for months.

From the station's news section on WJER.com, which may change by the time you read this (the page updates with news daily):

WJER Radio, Inc. will no longer provide programming for the FM 101.7 frequency as of December 26th. All local programming will remain on WJER AM 1450 as former station owner Gary Petricola and a group of investors is buying the station back. Clear Channel Communications, which has owned both WJER FM and AM since 2003, is moving the FM operations to North Canton in the coming weeks. New call letters and staffing for the 101.7 station have yet to be announced. Petricola says he’s pleased to retain the AM 1450 operations that have been part of the community since 1950.

Again, anticlimactic, as we've kicked this around here for a long time, complete with the impending date - which, of course, has been pushed back a few days for various reasons, including weather and construction, and other logistics involved in moving a radio station.

OMW hears that WJER will merge the two separate morning shows with FM host Bill Morgan, and AM host Randy Fox, into a single morning program featuring both as a team.

That morning drive merger is expected to start as soon as next week, while 101.7 is still in Dover, so it would basically complete the full AM/FM simulcast until 101.7 heads north a couple of weeks later.

And we haven't been to the Transmitter Site Tourist Attraction yet at 22nd and Whipple NW in Canton, but we're told that concrete has been poured. We hear the tower itself should start going up in about a week...

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is this a quote from Gary Petricola or Borat in today's T-R?

“We have a very nice AM coverage,” Petricola said. “It covers most of Tuscarawas County and into parts of Stark and Holmes counties and a little into Carroll County. It depends on the terrain, but it’s roughly a 30- to 35-mile radius.”

Anonymous said...

On a clear day with no clouds in the sky.

Anonymous said...

In the daytime. After dark the signal is non existent in the outlying areas of Dover and New Philadelphia. Makes it tough to hear any of the night time sports they carry.Of course they are streaming on the internet.My problem has been I can't find a USB cord long enough to get out of the county.

Anonymous said...

AM Coverage doesn't cover very far to pick up 1450 at night

Bo Hickey said...

1450 is one of about half a dozen frequencies (others are 1230, 1240, 1340, 1400 and 1490) containing only low-power signals that can't get out of their own back yards at night.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I listen to 1450AM on my drive up 77N and don't lose it until just before Belden Village.

JohnAmrhein said...

The quality of AM radios these days is usually so poor that different people can experience a totally different signal quality from the same station. Second - the weather and time of day have a big effect on AM signals. Thirdly - people have varying tolerance for static, and whereas FM signals tend to drop of rather quickly, many AM signals can go on for many extra miles if you're willing to put up with a lot of static.

Andrew K said...

WJER-AM covers the area adequately. As was mentioned, most people have crappy radios with crappy antennas. These simply will not perform well, and then people complain when those don't. For any AM signals, the radio must be oriented perpendicular to where the signal is coming from, since there is a built-in antenna for AM radio. I can get WJER-FM perfectly at my home here in Akron, and I'm sure that most people in my area have never heard of WJER since most people have crappy radios.

Anonymous said...

Crappy radio or not, the fact is AM1450 simply doesn't cover Tusc County. Period. I live in Stone Creek, 7 miles south of New Phila, and I have tried in 4 different radios, 2 car, 2 in the house, and I can't even go so much as a whisper. The truth is, AM1450 won't survive a year, especially with that HORRENDOUS morning show, lack of signal strength, widespread use of satelite radio, etc. Most people only listed to FM101.7 for news anyway. We can get that on 99.9 if we REALLLLLY need to, or just read the paper. I hope all the WJER personalities have their resumes polished up.