Blaw-Knox towers and Nashville

Kevin Vahey
Thu Mar 17 14:36:34 EDT 2011

I it a tossup for me which was more impressive - WSM or WLW ( edge to the
latter because of the calls on the tower )

However there was a Waffle House near WSM :)

WLW however seems to have a better signal as even in Nashville it is quite

On Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 1:50 PM, Scott Fybush <> wrote:

> Doug Drown wrote:
>> The WLW tower is the one seen on "WKRP in Cincinnati." It's immense. Back
>> in the '60s, when I saw it, it dominated the whole city skyline. Probably
>> still does.
> A little clarification: the tower on Chickasaw Street that was seen in the
> WKRP opening sequence belonged to WLWT (or "WLW-T," if you prefer), the
> erstwhile TV sister station to WLW. It was indeed a dominant presence on the
> city's skyline...until WLWT built a taller tower right in front of it. The
> old tower was torn down a couple of years ago.
> There are three TV towers in close proximity on that ridge just north of
> downtown: WKRC-TV 12, WLWT and WCPO-TV 9.
> The WLW radio tower cannot be seen from downtown Cincinnati; it's in Mason,
> about 25 miles to the north, and it does dominate the skyline out there,
> such as it is.
> The engineering principles of the time dictated that "high-power" stations
> (anything above a kilowatt!) be located at a considerable distance from
> population centers to avoid overloading the very non-selective receivers of
> the time. That's why WBZ built its high-power facility out in Millis in
> 1931, and why the initial NBC and CBS New York high-power AMs were built far
> out of town, CBS at Wayne, NJ and NBC at Bound Brook NJ (WJZ) and Bellmore,
> Long Island (WEAF).
> I think Dan may have somewhat overestimated the number of Blaw-Knox
> "diamond" towers that ever existed. There were certainly several prominent
> examples that no longer stand, including CBS' WABC tower at Wayne and the
> WCAU tower in Newtown Square, PA, outside Philadelphia. But those were all
> very, very early in the history of vertical AM radiators, and the
> diamond-shaped tower proved to be very expensive to build and maintain, with
> no particular technical advantage over the simpler square- or
> triangular-cross-section guyed or self-supporting towers that became the
> industry standards.
> And the adoption of the vertical radiator was by no means immediate; as
> late as 1947, there were still prominent network O&O 50 kW stations using
> T-type longwire radiators. (KPO/KNBC in San Francisco may have been the last
> to convert; WEAF was also quite late in the game.)
> I don't believe, in the end, that there were ever more than perhaps a
> couple of dozen Blaw-Knox "diamond" towers.
>  Blaw-Knox is still in active existence as a heavy equipment manufacturer.
>> I
>> saw a fairly new Blaw-Knox bulldozer just a short time ago. It took me by
>> surprise.  -Doug
> The nameplate was sold several times over the years, and now apparently
> belongs to Volvo Heavy Equipment.
> s

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