Fw: WBUR Cape Cod now broadcasting on 89.1 FM, WBUH Brewster

Scott Fybush scott@fybush.com
Wed May 28 09:40:30 EDT 2014

On 5/28/2014 8:27 AM, daniel strassberg wrote:

> So where is WBUH's transmitter? What is the HAAT? Is there a
> directional antenna? If so, what does the pattern look like? Were
> there any special provisions to avoid interference from/to WERS? How
> did BU manage to build this new station without attracting or nearly
> without attracting the attention of the radio Geek community? This
> ought to have been big news months before sign-on.

All three of the new Cape noncomm FMs stemmed from the 2007 application 
window for new stations.

NERW, 12/17/2007:

"There are several big MX groups on Cape Cod and the islands: on 88.1, 
Athens Christian Radio applies in Provincetown, while Dennis Jackson's 
Foothills Public Radio applies in Edgartown. A much bigger MX cluster 
includes (as best we can tell) 19 applications on 88.5, 88.7 and 88.9, 
with appearances by several big broadcast groups. Boston's WBUR is in 
the pile, with applications for 88.7 in Sagamore and a big 40 kW signal 
on 89.1 in Eastham. Competitor WGBH is in the hunt as well, applying for 
a similarly big Eastham signal on 88.7. Cape Cod Community Television 
seeks 88.7 in South Yarmouth, while Foothills wants 88.7 Oak Bluffs. 
Horizon Christian Fellowship seeks 88.5 in Orleans and 88.7 in East 
Falmouth. Home Improvement Ministries (will they carry "Tool Time"?) 
wants 23 kW on 89.1 in Brewster. "

Home Improvement ended up beating out WBUR for the 89.1 CP, but never 
got the funds together to build it. Here's the lead story from NERW, 

"*While WXBJ-LP jumped from application to on-air license in just a few 
months, a full-power CP on Cape Cod is being sold with just a few weeks 
left before its permit expires. Home Improvement Ministries applied for 
89.1 in Brewster in the 2007 window for non-commercial FM applicants and 
was granted its permit on April 14, 2011. If the station doesn’t get on 
the air by April 14, 2014, its permit will expire – and that’s why Home 
Improvement just sold the permit to Boston University’s WBUR (90.9 
Boston) for just $7500.

WBUR has a project ahead of it: instead of the planned 23 kW/285′ signal 
(which would actually have been on the Outer Cape, on a new tower near 
the Eastham-Wellfleet line), it will soon be applying for a more minimal 
facility to get the signal on the air ahead of the deadline. If it can 
get its new station built, the new 89.1 will join WBUR’s existing relays 
on the Cape, WBUA (92.7 Tisbury) from Martha’s Vineyard, serving the 
lower Cape, and WCCT (90.3 Harwich), the Cape Cod Tech station that 
carries most of WBUR’s schedule to the mid-Cape."

It turned out the replacement signal WBUR applied for wasn't all that 
minimal - it was actually more powerful, but on an existing tower to 
avoid the hassle of having to try to get a new tower built, an 
impossibility in just a few months.

Here's the story from NERW, 3/10/2014:

"*In an otherwise quiet week in MASSACHUSETTS, the big news once again 
came from Boston’s WBUR-FM (90.9), where Mike LeClair and his 
engineering team are pushing ahead on an attempt to get a new Cape Cod 
signal on the air barely a month from now. WBUR just bought the 
soon-to-expire construction permit for 89.1 in Eastham from Home 
Improvement Ministries, and there’s no way Home Improvement’s plans to 
build a brand-new tower for the station could possibly get carried out 
before the CP expires April 14.

So instead, WBUR has applied to modify the 89.1 CP to call for the use 
of an existing cellular tower in Eastham. From there, the new 89.1 would 
run 42 kW/180′, horizontal-only, instead of the current permit’s 23 
kW/285′, vertical-only. Can WBUR get a high-powered facility on the air 
in just a month? If it can meet the deadline, it will have solid 
coverage of the entire mid-Cape and outer Cape from its new signal, 
nicely complementing WBUA (92.7 Tisbury)’s coverage of Martha’s Vineyard 
and the lower Cape. (And it won’t still need its last remaining 
non-owned simulcast, over Cape Cod Tech’s WCCT-FM 90.3 in Harwich, which 
will have its coverage area duplicated by the new 89.1.)"

All of the specifics on the power levels, transmitter location, DA 
pattern and protection to WERS and other stations are in the exhibits 
from the application from March to modify the CP:


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