Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mediumwave Oddities - Geography

Think you know mediumwave? Are you good at geography? Do you like statistics?

Let's look at the geographical oddities of the mediumwave band for the United States. Information has been gleaned from current FCC records, and includes only US-licensed stations. 4784 licensed stations were used to compile these statistics from the FCC database dated July 14, 2010.


Did you know that 21% of all US-licensed AM stations are east of Florida? This one surprised me.

Which US station is the farthest east? Remember, east goes all the way to the International Date Line.

If you guessed a station in Maine, you would be wrong by a great margin. The farthest US station in the eastern hemisphere is KCNM-1080 (5KW), Saipan, Northern Marianas at 145.714E longitude. Next would be KGUM-567 (10KW), in Agana, Guam at 144.759E longitude. Three other stations in Guam are #3, #4, and #5 farthest east in longitude, west of the International Date Line.

So, how about the continental US? Are we there yet?

Think Carribbean. WSTX-970 (5KW), in Christiansted, US Virgin Islands is next farthest east at 64.693W longitude, and the most eastern US station in the western hemisphere. Five other US Virgin Islands stations are next.

Next comes a slew of stations in Puerto Rico, in fact 75 of them. The farthest east in Puerto Rico is WMDD-1480 (5KW), at 65.64W longitude.

Now we finally come to the continental US. The most easterly station in the continental US is WXME-780 (5KW), Monticello, Maine at 67.817W longitude. However, there is an application on file for a "NEW" AM station in Calais, Maine at 67.266W longitude which will take the title if it ever goes on the air.

But what about Florida, you ask?

Florida is not even close in the running. WWRF-1380 (1KW), Lake Worth, Florida at 80.072W longitude is the station farthest east in Florida. Astonishingly, there are 921 stations up and down the east coast of the continental US which are farther east than Florida's WWRF-1380, and 1007 stations farther east in total, clear to the International Date Line, all licensed to the US via the FCC.

Amazingly, 1007 stations (21%) of 4784 licensed FCC stations are east of Florida.

Which is the most easterly NPR (National Public Radio) station?

WFPB-1170 (1KW) Orleans, Massachusetts at 70.01W longitude.

Most of us know that "K" stations are west of the Mississippi, and "W" stations are east of the Mississippi, except for a few exceptions, like KDKA-1020 in Pittsburgh, PA and KYW-1060 in Philadelphia, PA and WOAI-1200 in San Antonio, Texas.

Which is the farthest east "K" station, east of the Mississippi River?

That would be KCNM-1080 (5KW), Saipan, Northern Marianas at 145.714E longitude. It is 7788 miles east of Wasington, DC where the FCC is located, and most definitely east of the Mississippi River. The most easterly "K" station in the lower 48 states is KYW-1060 (50KW), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 75.248W longitude.


Which US station is the farthest west?

We have two winners. KJAL-585 (5KW) Tafuna, American Samoa at 170.776W longitude and WVUV-648 (10KW), Leone, American Samoa at 170.776W longitude, both in the South Pacific and licensed by the FCC, some 7035 miles west of Washington, DC. They transmit from the same location.

Which is the most westerly station in the lower 48 states?

KBIS-1490 (1KW), Forks, Washington at 124.388W longitude. There are 72 stations farther west of this, all in Alaska or the Pacific Ocean.

Which has more AM stations, Hawaii or Alaska?

Hawaii has 30; Alaska has 40. Alaska is the winner.

Which is the most westerly Alaskan station?

KICY-850 (50KW), Nome, Alaska at 165.314W longitude. There are a total of 6 Alaskan stations that are farther west than the most westerly Hawaiian station, KUAI-720 (5KW), on the island of Kuai.

Which is the most westerly NPR station?

KOTZ-720 (10KW), Kotzebue, Alaska at 162.568W longitude.

Which is the farthest west "W" station, west of the Mississippi River?

The prize goes to WVUV-648 (10KW), Leone, American Samoa at 170.776W longitude. So much for WOAI-1200 in San Antonio, Texas! WOAI-1200 is the most westerly in the lower 48 states.


Which US station is the farthest north?

KBRW-680 (10KW), Barrow, Alaska at 71.256N latitude.

Which NPR station is the farthest north?

Again, KBRW-680 (10KW), Barrow, Alaska at 71.256N latitude.

How about the continental US? Which station is the farthest north?

We have a tie. KVRI-1600 (50KW), Blaine, Washington at 48.954N latitude and KARI-550 (5KW), Blaine, Washington at 48.954N latitude.

How come a station in Maine isn't the farthest north?

The most northern station in Maine is WFST-600 (5KW), Caribou, Maine at 46.886N latitude. 180 stations are farther north than WFST-600, and all are scattered from Minnesota all the way to Alaska.

The geographical center of the lower 48 states lies outside of Lebanon, Kansas, in the middle of what used to be a hog farm.

Are there more stations to the north or to the south of this location?

There are 1814 stations to the north and 2970 stations to the south of Lebanon, Kansas.


Which US station is the farthest south? Think outside of the continental US.

Another tie. KJAL-585 (5KW) Tafuna, American Samoa at 14.357S latitude and WVUV-648 (10KW), Leone, American Samoa at 14.357S latitude. Coincidentally, these two stations are not only the farthest south, but also the farthest west.

Which is the most southerly station in the continental US?

WKIZ-1500 (250W), Key West, Florida at 24.567N latitude. The Florida Keys have 3 stations - 2 in Key West, and 1 in Marathon Key.

How about Texas? It's pretty far south.

The most southerly station in Texas is KVNS-1700 (8.8KW), Brownsville, Texas at 25.949N latitude.

And California?

That would be KURS-1040 (360W), San Diego, California at 32.694N latitude. Texas is much farther south than California.

How many stations are south of the continental US?

There are 118 stations south of the continental US, that is, south of Key West, Florida. All are in the Pacific or Caribbean.

The Mississippi River runs north and south through the country, dividing the US east to west approximately at St. Louis, Missouri (90.18W longitude).

Are there more stations to the east or to the west of St. Louis?

There are 1990 stations west of St. Louis and 2794 stations east of St. Louis. The majority of stations are to the east of St. Louis, in fact, 71% of them.


How about some IBOC stats?

There are 293 licensed IBOC stations. Two are silent at the moment.

The most westerly IBOC station is KOTZ-720 (10KW), Kotzebue, Alaska at 162.568W longitude. It is also the most northerly IBOC station and the most westerly NPR station.

The most easterly IBOC station is WIPR-940 (10KW), San Juan, Puerto Rico at 66.141W longitude. It is also the most southerly IBOC station.

There are 128 IBOC stations west of the Mississippi River. There are 165 IBOC stations east of the Mississippi River.

Which state has the most IBOC stations?

California wins with 32. Runner up is Florida with 25, followed by Colorado at 17. New York has 16, and both Texas and Ohio have 15 each.

Which state has the fewest IBOC stations?

Several are tied. Kentucky, Mississippi, North Dakota, Nebraska, and South Carolina have 1 each. Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, and Nevada have 2 each.

Which state has the most IBOC NPR stations?

Surprise! Alaska wins with 6. Alaska also has the most NPR stations overall at 9.


How many "K" call signs?


How many "W" call signs?

2877. The "W"s win by a huge margin.

We have a KAAA and a KZZZ, but no WAAA or WZZZ.

What are the oddest call signs?

Puerto Rico gets the win here. WA2XPA-680, WI2XAC-740, WI2XSO-1260, and WI3XSP-1260. These four are experimental synchronous stations. Usually AM synchronous station call signs are named the same as the host station, like KKOB-770 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which runs one in Santa Fe, also KKOB.

Which state has the most stations?

Texas takes the prize with 298, then California with 250.

Surely New York is next, right?

No. New York is #8 ranked with 168. Florida (227), North Carolina (219), Tennessee (185), Georgia (183), and Pennsylvania (180) all have more stations than New York (168). Weirdly, New York ranks just above Alabama, which has 152.

Which state has the fewest stations?

That would be Delaware with 10, followed by Rhode Island with 15 and Vermont with 19.

Coming up next: Mediumwave Oddities - Transmitter Power


Station powers listed are for their daytime service. Nighttime powers may be lower in some cases.


gkinsman said...


In my humble opinion, California "loses" with 32 IBOC stations. Make them go away!



I think you've got something there, Gary!


Stephen said...

KURS is a semi-local for me.
Also, KNSN-1240 (formerly KSON), broadcasts from the same tower. Several years ago one December, we had some strong winds here which blew over the top half or so of their 1/2-wave self-supporting tower (complete with their old KSON callsign on it, which has not been restored), and they built a new tower several feet or so south of the old one.

Speaking of geography, I wonder what towers are built very close to development? I know KFMB-760 has a highway running between two of its towers, I think WSB-750 is in a shopping center parking lot, KTNQ-1020 & KTLK-1150's diplexed towers are atop an industrial building, and there's a Wal-Mart or something between KTAR-620's towers, but what other oddities like that are there?


Hi Stephen,

Interesting about KFMB. I didn't know that about the highway.

NE Radio Watch has a tower site of the week. I bet they have some oddities on there.

Radio-Timetraveller (Bill)