CKLW question [even though it's not in the Cleveland market]

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  • Posted In: Cleveland


  • Participant
    #185073

    I can remember back in the early to mid 70s being able to pick up CKLW any time, day or night. [As an aside, my sister and I used to fight over what station to listen to, she preferred CKLW, I preferred the local stations. With only one radio in the house, the battles were sometimes intense.] Being in a bored state one evening, I was scanning the dial and stopped on 800 and heard, basically, a mish-mash of stations coming in. Not sure if the Cleveland area proper can still get it but here in the Akron area it is now MIA. Thinking it might have been a one night glitch, I tried again over several nights, same results. They still are putting out 50,000 watts day & night. Anybody else notice this? And if so what could have happened that it’s no longer coming in like it did in the old days?


    Participant
    #185075

    Even in its glory days, CKLW’s signal was quite directional and may have favored the east (especially at night); Northeast Ohio almost certainly got better coverage than West or maybe even Mid-Michigan.  I wouldn’t be completely surprised if the directionality has suffered (or even needed to be tightened), over the years–even in the wake of Quebec City’s CHRC going dark (especially since Montreal’s CJAD is definitely still active).

    Also, it looks like several of the closest co-channel stations in the U.S. might be non-directional at night–or, in the case of Huntington’s WVHU, have the same pattern, day and night.

     


    Participant
    #185076

    Yes, I have also noticed that reception of CKLW is not as good as it was in the 60s/70s.  They are still 50 KW, but they are directional and they also have separate patterns for daytime and nightime.   Perhaps they altered their coverage pattern since then which has affected their reception in Cleveland/Akron.  Also, AM tuners in newer radios are not as good as they once were, so that could be another factor.


    Participant
    #185078

    If I recall correctly. before the ’80s there were no US stations on 800 with full-time licenses, only daytimers. So there are numerous potential sources of interference that weren’t there in the old days.


    Participant
    #185089

    There was a video documentary made several years ago about “CKLW The Big Eight” that featured the story of the powerhouse the Windsor station was in that era from the ’60’s to the ’80’s.

    In that program, the interviews that tell us the Canadian government  eventually took issue with the fact that CKLW was really serving and getting most of its revenue from the U.S. (they had a sales office in Cleveland at one point) and was therefore in violation of its CRTC  license.  There were plans to move their format to their FM station, 93.9, however the CRTC at that time would not allow Top 40 music on the FM Band.(!)  They fought a lengthy battle with the CRTC but CKLW lost and the CRTC ordered CKLW to redirect its directional pattern away from the south (the U.S.) and aim it north into Canada, which they did, and that is why its signal here is weaker than we remember.

    It still can be heard in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, its transmitter site is still on the Lake Erie shore,  but it  is no longer a market factor in Detroit.  Weep not for CKLW, though,  because today, under Bell Media ownership (the Clear Channel of Canada) and with its news and talk format,  CKLW enjoys a number one 17+ share of the Windsor/southwest Ontario radio market, according to the Fall 2018 Canadian Numeris Ratings.

    The video documentary is available on DVD and has lots of film and interviews with many people who were part of the Big Eight.  And also in Windsor, Bell Media’s 500 watt CKWW 580 AM features an automated oldies format that plays the CKLW jingles and promotes itself as broadcasting from “The Home of the Legendary Big 8”.


    Participant
    #185090

    Bell Media’s Windsor cluster (580 CKWW, CKLW, 88.7 CIMX and 93.9 CIDR) abandoned the Detroit market outright a few years ago. It’s all focused on Windsor.

    CKLW’s power may still be at 50kW but I betcha the copper ground system at the transmitter site has been neglected and no longer works as it should. But the target audience is still more than served by the existing signal, so there’s no reason for Bell to worry or do anything.

    Recorded in Ultra Stereo, the ultimately superior cousin to Normal Stereo!


    Participant
    #185102

    I live in Akron, and I have definitely noticed a much weaker signal compared to about 20 years ago.  Their daytime pattern seems to have a null now in this direction.  And at nighttime, recently I logged Trans World Radio on AM 800 from Bonaire, and CKLW was nowhere to be heard.


    Participant
    #185105

    Yekimi wrote:
    [As an aside, my sister and I used to fight over what station to listen to, she preferred CKLW, I preferred the local stations. With only one radio in the house, the battles were sometimes intense.]

    Do you recall what drove your respective preferences?

    When I used to drive from Columbus to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in the 70s, CKLW would go from pretty-much non-listenable to booming by the time I got just 40 miles or so north of Columbus on US 23, between Delaware and Marion. I recall how they always used to include Cleveland in temperature checks (at least during the 20-20 news). Does anyone know what kind of ratings CKLW got in Cleveland? Weren’t they also the dominant Top 40 in Toledo at one point?


    Participant
    #185109

    Yekimi wrote: [As an aside, my sister and I used to fight over what station to listen to, she preferred CKLW, I preferred the local stations. With only one radio in the house, the battles were sometimes intense.] Do you recall what drove your respective preferences? When I used to drive from Columbus to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in the 70s, CKLW would go from pretty-much non-listenable to booming by the time I got just 40 miles or so north of Columbus on US 23, between Delaware and Marion. I recall how they always used to include Cleveland in temperature checks (at least during the 20-20 news). Does anyone know what kind of ratings CKLW got in Cleveland? Weren’t they also the dominant Top 40 in Toledo at one point?

    I don’t really remember, the music on the stations were similar [although CKLW played more Canadian artists…by their laws, they had to.] For me, it was probably more about the DJs. I do know that CKLW did show up in the Cleveland ratings but don’t remember how high up they were in the book.  And yesterday I was tooling around the AM dial again and, lo and behold, CKLW was coming in like a local….at least for a little bit.

    Participant
    #185112

    I wondered why all the stations on 800  on The Eastern Seaboard of the United States  added Nighttime Service. CKLW Directing North Explains it. I grew up in Pittsburgh Area CKLW was strong here and it had Ads for  Businesses in Northeast Ohio. WABC  770 was also a strong signal in Western Pennsylvania, I Remember them being 16 in the Ratings here.


    Participant
    #185122
    I don’t really remember, the music on the stations were similar [although CKLW played more Canadian artists…by their laws, they had to.]
    Another music difference is that CKLW was more heavily oriented toward Top 40 Motown and Soul, which made sense for Detroit.

    Participant
    #185123

    I wondered why all the stations on 800 on The Eastern Seaboard of the United States added Nighttime Service. CKLW Directing North Explains it. I grew up in Pittsburgh Area CKLW was strong here and it had Ads for Businesses in Northeast Ohio. WABC 770 was also a strong signal in Western Pennsylvania, I Remember them being 16 in the Ratings here.

    That brings up a good point. Used to be able to pick up WNBC ,660 AM[now WFAN, WABC , 770AM and a lot of other stations. Now 660 AM is barely there anymore, WABC comes in but usually sounds very faint. 1010 WINS I can get sometimes, again very faint. Don’t blame my radio,; I’ve tried on several different ones. I used to have radios from the 1960s/70s on up but most of those have given up the ghost over the years. Used to pick up WOWO, now since they’ve reduced their power at night it’s non-existent. Even WJR out of Detroit is a hard catch anymore. WLS still booms in and I can pick up WGN, WBBM, again their signal is fairly weak. WTMJ used to come in great, now mostly gone, bleedover from WHLO covers them up. These days I rarely tune around the AM dial because I hear the same damn program across the board.Only time it was worse is when I was traveling through western Ohio in the daytime. I heard Rush Limbaugh on EIGHT different stations! What a joke.

    Participant
    #185127

    I’ve read in several places over the years that CKLW has tightened their nighttime pattern to cut out more of the U.S. and shoot more of the signal east and north, but inevitably they’re going to hit some of the States regardless of what the CRTC wants.

    Where my in-laws live in Conneaut, CKLW is every bit as good a signal day and night as WJR. They boom into New York City and New England from what I’ve been told although I cannot corroborate that from my own experience. When I attended college in Toledo 20 years ago, CKLW was as strong as WJR daytime and noticeably weaker at night, although still very listenable. One could hear a little crosstalk underneath if they listened close enough. Driving from Toledo to Columbus at night, CKLW was basically gone at Findlay but listenable to the north, although with considerable static the farther south you are. I’ve heard it in St. Marys, Ohio, 20 miles southwest of Lima, at night (weak but there).

    My issue with the CRTC is not that they wanted CKLW to be Canadian-focused, but how bent they are on keeping the signal out of the U.S. (again, fat chance, it’s going to be heard here) and as a non-factor in the Detroit market. Anything on that count would be a bonus for CKLW, IMO.


    Participant
    #185130

    Yekimi wrote: [As an aside, my sister and I used to fight over what station to listen to, she preferred CKLW, I preferred the local stations. With only one radio in the house, the battles were sometimes intense.] Do you recall what drove your respective preferences? When I used to drive from Columbus to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in the 70s, CKLW would go from pretty-much non-listenable to booming by the time I got just 40 miles or so north of Columbus on US 23, between Delaware and Marion. I recall how they always used to include Cleveland in temperature checks (at least during the 20-20 news). Does anyone know what kind of ratings CKLW got in Cleveland? Weren’t they also the dominant Top 40 in Toledo at one point?

    I don’t really remember, the music on the stations were similar [although CKLW played more Canadian artists…by their laws, they had to.] For me, it was probably more about the DJs. I do know that CKLW did show up in the Cleveland ratings but don’t remember how high up they were in the book.
    A few months ago, I came across some sort of ARB listing for a period in late 1970 for the Cleveland market.  The ratings for 12+ will answer your question…

    Participant
    #185131

    CKLW #1 12+ in Cleveland in 1970?  Wow!  Of course that’s the Total Survey Area, where you’d expect CKLW to be higher than in the PSA.  But still…

    Thanks for the link.

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