Wednesday, June 03, 2009

WCPZ Moving A Bit South

This one is another that fell out of our "we meant to get to it" files...from a couple of weeks back.

BAS Broadcasting hot AC WCPZ/102.7 Sandusky, still known by its old Clear Channel moniker of "Mix 102.7", has filed an application to move a few miles south and maximize its power.

Long-time friend and colleague and World Champion Tower Hunter Scott Fybush at NorthEast Radio Watch gave us the heads up on this proposal, which would land 102.7's new facility on the tower of Christian Faith Broadcasting religious combo WGGN-FM 97.7/WGGN-TV 52 about six miles to the southwest of the current WCPZ tower, which is at the legendary "quonset hut" studios in the heart of Sandusky.

(Without checking, we believe the WGGN site holds the analog antenna for the TV 52 side of WGGN, along with the pre-transition digital antenna, and that the TV station's new post-transition digital facility is further east in an attempt to serve more of the Cleveland market. The TV facilities on the original tower will presumably be taken dark a week from Friday.)

The move would change WCPZ/102.7's facilities from 134 feet above average terrain/50 kW to 659 feet (!!)/18 kW, a move that would expand the signal somewhat to the south...providing much better coverage of places like Fremont and Norwalk and the U.S. 20 corridor, and even as far south as nearly Ashland.

And for WCPZ's current owner, BAS Broadcasting, that makes a lot of sense. BAS owns stations like WFRO/99.1 "Eagle 99.1" Fremont, and the facility change makes WCPZ more powerful in the area that BAS calls "The Quint Counties" in its marketing material. The station's expanded signal would continue to cover the area along Lake Erie pretty much as it does now, and would continue to afford protection to Mount Clemens MI's WHTD via a directional notch.

One could presume that the 102.7 move south wasn't pursued by previous owner Clear Channel for a variety of reasons - not the least of which is potential overlap with the company's Toledo cluster...

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