Interesting article about Cox Atlanta, WSRV, and WALR
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Thread: Interesting article about Cox Atlanta, WSRV, and WALR

  1. #1

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    Interesting article about Cox Atlanta, WSRV, and WALR

    http://www.allaccess.com/net-news/ar...?ref=mail_news

    Apparently, the FCC hasn't renewed WALR's license since 2011, and WSRV's since 2003, because of the pending Cox AJC cross-ownership waiver.

    This particular article deals with Cox getting a (different) waiver to not have to have a (online) public file dating back to 2004 for WALR and 1996 for WSRV, based on when the licenses were last renewed.

    I wonder if this has anything to do with WSRV's on-again, off-again move from the Chateau Elan tower. As I recall WALR and WSRV just miss overlapping each other with city-grade signals as is, and a further move-in by either one would cause them to overlap and increase Cox's presence in that overlap area by one station. That may no longer be the case with all of WALR's moves the last few years.
    "When broadcasting over the radio, there are certain words we must omit.
    Like 'BEEP' and 'BUZZ' and 'GOBBLE-GOBBLE', by gosh we can't even say shhhhhaving cream!"

  2. #2
    WALR has made some major missteps that probably will result in their having to decrease their power from 100KW. Someone in Cox management was named the person in charge of improving facilities. He got a CP to move from the current site north of Newnan to the 107.9/96.7 tower in Tyrone but at greatly reduced power. The new signal would have covered Atlanta a little better but would have resulted in a much smaller overall signal.

    Atlanta engineering (Charles Kinney) didn't want to make the move. Meanwhile, WVFJ making a change to become stronger toward Atlanta was contingent on the WALR move. Cox let the CP expire, and WVFJ protested to the FCC, saying they should be allowed to make their move. The FCC agreed, and WALR lost their C1 protection.

    The saga continued with Cox petitioning the FCC with excuses. It's quite interesting and in the FCC public file.

  3. #3

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    Cox is definitely doing well in the ratings and making the coin, but it seems like they have the most disorganized back office and plant issues of any of the big radio companies with an Atlanta presence (including Cumulus and iHeartClearChannel).

    Side note: Could a particularly vindictive presidential administration give (big-time Democrat) Anne Cox Chambers' empire a hard time over FCC noncompliance stuff? I had heard that the younger Cox kids have been GOP supporters for a while (and were instrumental in bringing Rush and Hannity to Wisbee). Is that true?
    "When broadcasting over the radio, there are certain words we must omit.
    Like 'BEEP' and 'BUZZ' and 'GOBBLE-GOBBLE', by gosh we can't even say shhhhhaving cream!"

  4. #4
    Keep in mind the license renewal isn't done by political appointees but rather civil servants.

  5. #5

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    Keep in mind, the bureaucrats are quite sensitive to the political winds.
    WALR was originally on the Wittcher Road site which missed overlapping WYAY's signal by about a block or two when ownership was restricted. Katz did one of the first - if not the first - simulcast of rimshots to cover a major market. It did well. Changes in the rules have led to movement of sites, not necessarily to the benefit f the listeners although the circles on paper look nice.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by littlejohn View Post
    Keep in mind, the bureaucrats are quite sensitive to the political winds.
    Not at the FCC. Their actions have not followed popular trends. Nor have their actions followed other legislative trends. Otherwise they would have allowed cross-ownership.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by littlejohn View Post
    Keep in mind, the bureaucrats are quite sensitive to the political winds.
    WALR was originally on the Wittcher Road site which missed overlapping WYAY's signal by about a block or two when ownership was restricted. Katz did one of the first - if not the first - simulcast of rimshots to cover a major market. It did well. Changes in the rules have led to movement of sites, not necessarily to the benefit f the listeners although the circles on paper look nice.
    You're talking about the WYAY/WYAI Y106/Y104 simul, right?
    "When broadcasting over the radio, there are certain words we must omit.
    Like 'BEEP' and 'BUZZ' and 'GOBBLE-GOBBLE', by gosh we can't even say shhhhhaving cream!"

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by RoddyFreeman View Post
    WALR has made some major missteps that probably will result in their having to decrease their power from 100KW. Someone in Cox management was named the person in charge of improving facilities. He got a CP to move from the current site north of Newnan to the 107.9/96.7 tower in Tyrone but at greatly reduced power. The new signal would have covered Atlanta a little better but would have resulted in a much smaller overall signal.

    Atlanta engineering (Charles Kinney) didn't want to make the move. Meanwhile, WVFJ making a change to become stronger toward Atlanta was contingent on the WALR move. Cox let the CP expire, and WVFJ protested to the FCC, saying they should be allowed to make their move. The FCC agreed, and WALR lost their C1 protection.

    The saga continued with Cox petitioning the FCC with excuses. It's quite interesting and in the FCC public file.
    WALR lost its C0 protection. It still has C1. At worse, they will have to operate at 60KW which they had prior to increasing to 100KW at same Newnan tower site. I am sure the big coverage 93.5 translator on the northeast side will be more critical although the core demo will still be well served by the 60KW. In all fairness to the Cox folks, there was a major change in FCC policy as to how city of licenses are changed with FM stations during this process. Plus, the radio division head position was changed pretty often for a few years during and right after the 2008 economic calamity which sent media revenues in the toilet especially newspapers like AJC. Indeed the ball was dropped but at the time they had bigger fish to fry than trying to move closer in to downtown, an effort begun in the heady days of the early 2000s.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA View Post
    Not at the FCC. Their actions have not followed popular trends. Nor have their actions followed other legislative trends. Otherwise they would have allowed cross-ownership.
    The incoming chairman of the U.S. House Commerce Committee, which oversees the FCC, Greg Walden, a former Oregon radio station owner, has recently submitted legislation to Congress which will do away with the Cross-Ownership band. Walden went to battle with the democratically controlled FCC chairman who is leaving when Trump is sworn into office over this policy which prevents daily newspaper owners from owning radio, TV and newspapers in the same market. With radio, the 60 dBu primary contour for FM can not cover 100% of the city where the newspaper is published. WSB(AM) and WSB-FM along with WSB-TV were grandfathered when the band was put in place. The purchase of WALR and WSRV was allowed by previous FCC administration but not on a permanent basis. The policy has been under review for at least the past 20 years. Typically GOP controlled FCC has been more receptive to the concept but with the great demise of newspaper circulation/revenue and the significant revenue declines for major market radio and TV which in most large cities have never recovered to pre-2008 levels, it is pretty much a foregone conclusion a Trump controlled FCC will make elimination of the cross ownership band one of their first actions. If that happens, WSBB-FM 95.5 will be able to move to its applied for site in midtown Atlanta. WSRV could also move much closer to midtown Atlanta...I'm told it would work as a C2 near Jimmy Carter/I-85 but as of now, Cox has no application on file to downgrade and move WSRV. WALR doesn't have as much wiggle room to move in toward Atlanta, even if they were to downgrade. In fact, recently they applied for 50KW closer in but it was quickly rejected by the FCC as 104.1 will interfere with the ILS approach system to the Atlanta airport. WALR has few options between their present site and SW Atlanta with the tallest tower being the one used by 107.9 and they couldn't go there due to zoning problems and airport issues. Being on the same side of Atlanta as the airport is a big obstacle which may be impossible to overcome.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by MediaMan View Post
    The incoming chairman of the U.S. House Commerce Committee, which oversees the FCC, Greg Walden, a former Oregon radio station owner, has recently submitted legislation to Congress which will do away with the Cross-Ownership band. Walden went to battle with the democratically controlled FCC chairman who is leaving when Trump is sworn into office over this policy which prevents daily newspaper owners from owning radio, TV and newspapers in the same market.
    Keep in mind the cross-ownership rule has been in place for 40 years, through both Republican and Democratic rule. In fact, it came about during a Republican administration.

    Legislation is a lengthy process, and there are several media watchdog organizations that have actively sought to keep the rule in place. Just because a party in power doesn't mean it's a slam dunk. Otherwise it wouldn't have lasted this long.

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