WBZ is off the air

Dan Strassberg dan.strassberg@att.net
Sat Feb 21 14:24:52 EST 2004

There's a 1030 station in Memphis (50 kW-D/1 kW-N, I believe) that has been
notorious for running day power all night. The station has changed hands
quite a few times and maybe the current owners are more careful about
operating in accordance with the license than the previous owners were. I
noted in (the not always accurate) AM Switch column of a recent issue of
National Radio Club's DX News that WBZ had been granted a license for what I
presume to be new auxiliary facilities at Soliders' Field Rd. I'm guessing
that maybe WBZ changed from using a long-wire as the SFR aux antenna to a
folded unipole on the same tower that previously supported one end of the
long-wire. The day power is 10 kW, which is the power I always thought WBZ
was licensed to use from the nondirectional SFR site. The interesting part
of the item, however, was that the night power was given as only 1 kW.

Now, bear with me through this next part: Recently, WCBS was granted a
license to cover its auxiliary facilities on High Island, where it and WFAN
normally diplex into a tower that is 207 degrees at 880. The aux tower (also
shared with WFAN) is only 96 degrees at 880 (and 72 degrees at 660). WFAN
was granted 35 kW-U from the aux tower (for an RMS field of 1744 mV/m @ 1
km) but WCBS's aux license is for 35 kW-D/26 kW-N (for a nighttime RMS field
of 1581 mV/m @ 1 km). This made me wonder whether the FCC now requires
stations' new aux facilities to protect other stations to a greater degree
than do the same stations' primary facilities. WCBS may be limited to 1581
mV/m to protect first-adjacent WLS, whereas WFAN is allowed 1744 mV/m
because the WFAN/WCBS site is 12 miles further from the WSCR site than from
the WLS site and WLS's RMS field is about 4% greater than WSCR's. WBZ's new
aux facilities (if indeed WBZ HAS new aux facilities--that is, if DX News
wasn't just wrong) might be limited to 1 kw at night to protect a station
somewhere east of Boston. But where? I don't think there is any allocation
(even an unused one) on 1030 in the Canadian Maritimes. Still, giving some
degree of credence to this speculation is the fact that WBZ's minimum field
(to the east) is 337 mV/m @ 1 km--just a little more than the equivalent of
1 kW into a 1/4-wave nondirectional antenna.

There is a 1030 station in San Juan PR. San Juan is a little bit east (and a
LOT south) of Boston. WBZ's signal in the direction of San Juan is almost
the equivalent of 50 kW ND into a half-wave tower. So it is unlikely that
WBZ's aux operation would be restricted to 1 kW at night to protect San

I know that WBZ's CE, Mark Manuelian, sometimes lurks on this list. If
you're out there Mark, I'd appreciate an explanation.

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

----- Original Message -----
From: Laurence Glavin <lglavin@lycos.com>
To: <bri@bostonradio.org>; Scott Fybush <scott@fybush.com>
Sent: Saturday, February 21, 2004 12:29 PM
Subject: Re: WBZ is off the air

> >DATE: Fri, 20 Feb 2004 23:11:27
> >From: Scott Fybush <scott@fybush.com>
> >To: bri@bostonradio.org
> On rare occasions, when skywaves are really flying, I've
> turned my most sensitive radio (the one I use to listen
> to LTAR) "sideways" to Hull, and I've noticed the merest
> glimmer of something else on 1030, and I've been led
> to believe it was a station in Tennesse.  This was not just at
> sunset, when I think I heard interference from a 1030 near
> Washington, DC, but late at night.  WBZ's frequency must be one
> of the quietest of the original 25 clear channels these
> days.

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