Directional ex-Class IA AMs

Mon Nov 23 12:27:52 EST 2009

I absolutely can't agree with the north-south orientation of the two
towers. It HAD to be roughly east-west. Maybe you were confused by the
orientation of the shore-line at the site. At that spot, the
shore-line very likely runs south to north. The objective was to
reduce radiation over Long Island Sound and increase it over New York
City. As you pointed out, a two-tower setup could do that only if the
towers were on a more-or-less east-west line. One corroboating fact is
that, when 750-kW superpower was being considered for roughly half of
the then-IA AMs (maybe 1960s), 660 was held back from further
disposition; that is, no Class IIA assignment was made on 660 at that
time. 770 already had KOB, which was a special case and was made a
IIA. 880 got KRVN. 660 _ultimately_ got KTNN, a IIA-like station, but
that was after the superpower idea had died. KTNN began life either as
a Class II (no A suffix) or went straight to Class B. I don't think I
can list all of the IA channels to which no IIAs were assigned, but
here's a stab at the list: 640, 650, 660, 700, 720 (I think) 750, 760,
820, 830, 840 (I think), 870, 1040, 1160, 1200. (Hmmm... that's 14; I
thought there were only 13.) I don't think the stations in NV on 720
or 840, though IIA-like, ever were IIAs. Note also that KTWO on 1030
WAS a IIA, which always seemed odd to me, because you'd think 1030
would have been held back because WBZ was already directional. Also
note that being near the geographical center of the 48 contiguous
states didn't preserve a station's candidacy for superpower: KPNW was
assigned to 1120, thus limiting KMOX to 50 kW.

As for WNBC's temporary use of a tower formerly used by WABC 770 in
Lodi, I believe, like you, that once it moved from Bound Brook to Lodi
(1943, I think), 770 has transmitted continuously from the Lodi site.
However, the move away from Bound Brook was the result of the
government's taking the Bound Brook site for use in the (World) War
(II) effort. WJZ may well have constructed a temporary tower at the
Lodi site and later used it as an auxiliary tower, still later
replacing that tower with the current (rather short) auxiliary tower.
I believe that the original auxiliary tower at the Lodi site was used
repeatedly by other New Your stations during emergencies. I think the
old WNEW (AM) 1130 used it for several months in the 1950s after a
hurricane destroyed its S Kearney site (the two towers were unscathed
but the transmitter building was flooded out and a pair of virtually
new Westinghouse 50 kW transmitters were a total loss).

Dan Strassberg (
eFax 1-707-215-6367

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dave Doherty" <>
To: "Dan.Strassberg" <>; "A. Joseph Ross"
Cc: "Boston Radio Interest"
Sent: Monday, November 23, 2009 11:16 AM
Subject: Re: Directional ex-Class IA AMs

> My dad worked for NBC-TV, and one of my earliest memories is of the
> "NBC Picnic" held at the Port Washington site. Big building, brick,
> as I recall, with a pond out front and a fountain - to cool the
> transmitter, of course, but it looked neat and extravagant.
> IIRC, there were two towers, oriented north-south. If that memory is
> correct, they would probably have been reducing power to the south
> over the ocean.  Two-tower patterns are always symmetrical about the
> axis, so they would have been putting as much power east as west if
> the towers were aligned N-S.  Maybe they were more like NW-SE, which
> would make more sense.
> There's some more info in this article:
> - and a lot of early radio info,
> as well. Note in paragraph 15 the reference to the joint WCBS/WNBC
> tower being demolished in an airplane accident in 1967, and WNBC's
> temporary move to the site in Lodi formerly used by WABC. I don't
> recall that WABC ever left the Lodi site, but the article may refer
> to the short aux tower on that site.
> There's more on that site. It's worth a look:
> WABC, WMAQ, and WGN are three stations that have roughly half-wave
> towers with shorter aux towers on the property that I understand
> were used in the early days to directionalize the signals a bit. All
> are "ND" today, and the aux towers are available for standby use but
> mostly they just support STL and other aux antennas.
> -d
> --------------------------------------------------
> From: "Dan.Strassberg" <>
> Sent: Monday, November 23, 2009 8:57 AM
> To: "A. Joseph Ross" <>
> Cc: "Boston Radio Interest"
> <>
> Subject: Directional ex-Class IA AMs

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