An OMW reader tells us that Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1, the Kent-licensed Akron market talk station known as "The Talk of Akron", has been running announcements "asking listeners who work or live in the Elyria and North Ridgeville areas to write station management."
We're told the announcements refer to "an unnamed out of state company who wants to install a translator station that could disrupt your ability to receive WNIR in those areas."
At your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), we previously reported the (still pending) sale of off-air translator W262BN/100.3, licensed to Lorain, from Edgewater Broadcasting to Radio One, which owns a number of full-power stations in the Cleveland market.
So, we took another look at W262BN in the FCC records, and found this.
The FCC has approved a move we speculated about in the earlier item - Edgewater, which is still the legal owner of W262BN, has received a construction permit to move the translator's authorization to a Cleveland community of license. The CP was approved by the FCC just two days ago, on November 18th.
This FCC map of the 50 watt translator station's proposed primary service area indeed places it right in the middle of WNIR's area of concern, between Elyria and North Ridgeville at a site along the Ohio Turnpike.
Yes, FM translator facilities can indeed be that far afield of the community of license, and there's no legal requirement that W262BN's signal even reach the Cleveland city limits.
Edgewater is clearly acting on behalf of Radio One. The translator sale was approved by the FCC on September 16th, and the new paperwork lists Radio One's WZAK/93.1 as W262BN's new primary station. Of course, as we reported earlier, W262BN has not been operating at any point from the currently licensed site in Sheffield Township, with a COL of Lorain.
Since there's absolutely no need to rebroadcast the powerful signal of WZAK on a translator in eastern Lorain County, we'll still make the bet that wherever W262BN ends up, it'll become an FM rebroadcaster for AM gospel outlet WJMO/1300, probably located in an area of Cleveland where 1300's signal is not all that great at night.
Though they could well mount that effort from the proposed site between Elyria and North Ridgeville, the Cleveland COL tells us that Radio One is thinking of moving it further east.
How does all this affect WNIR?
The Akron market talker doesn't make much effort to serve Lorain County, which is on the far western fringe of its service area. Even if the translator makes it, say, to Cleveland's east side, that's also not really an area WNIR cares about serving.
But the Kent-based station presumably can't sit idly by while even a first-adjacent 50 watt translator camps out in Northeast Ohio.
If all the signal calculations work out, there may not be much Media-Com can do about this translator...which would presumably have other problems due to second-adjacent in-market WMMS/100.7.
A lot of that is addressed in the application here (PDF file from FCC website), but for the new/current location in eastern Lorain County...