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October 2001

[important]To read in chronological order, start at the bottom and work your way up.[/important]

Eric, KDKA-TV is reporting that Patti Burns has lost her battle with cancer at age 49. She passed away at her home earlier today. “Patti & Daddy” are now together again, and may God rest them both. Sincerely, Clarke Ingram. (October 31, 2001)

Eric, Continuing the discussion on LPFM, let me respond to the last post. First off, the discussion on third-adjacent protection does NOT affect the outcome of any of the Pittsburgh-area LPFM applications. For example, the 88.7 application fails the second-adjacency spacing requirement to 88.3 WRCT and the 89.9 application fails the first-adjacency spacing requirement to 89.7 WQEJ and the CO-CHANNEL spacing requirement to WVNP. Now, I agree that the area where interference to a full-power station from an LPFM station would be small, but the point of the FCC’s allocation scheme is to proved each licensed station with a protected service area. If you start chipping away at this concept, then what will be the result? One LPFM does not make a big dent, but ten would. Also remember that there is a solid technical criterion that defines protection: the interfering signal must be 40 dB below the desired signal. It is very true that stations can be readily received by many receivers with less protection, but is that the case with ALL receivers? Another way to look at this is the protected service area is the region where ANY FM radio can pick up the station, clock radios and boom-boxes included. On the subject of 88.1 WRWJ and 88.3 WRCT, these are both Class A stations and cannot be dismissed as “low-power”. They enjoy protection to the 60 dBu level, so in order to protect each other, they both use directional antennas to limit radiation to permissible levels. Furthermore, WRWJ DOES protect WJAC-TV by also limiting radiation towards that station. There is NO WAY WRWJ would have gone on-air without demonstrating that it met all protection requirements. As far as the Springdale LPFM app on 103.9 goes, it DOES meet spacing requirements to WLSW, and, according to the FCC’s LPFM channel finder, is the only frequency available for Springdale. As I mentioned before, the potential range for this LPFM will be limited by WLSW (as there is no requirement for full-power stations to protect LPFMs, just like Class D stations), but that’s better than having no station at all. My bottom line on LPFMs is this: third-adjacent requirements are not necessary, as demonstrated in the 88.1-91.9 band right now; protection requirements to NCE stations should be no different than what NCE stations afford to each other now (protect to the 60 dBu level no matter what class station); and when the cookie-cutter approach fails to identify an open channel, a more sophisticated approach that considers the impact of directional antennas and terrain should be used to find a channel and demonstrate that protection requirements can be met. Regards, Dave Loudin (October 22, 2001)

In reading your recent explanation of the different kinds of “Adult Contemporary”, a question occurred to me. Why are so many music formats based on when something was recorded instead of what a recording sounds like? My preferred music station is WRRK’s “classic” rock, but I like that kind of music because of the way it sounds, not because it was recorded between 1968 and 1987. It turns out that quite a few of the artists whose “classic” songs from that era are the staples of stations like WRRK are still putting out new recordings of new songs that still have the same sound, but “classic” rock stations won’t play them because they have too recent a recording date. Yet the stations that play more recently recorded music won’t play them either, presumably because they sound too “old”. The same goes for the any station that programs any sort of oldies format. Aren’t there any stations anywhere that decide what songs to play based on the sound of the songs? It’s no wonder that the most popular music-playing accessory in most cars today is a CD or tape player. (October 20, 2001)

Eric’s Response: It’s a phenomenon called, BORED. “That stuff was so last week!” It’s a situation of the corporate money counters are saying that only current, popular stuff will sell to advertisers…I mean listeners. I would say that WJAS is the closest we’re going to get in terms of music from all ages picked because of its sound…usually relaxing and not head-banging. If you think about it, most AC stations pick music based on sound. The Beautiful Music format naturally chose that method as well. CHR stations go for what’s new, hot and attractive to young listeners. It’s a shame, top 40 in years past had much more of a wide range. There could have been The Carpenters followed by Gran Funk Railroad followed by Helen Reddy. Music with all kinds of rhythm and melody mixed together to showcase what was new.

Dear Eric: I’d like to contribute my two cents to the LPFM discussion that has been going on in your Mailbag. I haven’t studied the FCC rules regarding LPFM allocations so I’m not writing as an expert here but I do want to express some opinions and pass along my understandings of the issue. …..When LPFM was proposed, it was hoped that such stations could be squeezed in on second adjacent channels. This was a reasonable proposal because most receivers can handle such spacing, and after all, we’re talking about LOW power stations here. I have a receiver dating to 1970 which receives 96.5 from Johnstown without interference from the much stronger local 96.1 and 96.9 stations. 96.5 is the second adjacent channel (i.e., 2 channels or 400 kHz apart) to both of these local stations. I can receive Wheeling’s 97.3 which is second adjacent to 96.9 without interference also just to cite a few examples. …..Unfortunately, the NAB and corporate radio didn’t want the public to have greater access to the public airwaves so they tried to quash LPFM by crying Interference! They said that more stations, even peanut whistle powered ones, would disrupt the valuable service that their satellite fed, voicetracked, automated, simulcasted stations provide. In reality, they were afraid that some local, independent voices would come along and show the big boys how a radio station ought to be run. It might cause them to have to invest a little more in their operations to produce a better product, and such is unthinkable in this era of maximizing profits regardless of the cost in terms of quality and integrity of what is being offered the public. ….. People in government allowed themselves to be swayed by the industry’s well-heeled lobbyists even as some other government types recognized the failure of recent policy changes that allow Clear Channel a half dozen local voices and none for groups such as Lightning. The former seem to have forgotten that stations are to operate in the “PUBLIC interest, convenience, and necessity” and that profit is the just reward for faithfully carrying out this mission, not an entitlement that comes with having a broadcasting license. I had to get this off my chest. ….. Anyway, back to the crux of the issue, a sort of compromise was reached where LPFMs would be allowed on third adjacent channels, a move which vastly reduced the possible number of such independent stations that could be allocated, especially in more populous areas. Of course, the NAB and others of their ilk aren’t happy even with this – they don’t want any competition at all. ….. The local LPFM proposals for 88.7 and 89.9 ARE third adjacent (i.e., 3 channels or 600 kHz) from 89.3 WQED-FM and should be allowable. Remember, it was the earlier second adjacent proposal that was quashed, and remember again, we’re talking LOW power here. Other posters seem to think that third adjacent spacing for LPFMs isn’t allowed. If it were possible that they could move yet one more channel away, then you’d have a fourth adjacent channel situation in which there are no protection requirements even for full powered stations. Stations spaced thusly can and often do emanate from the same tower! 89.9 is also third adjacent from 90.5 WDUQ; 88.7 is third from 88.1 but only second from 88.3 but these latter are themselves low power stations and shouldn’t be entitled to such stringent protection. In fact, they are first adjacents and aren’t protecting each other even now! Also, 88.1 isn’t protecting TV channel 6 at 87.75, 350 kHz away. ….. As for some of the others, 103.9 WLSW has an advertiser in Freeport (Brezinski’s Market) so their signal must reach past Springdale where someone wants to use this frequency thus making this a bad choice. 99.9 is out of the question being first adjacent to WSHH. With Greensburg, Wheeling, and Pittsburgh having stations on 107.1, .5, and .9 respectively, there’s nothing possible in the 107 area. There are some translators on the air which might hinder some LPFMs – their licenses ought to be challenged for not operating in the public interest. Bringing in religious stations from far away (especially when there are local religious stations on the air) does not serve the public as a local LPFM station would. (October 20, 2001)

Eric, It’s great to have such variety of issues in your site, Pittsburgh deserves intelligent coverage and you got it. The purpose of my email is to share some news with you and your readers, specially with all citizens who love this country and love peace. There will be a march against the war on Saturday, October 20, 2001 at 4 p.m. at the corner of Center Ave. and Crawford Street, just above the Civic Arena, next to St. Benedict the Moor Church. For information on peace events, you can go to: http://www.thomasmertoncenter.org thank you and best wishes for continued success. (October 19, 2001)

Eric’s Response: I know I know. It has nothing to do with radio, but the least I could do was promote it!

Eric, the discussion on Hot AC vs. Modern AC could fill this board. They’re really not the same thing; compare Variety 96 to The River. Pittsburgh successfully supported WVTY in a runner-up position for many years, and it should be noted that B-94 acted much like a Hot AC until Kiss forced them to protect their young end. Mix 96.1 was not a bad station, but suffered from poor timing and no marketing. I think the market can still successfully support a Hot AC, but Star 100.7 hasn’t been able to break out of the pack for several reasons (signal problems, too many format/name changes in the past, etc.) It will be interesting to see if someone else tackles this format in the near future. Regards, Clarke Ingram. (October 18, 2001)

I grew up in Steel City with KQV. It is etched in my memory as the greatest top 40 ever. When I come back to visit, I listen to WLTJ! I must be getting senile. Why has Pittsburgh been unable to support a “hot” (not modern) AC station? Thanks Ricki (October 18, 2001)

Eric’s Response: First off, “Hot AC” is essentially “Modern AC.” There are four types of Adult Contemporary. 1. Hot AC – CHR style attracting the 18-30 female crowd. 2. Gold AC – More oldies attracting a 35-54 male and female crowd. 3. Soft/Lite AC – Ballads attracting the 35-64 female crowd. 4. Variety AC – More or less middle of the road but renamed in the 1990’s so as not to be confused with the nostalgic MOR format. It attracts 25-54 crowd. (At least it all did in 1996-7! I had to go back to my radio notes to word this juuuuuuuuuuuust right!)Why Pittsburgh doesn’t have a Hot AC station like the old WPHH Mix 96.1 is beyond me. I am sure that personal tastes have a lot to do with it as well as how it’s presented. Keep in mind though that those who listen to AC (ie – Wish, Lite) choose that to listen to something that’s popular and upbeat, but don’t want the harsh rock. When 96.1 was grouped in the AC format, it tended to lean so that it competed more with B-94. It was much different from either Wish or Lite. Those two competitors play a lot of modern music, but also include some songs from the 70’s that people still enjoy. If I were to categorize them, I would put them in the Variety AC style (which essentially was what 96.1 was until 1995). Wish is STILL considered “soft AC,” but I consider that to be when The Carpenters, Neil Diamond and The Captain and Tenille are present. They haven’t been on Wish since the mid 90’s. Oh how I wish they were now!

Hey Eric, Of course you’re probably aware of all that’s going on in Erie radio recently with Planet Radio 93.9 finally signing on, and now 102.3 which is in Regent’s hands, is doing the old “stunting” thing. They are offering 24 music collages to choose from and asking listeners to vote on their favorites. Of course, i hear they have already chosen their format, but i still wonder how bogus the poll really is? There is so much music missing from the poll it’s ridiculous. Word is now, from a certain GM, that the format will be a New Wave 80’s format. Again, we will have to wait till next week to find out. The New Planet Radio sounds good. It reminds me a lot of The X in Pittsburgh. Imaging is probably the best i’ve ever heard in Erie. (October 17, 2001)

Eric, All Access is reporting that former Pittsburgh DJ Jay Stone is dead. He worked at 96KX (now Kiss 96.1) twice, doing afternoons in 1977-78 and coming back as morning man in the early 1980’s. He will be missed. Regards, Clarke Ingram. (October 17, 2001)

Eric, The last thing I want to do is get in an argument with Jason, but I need to respond to his last post in order to clarify how the LPFM rules work, and how they are different from NCE and commercial rules. The FCC’s Second Report and Order, FCC 01-100, on the matter of establishing the LPFM service spells out the spacings LP100 and LP10 stations must achieve from full-power FM stations in the reserved and non-reserved bands and from FM translators. The spacing criteria to ALL full-power stations, non-comms and commercial stations alike, are the same, meaning third-adjacent criteria do apply to NCE stations. This IS different from the licensing criteria for full-power NCE stations, which, as Jason pointed out, do not have spacing criteria to other third-adjacent NCE full-power stations in the reserved band. Therefore, Lightning Community Broadcasting’s application DOES have to meet pacing requirements to WQED and WDUQ. Anybody see the hidden hand of NPR? There is another wrinkle in the spacing criteria for LPFM in the reserved band that’s more subtle, but still very important. First I need to explain how the spacing rules were derived. For all NCE stations, and all classes of commercial stations excluding B and B1, the minimum signal level that will be protected from interference is 1 mV/m, or 60 dBu. For commercial Class B stations, the minimum protected signal level is 54 dBu, and for commercial Class B1 stations, the minimum protected signal level is 57 dB. The spacing rules for full-power commercial and NCE stations ensure that the weakest protected signals will be at least 40 dB stronger than interfering signals under almost all reception conditions. Note that all NCE stations are protected to the same signal level, despite the fact that they, too, are either Class A, B, C, and on rare occasions these days D facilities (the class designation specifies the maximum effective range, just as for commercial stations.) Separate spacing tables are needed for commercial stations and NCE stations because of this difference in protection for Class B and B1 in the commercial band versus the reserved band. In the LPFM spacing criteria, there is no differentiation between NCE and commercial stations. This means that Class B and B1 NCE stations get better protection from LPFM stations than from full-power NCE stations. Anybody see the hidden hand of NPR again? In the particular case of Lightning Community Broadcasting’s application, they would be co-channeled with WVNP, Wheeling, WV. WVNP is a Class B station, so from the LPFM spacing criteria, there cannot be a 100 watt LPFM station on 89.9 within 112 km of WVNP’s tower. Lightning’s application for 89.9 is only 64 km away, so for this reason alone, it will fail. Sorry, Jason, but I don’t see any hope for that proposal. Policies with regard to new NCE stations will have no bearing whatsoever. To get a copy of the Second Report and Order to double check me, go to http://www.fcc.gov/mmb/asd/lpfm/ and scroll down about two-thirds of the way. BTW, Jason’s example of WRCT and WRWJ is actually a case of first-adjacency, not third, and they both use directional antennas to protect each other (WRWJ’s is far more directional than WRCT’s). Regards, Dave Loudin (October 17, 2001)

Eric, WARD-TV moved to Channel 19 in the late 1950’s (or at least had a CP to do so), since the 1958 Vane Jones TV log shows them on 19. There’s more history on the station on my DuMont web site. 19 in Johnstown and 38 in Altoona (later on 23) were always the poor stepchildren in that market; obviously UHF was difficult in such hilly terrain. WTAE-TV was extremely protective of their ABC affiliation (they had an incredible regional reach from Johnstown/Altoona to the east to Weston/Clarksburg to the south), and apparently not only prevented 19 from affiliating with ABC, but did the same to WWCP-TV 8 when it signed on. When I lived in Greentree, I could get Channel 8 better than Channel 4! A few years ago, the ABC affiliation finally went to 8’s co-owned sister station, WWCP-TV 23 in Altoona. Regards, Clarke Ingram. (October 17, 2001)

Hi, Eric: Dave Loudin is right that Lightning Community Broadcasting’s application for 89.9 White Oak is short spaced to 89.3 WQED and 90.5 WDUQ. But non-commercial stations do not have third-adjacent channel protection. That’s why 88.1 WRWJ Murrysville is able to short-space 88.3 WRCT Pittsburgh, and why WRCT must broadcast directionally away from Murrysville. In my opinion, if the Lightning application is rejected, it will be because the FCC currently doesn’t have a window open for new non-commercial educational FM stations, not because of spacing concerns. New NCE FM allocations are being granted very slowly by the commission, in part because the standards are in flux. The FCC may decide that the freeze on new NCE FM stations overrules the LPFM process. IMHO, that’s a flaw in their process, not in Lightning’s application. If they reject on those grounds, expect Lightning to appeal. The LPFM rules state only that if an applicant wants an LPFM station in the NCE FM band, the applicant must be prepared to meet all of the burdens and tests that a full-power NCE FM would have. There’s no reason that Lightning should have to meet a third-adjacent channel burden that WRWJ didn’t have to meet. Jason Togyer (October 17, 2001)

Eric: Enjoyed your site. Here’s a little more info on the history of channel 19: even before it was WJNL, it started out (in the early 60’s, I believe) as WARD-TV, channel 56. It later was moved to 19 but I don’t know exactly when. It was sold sometime in the early 70’s and renamed WJNL. It never had much power (you could barely pick it up in southern Indiana County, where I grew up) until the people who bought it and renamed it WFAT upgraded the equipment and increased its power immensely. They tried to become an ABC affiliate but there was concern on ABC’s end about competing with channel 4. I think when WWCP channel 8 came on the scene in Johnstown, the competition got to be too much, and they went black for a while until the station was sold. I remember a local guy trying to buy it and move the transmitter to Blue Knob before the sale to the current owners, but that fell through. Dave Lewis (October 16, 2001)

Recent traffic reports on KQV have been “From the PennDOT information center,” and make reference to closed circuit television views of Parkway traffic. What is the story behind the change? Is Metro Traffic still involved with KQV traffic reports? Paul (October 16, 2001)

Eric’s Response: I have no idea why there are so many traffic changes. Perhaps it’s due to technology that Metro does not have, perhaps it was time to change to attract listeners. Who knows.

Eric, I’ve taken a close look at the LPFM apps shown on the transmitter location maps. Of the nine considered, five make the cut on the spacing rules, and two of those five are mutually exclusive. I’ll review them here in frequency order.

  • 88.7 Churchill fails because it is too close to: 88.1 WRWJ (12.2 km where 29 km is required), 88.3 WRCT (7.2 km where 29 km is required), 88.5 WYFU (73.4 km where 74 km is required), and 89.3 WQED (9 km where 67 km is required).
  • 89.9 White Oak fails because it is too close to: 89.3 WQED (16.1 km where 67 km is required), 89.7 WQEJ (71.6 km where 97 km is required), 89.9 WVNP (64 km where 112 km is required), and 90.5 WDUQ (18 km where 67 km is required).
  • 98.1 Gibsonia meets all spacing requirements, so this one will probably get approved. However, interference from WZKT, WFGY, and WHK-FM may limit its range.
  • 99.9 Pittsburgh fails because it is too close to 99.7 WSHH (4.7 km where 97 km is required). What was this applicant thinking?
  • 103.7 Indiana meets all spacing requirements, so this one will also probably get approved. In addition, there should be no reduction in range from interference.
  • 103.9 Springdale meets all spacing requirements, so this one will also probably get approved. It’s range may be limited by interference from WWIZ and WLSW.
  • There are two apps for 105.1 in Indiana. Either one meets all spacing requirements and will be free from limiting interference. However, the two apps are two close to each other for both to be approved.
  • 105.3 Washington fails because it is too close to: 104.7 WJJJ (40.4 km where 67 km is required), 105.1 WQXK (92.9 km where 97 km is required), 105.5 WZNW (40.2 km where 74 km is required), and 105.9 WXDX (42.7 km where 67 km is required).
  • 107.7 White Oak fails because it is too close to: 107.1 WSSZ (14.7 km where 29 km is required), 107.5 WEGW (86.4 km where 97 km is required), and 107.9 WDSY (19.3 km where 97 km is required).From what I’ve read in the FCC regulations, it is very clear that no LPFM application will be granted that violates the spacing rules. (NOTE: the spacing rules provide the necessary protection to licensed service areas.) Several folks have noted that the NAB and NPR were successful in severerly limiting potential 100-watt LPFMs near larger cities by getting Congress to force the FCC to impose third-adjacent protection requirements. All the non-conforming apps noted above fail without considering third-adjacents, however. Regards, Dave Loudin (October 16, 2001)

    Hi. Surfing tonight I found PBRTV’s EMRTV. ANY idea what the new URL for The Station Always To Be Known As JET is? They say “1023.com” online but that just ain’t it. I’d appreciate any info you have & I couldn’t find anything on your site. Love the site btw. It’s one to bookmark. ~ Sal (October 16, 2001

    Eric’s Response: Thank you for your comments. I do not know if there is a new URL, but I’m sure Tom Lavery will find out and let us know soon!

    Eric, With regard to whether or not an LPFM application will be approved, there is one key criterion: spacing! So long as the proposed LPFM meets the spacing requirements to stations plus or minus 3 channels (in the 89.9 case, that would be stations on 89.3 to 90.5 MHz), the app will be approved. If the proposed site ends up short-spaced to another station – TOUGH! I sincerely doubt any full-power FM will want to allow an LPFM to encroach. Using the FCC’s LPFM channel finder, it would appear the Lightning’s application does not meet spacing requirements. I’ll look into the details very soon. Regards, Dave Loudin (October 15, 2001)

    26 years ago I had the same dream, but when I first saw automation in action I knew that I better learn about the sales department.Stations are always looking for sales reps or people who want to seriously learn the sales part of the business.I suggest poking around at the smaller stations, the WEDO’s & WKHB’s of the world and mention an intrest in joining the sales department. If you can get on try producing spek spots that you will sell to clients. I know the dj shifts that once were plentiful are all but gone, but the good news is there is plenty of money to be made in broadcast sales. Best Regards, Trefdawg (October 11, 2001)

    Eric’s Response: The money is there, you just have to be assertive enough to go out and make the sale!

    Eric: Seeing all this commentary about local talent falling victim to the industry’s new corporate machine, I offer the following as wisdom– Get used to it. It’s not going to get better. Much as I love Pittsburgh and am very proud of our radio heritage, my city has always been a tough market to both break into and keep a gig. Ironically, it wasn’t until I moved away that I became busy on Pittsburgh radio, though in a freelance capacity, doing imaging, promos– and commercials for the local agencies (who, by the way, never seemed to notice me while I lived there for the first 26 years of my life; Hell, I worked for agencies in New York and every city BUT Pittsburgh while there!). Remember, Pittsburgh was once a market where longtime air personalities actually still RETIRED from their radio station; turnover was somewhat rare for key positions. Now, it’s like any other major market: Corporately homogenized. If there was a gripe from AFTRA members about out-of-market talent getting all the local commercial gigs 15 years ago, I’ll bet they’re making the drinks for the DJs stronger at the union meetings nowadays. On the air, instead of competing with other local jocks for gigs, we must compete with air talent who have perhaps never set foot in our city, but will work cheaply from Chicago or some other market. Instability has always been an accepted drawback of radio as a career; most people don’t have the patience or the independent wealth to devote the years it sometimes takes to earn a respectable buck–bouncing around the country, living off “all the records you can eat.” When I was in Pittsburgh, even some of those who were well established were still paranoid: Pranksters used to delight in watching the eyes of a certain late KDKA talk host glaze over when they’d say, “Gee, I’m sorry about that pink slip in you mailbox..”). My heart goes out to anyone trying to break into this racket today. In spite of not doing quite what I wanted back home, I appreciate the time I DID spend there on air–It was still PITTSBURGH radio, not some damn national formula, devised by folks who care not about our city–but only that the receivables outweigh the expenditures. It’s tempting to advise aspiring broadcasters who have their hearts set on radio to just move to Covington, KY and get in line closest the power source. Or, look more closely at internet possibilities or satellite facilities.. before Clear Channel buys all that up, too. Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but I believe that accountants belong behind a desk– hidden away where nobody sees them until the company Christmas party. Cheers! Ed Weigle (October 11, 2001)

    Oops, proofreading mistake. Mine. It is 89.9, not 88.9, Lightning seeks for White Oak. However, in either case, your correspondent in Saxonburg should not worry about losing either West Virginia Public Radio (89.9) from Wheeling or Family Radio (88.9) out of Johnstown. If the weather conditions are right, I can pull in a low-power station out of Murrysville (88.3) in Munhall, my base when I’m not at The Daily News. But I think it would be unlikely that Lightning’s 89.9, if the FCC approves, would reach southern Butler County. Of course, as Dennis Miller might put it, that’s my opinion, I could be wrong. But I don’t think so. Sorry for any confusion … Pat Cloonan. (October 11, 2001)

    Eric’s Response: There! Confirmation that the testing has been done and the fact that two people have made their educated guesses that the proposed 89.9 will do well in its little area!

    It’s 89.9 MHz. (Check the webpage at www.lightningfm.org/index.shtml for information. Also check out the daily news summary at www.lightningfm.org/news). According to www.100000watts.com, the only 89.9’s that should be heard in Western Pennsylvania or West Virginia are WVNP-FM Wheeling, WVWV-FM Huntingdon and WERG-FM Erie. Lightning’s tests indicate that no signal is receptable on 89.9 MHz in McKeesport or White Oak, but one of the WV stations could be heard in Saxonburg, I suppose. (WV Public Radio booms into the Mon Valley over WVPM-FM, 90.9, Morgantown.) If (it’s a big “if”) Lightning gets the license for White Oak, it will be for 100 watts at approximately 40 feet above ground level, on a hill that’s about 1200 feet above sea level. It should cover White Oak, McKeesport, Duquesne, parts of North Versailles, North Huntingdon and West Mifflin, and not much more. There’s no way 89.9 White Oak would be received in Saxonburg, and because of the FM capture effect, any interference listeners experience will be to Lightning from one of the out-of-town stations. (That is the way it should be — LPFMs are required to accept interference but are not allowed to cause it.) FM radios “capture” the strongest signal and reject the weaker one, unlike AM, where more than one signal can be received simultaneously. Yes, the FM band is crowded, but the NAB and FCC created the problem by allowing too few companies to license too many stations. LPFM is not a perfect solution, but it is a way to bring an FM station to communities that otherwise could not afford one. McKeesport has not had a local FM station since 1953. There is now only one locally-owned radio station in McKeesport, WEDO, and it’s a daytimer with mostly brokered time. There are no local news, high-school sports, symphony concerts, etc., being broadcast, even though there is a demonstrated need. Jason Togyer(October 11, 2001)

    Eric, Just what frequency is Lightning trying to aquire??? Is it 88.9 which is mentioned in Pat Cloonan’s message??? Or is it 89.9??? I live in Saxonburg Pa and I am able to receive 89.9 from West Virginia quite well. I also receive an 88.9 from Johnstown Pa. So which is it??? I could see an 88.9 coming on board in Pittsburgh, but an 89.9 would not be good at all because the signal would be almost useless. All an 89.9 would do is just fight for coverage. I will say this responsibly…THE FM BAND IS MUCH TOO CROWDED AS IT IS!! William (October 11, 2001)

    Eric’s Response: It’s one of the two. Jason Togyer can tell us!

    Dear Eric, I love your website!!! anyway I was wondering why radio is so hard to get into job wise??? I applied at WBZZ for a Board-Op position and never received a phone call. All I received was a questionnaire asking me what my ethnic background was. I checked off the box and sent it back. What is up with this ???? William (October 11, 2001)

    Eric’s Response: Anyone in the business will tell you that it’s becoming next to impossible. Believe me, I know! Oftentimes, one will get the “we have filled the position but keep your information on file for six months” report. Or maybe you just don’t have the experience. But how can you get it when many of the stations where you used to be able to go and “learn” are either automated or simulcasting? They say, “be a pest and keep calling.” Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. Now, I also believe that they could have hired from within the company which is common. However, a part of that is that I believe you have to advertise the position just to be fair. Reasons can be as long as your leg!

    Fabulous music that has predominated since the 30’s and used in more commercials than any Metallica or Emenem pseudo music. Actual lyrics, composition, and mathematical structure by proven talents. We also get the Boys of Summer, Cleveland Indians games. This nostalgia music coupled with rock n roll oldies on Froggy Fm are the mainstream stations in Erie. Nick Palun, Erie, Pa. (October 9, 2001)

    Hi. Dave Mason’s the name…. worked at 13Q (WKTQ) 1977-1979…Middays and PD (for 6 months) in it’s near final days as 13Q.. returned to Pittsburgh in 1985 as Station Manager/Program Director at WTAE/WHTX (Hearst). Left in 1987..currently Ass’t PD and mornings at KJQY (94.1FM) San DIego; middays KSBL (101.7) in Santa Barbara, Overnights at 92.1/94.1 WWXQ and WXQW in Huntsville, and soon to be on WTMX in Tampa, and KSMY in Santa Maria. Headquartered out of Clear Channel San Diego, 9660 Granite Ridge Drive 92123. E-mail: davemason@clearchannel.com. Thanks–love the site. (October 9, 2001)

    Eric, I don’t know how you manage to do it, but the site is still as wonderful as the first day I visited it. Keep up the great work. (October 8, 2001)

    Eric’s Response: Thank you….

    With all due respect to anyone who has or will lose their broadcasting job in the Pittsburgh area, did anyone expect anything less than this to happen after deregulation and consolidation? As automation and syndicated programming services were put in place in the smaller markets years ago, I heard more condescending snickers than outrage, and relative silence as local news departments were either gutted or eliminated. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not getting any joy out of seeing solid radio professionals get their walking papers, but the process that led to this started a long time ago. Unless and until big corporate radio starts losing money or making less money directly as a result of these personnel moves, the cuts are going to continue. Any jock who runs a show where the music is the draw is at risk. Is it really that big a leap from “Read the card and play the song” to “Hey, we can have some guy in Chicago read the card a lot cheaper?” (October 4, 2001)

    Eric’s Response: I think what can be said here is simple. There is no big surprise in the fact that deregulation has caused a major battle between radio companies and its employees. However, it’s not a matter of stating the obvious on websites like PBRTV, newspapers, etc. Here, at least, it’s a matter of stating who has been affected by such a circumstance. I don’t know when, but this mess will change eventually. It will almost have to if these companies expect to stay in business. Let’s wait and see.

    Eric, I’m in the bizzz, so hold the name…..I was shocked that you missed the latest Clear….flush job…… Bumper ….and Kenny Woods GONE !!! at 3WS……Mike Frazer has been dispatched to afternoon drive on 3WS…..Chris Reynolds is NOW doing mornings on JJJ….. more Voice Tracking in town………..Whats next????? DVE OR THE X??????……. This has too stop……or local radio will become a thing of the past!!!!!!! It’s too bad most of the radio public, has NO CLUE that radio “as we know it” is having it’s life being sucked away!!!!!!!! (October 3, 2001)

    Eric’s Response: Actually I did figure it out. The only paper that seems to cover such issues hasn’t yet…at least online. I am not too terribly surprised by it. But it’s a pathetic shame. I noticed Kenny Woods and Bumper were gone as of Thursday. It seems that they are playing “ping-pong” PM drive host. (You will recall that Bumper hosted the PM Drive before Frazer came on board, then Bumper again, now Frazer!) Also, Kenny’s shift of late had been voice-tracked and voice-tracked only by him…it sounded live the other night and was being hosted by Lindsay Cipcic, Scott Alexander, or Shawn Israel.

    I am a dedicated listener to your radio station from the tony bruno show to the jime rome show, and the highlight of my day used to be kiley and booms, they are a riot…needless to say i am very upset at the new show that has replace the after 4 pm—please put k&b back on tha speaking of sports guy puts me to sleep (October 2, 2001)

    Eric’s Response: I would suggest that you contact WEAE.

    First of all, I hope the FCC approves Lightning’s application, and I hope Jason and his associates can get it on the air. I can’t count how many times I’ve wondered about the condition of “local” radio in our region. (Critical to grave, though there are bright spots, ironically including daytimer WEDO-AM 810 in McKeesport.) If you’re on the hills around McKeesport, you can pull in West Virginia Public Radio from Wheeling on 88.9 with a car radio. Clearly, however, it is far enough away to allow a White Oak 88.9 as Lightning seeks. And, to be fair, we’re only talking a 3-5 mile radius for a 100-watt 88.9 in White Oak. (If the commission allows 103.9 in the Allegheny Valley, on WLSW’s frequency, that would strengthen Lightning’s argument.) As for the ongoing KDKA discussion, one might want to compare (for programming and signal) how Clear Channel does with the area’s other 50-kw AM fulltimer, WWVA-1170 in Wheeling, a still-fascinating mix of local and ABC news, talk, religion at night, trucker programming in the wee hours, and Jamboree USA on weekends (though it may have had a bit more local flavor when it did country music on a fulltime basis) … or, for that matter, the service offered by a 5-kw regional powerhouse, ABC/CBS news-talk WKBN-AM 570 in Youngstown … Pat Cloonan. (October 2, 2001)

    I’ve been reading some of the comments on KDKA’s poor local signal. I live in Washington County, about 45 miles south of KD’s tower in Allison Park. During the day I get better reception on 1250 WEAE, a 5,000 watt directional station. The signal sometimes is really bad at night with constant skywave/groundwave phasing. Also WBZ (1030-Boston) and CFRB (1010-Toronto) splash over tremendously, especially if they’re playing music. KD’s modulation seems to be lower than most AM stations. I talked to a KDKA engineer a few years back (before they replaced their tower), and he told me they had a lot of problems with their signal going skyward instead of outward. Maybe they still have the same problem with the new tower. It would seem to me that some engineer (even if they had to bring one in from another city) could figure out how to correct this. I can receive 700 WLW Cincinnati and 760 WJR Detroit any time of the day or night. I’ll bet KDKA can’t be heard in those cities during the non-skipwave times! Too bad Infinity Broadcasting (who owns KD) can’t muster up enough money to buy one of the many fledgeling FM stations in the Pittsburgh market and make night (as well as day) listening more enjoyable. Also, I’ve addressed this problem before in the forum but nobody has been able to give an explantion on why WPGH Channel 53 and WCWB Channel 22 have such muffled sound. Why aren’t more people outraged about this? Can’t the engineers at these stations hear how bad they sound? Do a comparison with the other stations and you will hear it too. It’s (ith as it would sound on their station) really noticable during sporting events. The sound is very muddy and at least to me should be correctable. (October 1, 2001)

    Eric’s Response: Infinity owns 3 major FMs in town…I doubt they’ll be getting a 4th. The Channel 53 problem has been discussed before. It is noticable, but it’s nothing to get too excited about. I don’t think it’s THAT bad really. Does anyone disagree?

    Dear Eric, I was just checking your site and didn’t find anything, so I was wondering if you had any info on why Evelyn Hawkins is gone from WDUQ. I certainly haven’t heard them say anything about it. Not that I’m disappointed in that, but just curious. Rob Protz (October 1, 2001)

    Eric’s Response: I haven’t heard anything. Nothing in the paper either. Be patient, we’re likely to find something out.