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Re: History of 1570AM Beverly

I have an interesting story that may be marginally related: When WHIL (now
WXKS (AM) 1430) first went on the air (CA 1953), it was on 1540 with 250W ND
days. No sooner did WHIL appear, than WMEX (1510), which then transmitted
from N Quincy, began receiving listener complaints of interference. Because
there was an almost clear salt-water path between the two transmitters
(WHIL/WWEL/WXKS has _always_ transmitted from 99 Revere Beach Pky), there
was prohibited overlap of 1510's and 1540's 25 mV/m contours. It was obvious
that someone at WMEX and/or at the FCC had been asleep at the switch; WHIL
should never have been granted. WHIL appealed to the FCC to find it another
frequency! (I read of another, earlier, case where something similar had
happened, so appeals to the Commission on such matters were not
unprecedented.) The FCC found 1430, which was altogether better. According
to the rules then in effect, WHIL could (and indeed had to) increase its
power to 500W, and was allowed to sign on year 'round at full power at 4:00
AM local standard time. (Later, the uniform sign-on time for daytimers on
Class III channels was changed to 6:00 AM standard or daylight-savings time,
whichever was in effect.) Another plus for 1430 was that, although it was
very noisy at night, it was pretty quiet during the day, whereas 1540 in the
Boston area was subject to wicked daytime skywave from WPTR.

WHIL's not being on 1540 was what made possible WNTN on 1550. WNTN signed on
sometime after WMLO. My guess for WNTN is 1966. But I seem to recall that
there had been an applicant for 1550 on the North Shore. That application
might even have been for Beverley and the applicant might have been the
company that eventually put WMLO on the air. If my memory is correct, there
was a comparative hearing that resulted in the grant of a CP for Newton to
Charlie Bell, WNTN's original owner. Neither an application for Newton nor
an application for the North Shore could have been accepted for filing if
WHIL had remained on 1540. If I am correct, then, 1570 must have been WMLO's
second-choice frequency. Considering that WNTN is 10 kW ND and WMLO started
out with 500W DA (directional to protect WPEP), 1570 certainly could have
been WMLO's second choice. It's not too hard to come up with an explanation
for WNTN's signing on years after WMLO. Even in the '60s, it was sometimes
tough to find AM transmitter sites in densely populated areas. I absolutely
recall reading an item in Broadcasting in which the editors appeared to
marvel at how a nondirectional station (WNTN) could need to apply for extra
time to construct because it had been unable to find a site. Shortly
afterward, WNTN ammended its application to specify the 143 Rumford Ave

Dan Strassberg, dan.strassberg@att.net
617-558-4205, eFax 707-215-6367

----- Original Message -----
From: Donna Halper <dlh@donnahalper.com>
To: <arusso@smcvt.edu>
Cc: <boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org>
Sent: Saturday, January 05, 2002 3:15 AM
Subject: Re: History of 1570AM Beverly

> >I was wondering if anyone on this list could provide some history on 1570
> >kHz in Beverly, originally WMLO, then WBVD, and now WNSH.