Friday, February 27, 2009

THIS JUST IN: WKDD Wants To Return Home

It's been nearly eight years since Clear Channel Akron market hot AC WKDD stopped airing from its transmitter site on Bellaire Lane in Cuyahoga Falls in 2001 - its format heading for Canton-licensed 98.1, the former WHK-FM and WTOF-FM.

WKDD has now officially filed to return to that former home.

The station, now licensed to the Akron suburb of Munroe Falls, has filed an application with the FCC to move from its current Hartville facilities on 98.1, to the Bellaire Lane site...and literally to the same tower that the former WKDD/96.5 occupied going back to its days as WCUE-FM. (Back then, the Bellaire site was in the old Northampton Township.)

The only difference, assuming the move gets FCC approval, is that the station now known as WKDD will be coming from that tower on 98.1, as 96.5's transmitter site moved north to Brecksville as Cleveland-market top 40 WAKS "Kiss FM".

It's not like we didn't see this coming.

No, really, we did see this coming, though it didn't exactly take an expert to figure it out.

From an item we filed last November, when WKDD won the community of license change from Canton to Munroe Falls:

Presumably, the change from Canton to Munroe Falls could eventually allow WKDD to nudge the 98.1 signal somewhere else (say, closer to Akron), though it doesn't change the various other considerable technical considerations that would limit any such move...among them, a powerful second-adjacent Cleveland signal in CBS Radio's WNCX/98.5, not to mention a third-adjacent signal right in Akron - Rubber City Radio's WONE/97.5.

The WKDD application covers all of this, with mentions of allowed or grandfathered short spacing throughout this document. It also addresses nearby stations in Ashtabula (WYBL/98.3, a relatively new station once owned by Clear Channel) and Fredericktown (WXXR/98.3, a station still owned by the company), not to mention an allocation filed in London, Ontario, Canada.

The new Bellaire facility would be a 50 kW class B station 138 meters above average terrain, so it'd definitely improve WKDD's coverage in the Akron market. Here's a predicted contour map, also from the application.

Shortly after Clear Channel realized that the former WTOF-FM's facilities east of Canton in Louisville were just not adequate for the Akron market - not long after the "Great Frequency Swap of 2001" in Northeast Ohio - the new home of WKDD moved to the Hartville site in northern Stark County...which it will continue to use until this application is approved...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I frequently listen to WKDD in the Youngstown area. Does anyone know how this move will affect their ability to cover (at least portions) of the Youngstown market? Their broadcast can easily be received in the suburbs south and west of Youngstown and I'm hoping this move will not cause it to significantly degrade.