Primo Hash

The chickens have come home to roost on the airwaves of some of the major consolidators in radio, according to this post on rbr.com:

Pete Skorich, Detroit Pistons Director of Broadcasting, addressed a rumor that  RBR-TVBR heard regarding a rate reduction in The Detroit Pistons contract with Clear Channel’s Sports WDFN-AM 1130 kHz over poor reception in the evenings. Details had it that 50-kW KMOX St. Louis (1120) and 50-kW WRVA Richmond (1140) were killing WDFN’s nighttime signal because of their skywave HD Radio carriers on 1130. Well, Skorich tells us there was no rate reduction but instead a complete move to CBS Radio’s The Ticket (WXYT) simulcast of 97.1 and 1270 some two years ago.

But he did note it was because of reception complaints: “That was one of the components, and we were with them for five years. They had a weak signal and we were getting a lot of people that could not hear us. It could have been [because of] HD Radio, but at the time we were totally unaware of it.”

WDFN is 50-kW during the day, but lowers its power to 10-kW in the evenings. CBS Radio’s KMOX added HD Radio in May, 2006. In the Summer of 2008, CC Radio pulled WRVA’s nighttime digital signal “due to destructive interference to three high-power AM stations the company owns in Detroit, Milwaukee and Minneapolis operating on adjacent 1130 kHz,” according to StopIBOC.com. This was potentially just after the Pistons moved to The Ticket.

RBR-TVBR observation: This has been a complaint from time to time for local stations affected at night by first-adjacent 50-kW skywave stations. Even full-time 50-kW AMs have issues in their markets from distant HD Radio skywave signals.

But this is the first time we’ve heard it could have been a factor in programming and associated revenue. You may note that on 1270 AM, there are no first adjacent 50-KW stations that would add HD Radio interference onto its signal. As well, it is 50-KW full-time.

Interesting that one major player is hashing over another with IBOC fuzz. Meanwhile, the wags on the radio-info.com discussion board are having a field day with the news:

Play Freebird: Hold on now — how can this be?  AM IBOC “not only meets the emission mask , but exceeds those requirements”, doesn’t it?

radioskeptic: Isn’t it fitting that one of the two stations clobbering Cheap Channel station WDFN’s nighttime signal with useless Hash Disturbance (TM) noise is another Cheap Channel Station?

Less just is the fact that the other “HD” noise generator rendering WDFN unlistenable at night belongs to CBS, whose Detroit AM-FM simulcast is benefitting from the interference.

KB10KL: I’m just wondering why radio keeps the lid on this stuff, it is obviously happening a lot more than anyone in radio admits, especially on the AM side. Are people who work in radio THAT afraid of the IBOC Alliance, companies like CBS etc. that invested money in this scam? This happened two years ago and it was pretty much a secret until now?? I’m wondering when or if radio is going to go up in arms about this stuff or just let Horrible Distortion continue to go limping off into the night as it has been? Could this be Pandora’s box finally staring to open for IBOC?

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One Response

  1. I believe the strategy for the IBLOCK Alliance is to force the smaller, adjacent-channel broadcasters off the AM/FM analog dials, and force them to lease FM-HD HD2/HD3 channels, where they will never be heard from again. A lose-lose for the smaller broadcasters.

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