WBAI To Be Evicted From Empire State Building

99.5 WBAI New York Empire State Building 4 Times Square Tower Site Transmitter EvictionUpdate 6/24: Pacifica has filed its application with the FCC to relocate WBAI off of the Empire State Building over to 4 Times Square.

The filing proposes a power output of 10kW at 297 meters to retain similar coverage to what the station has now with its 4.3kW at 415 meter signal at Empire State. It will also retain its pre-existing grandfathered short-spacing overlaps with nearby signals including 99.5 WJBR-FM Wilmington DE.

Original Report 6/20: The continuing soap opera that is Pacifica Radio has taken another turn.

In a report to Pacifica’s National Board, Interim Executive Director Bernard Duncan writes:

Payments of May and June rental on the transmission facility on the Empire State Building have been paid, but returned indicating an imminent eviction. We are working on alternatives.

National Office staff are working with New York staff to move transmission for The Empire State Building to Time Square with a resultant cost saving of almost two third. Members will be kept informed of developments.

A move to Times Square would indicate a shift to the Condé Nast Building at 4 Times Square. That building is the fourth tallest in New York and currently serves as the tower site of 88.3 WBGO, 89.9 WKCR-FM, 91.5 WNYE, 95.1 W236CH and the auxiliary site for nine stations. An application to relocate their transmission facilities has yet to be filed.

With all the financial issues at WBAI and Pacifica, the station has been regularly late with its rent payments for the tower site.

4 Comments
  1. Joseph_Gallant says


    This may be the beginning of the end for WBAI-99.5 as a Pacifica station.

    Despite their PR spin, I would be surprised if they are at 4 Times Square for long. The financial problems of their trying to pay rent at the Empire State Building may continue at the new location, even if their rent is one-third as much as at Empire State (as they claim).

    Cue the old-fashioned soap opera organ music!

    1. Nathan Obral says


      Pacifica is like a cockroach. They will survive. WBAI will survive.

      This is a rinse and repeat story.

  2. Mike (former Myke25 on RD) says


    if my wishes came true, the FCC would deny this request.

    1. K.M. Richards says


      It’s a Form 340 filing, which makes it a “minor change in facilities” despite being at a new HAAT/ERP and location.

      I read the engineering statement on the application and the predicted new service contour almost precisely matches the existing one.

      https://licensing.fcc.gov/cdbs/CDBS_Attachment/getattachment.jsp?appn=101641699&qnum=5160&copynum=1&exhcnum=1

      Under those circumstances, your wishes won’t be coming true. This is pretty much a “rubber stamp” for the FCC.

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