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Losing in the translation (was:: NERW 5/28: WCAV Sold, WHQO Donated, and WMHQ Sold Again)

Scott Fybush in NERW reports:
> *One bit of RHODE ISLAND news: WBUR-FM is applying for a Newport
> translator on 91.5, which would bring a solid public radio signal to
> Aquidneck Island for the first time.  But under current translator
> rules, the 91.5 would have to relay Boston-based WBUR instead of
> Providence-based affiliate WRNI (1290), even though WRNI actually
> offers news and traffic for Rhode Island instead of Massachusetts.
> Sounds like a great case for a waiver, if you ask us -- have we
> mentioned lately that we think the translator rules are out of sync
> with reality

My memory is weak on this, but do the rules also call for the translator
receiving OFF AIR audio sourced from the primary versus a split feed
from the board or air chain?  (Scott, I think you cleared this one up
for me a few yrs. ago.)  If that's the case, likely 90% or more are in
violation on that score, alone (and who can disagree with the stations
who choose to do so?)

For instance, last Sunday, in the 10 or 11 a.m. hour, WOKQ (97.5 Dover)
dumped, briefly.  Scanning over, W250AB (97.9 Manchester) was alive and
well that Sunday morning.  (Obviously, the translator was the recipient
of a split feed from the studio, as one could expect.)  Such wording in
the regs. would lead one to think this would inherently prevent a
station from  feeding DIFFERENT audio to their licensed 'secondary',
thereby violating not only the regs, but the spirit of the license - to
fill out the COL better.

On that score, why would an Ed. FM like WMWM (91.7 Salem, MA) at under
200 watts to begin with, need a translator in an urban setting over _30_
miles away from their primary footprint?  If it were to be based at,
say, Masconnomet Reg. HS or in another relatively close area that is
within their contour, I could understand (perhaps).  This appears fishy,
esp. in light of NERW's calling into question Best Media's track record.
I would assume that the license holder of WMWM are the Board of Regents
of the state college system (or some other 'appointed' body like the SSC
Board of Trustees).  If the licenseholders wanted to plant a remote
college campus in, say, Lawrence (remember Emerson College in the 80's
and how close they came to moving to that city?)  Wouldn't that warrant
public notice?  Hmm.  Lots of questions, few easy answers....  Oh, by
the way, I have _nothing_ against WMWM (I'm an old SSC Grad. and spun a
couple of records at "WM", for the record.  I remember an in-studio
laugh when I id'd the station, "WMWM Salem Salem.")

Bill O'Neill