Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mediumwave Along the Erie Canal, Part 2

Continuing with our exploration of mediumwave station sites along the Erie Canal.

We are walking the Erie Canal path in the Rochester, New York area, headed west from Lock 33. Within a one mile stretch there are three mediumwave stations lining the canal. In the last part of this series we passed within sight of WXXI-1370.

Walking just a little further along the canal path, coming into view is the four tower array of WHTK-1280 protruding above the Winton Rd. overpass, and shown in the photo just below. Its equal height .339 wavelength towers stand in a perfectly-aligned row at the northwest corner of Winton Rd. and Henrietta-Townline Rd. behind an industrial park, and just across the canal to the south. Passing under the overpass and walking about 100 yards further we get a great view of WHTK's towers.

WHTK-1280, also known as Sportsradio 1280, obviously airs a sports radio format. It is fully simulcast on WHTK-FM (107.3). WHTK is a Clear Channel Communications affiliate and is owned by Citicasters, Inc., featuring programing from Fox Sports Radio and Westwood One as well as New York Yankees, Rochester Americans and Rochester Red Wings games among other local and national sports. It transmits in AM-HD (IBOC). Both daytime and nighttime powers are set at 5KW.

Daytime coverage is omni-directional, using only one tower. The four tower array in use at night broadcasts with a main lobe at 346 degrees, and a minor lobe at 166 degrees. Gain in the favored direction, north again towards the main population center, is a respectable 7.5dB, pushing an effective 28.3KW towards Rochester.

The station was first known as WVET, signing on in 1947 under ownership of a group of returning World War II veterans calling themselves Veterans' Broadcasting Company. It operated successfully for many years with a personality full service adult popular music format. It changed callsign from WVET to WROC when Veterans bought WROC-TV from Transcontinent Television Corporation in 1961. Simultaneously an FM sister station, WROC-FM, signed on, first playing classical music and later automated jazz and pop standards. Veterans Broadcasting sold all the WROC stations in the mid-1970s. The AM station continued with its full service format until late in the 1970s, when it tried an all-news format first as WROC and then as WPXN (AM). It would later simulcast its FM sister station, by the early 1980s known as WPXY (FM) amd airing the personality contemporary hit music format which it still runs today. Late in the 80s, after changes in ownership, it would migrate to pop standards and then to mostly syndicated "hot talk", a lineup of talk and sports programming meant to appeal to young adult men. At that time it adopted the WHTK callsign (the "HTK" meant to stand for "hot talk") which it still uses today.

Shown below is WHTK-1280's nighttime pattern plot. On the plot are shown various co-channel stations around the region and where they fall into WHTK's pattern.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series.

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