WKOX, WRCA, WUNR at full power

Dan.Strassberg dan.strassberg@att.net
Tue Mar 17 08:04:33 EDT 2009

Your guess is as good as mine. I have no inside info on the costs. But
considering that the WKOX upgrade can be traced back a minimum of 14
years, I suspect that the project cost many millions--maybe $10
million or more. (1995 was when WNSW 1200 Brewer ME went dark. WKOX's
then owner, Fairbanks Communications, had bought WNSW with the idea of
taking it dark to allow the WKOX upgrade. I have no idea just how much
before WNSW went dark Fairbanks had started negotiations to buy the
station; but in my mind, the start of those negotiations marked the
start of the project. That's when the legal and consulting engineering
costs began to mount.) There were many, many proposed transmitter
sites for WKOX before the new (and current) owner, Clear Channel,
turned all of its energies toward the WUNR site. And then there was
the long, long legal wrangle with the know-nothing Newton NIMBYs and
even problems with getting N-Star to bring the requisite electric
service to the site.

Allocating the costs among three stations makes the cost per station
seem less absurd and if the $10 million figure is even close, the $3.3
million cost per station is probably still less than the cost of
buying any of the three high-powered AM licenses--even in this current
era of deeply depressed station prices. Nevertheless, the long and
costly saga is an object lesson on the deep pockets and great patience
required by the terrestrial radio business in the 21st century.

Dan Strassberg (dan.strassberg@att.net)
eFax 1-707-215-6367

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