Here we are looking at what we commonly
call – West Tiger #2 or WTM-2. The overall height of the two
towers, including antennas, is 350 feet. The towers were made by
ERI. The tower on the right holds the FM Master Antenna, an 8 bay
ERI – Cogwheel that is fed by 6 FM stations via a combiner. Above
that, out of the frame, is a presently unused pole to which used to be
mounted the KUNS-TV antenna (they moved to the Sinclair Tower on Queen
Anne Hill). You can find out more about this site by going to the
ATC Web Site and looking for Site #’s 7500 and 7509.
The FCC has pleased many with officially doing away with the long
standing main-studio-rule, in place since before even I was born!
Over the years many broadcasters I’ve known have found creative means of
working around this one. Perhaps its time was past?
Sure we all laugh about it – but we need to understand that many are
blinded by the technology that they embrace. This is similar to
those that find that they are completely cut off when the power goes out
or the cellphone cannot be re-charged. Or, perhaps discover that
milk comes from a cow. I have recently been discovering an example
of another disconnect. I have been working on selling my
car. In this process I have uncovered the fact that there are a
huge number of people that are totally incapable of driving a vehicle
with a manual transmission. Given the choice between a root canal
and a driving a 3-pedal car – they don’t know which to choose.
In the world of Seattle radio – A lot of eyes on the Entercom/CBS
deal. Now that the decision has been made by Entercom (ETM) to
bring 94.1/KMPS into their cluster, the obvious question is would the
new company keep both of the market's Country Music formatted
stations? If history can be used as a guide – the answer is
no. Recalling when 106.1 was Young Country and they were
purchased by the owners of the market's legacy country station,
KMPS. 106.1 had a new format. They were lucky for many
years, 94.1 was the only place for that format. That is until
Entercom challenged KMPS with The Wolf on 100.7. Assuming
they would not wish to wreck 94.1, it would appear that 100.7 may well
be airing something else in the future. The question is
what? Factor in 1090 AM which has been running CBS Sports for some
time. ETM is apparently not going to pick up the AM. Could
that mean that Seattle could have its first Sports FM?...Hmmm
Then there is the matter of the two left-over FM’s (KZOK/102.5 and
KJAQ/96.5). There has been a lot of speculation that Bonneville or
Hubbard will end up with these two. Then there is the other
thought that perhaps ETM would rather do a trade with someone than sell
these stations for cash. Perhaps dealing with a major group that
would be willing to trade a pair of Seattle FM’s for stations they would
rather have. This is a more remote idea when you consider that
ETM has announced how much money they will be making selling the
‘left-overs’ for a cool $265 M.
If you are keeping score – Here is what that scoreboard looks like right now in Seattle
OWNER FM’s AM’s
Entercom 4 0
Hubbard 3 2
Bonneville 1 2
On the bright side is speculating on these things, especially when you
don’t have a horse in the race. The darker side is being an
employee at one of the stations being spun off wondering and
wondering. Late word is that this might all come down later in
November – so get those bets in right away!
The next step in this adventure will take place on November 15th when
the shareholders will meet to cast their votes that will bring the two
companies together. The decision of Entercom has already been made
with founder Joe Field, having already said yes. Easy when you
control the majority of the stock. His son David will be the
CEO. After this it’s all up to government regulators at the DOJ
The FCC is going to make some changes to a number of media ownership
rules. The big change will be that broadcasters can now own
newspapers again (didn’t it use to be the other way around?).
However there will be no change in the number of radio stations that can
be owned by one firm. That number is 8 (5-FM’s and 3-AM’s) in a
market the size of Seattle.
Nielsen recently made a change that moved Seattle up to the Number 12
spot. Obviously the number 12 has significance in this city –
Especially if you are a Seahawk fan. The Seattle
area, as you all know, has been growing at a fast clip in the last few
years so this is not a huge surprise. Interestingly the
market rank for Radio and TV are different. Here is how
things stack up in markets where this column is read –
MARKET RADIO RANK TV RANK
Moving from ‘ear-strain’ to ‘eye-stain’…..
Despite the Feds taking a long look at the Sinclair/Tribune deal, the
shareholders of the two firms have indicated their approval of the
deal. This is a biggie in many ways. Dollar-wise we are
talking 3900 Megabucks. In the Seattle market this would mean that
4 TV stations would be owned by the same outfit. Knowing that
this is not going to fly means the 2 of the area's TV stations are,
down-stream, going to be owned by someone else…Mums the word as to
who. Like the ETM/CBS deal in Radio, this is wonderful fodder for
I was reminded recently of days gone by when I would give tours of radio
stations that I worked at. At one time this was a popular thing
to do with boy and girl scouts and elementary schools. It was
always interesting to see how the ‘mental picture’ they had of a radio
station was altered by actually seeing the inside of one. The most
common question asked was, what do all these people do? (Sales,
administrative, engineers etc.) In their minds they could only
picture what they heard on their radio. Flash forward to today’s
radio station, a tour group would likely ask, "Where are all the
So what’s going on with Multilingual EAS Alerts? If you have not
followed this, I suggest that you read FCC - 47 CFR 11.21
completely. In all of this. EAS Participants (FCCeeze for any FCC
Licensee that has an EAS Obligation) that broadcast other than English
are to cooperate and participate with their state SECC to identify how
they are going to provide for public warnings via EAS in other than
English. The Washington State SECC recently elected to initiate a
survey to satisfy their requirements in this process. Meanwhile,
in what appears to be a contradictory move, a Court has upheld an FCC
Decision to not require Multilingual EAS Alerts.
This issue has been brewing for a very long time with many groups
pressing the FCC to require Public Warnings be in languages other than
English. The Court decision was, as you might imagine, now well
received by those that have been pressing for it. Words like ‘deep
displeasure’ and ‘irrational and heatless’ were frequently heard.
This whole issue got a big boost after Katrina, when over 100,000
Spanish-speaking residents were left with no information on the media in
It appears pretty clear that the FCC is not going to require
broadcasters to air EAS Messages in other languages for the foreseeable
future. Bottom line is it sounds like Broadcasters don’t have to
broadcast EAS Alerts in other that English. However you have to report
to the SECC your procedure for doing it. Certainly this will be a
topic at the next Washington State SECC Meeting scheduled for Tuesday,
November 14th at the Building 11 Radio Conference Room at Clover Park
In yet another battle involving an FM Translator, KLUS-FM came out the
winner after a 13-month-long battle with a co-channel translator.
Critics are upset because full power stations are keeping smaller
markets in the vicinity from having their share of the FM Band. A
lot of this may depend on how much attention the previous occupant of
the frequency is paying to the rapid increase in translators. Some
stations are, perhaps, not ‘watching the store’, while others are
paying very close attention, knowing that the FCC is not going to
automatically side with them.
Hopefully the FCC will institute a better method for dealing with
translator interference issues. They say they are looking into
it. Meanwhile, the number of translators and boosters continue to
increase at a record rate. If you have a ‘seek’ button on your
vehicle radio, put it on FM and push the button. You might be
surprised at the number of signals you can receive. Drive 10 miles
and do It again for more of an ‘eye-opening’.
The FCC is taking a page from their ‘wardrobe malfunction playbook’ and
is starting to issue huge fines for Pirate Radio operations going north
of $100,000. My question remains, what percentage of these
operators actually pay the fine? Recently the FCC has been going
after property owners where a lot of this activity originates.
That could help – provided they don’t try to skate on paying the fines
Nothing like a wonderful saying to help the day. This one comes from one of our own, Gray Haertig of Portland, Oregon –
Never assume a conspiracy when incompetence is sufficient to explain the facts!
As part of the FCC’s modernization, it
looks like the requirement to have a paper copy of the FCC’s rules on
hand may be going away, thus ending a 40 year old requirement.
Seems to make sense in this day and age of wearable/portable on-line
capable electronic gizmos. Only down side is when that Cell Site
or Internet connection goes down, you will be left with trying to
remember the rules you are required to be compliant with.
This brings up the whole concept of how dependent we have become.
Talk with the folks in Puerto Rico with No Power, No Internet. Our
day will come too when we experience our ‘Big One’. There are
going to be a lot of totally helpful folks out there. Can you
imagine dealing with kids that suddenly have no hand-held
Nothing like a warning sign that will bring a smile!
Over the years doing a large part of my work around transmitters and
antennas I’ve encountered someone that wanted to know of a publication
they could pick up to help them comprehend the mysterious world of RF,
especially that magical gizmo that launches that signal in the air, the
Antenna. I’ve rather consistently pointed to the ARRL – The
Amateur or Ham Radio organization. Occasionally I will receive a
funny look in doing so as this is not where some expect to find good
solid and instructional information. Happy to report the ARRL has a
new publication called ‘Antenna Physics’. 160 pages of
information that anyone who is involved with RF will want to have on
To obtain this and other publications from the ARRL – Go to www.arrl.org/9
The new Fluke T6-1000 Electrical Tester
Looking for another example of how things are changing? Fluke has
recently introduced a new item that enables you to measure voltage
without test-leads. The new T6-1000 via an open fork, much like
some of their devices used to measure current. For you non-techies
out there. trust me, this is something that many will continue to feel
is impossible. Oh Yes, Fluke is another Seattle area company,
based in neighboring Everett. For more info, check out en-us.fluke.com/products/electrical-testers/t6-1000-electrical-tester.html
I have to wonder just how many tower-related accidents will take place
as a result of re-packing, causing a shortage of experienced tower
As anyone who knows much about Seattle will tell you - Seattle is a very
liberal place. Well, Forbes is out with results of a new survey
and you were right – They rank Seattle as the 3rd most liberal city in
the country. As you may have guessed, San Francisco is rated #1.
Interesting to watch what’s been going on in Texas, where two stations, not commonly owned, are using similar call letters.
In this case it’s KCTI vs KCTI-FM. The owner of KCTI was late in
objecting to the FM’s call letters and the FCC said…"Sorry too late".
Here in Seattle we have a couple of long-standing call letters – KING
and KIRO. At one time each of these calls were under common
ownership. Today KING AM is gone, but KING-TV is owned by Tegna
and KING-FM by a non-commercial ground. KIRO-AM and FM is owned by
Bonneville and KIRO-TV is owned by Cox. Many people I talk with
still believe they are commonly owned.
Periodically I will receive an email from someone that I don’t know, but
connects with what I write about. One of my recent emails came
from Steve Sibulsky who worked at 103.7 FM (then called KRBD) from 1982
to 1984. In follow-up emails it appears that we never met,
however, we do know a lot of the same people. Steve made my day by
sending some pictures taken in Ayacucho, Peru. He wrote, "The
site is called ‘Mirador’ a favorite viewpoint and kite-flying spot…that
also has a guyed tower for local radio. The guys were decorated with pieces of kites…probably not a problem you see on Tiger Mountain!"
Zooming in on the top of the tower you can see what appears to be a
vertically polarized FM antenna. From the looks of the guy wire
insulators and the wires parallel to the tower in the bottom of the
frame, the tower may be used for AM as well. Nothing like this
Looking for a job on the technical side in Radio? Understand
Wisconsin Public Radio, Duhamel in Rapid City S.D. and more locally
Bi-coastal Media in Oregon have openings.
Once again we have an example of how terms from the past, for reasons
unknown, appear to be required in the present. Example is this
story - for Greg Agvent, senior director of CNN Air (the news channel’s
drone division), drone footage provided viewers with a heightened
“context, perspective, and understanding” of Harvey/Irma/Maria’s
appalling damage. Footage? Really! How do drones
provide footage? Perhaps in the same way that you will still hear
the terms, ‘Caught on Film’ or ‘Film at 11’? Or the old video of a
reel-to-reel tape recorder when an audio clip is being played?
The name EMF is becoming more familiar as the non-profit ownership of
adult contemporary Christian Music has expanded to 770 stations and
More survey stuff – We all know that Seattle’s rapid growth has pushed
the cost of housing rapidly upward. The question asked in this
survey, "What are the 25 most expensive cities to move to"?
Coming in at #16 is Portland-Vancouver. The cost of living there is 1.8% higher than the national average.
#12 is Metro Denver (Including Aurora and Lakewood). There the cost of living is 6% higher.
#10 is Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue. Here the COL is 9.4% higher than the national average.
Perhaps the good news is that we are not in the most expensive
area. Despite this survey, there are examples of how far the
Seattle real estate madness has gone. Get a load of this gem:
Yes, it’s an oldie (built in 1901) in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. Price - $595,000!!
I was recently watching one of those channels where they show homes for
sale to potential buyers. In this case they were showing, very
livable 2400 sq. ft., 3 bedroom, 2 bath homes for under $200,000 in
Nashville, Tenn. What a contrast!
Another local firm to brag about – Costco, based in Issaquah (just east
of Seattle), is doing very well with reportedly over 90 million
members. If you rank grocery retailers, Costco is now #3 behind
Walmart and Kroger. Coming up fast is Amazon, currently in 5th
Time to look at the Seattle Radio ratings and pull out some headlines –
Non-Commercial KUOW-FM is #1
Non-Commercial KNKX is #10
The highest rated AM is KIRO-710 at #11
The next highest rated AM, KOMO-1000 at #18
I should note that this is looking at 6 Plus, Monday-Sunday, 6 a.m. to midnight.
Certainly the success of non-commercial stations in the Seattle market
cannot be overlooked. During some time segments, their numbers are
even more impressive. For example, KNKX is pulling a 6.6 Share or
#3 in the mornings. I have to wonder how much this is noticed in
the programming offices of leading commercial stations?
From the category of, 'Occasionally there is a bad dude’, comes the
story of Robert Berlin in DuPage, Ill., who has been sentenced to 8
years for steeling approx. $400,000 from the College and house of
worship where he worked as an engineer. He had worked there for 30
One thing I love about my job is the ability to get out of the city and
see some of our beautiful state. This picture was taken, while we
were stopped awaiting work being done on the rock-face next to the road
on US 101 west of Port Angeles. The water on the right is Lake
Crescent. If you look closely, you can see what looks like
smoke. This is where they are drilling into the rock to install
bolts to help hold the rock together. Not unlike Snoqualmie Pass,
this area has been the scene of falling rock for years. When they
are done, the loose material will be gone and, as I understand it,
screening will be placed on the rock to protect those that are driving
below. This piece of roadway is going to be closing now 4 hours
per day, Monday - Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you are
planning a trip to the west end of Clallam County, you might wish to
factor this in. Both of the alternatives are real
time-eaters. SR112 along the northern end of the peninsula or via
Aberdeen on the south.
Wonder how things will be changed next April for NAB in Las Vegas in
light of the recent mass killing by a shooter? Already there have
been a number of steps taken to increase security. No small chore
for a city like LV where almost 43 million visit annually from all over
the world. A lot of the changes will likely not be visible so as
to not tip off those that they are trying to stop before they do harm.
Looking at the numbers of things transmitting these days, the trends are interesting:
FM – Boosters and Translators – UP
AM Stations –DOWN
TV Stations – DOWN. That’s correct. According to a new FCC
report, more than 500 UHF/VHF Stations have gone dark in the last 5
Okay folks, time for a little Vocabulary Lesson. The word today:
Skeuomorphic and/or Skeuomorphism
Now there is a word that you want to work into your next email or chat with a friend. Now to what it means.
Skeuomorphism is where an object in software mimics its real world counterpart.
The “trash can” used as a graphic symbol in computer based devices is,
perhaps, the most recognizable skeuomorphic object. Here’s an
Obviously telephone dial, complete with finger-stop, is not real.
It’s just made to look that way with a 3-dimensional looking
2-dimensional display on this smart-phone.
Here’s another example – The Switch on the left looks real, as if it
were a photograph. It’s made to look 3 dimensional. A
two dimensional switch might look like the one on the right.
Here are a couple of Compasses. The one on the left is skeuomorphic.
Here’s another example with a round knob and linear controls. You
have obviously see this kind of thing. NOW you know what to call
Over the years this column has become increasingly interactive with
readers sending me items that they likely figure would fit into my wacky
way of looking at things. The following is an example:
English lesson for the day - Paraprosdokians
are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase
is surprising or unexpected and is frequently humorous. (Winston
Churchill loved them.)
Here is just a few samples that bring on the phrase, “Gee I wish I would have said that.”
1. Where there's a will, I want to be in it.
2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you ... but it's still on my list.
3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
4. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.
5. We never really grow up -- we only learn how to act in public.
6. War does not determine who is right, only who is left.
7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
9. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
10. In filling out an application, where it says, "In case of emergency, notify... " I answered, "a doctor".
11. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street
with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.
12. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
13. I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.
14. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
15. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian, any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
16. You are never too old to learn something stupid.
17. I'm supposed to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder for me to find one now.
With that, perhaps it’s time to put a wrap on it for this month.
Looking at the Calendar – I suppose this is my time to wish you and
yours a very Happy Thanksgiving! (Wow, did that one sneak up on us
Until the next time,
-30- (More about that later.)