Thursday, May 17, 2007


It hasn't been that long since we pointed out a new way the FCC does business with radio stations, and how the agency now handles such things as changing a station's community of license.

In the past, in the process followed by Clear Channel to move the allocation of WJER-FM/101.7 Dover to North Canton, a company had to bring up a mountain of evidence to change an FM allocation - then, after that was approved, file a construction permit under that new allocation and wait for it to be approved.

101.7, of course, eventually got approval to move to North Canton as today's AC WHOF(FM), otherwise known as "my 101.7".

Under the new "one step" rules, the license community change is a "minor change", and can be filed as a part of a new construction permit application.

That's exactly what Clear Channel has just done with WHOF's sister Canton-licensed hot AC, WKDD/98.1.

A reader we've never encountered before dropped us a note: why hadn't we mentioned that WKDD has filed for a new COL of the Akron suburb of Munroe Falls?

The answer: we didn't know.

But here it is in the FCC's FM Query lookup.

You'll notice, if you dig into it, that the new application basically only deals with the COL change, and does not propose any change in facilities for the station - which now broadcasts from a tower outside of Hartville in Stark County.

The application also has the evidence meant to support the change from Canton to Munroe Falls, including our favorite part, the inclusion of the Kimpton Middle School newsletter to parents as an "information source" aimed at Munroe Falls residents.

Why is Clear Channel doing this?

Just a guess here, which would seem to be a valid one: they're "planting the flag" for some sort of future move of the 98.1 facility into the Akron market.

Not the station itself, per se. The report on ownership attached to the application notes that 98.1 is already attributed into the Akron Arbitron market, which obviously wouldn't change with the new COL.

But the new application doesn't specify a technical facility change.

Another guess here: any physical move of the 98.1 facility north would require a lot of technical coordination with facilities like, just to name three, second-adjacent CBS classic rock WNCX/98.5 Cleveland, and two sister Clear Channel first-adjacent stations: classic rock WXXR/98.3 Fredericktown, and newly-dropped-in country WYBL/98.3 "The Bull" in Ashtabula.

While those last coordinations are "in-house" for now, of course, Clear Channel has filed to sell WYBL and its sister Ashtabula stations to Tom Embrescia's "Sweet Home Ashtabula", and WXXR will eventually end up with a new owner as well.

One presumes if Clear Channel eventually has any designs to nudge WKDD/98.1 north, physically, the company would make an agreement of some sort with the new buyers for mutually-acceptable engineering.

Anyway, the application makes the argument that since no technical facilities changes are proposed within it, spacing rules don't need to be considered.

At least, yet...


Anonymous said...

Now we'll be able to hear WKDD at Water Works!

Anonymous said...

why would anyone want to listen to WKDD?

Anonymous said...

Here come the bashers! joy of all joys.

Anonymous said...

The Bigger Picture: with a move to Northern Summitt, 98.1 would put a decent signal into cleveland as 96.5 once did from roughly the same area.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the writer that the station is likely "planting the flag" for a possible future move. That move also places the station's city of license within the bounds of the Akron Metro.

This might have some impact on other contemplated but not publicized acquisions and/or move-ins affecting the Canton market. The major hindrances to moving the stick farther north would be WONE and WNCX. I'm told that ocating both the WONE an WKDD transmitters at the same site would obviate the adjacent-channel issues. Perhaps WNCX would sign off on spacing in return for some wiggle room on their short-spaced 92.3 facility (which happens to have co- or adjacent channel issues with several Clear Channel stations.

If CC goes private, they might have to divest an FM. Maybe CBS picks it up and moves "Krock" to a better facility currently held by CC?

One thing for sure... this is not just to keep the DC attorneys busy. There's a plan lurking somewhere!

And yes, a move north would definitely improve signal in Cleveland unless they were forced to go to a DA.

Anonymous said...

"While those last coordinations are "in-house" for now, of course, Clear Channel has filed to sell WYBL and its sister Ashtabula stations to Tom Embrescia's "Sweet Home Ashtabula", and WXXR will eventually end up with a new owner as well."

You can bet those contingencies have been covered in the sale agreements.

johnny morgan said...

92.3's biggest adjacent problem heading south is not owned by Clear Channel: the oft-derided 92.5 WZKL, a 50kw facility beaming into Canton/Akron.

Anonymous said...

"92.3's biggest adjacent problem heading south is not owned by Clear Channel: the oft-derided 92.5 WZKL, a 50kw facility beaming into Canton/Akron."

True, 92.5 is a definite problem although I would take issue with the "beaming into Canton/Akron" statement.... at least the Akron part. WZKL's DA makes it a no-show in a good portion of the Akron market.

As for 98.3, the legal separation would be about 70 miles... and that's assuming that something hasn't already been worked out in the sale agreement.

The most logical scenario is that CC works something out with both WONE and WNCX and moves to the WONE stick over by Rolling Acres.

Remember, the other component of a mutual sign-off between CC and CBS might not involve Cleveland. CBS may want to do a move in another market or markets and Cleveland could be the quid-pro.

Anonymous said...

When is Matt Patrick going to hang it up finally? And please take that laugh track cause that is the only one laughing at your jokes anymore.

Anonymous said...

What about the former 96.5 WKDD site?
It is still there, thats also the 1150 WCUE site.

Anonymous said...

"What about the former 96.5 WKDD site?"
98.1 is third-adjacent to 97.5. Normally FCC regs would call for about 43 miles between the sites but I'm told that if you locate both on the same tower the FCC would permit it. My understanding is that a similar move is possible with WENZ and WNWV and they could both locate somewhere on the Greater Parma antenna farm if they agreed to co-locate.

Anonymous said...

There are bigger fish to fry on Freedom Ave.

"A string of profane words aired early Monday on new radio station WHOF-FM. And now a deejay has been fired. Repository readers reported their shock and surprise at hearing a string of expletives uttered during the WHOF morning show on Monday, followed by silence, then music. "