1557 KHz 2RE Taree close down. I suspect there was no loop tape; 1557 kHz and 88.9 MHz have been running in parallel for quite some time, so it’s possible they felt a loop unnecessary and just simply pulled the pin without any pomp and ceremony. 1557 Kix Country is an overachiever for its power, dominant over 2RE when it was on.
Met up today with Paul Mech at my place. Paul mentioned that 1557 KHz 2RE Taree recently permanently closed as part of the full transition to 88.9 MHz FM. Will check 1557 KHz tonight for signs of any distant signals not usually receivable while 1557 Taree was on air.
Confirmation that Greatest Hits Radio (formerly Swansea Sound) on 1170 Khz from Winch-Wen, Swansea, has fallen silent. It was broadcasting a “close down loop” the day before yesterday. Since then, it has gone off the air.
I admit to having a bit of a lump in my throat. Part of my childhood gone!
Patrick ‘Pat Garrett’ Sickafus has ceased broadcast operations of Classic Country 1510 WWSM Annville-Cleona PA. While LebTown reports that the shutdown of the 1510 signal came because the station’s tower sustained a lightning strike in early July, the station never filed for its license renewal before it was required by the April 1 deadline ahead of today’s license expiration. The station will continue streaming online with Station Manager Gary Gruver telling Lebtown that they decided it wasn’t worth putting the money into the station to fix it. Gruver stated that all of the station’s local specialty shows will remain with the station, which aired them around Westwood One’s Real Country network. Sickafus, who also owned Classic Rock 92.1 WTPA Palmyra/Harrisburg until selling it to Educational Media Foundation in 2018, also is a Country singer/songwriter and owns a Sheepskin store that is well known for its plethora of billboards across I-78 and I-81 in Eastern Pennsylvania. The station’s eight acre property has also been put up for sale. https://radioinsight.com/headlines/235650/wwsm-ceases-operations/
The station (Swansea Sound from September 1974 until September 2020) is currently playing a loop advising listeners that their normal programming “can no longer be heard on this frequency”, and to listen via DAB, Smart Speaker etc. Normal programming was heard at 0400 on 26th July, but the loop was being broadcast from 2100 on the same day. I see that the Wikipedia entry says “An End of Service Message will be broadcast from the Winch Wen Site beginning 26/07/2022 for one week, and the 1170KHz service will be switched off W/C 01/08/2022”
All other GHR MW that I can hear at this QTH are carrying their normal programmes today. As it is the only GHR station that I can find that’s closing, I wonder if the MW licence conditions (inherited from Swansea Sound) are too expensive/onerous for Bauer to meet? As far as I am aware 1170 is the only GHR MW transmitter in Wales and one can conclude that it is the only GHR outlet that requires Welsh language programming as part of its licence conditions. The Gareth Hurford show at 2200 is presented entirely in Welsh. Was that the last opportunity to hear the Welsh language on MW? It may be that there is some Welsh broadcast from Trelew on MW, I don’t know.
It’s also interesting that in this case (as with some other GHR outlets) there is option to retune to an FM station because there is none. Ex-Swansea Sound’s FM 96.4 does not carry GHR. All of the BBC Local Radio stations that closed last year left MW but continued analogue broadcasting on FM – although how audible the FM was in some areas was open to question. In the case of GHR 1170, it is MW to digital only.
Chisolm Trail Communications has taken its Classic Hits “K-Hits” simulcast 1400 KEBE/104.7 K284CT Jacksonville and 1580 KTLU/103.9 K280CL Rusk TX off the air ahead of an impending sale. William Wachter, Mike Greene and Julie Harrison’s Chisolm Trail Broadcasting had purchased the stations in October 2020 for $100,000. Chisolm Trail also owns Classic Hits “K-Hits 95.5” KOME-FM Tolar/106.5 KITT Meridian TX. As part of a post on the station’s Facebook page, morning host Jack Parsons wrote, “I’ve had the pleasure of being part of your world while your local radio stations were being looked at by potential buyers. A deal has been struck. Today, Friday July 15th, will be the last day of active broadcasting for a while on KTLU 1580 AM AND 103.9 FM and KEBE 1400 AM AND 104.7 FM. Tomorrow morning, the music will stop… the DJs and shows along with their sponsoring advertisements will no longer be heard.” He continued later stating, “The new owners seem like good people. I don’t know what their format will be, but we have to turn things off to perform proper maintenance and upgrades. They said they have plans to bring the stations back on the air once the upgrades are in place.” https://radioinsight.com/headlines/233658/kebe-ktlu-sign-off-ahead-of-sale/
I heard an announcement this morning (July 18th) on Greatest Hits Radio (formerly Swansea Sound) that they intend to close their outlet on 1170 Khz located in Winch-Wen near Swansea, South Wales “in the near future.” Their intention is to continue with online and DAB services. No exact date for the closure has yet been confirmed however. If the closure does go ahead it will be a sad loss as, to the best of my knowledge, this is the last remaining MW commercial outlet anywhere in Wales. It has been in operation since the early 1970s, and I can recall listening to them on a small transistor radio which I was given as a present as a child. In the past, and when it was “Swansea Sound” I had received the station on a car radio as far away as Guernsey in the Channel Islands, and Rosslaire in the Irish Republic.
At the end of July, Radio New Zealand are closing the Waipapakauri Northland 837 AM transmitter that carries RNZ National to the Far North. However the Lower Northland Otaika (Whangare) transmitter synchronised on 837 AM will remain in operation.
The Waipapakauri site has been plagued with theft, anything that could be pinched has been, also the tower and guys need replacing so I guess the cost to benefit ratio has regarding listeners and maintenance come into play. According to the letterbox flyer: “costs of replacement are very high and RNZ has alternative FM radio coverage which overlaps with some of the coverage from this site”. (Nick Wallace)
“A few years ago during a bad weather event, power was lost to all FM transmission sites in the Far North. Civil Defence info was only available on AM transmitters powered by backup diesel generators. Have things improved, or could this situation arise again? Presumably CD were consulted about this?” (Barry Hartley)
Newstalk ZB on 1026 kHz will probably go off air as well, as it is dual coupled to the same mast at Waipapakauri. (Barry Hartley) This will leave the synchro’d Otaika Whangarei outlet on the frequency.
Advance preview of my next column in the ‘NZ DX Times’: Bryan Clark to mwmasts iog (2022-07-10)