OK, This Is A New One

Laurence Glavin lglavin@mail.com
Thu May 2 18:25:02 EDT 2013

Numerous AM stations with higher than just one- or five thousand watts occasionally promote their
power during their broadcast day, especially 50,000-watt stations. FMs are less likely to do so because at least in
areas of the country where 50K is the upper limit, they often run a lesser true ERP from atop skyscrapers and
mountaintops. Here in Boston, WGBH-FM often announces that its tower is on Great Blue Hill, but I
don't recall any mention of their granfathered 100K power authorization. But until today (Thursday, 05/02)
I don't think any AM station referenced its TOWER HEIGHT. But I was just checking out WUFC-AM 1510
to see if they were getting any calls (very few) during the much ballyhooed Pete Sheppard show. After
he signed off, there was a promo for one of their weekend shows described as being scheduled just
before kickoff (did I mention it''s the month of May?), a promo that wasn't ashamed to use the cliche of cliches
"he tells it like it is". Then came the station ID, that was preceded by this fact: "broadcasting with 50,000
watts on four 350-foot towers". I can't imagine that many of the station's listeners (probably not a
large number) would be impressed by this revelation. Come to think of it, at 6:00 pm in May, WUFC is running
its full daytime pattern, which only requires two towers! So boasting about one's tower efficiency is something
new to me. When I lived in Spokane, I knew someone at the station then known as KHQ-AM 590 and
he personally boasted about the station's 800-foot (180 degree) tower, but it was a combined AM
broadcast antenna AND the supporting tower for KHQ-TV then channel 6. He was right that it outperformed
KXLY-AM 920 by quite a bit (another fulltime 5,000-watt NDA) and KGA-AM 1510 (what a coincidence) which
ran 50,000 watts NDA during the daytime via a quarter-wave tower. If I drove 70 or 80 miles from Spokane, KGA and KXLY
practically disappeared by KHQ held on (eastern Washington State is a bit flat however). To the best of my
recollection, KHQ-AM never promoted its tower height.

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