Youngstown area AMs dark

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  iamradioman 6 days, 13 hours ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 25 total)
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  • #177560

    tim131
    Participant

    A friend of mine called me this afternoon to tell me as he drove through the Mahoning Valley this afternoon, Youngstown-Warren AM’s on 1500, 1540, & 1570 were all off the air. Totally off.

    I knew 1500 has been off for some time, but didn’t realize 1540/1570 were dark. Anybody have any details? Licensed turned in or just off the air temporarily?

    #177735

    Nathan Obral
    Participant

    WASN 1500 had been dark for a few years when Bernard turned both it and WGFT off, but I wasn’t sure if they have been filing STAs or not.

    As for 1540 and 1570… who knows. They launched decent websites a few weeks ago but they seem to be gone now. It’s sad.

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

    #178236

    Nathan Obral
    Participant

    It can be confirmed that WASN 1500 no longer exists; the license was cancelled and the callsign deleted on June 29.

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

    #178259

    tim131
    Participant

    It’s amazing the number of AM & FM signals the Youngstown-Warren market used to have, considering it’s modest population.

    #178272

    Static_cling
    Participant

    …and another one bites the dust. Sad, but not surprising, given the changing media landscape and the challenges facing AM stations, never mind those with less-than-desirable signals and/or in markets with troubled economies.

    I remember when 1500 (then WGFT) was co-owned with WRBP/101.9. Their studios were located in the Wick Building downtown. While attending Youngstown State University, I frequently delivered a news program that was produced by YSU students to WGFT. I don’t recall what floor the offices were on, but I remember there being quite a view from the studios overlooking the surrounding area.

    Is WGFT/1330 still on the air? I can’t imagine it’s in the best physical/financial state, either.

    #178282

    tim131
    Participant

    1330 WGFT is on the air….it is a daytimer. It is on so that their 94.7 translator can exist. They use the same day site pattern the old top 40 WHOT did decades ago.

    #178284

    static_cling
    Participant
    After 1330’s night site was sold for development circa 2005, there was a CP for a new night site at the N. Blaine Ave. studios. When those plans fell apart, I was sure the station’s days were numbered. It had been off the air for almost a year in the late 90’s and had been through one owner after another since the WHOT days. While I’m glad it’s been teamed up with a translator, I  wonder what the long-term vision is for the station and how it can compete in a market like Youngstown.
    #178286

    Nathan Obral
    Participant

    WGFT only exists because of the translator. I can’t imagine Star 94.7’s core audience is even attempting to seek out AM 1330.

    Now, apparently there was a deal last year to sell off the translator to the owners of WCNS/1480 Latrobe PA, in which that 250-mile relocation waiver for FM translators (as part of the FM Migration Plan… err, the “AM Revitalization Plan”) would have been implemented… but I never saw anything about the deal ever closing. Did it?

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

    #178287

    Nathan Obral
    Participant

    It’s amazing the number of AM & FM signals the Youngstown-Warren market used to have, considering it’s modest population.

    Having a bunch of stations in Sharon and New Castle, PA right next door doesn’t help matters much.

    Out of all the AM stations in the entire market, there’s WKBN, then everyone else. WNIO and WBBW are viable, and WPIC targets it’s COL of Sharon PA fairly well… but every other AM station has significant technical deficiencies to some degree or another.

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

    #178297

    static_cling
    Participant

    WGFT only exists because of the translator. I can’t imagine Star 94.7’s core audience is even attempting to seek out AM 1330.

    ..which begs the question: Who’s kidding who about “AM revitalization”? If the FM only exists because of an AM station that’s otherwise a dog, what’s the point? How does that help AM listenership? Answer: It doesn’t. I presume we’re coming to a point in the industry where AM’s will be the exception, not the rule, as they are in Canada…minus a degree of government involvement. Let the overcrowding of the FM band continue.
    As for the comments about the number of stations there are/were in a market the size of Youngstown-Warren, it’s worth remembering that both cities were at one time a great deal bigger than they are now, and presumably could support more stations. Based on the most recent estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau, Youngstown has about 64,000 residents. That’s a far cry from about 166,000 in 1960.

     

    #178298

    static_cling
    Participant

    It’s amazing the number of AM & FM signals the Youngstown-Warren market used to have, considering it’s modest population.

    Having a bunch of stations in Sharon and New Castle, PA right next door doesn’t help matters much. Out of all the AM stations in the entire market, there’s WKBN, then everyone else. WNIO and WBBW are viable, and WPIC targets it’s COL of Sharon PA fairly well… but every other AM station has significant technical deficiencies to some degree or another.

    Aside from WKBN, it seems to me that every other AM in the market that hasn’t been spun off into oblivion by the i-Heart’s of the world has been allowed to languish in an office building closet while their FM sisters get all the attention. I understand the economics involved, but what purpose does this serve, aside from preventing some non-existant competition from getting a hold of such stations?
    I remember a time when WBBW was WKBN’s primary competition. Think of it: 1Kw versus 5kw. Crazy, right? But until Dan Ryan made the move to 570, WBBW was a constant thorn in their side. A clear illustration of the fact that the size of the stick ain’t always the most important thing in the world…or least it wasn’t in the 80’s. These days, WBBW is just another sports talk station that most people under 40 probably don’t know is on the air. Sad.
    #178302

    jawbreaker
    Participant
    A clear illustration of the fact that the size of the stick ain’t always the most important thing in the world
    Yeah, well, you never met my ex-wife
    #178305

    static_cling
    Participant
    A clear illustration of the fact that the size of the stick ain’t always the most important thing in the world
    Yeah, well, you never met my ex-wife
    LOL
    #178313

    Nathan Obral
    Participant

    ..which begs the question: Who’s kidding who about “AM revitalization”? If the FM only exists because of an AM station that’s otherwise a dog, what’s the point? How does that help AM listenership? Answer: It doesn’t. I presume we’re coming to a point in the industry where AM’s will be the exception, not the rule, as they are in Canada…minus a degree of government involvement. Let the overcrowding of the FM band continue.

    Anyone with a brain could have forseen that happening. There might be a few stations that will openly and freely promote both AM and FM to call attention to both, but that feels like the exception rather than the norm.

    Both 1540 and 1570 were awarded FM translators in the most recent filing period. If they don’t do what WGFT did and promote both AM and FM, I will be surprised.

    (It should be noted that 1570 does have the ability to do a power increase to… IIRC… 5kW days/220W nights? The problem is getting all of the proper resources to get that power increase off the ground… and if the ROI would be worth such an undertaking.)

    As for the comments about the number of stations there are/were in a market the size of Youngstown-Warren, it’s worth remembering that both cities were at one time a great deal bigger than they are now, and presumably could support more stations. Based on the most recent estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau, Youngstown has about 64,000 residents. That’s a far cry from about 166,000 in 1960.

    The region has been in perpetual economic hell since 1977, which caused a large chunk of the population to flee. That’s a double whammy alongside the obvious depreciation of the AM dial to begin with.

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

    #178338

    static_cling
    Participant

    ..which begs the question: Who’s kidding who about “AM revitalization”? If the FM only exists because of an AM station that’s otherwise a dog, what’s the point? How does that help AM listenership? Answer: It doesn’t. I presume we’re coming to a point in the industry where AM’s will be the exception, not the rule, as they are in Canada…minus a degree of government involvement. Let the overcrowding of the FM band continue.

    Anyone with a brain could have forseen that happening. There might be a few stations that will openly and freely promote both AM and FM to call attention to both, but that feels like the exception rather than the norm. Both 1540 and 1570 were awarded FM translators in the most recent filing period. If they don’t do what WGFT did and promote both AM and FM, I will be surprised. (It should be noted that 1570 does have the ability to do a power increase to… IIRC… 5kW days/220W nights? The problem is getting all of the proper resources to get that power increase off the ground… and if the ROI would be worth such an undertaking.)

    As for the comments about the number of stations there are/were in a market the size of Youngstown-Warren, it’s worth remembering that both cities were at one time a great deal bigger than they are now, and presumably could support more stations. Based on the most recent estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau, Youngstown has about 64,000 residents. That’s a far cry from about 166,000 in 1960.

    The region has been in perpetual economic hell since 1977, which caused a large chunk of the population to flee. That’s a double whammy alongside the obvious depreciation of the AM dial to begin with.

    Oh yeah, “Black Monday.” I spent my formative years there, living in the ruins. It was a helluva time, and one that the region still hasn’t recovered from entirely. I like to think there’s been some progress, if only in small increments.
    I wasn’t aware 1540 and 1570 were awarded translators. I suppose if they’re meant for anyone, it’s small, standalone AM’s that haven’t darkened the door of Arbitron since the Carter administration, if ever. I wish them well.
    I seem to remember an old radio friend mentioned years ago that 1570 was eligible for an upgrade like the one you cited. That would be an interesting, but costly development. Perhaps if someone would purchase 1440 and pair it with 1570, there would be a payoff down the line. All AM, I know, but those stations have been largely neglected for far too long.
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