Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"KNR2" Denied Tower Zoning

As it turns out, there's a good reason Good Karma sports WWGK/1540 Cleveland "AM 1540, KNR2" hasn't been able to upgrade its power under a recently granted construction permit.

The city of North Royalton's zoning appeals board has turned back the tower construction needed to move WWGK from Cleveland's East Side to the transmitter site of "big brother" station WKNR/850 "ESPN 850".

The weekly newspaper the "Sun Star" has more:

City leaders contend the property is now zoned "Traditional Town Center/Main Street District." They don't want additional towers there mainly because they plan to develop that property, which Thomas Embrescia owns, as a life-style, mixed-use concept. That's why voters in 2004 changed 286 acres of land in the downtown area to that Town Center zoning.

The zoning appeals board members heard an interesting mix of testimony and even saw a video by former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar on behalf of the station. Kosar is not only president/co-owner of the Cleveland Gladiators Arena Football League franchise...he has an on-air deal with Good Karma's WKNR.

Kosar has more pressing problems on his plate, as his arena football team may not even be playing this year. There are reports that the entire league is expected to suspend play in 2009 amid financial problems. That brings us back to radio, too, since the Good Karma stations are the radio flagship stations of the Gladiators.

On the other side of the WWGK tower zoning issues, residents opposed to the two new towers brought out the usual complaints of RF interference, like this man:

"When the station switches from its day signal to its night signal, all my GFIs in my bathroom and my outside click off because of the surge of RF," (Bob Suter) said. "We are now talking about intermixing two high powered stations together, which causes multiple harmonics when you mix two large signals together. Anything that is in the area, any rusty wire, or any fence that has a rusty area on it, will cause intermixing."

Regular OMW readers have already pointed out one problem with Mr. Suter's words, not even counting the whole "intermixing" thing (we're not engineers, so we won't try to take it apart).

WWGK is a daytime only station. It won't be switching to a night pattern along with WKNR, because it doesn't have nighttime operation, and still wouldn't operate at night at the new facility.

Another nearby resident talks about WKNR's existing interference to TV reception.

Now, again, we're not engineers, but we believe a radio station's licensee is expected to help resolve those complaints - and we're going to assume here that the complainant in question hasn't invoked the help of Good Karma's engineers.

(No, non-radio folks, you can't tell a licensed FCC station to "turn the power down", even if they could...but engineers as a rule are usually quite helpful with such things as interference traps.)

The Sun Star reports that Good Karma has a 10 day window after the ruling to appeal.

OMW reports that WWGK's construction permit is valid for three years after it was approved (per FCC rules), but we're sure the station doesn't want to wait that long...


74WIXYgrad said...

So I guess the broadcasters didn't get any good karma from the city of North Royalton.

YEKIMI said...


johns said...

boy, would I like to see this guy's GFI's pop like he claims.

JPF Law said...

This downtown North Royalton zoning thing is total BS, especially considering it was merely 3 months ago that the previous Town Center developer plan and deal fell through.

Also, as I'm sure North Royalton knows, it's not simply a matter of re-zoning the radio property and that's that. The towers and facility need to be moved BEFORE any work can take place. That's federal law. The city's eminent domain action (which I'm sure they plan to use to force Tom Embrescia to give up the property--he's trying to trade for other city land) cannot wipe off a federally licensed station.

Lastly, as for the "blinking lights" that woman in the Sun Star article was complaining about, I'm fairly certain that (a) she knew about the radio towers when she moved in, and (b) if she's lived there for the proverbial "forever," she still knew, since WJW/850's towers and studio had been there for even more "forever" (since the 1940s, at least--well before most of North Royalton was built-up).