"It's the programming, stupid!"

Scott Fybush scott@fybush.com
Sun May 20 12:55:22 EDT 2012

On 5/20/2012 6:35 AM, Bob Nelson wrote:

> To show what I have to put up with, a few times thanks to C's games,
> the Sox wound up on WRKO. To hear them I had to put a Walkman or other
> radio some distance away and use the mini-FM transmitter--and even
> that was scratchy. File under "gee I'd listen to
> WEEI/Sox if I could actually hear it (workplace/electrical
> interference)". Now thanks to 93.7 a couple towns away...I can.

As I've said repeatedly whenever this particular issue has come up (and 
it's come up a lot):

That's not an AM-versus-FM issue. It's a very specific issue particular 
to your specific circumstances - you work in a big metal Faraday cage 
that is significantly distant from nearly all the transmitter facilities 
in the market.

WRKO puts something like 50+ mV/m over North Reading both day and night. 
That's not just a good signal by today's standards, that's a blowtorch 
of a signal. WBZ puts 12.6 mV/m there, and WEEI delivers 10 mV/m day and 

On FM, WEEI-FM is the strongest signal in North Reading, at 90.6 dBu. 
The Pru FMs deliver about 74 dBu and the Needham/Newton FMs clock in 
right at 70 dBu. Those are all considered better than city-grade signals.

The problem is not with any of those signals. If you walk outside your 
building with a Walkman, or drive away in your car, you should be able 
to hear any and all of them perfectly clearly. The problem is that the 
structure of your building (and the electrical noise of the machinery 
inside) knock those FM signals down by probably 30 dB, so your WEEI-FM 
signal within the building is probably barely 60 dBu, and the 
Pru/Needham signals are barely 40 dBu. 60 dBu is barely enough for 
Walkman reception. 40 dBu can work in a car, but not on a Walkman.

See what I'm getting at here, Bob? Your circumstances, while very real, 
are very specific to where you work, which is not representative of the 
vast majority of the audience in the Boston market. It's great that you 
can hear Sox games now on 93.7...but it's also a matter of luck more 
than anything else.


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