WWZN to restructure Celtics rights?

Dan Strassberg dan.strassberg@att.net
Thu May 27 15:47:36 EDT 2004

If (a) Entercom were to move 850 to Burlington, which may or may not be
possible as I explained in a post earlier today, but--if possible--would
generally improve 850's signal in a big way in most of the market (except
for such places as Needham, Wellesley, Weston, and Wayland), and if (b)
Entercom were to retain ownership of the Needham site but offer to lease it
to other AMs, it's possible that a number of stations' problems could be
solved in a way that would be profitable for their owners and for Entercom.
It would work like this: (1) WUNR would stay put in Oak Hill with no change
in facilities. 1510 and 1600 are probably too close in frequency for a
diplex. The frequency difference is 5.6% of the higher frequency. There are
other diplexes in this range, and one involves directional stations (1370
and 1500 in San Jose), but the percentage difference in that case, 8.67%, is
55% greater. Also, WUNR has proposed running 20 kW from reduced height
towers at its current site. There is some question about whether this power
would work for WUNR from Needham because Needham is farther from inner-city
Boston than is Oak Hill, so the move might be countrproductive to WUNR's
goal of increasing its signal in its primary target market. (2) What is now
the WEEI site would become the new site of WKOX, WRCA, and WWZN. The
existing towers would come down and would be replaced by shorter
ones--probably more than three. WWZN would have to try to get Canada to
relinquish the long-unused 1510 allocation in Sherbrooke QC. There are
precedents for Canada's relinquishing unused (but still technically usable)
AM allocations. One such case is the sacrifice of unbuilt 1160 in North Bay
ON to allow a nighttime power increase by WYLL Chicago, but you can probably
count all such cases on the fingers of one hand. So I wouldn't rate the
chances as good. However, unless Sherbrooke can go, the 850 site is too far
south to allow 1510 to cover the full market at night--even with 50 kW from
half-wave towers. Still, for a big rent reduction, maybe saying goodbye to
listeners north of the Charles River at sunset would be a decent tradeoff
for WWZN. And for WKOX, maybe if the alternative is never getting a
"full-market" signal on the air, CCU wouldn't mind paying rent to Entercom.
For Entercom, the rationale would be a form of participation (via the rent
payments it would receive) in the profits of the other stations.

There are many, many ifs in the above proposal--probably WAY too many for it
ever to happen. But despite its low probaility, it looks to me like the best
way to upgrade a large number of AM signals in this area. Of course, the
propensity of Nimby's to unholster their guns and shoot themselves in the
temple could easily come into play here as it has elsewhere in greater
Boston. At both the WKOX and WUNR sites, Nimby's have killed proposals that
would have replaced tall illuminated towers with a larger number of short
unilluminated ones. This proposal also calls for replacement of tall
illuminated towers with a presumably larger number of towers that might be
short enough that they wouldn't require illumination. So you can't even be
confident that this proposal could get past the Nimby hurdle.

----- Original Message -----
From: Garrett Wollman <wollman@khavrinen.lcs.mit.edu>
To: Sean Smyth <ssmyth@psu.edu>
Cc: Boston Radio <boston-radio-interest@rolinin.BostonRadio.org>
Sent: Thursday, May 27, 2004 2:22 PM
Subject: Re: WWZN to restructure Celtics rights?

> <<On Thu, 27 May 2004 13:24:39 -0400 (EDT), "Sean Smyth" <ssmyth@psu.edu>
> > How much power would they be able to run ND at night, let's say, without
> > infringing on WLAC's protected skywave contour? Aren't they pretty close
to the
> > fringes of said contour already?
> Probably not much, ND.  However, there are a number of sites around
> the area where a broader directional pattern (at lower power) would, I
> think, be feasible, with a two- or three-tower array that's already
> standing.  If it weren't for the presence of 1600 itself, the 1600
> site in Newton would probably be ideal in terms of what the pattern
> would need to look like.  The 850 site in Needham could probably be
> made to work as well (but those towers are much too tall for 1510 --
> about 0.9 wavelength -- and it's probably not practical to put up more
> towers, never mind the competitive issue).  Other sites would work if
> the Canadians could somehow be perusaded to agree that 1510 in
> Sherbrooke really is dead and gone and won't be coming back.
> > If they could somehow run 5 kW-ND at night from somewhere, plenty of
> > sites would seem feasible -- maybe even the WRCA site, if/when the
> > WUNR/WRCA proposed site goes through.
> I think Charles River wants those towers gone....
> -GAWollman

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