"Boston's Real Jazz" WZBR 1410 on air

Mark Connelly markwa1ion@aol.com
Wed Dec 18 20:48:31 EST 2013

I attended a Christmas party with former co-workers at a restaurant 
north of Boston today (18 DEC) and during my drive back and forth I 
noted a station with jazz music on 1410.  The station did not identify 
at the top of the hour (e.g. 11 a.m.) but finally around 11:10 a.m. a 
male announcer ID'ed as "Boston's Real Jazz, 1410 WZBR".  Music was 
about 80% instrumental 20% vocal.  A number of jazz styles were played 
covering from '40s up to contemporary hip-hop / jazz fusion.  This is 
the former WMSX channel (WOKW if your wayback machine is set to 1961 or 
so).  The station was formerly sited in Brockton but has now been 
relocated about 12 miles north to be more of a rimshot Boston market 
station.  It is licensed to Dedham, MA and actually transmits from just 
over the line in Boston's Readville / Hyde Park section (42.23472° N, 
71.13694° W).  Day power is 610 watts, night power 25 watts.

On my morning (northward) ride on Route 3, the station got to good 
strength around the Derby Street (Hingham / Weymouth) exit and built up 
in strength from there.  Maximum level (roughly judged by splash-over 
to 1400) was in the vicinity of the Expressway (I-93) crossing of the 
Neponset River in Milton, a high-conductivity salt-marsh area near the 
1260 WMKI site.  The station continued coming in well right up to the 
entrance to the Tip O'Neill (Big Dig) tunnel by Boston's South Station.

When I emerged from the north end of the tunnel and went onto the Zakim 
Bridge, the 1410 signal was being totally shredded by 1430 WXKS.  This 
continued up to Spot Pond (Winchester / Stoneham).  By Montvale Ave., 
1410 was in the clear again though not particularly strong.  At the 93 
/ 128 (a.k.a. 95) intersection in Reading / Woburn, 1410 signal 
strength was about the same as adjacent 1400 WLLH.  That would be not 
local grade but not deep fringe either: listenable in open areas on a 
car radio but of little use in built-up areas with overhead power lines.

On the afternoon return trip to the Cape, I had 1410 audio down Route 3 
to about Route 139.  The last gasp of good signal was at the North 
River crossing where there's a large open wetland.  A mile or so south 
of there (i.e. at 139) the signal got fairly noisy and, at 3 p.m., as I 
was in the Duxbury area, early skip from CJWI-QC and WPOP-CT was pretty 
much wiping out the small signal left of WZBR.

Overall the signal was better than a pirate but less than that of 
little 250 watt WJIB 740 (which has the benefit of a lower dial 
position and a better tower).  WJIB outruns WZBR both north and south 
of Boston.

WJIB holds up going south on Route 3 to the Route 53 / 3A exit in 
Kingston.  The wind turbine by Exit 8 tosses out a fair amount of 
broadband white-noise electro-smog so WJIB takes a hit for almost a 
mile there.  It's playable again down to about Route 44.  Early skip 
(WNYH-NY, CHCM-NL, and CFZM-ON) started chewing up WJIB around 3:15 
p.m. in the Plymouth pinelands south of Route 44.  Adjacent WJTO 730 
was doing better in Plymouth: stronger with just a hint of Montreal 
early skip creeping in behind.

Mark Connelly, WA1ION
South Yarmouth, MA

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