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Good bye 780 Itasca

Discussion in 'Amplitude Modulation' started by K5UJ, May 30, 2018.

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  1. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Okay it's not ham but it is AM....

    Entercom CBS OO WBBM 780 operates from a plant in Itasca IL, northwest from Chicago. Entercom CBS has reportedly sold the property for $46M and plans to vacate the site later this year. They will diplex the station on the WSCR (ex WMAQ) 670 tower in Glendale Heights running 35 KW day, 42 KW night. The reductions from 50 KW are to meet protection requirements for co-channel and adjacents.

    Very early Sunday morning I went over to the Itasca site to get a few photos for posterity since this time next year it may all be a car dealership or something. I went at that time to beat the traffic so I could pull over onto the shoulder of an I-290 off ramp and get out to snap a few photos with minimal hassles from police, drunks, wise guys etc. WBBM_plant4.jpg
    N6YW likes this.
  2. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    N6YW likes this.
  3. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Transmitter building with aux tower: WBBM_plant1.jpg
    N6YW and K9ASE like this.
  4. AC0OB

    AC0OB Subscriber QRZ Page

    Now THAT would an interesting exercise in frequency rejection networks and power combining.

    N6YW likes this.
  5. W2WDX

    W2WDX Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's happening everywhere. The real estate sale is worth more than the station ad revenue.
    AF4K and N2EY like this.
  6. WB1E

    WB1E Ham Member QRZ Page

    Oh a wise guy hugh? yuk yuk yuk....

    Now that is some heavy tower. Maybe some virgin ground, was only used for farming perhaps. Will never be the same again.
    AF4K likes this.
  7. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's part of it yes. The property value also drives the property taxes. Then you have the operating costs, the expense of lamping and painting the tower, keeping the grass mowed and the fences in good shape, property insurance, etc. That is an old tower now and the 670 tower is newer and has a better ground system. The business decision is a lot easier if you own the other transmitter site which this licensee does. While I think this is the most attractive AM site in this area, if I were the licensee and had to make a business decision, I'd be doing the same thing. By the way, WBBM is often the top billing AM in this market and up there at the top or in the top 3 among AM and FMs bringing in ~ $50M / year in spot revenue. During NFL season they broadcast the Bears games and that's a huge money maker.
    K9ASE and N6YW like this.
  8. AC0OB

    AC0OB Subscriber QRZ Page

    The WBBM tower appears to have a 6 or 8 foot face which wasn't unusual back then in order to get a decent bandwidth, since Wf/H affects bandwidth.

    They have been sharing the same 10kW Aux Backup tower and facility for some time.

    WSCR's tower is 748 feet tall (0.5 Wavelength) while the old WBBM tower was 696 feet tall (0.54 Wavelength).

    These tower dimensions were set for maximum ground-wave intensity and minimum distance fading.

    WMAQ was the popular station to listen to up here for the da Bears, da Bulls, White SOX, and Cubs games.

    Stations WLS and WMAQ also had the best Rock'nRoll music in the midwest around the sixties.

    AF4K likes this.
  9. W2WDX

    W2WDX Subscriber QRZ Page

    Even with Da Bears, the ad revenue is highly devalued now due primarily from competition from other available media. And ad revenue is what pays for all the things you mentioned. They are all just costs, and with ads on AM returning less and less revenue, the sale of the property becomes the only option for generating working capital, and only as a stop gap. That revenue only goes so far.
    N2EY likes this.
  10. AC0OB

    AC0OB Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ad revenue is add revenue and is only devalued by inflation.

    With 46 Mil, they can purchase the more efficient Neutel 50kW PWM transmitters and save on 'Lectricity costs.

    AF4K likes this.

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