WWZN / WMEX
Mon May 8 14:57:40 EDT 2006
You mean the Richmonds--not the Maxwells. One of the Richmond brothers was
Maxwell Richmond; the other went by Dickie Richmond, I believe. The
Richmonds had had pretty good success with WPGC Morningside MD (Washington
DC), another high-on the- dial AM (originally a daytimer) that they first
converted to relatively high daytime power (10 kW) and then to 50 kW with
low night power (a few hundred watts). They were probably hoping to work the
same kind of magic with WMEX and they didn't do badly at all. The 50 kW-D
pattern from Squantum looked absolutely insane on paper because the site was
near the water's edge and all of the energy went out to sea. Had to be that
way, though, because WNLC, only 77 miles away, had moved onto the frequency
in the late 50s/early 60s. WNLC ran 10 kW-D into three towers and 5 kW-N
into six. The day pattern was, believe it or not, aimed right AT WMEX. The
thing that most people who used a textbook approach missed about the 50 kW-D
pattern was that it reached a LOT of people via a salt water path. The
signal was WAY better inland than the 5 kW signal, which WMEX continued to
use at night.
What got WMEX into the Waverly Sq nightmare were a few things. One was the
Red Sox rights, which the station held when it applied to increase to 50
kW-U. The other was the State St South office complex, which had gone up
just west of the Squantum site. Despite attempts to improve the ground
system, the new buildings utterly decimated the already miserable 5-kW night
signal to the west, but the 50-kW day signal was not seriously affected. To
appease Red Sox management, WITS leased time for the night games on WDLW
1330 (now WRCA). But management was still not happy and was threatening to
pull the contract--and it was really true that the signal had gotten a lot
worse than it was when the contract was signed.
In hindsight, the station should have retained the Squantum site for
days--something that would have cost very little because the station owned
the land and building. The night site had to be just about exactly where it
is--to protect WLAC and CJRS, and deliver a respectable signal to the City
of Boston. But because of the population density, mitigation of complaints
of interference cost a bloody fortune (reportedly north of $1 million).
Given the constraints and the abysmal soil conductivity in the densely
populated area around Waverly Sq, the night signal really isn't bad. But
despite the half-wave towers, the day signal isn't nearly as good as the
former 50 kW-D signal. To top it off, when WNLC finally went dark about 20
years after the Waltham site when on the air, had the Boston station
remained in Quincy by day, it could now be operating with 50 kW-ND during
noncritical daytime hours. As it is, the higher efficiency of the tall
towers necessitates directional operation at all times.
Dan Strassberg, firstname.lastname@example.org
----- Original Message -----
From: "Doug Drown" <email@example.com>
To: "Boston Radio Interest Board"
Sent: Monday, May 08, 2006 2:08 PM
Subject: WWZN / WMEX
> WWZN's fate, whatever it will be, brings up the observation that Allen and
> his predecessors, all the way back to the early '70s, have struggled to
> the station afloat. WMEX began to lose its way after WRKO came on the
> scene. The circa 1970 power increase to 50 kw days, 5 kw nights didn't
> all that much. Hence my question: What were the Maxwells assuming when
> raised the daytime power output? I said in a post a few days ago that I
> never could get WMEX when I was growing up in Ashburnham, and even after
> went to 50,000 watts, I still couldn't. So what was the point? If it was
> to compete with 'RKO, it didn't work.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Garrett Wollman" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: "Dan Strassberg" <email@example.com>
> Cc: <boston-radio-interest@rolinin.BostonRadio.org>
> Sent: Monday, May 08, 2006 12:40 PM
> Subject: Re: 'RKO announces Sox deal official
> > <<On Mon, 8 May 2006 12:35:15 -0400, "Dan Strassberg"
> <firstname.lastname@example.org> said:
> > > Now, when WILL we hear about the fate of WWZN?
> > I have been told that Allen is not willing to sell the operation
> > piecemeal: any buyer has to take all the stations and the newspaper.
> > That's one way to ensure he makes a loss on the deal, I suppose.
> > -GAWollman
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