Radio Returns to Saratoga Springs(Mechanicville)

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  • Posted In: Hudson Valley / Albany

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    When I tune to 1160am, formerly the “Jockey”,  I now get a hum/buzz/whistle.  But online, I find this:


    Clarification: 1160am was formerly WMVI/WABY when it was last a local Saratoga station. Star is trying to replace the “Jockey”, the most recent Saratoga station in existence, planning to launch on the 1160 frequency.


    Is this still Empire??? 1160 has an OK daytime signal in Saratoga but generally isn’t audible at night. I guess they are getting an FM translator…I think it’s going to be 93.3…Any idea of what will happen to the other two dark AMs…900 and 1240???? For years…900 was licensed to Saratoga mostly as WKAJ…and way back in time…it was the original WSPN…In the ’90s…It was WBGG/WCKM/WKAJ/WUAM…


    The Empire stations have been up for sale, I understand that WEXT(Wmht) took 106.1fm. / You’re right about that weak 1160 signal, I hope that the future 93.3 translator (currently VPR Classical, Rupert translator) will somehow struggle into Glens Falls, which deserves to hear something out of nearby Saratoga! But 93.3 will have to fight with 93.5 Lake George, a strong North Country Public Radio signal that can be picked up in Wilton. / Most recently, Glens Falls also could not receive 900, and has never received 1240. I also wonder if the Malta radio studio is still there. / Stations keep vanishing beneath other new signals.



    I believe that WWSC is getting a 93.1 translator in GF also. 93.3 will never make the trip. Is it possible that 1160 might try to move closer to SS? Perhaps on the east side so it would not conflict with the county airport?


    If it is 1160 and its unbuilt translator, then it is the group that just purchased a station in the north country:

    They have an LLC “Saratoga Radio” which is identified in the terms of use policy on the site:

    If you look at their website and click on “brands”, Saratoga Star is identified:

    It would be nice to see these AM stations back in action and doing something.



     “But 93.3 will have to fight with 93.5 Lake George, a strong North Country Public Radio signal that can be picked up in Wilton”

    haha On what radio? A 10 transistor GE portable from 1973? C’mon, digital FM tuners have superior selectivity these days, and that night-light wattage translator 25 miles away on Prospect will not be harming the Saratoga 93.3 signal in any way. Saratoga Springs proper is mildly terrain blocked toward Prospect anyway.


    The mesning was that the 93.3 signal would possibly struggle in Glens Falls, not in Saratoga. You are correct that 93.3 will do well in Saratoga.


    Well, from what I understand there will no effort to serve the over-radioed GFL area. Pamal and whoever runs WCKM/WWSC these days have the revenue taps up there pretty much locked up as it is. So in the end, putting a signal up there wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) be a priority. There’s more ad revenue potential toward the southern end of the county anyways, where 1160 coverage is very adequate.

    As another poster eluded to: Moving 1160 closer to Saratoga would be pointless as well. The AM might catch the attention of a few folks, but 95% of the audience will be on the FM side. So I couldn’t see the costs of engineering, real estate, tower site build out, etc etc being financially viable in the least. Although I’d love to see the old WSSV calls make their way to 1160 at some point.  I wish Star all the best. I’ve been saying for years that Saratoga Springs deserves it’s own radio station, (especially after the old WKAJ was mercilessly driven into the ground like an old ’73 Nova by previous owners) and they’ll be a welcome addition to the FM dialscape. Just have to get the hipsters downtown who own the cafes, restaurants and boutiques to support it.


    The FCC is really squeezing them in these days….considering that 93.3-WCAN already has a reasonably strong signal in the Saratoga area…


    Sure it would be expensive to relocate the 1160 transmitter closer to SS. I do have to wonder about the viability of the site 1160 has been on. I believe they still have that short 140 ft tower. The station originally 250 watts on 1170 was first put on the air about 50 years ago. Back in 1975, I helped the station engineer at the time at the site. I am thinking there has been not much maintenance at the site and that any ground system might have deteriorated and would be less effective. It was not a very good set up to begin with. Does any know what may have been done?



    I know the station could be upgraded to 50k, but to echo the above comments, I’m not sure anyone will invest in that sort of engineering work. Then again, if the ground system needs to be replaced, why not upgrade the signal at the same time? AM can still be viable – I truly believe that. It’s all about the content. While true many will discover it via FM, there are other areas out of the range of the FM that will also appreciate the AM.


    I think that the permit to increase to 50 kw lapsed years ago since it was granted in 1986. However….Moving it closer to Saratoga with a new transmitter and ground system at it’s present 5 kw would be a tremendous improvement. I always noticed that 1160 was a pretty anemic 5000 watts around Saratoga…when it was doing the 106.1-The X format a year ago. Conversely….The further away 980 signal always came in like a local during the day….


    It is true that in the beginning 1160 was to be a 50KW days, and 1KW nights. This was to be with a 3 tower directional array. That was and still is cost prohibitive. That is why it was downgraded to a nondirectional 5KW day and 570W night station. The electric  bill would be enormous. Any upgrade would require at least a second tower and phasing equipment. That being said, it would not be feasible to upgrade it from what it has been. It would be nice to see SS have a station dedicated to it again. As for formats, a good mix of music standards,   a “lite adult contemporary” format, perhaps a talk show once a week, and network news hourly and local news in the morning.


    WWSC-1450am-GlensFalls has just launched 93.1fm. Sounds like the tower is in my yard! They are at the moment still calling themselves simply Talk1450.

    They are doing a dance on 92.9fm-Burlington, and are a bit attached to 93.5fm-LakeGeorge, so forget Star Saratoga’s night signal reaching here.

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