WBZ-AM Allston backup is no more

Scott Fybush scott@fybush.com
Sat Oct 17 19:33:10 EDT 2020

I doubt they'll invest in a new off-site AM backup. Those are becoming
exceedingly rare, and especially now that iHeart doesn't own its own tower
sites, it becomes harder (or at least more expensive) for them to, say,
diplex a 10 kW WBZ signal into one WRKO tower.

But the need for an off-site backup is also less critical than it once was.
If AM 1030 goes off the air, there's still streaming and 107.9-HD2 and the
iHeart app. If it's an extended outage, there's 1200 or 680 or 97.7 that
could be pressed into service. The likelihood of an extended outage is
small. There are two redundant transmitters out at Hull and they'll likely
move the DX10 from Allston out there as a tertiary backup rig.

All that extensive tower work a few years ago that necessitated
semi-regular use of Allston was done for a reason: those 80-year-old towers
are now in solid shape for another generation. (And some of the switching
to Allston was as much just for convenience as out of necessity; much of
that work could have been done with one tower hot and the other grounded,
like you'd do at most AM DAs, but as long as Allston was there, why not use

On Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 1:29 PM Doug Drown <ashboy1951@gmail.com> wrote:

> So what will WBZ use for backup now?  I live in midcoast Maine, and can
> recall brief several occasions in recent years when the station had to use
> diminished power for its signal.
> On Fri, Oct 16, 2020 at 3:34 AM Kevin Vahey <kvahey@gmail.com> wrote:
> > On October 6th the tower that was used as a backup transmitter for
> > WBZ-AM in Allston was dismantled.
> >
> > My research indicates the tower was erected around 1950 as a backup to
> > the taller tower used by Channel 4 and was only used when there was an
> > ice buildup on the taller tower. That tower collapsed during Hurricane
> > Carol in 1954 and the small tower was used by Channel 4 until they
> > were able to use the old WEEI-FM tower in Medford before moving to
> > Needham in 1957.
> >
> > The tower was then used as a backup for WBZ-AM.
> >
> > The tower had to be taken down to clear space for the new Channel 4
> > studios which will replace the current facility built in 1948.
> >

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