Radio Waves: Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio
Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors NT, Dennis Dura, Alan, and Rich Cuff for the following tips:
Facing deadlines this year to pay back some of its $2 billion in debt, Audacy appears poised to file for bankruptcy protection, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ says all that debt is about to trigger a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, possible within weeks, with senior lenders assuming ownership of the radio company following the reorganization. (Chapter 11 is the type of bankruptcy that allows a company to maintain operations while creating a plan to repay creditors, rather than Chapter 7, which involves liquidation of assets.)
Audacy has been slow rolling payback of its massive debt, which was mostly accumulated back in 2017 when the former Entercom Communications merged with CBS Radio. The broadcast company rebranded as Audacy in 2021.
The publicly-owned radio company has been skipping loan interest payments since late last year in efforts to facilitate talks with its lenders, according to reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission. The broadcaster has blamed a softness in the ad markets for its inability to pay back the loans.
The WSJ says Audacy — which has $632 million in first lien debt due in Nov. 2024 — has reached agreement with its lenders for a “pre-packaged bankruptcy plan.” The business and economy-focused newspaper reports lenders will help finance the reorganization. It’s unclear if Audacy CEO David Field will remain with the company following the reorganization.
Audacy, which is one of the biggest U.S. radio owners with 230 radio stations in 46 markets, has gone through recent format reorganizations that have resulted in significant job losses through consolidation of on-air positions. [Continue reading…]
One of the more unusual facilities featured in our recent Radio World ebook about interesting RF plants is at WBCQ. It uses what is believed to be the only rotatable shortwave antenna in North America.
The station operates from Monticello in northern Maine; it’s owned and operated by Allan and Angela Weiner, who also are licensees of WXME(AM) 780 kHz and WBCQ(FM) 94.7 MHz at the site.
Installed in 2018, the AHR 4/4/0.5 antenna was manufactured by the former Ampegon AG and can transmit signals up to 500 kW. It is used to broadcast “World’s Last Chance,” a ministry that believes “the return of Yahushua is only a few years away” according to Bible prophecy.
The program is heard on 9.330 MHz in various languages for target areas in both the western and eastern hemispheres. (The program has posted reception reports.)
The turnkey installation was done by Cestron International of Germany, with work led by Winfried Zimmer. Lance Cook was project manager for WBCQ.
“The high-power antenna offers different radiation patterns and an antenna gain of up to 23 dB and uses a technology characterized by a single-shaft structural design,” Cestron said in a project summary.
The tubular shaft has a diameter of four meters. Its support design will absorb static and dynamic forces originating from the antenna components, allowing the system to function even under extreme weather conditions, according to Cestron. [Continue reading…]
All India Radio (AIR), the public service broadcaster in India, is providing terrestrial radio services in all the radio broadcast bands – MW, SW, and FM. Commercial broadcasting in FM band is licensed to private radio stations, and community radio stations are also permitted for non-commercial use.
At present, most of the terrestrial radio services in India are in analogue, except for some services of AIR in MW and SW bands, which are in DRM digital.
Keeping in view the advantages of digital radio broadcasting, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the regulator for broadcasting, on Feb 1, 2018, had recommended to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (M/o I&B), Government of India, that digital broadcasting in FM band (VHF band II) should also be allowed, without disturbing the existing analogue transmissions. [Continue reading…]
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