WXYT -Detroit wants to move their transmitter location

Scott Fybush scott@fybush.com
Wed Jun 3 21:43:34 EDT 2009

Kevin Vahey wrote:
> In Detroit for the Sox series and was talking before the game to the Tigers
> audio man and he told me CBS is putting together the paperwork for a very
> oddball request for WXYT
> They want to move their 9 towers to a location that will make it easier for
> them to serve Metro Detroit at night - Leamington, ONTARIO
> Never mind the FCC, would the CRTC even open the folder on this????
> Seems like CBS is losing the lease they have for the WXYT

Wow - that would be exceedingly poor planning on CBS' part, since 
they've only been at the "new" WXYT site for less than a decade.

The FCC and the Canadian regulators (not just the CRTC, which regulates 
content, but Industry Canada, which handles the tech side) have been 
considerably more cooperative in recent years. Out west, they worked 
together - and with surprising speed - to coordinate a frequency swap 
between a new signal in Vancouver and KAFE in Bellingham, WA that will 
allow a Seattle move-in to improve its signal.

There is nothing explicit that I can see in the FCC rules that mandates 
that the transmitter site of a U.S.-licensed station must be on U.S. 
soil. I don't know the Canadian rules well enough to say whether there's 
anything explicitly forbidding a U.S.-licensed station to operate from a 
Canadian site.

Having said all that, the prospect seems highly, highly unlikely to me. 
Beyond the obvious complications of putting a U.S. station on Canadian 
soil, I'm not convinced Leamington is where 1270 would need to be to 
improve its Detroit night signal. The reason WXYT moved from Southfield 
to a site due south of Detroit was to boost its night power from 5 to 50 
kW while still protecting all those other 1270s in the midwest, many of 
them west of Detroit in places such as the Quad Cities and Sioux Falls. 
A Leamington site wouldn't protect them. Then there's the very tight 
protection between 1270 Detroit and 1290 Saline/Ann Arbor, which 
wouldn't be improved by a Leamington-based 1270 beaming west.

And I'm also not seeing CBS having any real reason to sink much money 
into 1270 these days. Isn't it largely a simulcast now with the 
full-market WXYT-FM on 97.1?

Fun to think about...but I can't imagine it actually coming to pass.

(Great game tonight, meanwhile!)


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