Air America's night signal

Eli Polonsky
Tue Jan 4 14:02:25 EST 2005

On 1/3/05 8:19 PM, "Donna Halper" <> wrote:

> Anybody heard about plans to improve the night signal of WKOX or WXKS?  I
> can barely get them here in Quincy-- I don't know if other people on the
> south shore are having problems with them too.  I had heard a while back
> that there were plans in the works to at least do something with WKOX's
> signal, but not sure what happened to those plans...

As others on this list have described, Clear Channel had FCC approval
for a CP for WKOX to build a new five-tower array for a 50,000 watt
transmitter at the present WUNR (1600) site, which is presently two
towers at the end of the Oak Hill Park development in Newton that were
originally built in the late 1940's at about the same time as the
development itself (originally a community of ranch houses built for
returning World War Two veterans).

WUNR and also WRCA (1330) had CP's to move to this proposed five-tower
array. However, the City Of Newton blocked the towers from being built
due to opposition from the residents of Oak Hill Park, who allegedly
claimed that audio from WUNR's 5,000 watts was already coming up from
their toilet bowls (etc...), and were afraid of what 50,000 watts so
nearby would do.

However, Clear Channel allegedly had other programming plans for WKOX
which would have hinged on having that 50,000 watt signal booming into
Boston from Newton. Some have said that CC wanted WKOX to be their new
conservative Boston talk station, and they planned to move shows that
they produce and syndicate such as Rush Limbaugh from WRKO (which they
don't own) to their own new powerful Boston 50kw right-wing talker,
which would've been the new WKOX.

When their plans to build the 50kw site in Oak Hill were stymied by
Newton a couple of years ago, they decided to leave the previous
brokered ethnic programming on WKOX's Framingham signal for the time
being, since it was not powerful enough for their desires for the
Boston talk station they wanted.

Then last year, CC apparently decided that WKOX's Framingham signal
could serve as a Metro-West complement for Air America to WXKS-AM's
coastal Boston/Metro-North signal, so they flipped them both to it.
Still, the both combined (especially at night) don't cover as much
ground or penetrate downtown Boston as well as a good 50kw would.

So, in the above scenario, it's possible that if CC had been able to
build the 50kw site in Newton, WKOX might not be programming Air
America at all. It may have ended up being the political antithesis,
a powerful conservative right-wing talker running Rush Limbaugh and
competing with WRKO.

Eli Polonsky

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