sowny.net | The Southern Ontario/WNY Radio-TV Forum


You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

April 28, 2020 4:59 pm  #1


WECK Buffalo Adds Yet Another New FM Frequency

The latest repeater is on 100.1, giving them three FM frequencies at a time when there are so few available (not to mention their existing AM signal.) Not sure if that's a record, but I can't think of any other stations that have so many of them. Just wish some of them would come in here.

Their station ID must now take about five minutes!

WECK/Buffalo Adds W261EB 100.1 FM

https://www.allaccess.com/assets/img/editorial/raw/we/wecklogo2020.jpg

 

April 28, 2020 5:40 pm  #2


Re: WECK Buffalo Adds Yet Another New FM Frequency

So why doesn't Buddy just relinquish his AM license?
 


Cheers,
Jody Thornton
 
 

April 28, 2020 5:52 pm  #3


Re: WECK Buffalo Adds Yet Another New FM Frequency

Jody Thornton wrote:

So why doesn't Buddy just relinquish his AM license?
 

I'm guessing, if all goes well, that might be the plan? 
 

 

April 28, 2020 7:00 pm  #4


Re: WECK Buffalo Adds Yet Another New FM Frequency

WCJW AM-1140 in Warsaw New York -- a daytimer -- has five FM translators. 1140 can be heard semi-regularly in Port Huron an hour or two before sunset.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WCJW

 

April 28, 2020 8:29 pm  #5


Re: WECK Buffalo Adds Yet Another New FM Frequency

TomSanders wrote:

WCJW AM-1140 in Warsaw New York -- a daytimer -- has five FM translators. 1140 can be heard semi-regularly in Port Huron an hour or two before sunset.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WCJW

Wow! How long does THAT station ID take? The jingle singers must need oxygen tanks to get through it. 

     Thread Starter
 

April 28, 2020 8:38 pm  #6


Re: WECK Buffalo Adds Yet Another New FM Frequency

An NPR station I listen to has 12 frequencies. Takes 'em about 40 seconds.


 
 

April 28, 2020 9:58 pm  #7


Re: WECK Buffalo Adds Yet Another New FM Frequency

RadioActive wrote:

TomSanders wrote:

WCJW AM-1140 in Warsaw New York -- a daytimer -- has five FM translators. 1140 can be heard semi-regularly in Port Huron an hour or two before sunset.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WCJW

Wow! How long does THAT station ID take? The jingle singers must need oxygen tanks to get through it. 

Apparently, it takes a lot longer if it's said with greater "frequency"
(Yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk!  I kill me!)


Cheers,
Jody Thornton
 
 

April 29, 2020 6:53 am  #8


Re: WECK Buffalo Adds Yet Another New FM Frequency

I like off air stations and listening to the actual radio and have more of a tolerance for static than most but listening to this station is as easy as going to the internet stream. Despite my misgivings about  internet streams it;s better than any WECK signal one could get off air in this area.

Regardless I will occasionally monitor the FM frequencies and see if atmospherics ever allow the signal to be heard. I tried today and on 100.5 I got the old WVOR out of Rochester which was a frequent catch when the frequencies were less crowded.


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
 

April 29, 2020 8:30 am  #9


Re: WECK Buffalo Adds Yet Another New FM Frequency

The reason why U.S. AM stations have been able to obtain so many repeaters, probably merits explanation.  The FCC, has a policy which favours AM stations who wish to add repeaters.  Here in Canada the CRTC has adopted a "policy" which not only discourages use of translators, but basically denies most applications unless the station can prove that it is sustaining severe financial losses, and can demonstrate significant signal impairment.  we're not talking about AM impairment from TTC electrical wires, or degradation from urban sprawl/high rise buildings.   If that was the case, Corus would have obtained a translator for CHQR in Calgary without difficulty.   In fact Corus was denied a "nested FM" simply because the FM translator would have put them over the limit of the CRTC's "Common Ownership Policy".

No such restriction in the U.S. when it comes to FM translators of AM.

 You don't have to prove any of losses/signal impairment to the FCC.  The FCC also has loosened the technical rules to allow translators on 2nd adjacent channels.  In Canada, a broadcaster can, in some cases apply for a frequency that is 2nd adjacent to his own.  Case in point, Evanov/Dufferin was allowed to obtain a low power station on 103.9, which is 2nd adjacent to 103.5-CIDC.   In the U.S. broadcasters can apply for translators, even if they have no relationship/approval of the station that is 2nd adjacent to the translator frequency.
Why doesn't Buddy surrender the AM licence?  Because he needs to operate the "primary" A.M. station - WECK-AM in order to qualify to be licensed to operate the FM translators, under the FCC's policies that allow AM owners to obtain the FM translator frequencies.  Last point:  There are some cases in the U.S., notably Palm Springs Calif, where the owner of an FM translator no longer has a primary AM or FM transmitter.   In some cases having an HD-2 transmission on a station owned by the same licensee, has qualified the user to have an FM translator.  But those cases are quite rare.  I believe that MOD-FM, Palm Springs, K297BO (107.3) is repeating an HD-2. on KDES-FM HD-2.  It is an adult standards station and to my recollection ID's the 107.3 FM frequency often.  A few years ago it repeated an AM station, but I cannot find any reference to the AM any longer.  The "loophole" is that Alpha Media owns KDES-FM, so it is thereby qualified to hold a translator licence 107.3 for MOD FM - which repeats the HD-2.

If anyone wanted to argue on behalf of the CRTC (I don't) they rationalize their restrictions on FM translators, on the basis that they allowed virtually every AM in the Maritimes, and many stations in QC, outside of Montreal to "flip" to FM with substantially more powerful signals.   In the U.S. the FCC's policies encourage keeping AM stations alive on AM, as a community service.

Last edited by tvguy (April 29, 2020 8:36 am)

 

April 29, 2020 9:26 am  #10


Re: WECK Buffalo Adds Yet Another New FM Frequency

Thanks tvguy. As always, an interesting and cogent explanation of how things work. I really appreciate your posts and I suspect I'm not the only one. There's just one thing I'm curious about and it concerns this section:

tvguy wrote:

Here in Canada the CRTC has adopted a "policy" which not only discourages use of translators, but basically denies most applications unless the station can prove that it is sustaining severe financial losses, and can demonstrate significant signal impairment.  we're not talking about AM impairment from TTC electrical wires, or degradation from urban sprawl/high rise buildings.

And yet isn't that exactly how Moses Znaimer convinced the CRTC to give him the 96.7 dial position for his 'downtown Toronto' repeater of AM 740? 

I recall the CRTC announcement about the request, in which Moses essentially threatened to shut the station down if he wasn't given emergency relief by getting the FM spot. The reason he gave was exactly what you cited: severe interference from TTC streetcar wires and high rises shutting out the signal into condos and the like. He claimed to be losing money hand over fist, although I never bought into that claim for one of the most powerful signals in North America. 

I remember being surprised when the Commission allowed it since FM frequency space in this area is already so sparse and the dial so congested. Yet he got it, and if you look at the most recent financial figures, there will be no tag days for Moses. 

I do like the policy of trying to save AM. For all its faults, nothing propagates quite like an AM signal and, streaming feeds notwithstanding, it would be a real loss to see that band go away. 

     Thread Starter
 

April 29, 2020 2:49 pm  #11


Re: WECK Buffalo Adds Yet Another New FM Frequency

I don't really understand the whole "translator" thing. To me it seems  a very inefficient and cumbersome way to cover a city or metro area on the FM dial. And WECK needs three FM frequencies to do this plus the AM signal?  Do these FM frequencies only cover a few miles or city blocks?  So did the FCC license too many stations years ago and now all you have are very low power low grade frequencies?  And the FCC forces the company to keep the AM signal to allow them to have these translators?  Sounds ass backwards to me, and not very well thought out.

 AM is fine for talk or some music like oldies but I don't see why this is a big priority to keep music on AM. After the launch of an FM translator if the station wants to dump the more expensive AM transmitter which has higher power costs and maintenance costs why not allow them? If they want to keep it fine, but it shouldn't be a condition to get the FM frequency. AM talk and many sports stations usually do ok in the ratings, so I doubt that AM is going to completely fade away any time soon, here or in the US.

When Oldies 1090 in K/W moved to FM and became KFUN, they only kept the AM 1090 frequency on the air a few weeks or maybe a month after the FM launched. Wouldn't it be kind of odd for the CRTC to say, ok you can have the new FM frequency but only if you maintain the signal on 1090 too? Doesn't make much sense.

The One, 101.7 in Wingham has a rebroadcaster or "translator" if you prefer in Meaford which covers the town and the fairly large valley surrounding the area, and this was to fill in a gap where the main 101.7 signal had problems delivering a clear signal in their coverage area. They don't promote the 104.9 rebroadcaster very much. When it was launched back around 1990 there was an extensive promotion,  but on air now I am not sure they ever refer to the Meaford and area frequency.  Maybe just during official ID's which don't seem to be very frequent over the broadcast day.  Are they still supposed to be every hour or is that in the US?  If it is every hour, not many stations here are following that reg. or is it just a suggestion from the CBSC? I know US stations abide to the official ID's more than Canadian radio.

Woodstock and Stratford in my area dropped their AM stations years ago and were able to move to FM.  Both stations sound 100% better and have larger coverage areas than on AM.  CJOY in Guelph many years ago twice attempted to move to FM but were denied and my understanding was for technical reasons and the frequency they were applying for.

And finally is there any measurable proof that the translators have actually improved ratings or revenue for WECK? And if they were allowed to drop the AM would it impact the station revenue wise?  Right now they are 12th in the market out of 20 stations with a 2.5% share.  

 

Last edited by paterson1 (April 29, 2020 2:49 pm)

 

April 29, 2020 2:57 pm  #12


Re: WECK Buffalo Adds Yet Another New FM Frequency

And then there's the case of CKDO, which is on 1580 and 107.7. I'm in northern North York and can barely get either one. Yet 1580 usually propagates pretty well overall. How did Oshawa wind up with this extra frequency on FM and beyond giving them a stereo signal, why were they given the addition? Where does it go in their market that 1580 doesn't? 

     Thread Starter
 

April 29, 2020 3:35 pm  #13


Re: WECK Buffalo Adds Yet Another New FM Frequency

I can barely hear 107.7 from my North Kawartha location yet can easily hear 1580 ... may be meant to cover urban areas, which are often hard, interference-wise, on AM.

CBC was brutal on 740 in downtown Toronto before moving to 99.1; that's probably why AM-740 wanted (and got 96.7).
 
630 CFCO Chatham and 1070 CHOK Sarnia have FM channels which they seem to emphasize more so than the AM, far as I can tell from listening... I've never heard either FM from my Kawartha location, but 630 and 1070 are strong enough during the day (and a mess at night).

 

April 30, 2020 12:37 pm  #14


Re: WECK Buffalo Adds Yet Another New FM Frequency

RadioActive wrote:

And then there's the case of CKDO, which is on 1580 and 107.7. I'm in northern North York and can barely get either one. Yet 1580 usually propagates pretty well overall. How did Oshawa wind up with this extra frequency on FM and beyond giving them a stereo signal, why were they given the addition? Where does it go in their market that 1580 doesn't? 

I guess the best way to get the answers to all of those questions would be to look up the CRTC application/decision.  All of the info why CKDO felt they needed the FM signal would be there, and why the CRTC agreed.  Even though 1580 is a clear channel frequency, it is only 10,000 watts in the daytime and 5,000 at night so it won't have a very large coverage area on 1580.  Maybe in the evening the AM signal has gaps in and around Oshawa?  That was the reason for Zoomer getting it's booster FM signal.