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Re: Merrimack Valley Happenings

I believe that the post-sunset operation you describe does not comply with
FCC regulations. Although WNNW is mostly north of WBT, it is indeed also
somewhat east. Class D stations located east of the dominant Class A _are_
allowed to remain on the air after local sunset, HOWEVER, if such a station
is located within the Class A's protected 0.5 mV/m 50% skywave contour (and
WNNW is), it must reduce power at local sunset and may remain on the air
only until roughly sunset at the location of the Class A station. The
signoff time doesn't always coincide with sunset at the Class A, but it's
usually within 15 minutes. Thanks to its directional pattern, which was
designed to protect the co-channel station in Providence, but which also
protects WBT, WNNW should be able to get significantly more post-sunset
power than it could get if it were ND, but still _much_ less than the normal
daytime power. Because the FCC's public AM database provides no information
about PSSAs and PSRAs, I can't tell whether WNNW has been granted a PSSA.
The grant is pretty much of a formality, but my understanding is that the
station nevertheless must apply for and receive the authorization before it
can legally operate after local sunset. 

At 03:36 PM 5/1/99 -0400, you wrote:
>Anyone scanning the AM radio dial in the Lowell-Lawrence
>area would perhaps have noticed a few oddities.  On the
>WLLH watch, there was a brief burst of a simulcast of
>the programming on WNFT 1150 for a while on Saturday 
>morning May 1st, about 8:00 am.  Later in the day, they
>returned to English=language programming and "Great
>American Songbook" music.  There was no need for irony
>deficiency because the station ran a pre-recorded promo
>for the station telling people to tell their friends 
>this music was being played on WLLH...they must mean
>friends you're trying to lose.  Over at WCCM 800, the
>station has been transmitting dead air at night or even
>just a constant hum. (Old joke: why do hummingbirds hum?
>They don't know the words.)  They usually carry some
>TalkAmerica programming at night, including a talk
>show about the internet hosted by David Lawrence who
>identified himself as a former DJ at WKCI-FM Hamden, CT.
>But no nighttime programming, not even sports has been 
>heard on WCCM after dark.  What gives?  And WNNW 1110
>in Salem NH has been staying on the air until 9:05 pm
>(and hour and a half after the sign-off time for day-
>timers in April.  They pull the plug right after CNN
>news in Spanish.  It appears that they broadcast with
>the full 5 kw with the daylight pattern because the
>signal completely squelches WBT Charlotte until the
>carrier goes off.  I live within easy biking distance
>from the WNNW 2-tower array which puts a fair signal
>to the southeat.  But I bet in Lawrence itself, 'NNW
>and 'BT battle it out with the Carolinans winning most
>evenings.   I wonder if they plan to stay on till 9:00
>pm all year long to counter WLLH when the takeover 
>happens OR just an hour-and-a-half after local sunset?
>And oh yes...the pirate at 99.9 is still blasting away.
>Laurence from Methuen
>Get free personalized email at http://email.lycos.com

- -------------------------------
Dan Strassberg (Note: Address is CASE SENSITIVE!)
ALL _LOWER_ CASE!!!--> dan.strassberg@worldnet.att.net
(617) 558-4205; Fax (617) 928-4205


End of boston-radio-interest-digest V3 #374