WYFR shortwave signing off

Family Radio’s WYFR shortwave service will be ending on June 30, 2013.

WYFR 50 years
WYFR 50 years

Shortwave transmitting is very expensive, and no doubt, competing IP distribution technology and diminishing returns on such investment must play a factor in this decision.  Family radio has been struggling ever since the world did not end as predicted in 2011.

I believe that site has fourteen 100KW HF transmitters and eighteen antennas of various type.  There is a complete photo album here: https://picasaweb.google.com/115519153277489147905/WYFR?noredirect=1#5149450014785168130 courtesy of Kent.

Kind of sad to see them go, I don’t know what their plans are after June 30.

Stay tuned, 1994 redux

In case you haven’t heard, May 21, 2011 will mark the beginning of the end of the world. It is on this date, according to Harold Camping, the rapture will begin. For those not versed in bible lore, this is when God will take all of the saved souls directly to heaven, body and all. Further research reveals that it will begin at 6pm local time, in every time zone.

I’d imagine you can listen for updates on Family Radio stations or shortwave if there aren’t any local stations to listen to.  Those on the west coast may want to tune into the shortwave broadcast (transmitters are in Okeechobee, Florida) for a preview of coming events.  You can try:

  • 5950 KHz 22:00 through 0100 UT (6pm through 11pm EDT)
  • 11470 KHz 22:00 through 23:45 UT
  • 15440 KHz 22:00 through 23:59 UT

The full shortwave schedule is available here.  I am setting my clock so I can tune in and see what happens because I am curious; dead air? station sign offs?  I really want to know how a station plans for the end of the world.  Hopefully it will be marked by some program, announcement or something special.  Operations as usual would be very boring, as most Family Radio programming is mundane and predicable.

Frankly, Camping has made these predictions before, the last was September 6, 1994, when the faithful gathered in the Alameda’s Veterans Memorial Building, bibles open, hands out stretched, awaiting the moment.  After a while, it became clear that something was amiss and everyone went home, wondering what went wrong.  There have been many religious based predictions for the world ending: 1806; October, 1844; December 21, 1956; November 1982; January 1, 2000: etc.   The Jehovah’s Witnesses alone have predicted the end coming in 1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975 and 1994.

It’s either a really good radio stunt, which would go down as one of the greats of all time or they actually believe it’s the end of the world.  In the case of the latter, does this mean they will be selling their radio stations?  There are several around here that I’d be interested in getting my hands on.  I’d even give a fair price, considering the circumstances and all.

Update: How do radio stations prepare for the end of the world?  T -40 minutes and the answer appears to be play canned programming, or in other words, business as usual.