October 2011
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At a crossroad

This is a situation that is and will be playing out over and over throughout the country as the decay advances. W*** signed on the air in March 1963. I believe this is the original tower:

W??? tower

W*** tower

As you can clearly see from this picture, this tower has several problems. Aside from the loose guy wires, the rust and general structural decay, it is bent in several places.  Currently, the forces are in equilibrium, but for how long, no one knows.  It is certainly not safe to climb.  At 144 feet, it is no longer required to be marked or lit, thus, over the years, the paint peeled, the weep holes filed up, the guy wires rusted and loosened, which leaves us with the situation today.

At the transmitter building, there are other issues with the basement flooding, mold, etc.  Truth be told, this station makes no money on it’s own.  It would cost several tens of thousands of dollars to fix all these issues, and for what; a high end of the broadcast band class D AM station which has not shown up in the ratings for fifteen years.  Once upon a time, it was a surviving, perhaps not thriving, local radio station. Those times have long since past.

The question is; what to do with it.  Sign it off and surrender the license?  Fix all the problems and continue to broadcast?  Donate it?  If so, who would take it?  Or, more likely, wait until the tower collapses and deal with it then.

I’d imagine that there are many others just like it dotting the country.  On the whole, the AM broadcasters that are viable would be better off if this dead wood was cut away and discarded.

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6 comments to At a crossroads

  • Dewey Jacks

    This is a real shame,Paul,…to see a tower become so neglected like this. Makes me wonder what shape the transmitter was/is in,let alone the transmitter building itself!

  • Ed

    Paul the only thing there that is worth anything is the Nautel transmitter. It is amazing that it continues to run in the building with all the water and mold. Very unhealthy building you do not want to stay in that builing for long without good ventilation And that ATU that is ready to fall over If this is the site I’m thinking of?

  • Paul Thurst

    @Dewey, the only thing worth anything at this site is the transmitter, a newer Nautel ND-1. Everything else can be/should be thrown out.
    @Ed, you have the right site.

    Sadly, I have seen this at several other locations with several other different owners.

  • Ed

    I also remember the septic tank backed up in the basement there a number of years ago when they rented the up stairs out in that building. Do not know how anyone could live up stairs in that building

  • Paul – You ever see this studio picture for WSLM in Salem, Indiana? Gotta love that shelf bending under the weight of the gear.


    Wonder what their RF plant looks like?

    There used to be a photo collection of the entire station at
    which doesn’t seem to be active right now.

  • Paul Thurst

    Alan, that is a great picture. I’ve seen many like it, unfortunately.

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