More Boston-area brokered-time AMs

Dan Strassberg
Fri Nov 9 01:20:54 EST 2007

Despite being allowed to stay on the air 24/7, WROL is officially STILL a
daytimer. It's a Class D AM that (ostenisibly) runs 90W at night and
no protection from nighttime interference from other stations. With an NIF
value of ~37 mV/m. WROL--when it uses its licensed facilities--does not
provide an interference-free nighttime signal to any of the City of Boston
or to any appreciable portion of the market. Nevertheless, because of its
excellent transmitter location, WROL's 5 kW daytime signal is the market's
second-best 5-kW daytime AM signal. (The best 5-kW AM signal DAY and NIGHT
is that of co-owned WEZE 590. Thanks to its low dial position and good Tx
location, WEZE's signal is competitive with those of two of Boston's 50 kW
AMs--WRKO and WEEI and is superior to that of WWZN.)

WTTT is a full-timer, legally running 5 kW day and night (DA-2). It has an
NIF value of 5.<something> mV/m, which is quite low (with NIF, lower is
better), and covers much of the market at night. WTTT does have signal
problems in some parts of the market at night--particularly on the North
Shore. However, despite having a signal that is much maligned by people who
mostly don't know what they are talking about, WTTT covers the market fairly
well day and night.

As I stated in a prior post, if Salem were to divest one of its Boston
properties, I believe it would likely be WTTT and not WROL. There are two
reasons for this: I'm pretty sure that WROL makes considerably more money
than WTTT does (a consequence of WROL's outstanding daytime coverage and
bokered-time format, which is popular and easier to make money with). Also
Salem owns outright the WROL Tx site in Saugus. The WTTT/WAZN site in
Lexington is leased, and though Salem is enamored of charging rent to the
many AMs nationwide that diplex from AM sites that it owns, the company
hates to pay rent to others for use of sites such as WTTT's, which it does
not own.

Salem had applied to construct a three-tower nighttime DA for WROL at the
Saugus site and to operate with 5 kW-U DA-N. To protect stations to the
north, west, and southwest, this rather bizarre proposal would not have sent
enough signal over Boston to have delivered an NIF signal to any of the city
(not even S Boston or Charlestown, IIRC). Perhaps because the Saugus site
may lie in an area designated as a wetland--a place where no construction
would be allowed--Salem withdrew its application after it had languished at
the FCC for several years. WROL's night signal could, in theory, be upgraded
to cover much more of the market at night by changing the Col to, say,
Belmont, and moving the nighttime operation to the (leased) site of co-owned
WTTT in Lexington. Because the WTTT site already hosts two AMs, the upgrade
would be very expensive and because the WTTT site is already shared with
WAZN, adding a third station would require new construction--not of towers,
but of buildings. In tony, NIMBY Lexington, approvals for such construction
could prove impossible to obtain (residences would be OK, but buildings that
LOOK like residences from the outside but actually house broadcast equipment
would not be), and at the very least would be likely to be tied up in court
for most of a decade. And if Salem ultimately prevailed, it would have to
pay even more rent to American Tower Systems, which owns the Lexington site.
As I stated earlier in this posting, Salem finds making such payments

Dan Strassberg,
eFax 707-215-6367

----- Original Message -----
From: "A. Joseph Ross" <>
To: "Bob Nelson" <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2007 10:45 PM
Subject: Re: More Boston-area brokered-time AMs

> On 8 Nov 2007 at 11:50, Bob Nelson wrote:
> > >> WTTT appears to be to be a station that could do
> > pretty well with a Progressive talk format.
> >
> > Prog. talk fans would be welcome to get any station here at this
> > point, but there are night signal issues (and the day signal probably
> > isn't all that much either, depending on where one is). WROL 950 would
> > be a much better target, if that were to be sold instead.
> Does WROL, which used to be a daytimer, have a better night signal
> than WTTT?
> --
> A. Joseph Ross, J.D.                           617.367.0468
>  92 State Street, Suite 700                   Fax 617.507.7856
> Boston, MA 02109-2004          

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