Evidence of Corporate Greed Creating The Radio Landscape Today
In the 1980's and 1990's I worked for a very well run local radio station in Westchester County, NY. The station's call letters were WFAS and they were synonymous local Westchester County. The station has been around for many years and were a reliable source for school closings, election results and many other local events. It was an AM/FM combo. I worked for the FM which played Adult Contemporary music. WFAS-FM's transmitter was in Hartsdale, NY about 30 miles from New York City. It's broadcast output power was about 3,000 watts. Coverage included Westchester County, some of northern Bergen County, NJ and the northern fringes of NYC.
The station went under several ownerships with the last being Cumulous Broadcasting, the third largest owner of AM/FM radio stations in the United States.
Several years ago, Cumulous decided that they wanted to make more money. They pulled the plug on the WFAS - 103.9 transmitter and moved the transmission site to Bronxville, NY. This was the southern most part of Westchester county. The call letters were changed to WNBM and the programming was no longer local. It was changed to Urban Contemporary targeted toward New York City.
Well it doesn't really take a genius to know that their power had to remain the same, 3000watts, a signal that couldn't possibly cover all of New York City clearly. Their programming had lots of competition from powerhouses WBLS 107.9, WWPR 105.1,WQHT 97.1 and several others. All with their antenna's on top of buildings like the Empire State Building and other tall skyscrapers in New York City. Their output power was much greater than WNBM.
Well there's a very predictable ending to this story. A perfectly fine local FM station serving their community well was unplugged, a new insignificant station emerged nearer NYC which couldn't even serve the city properly. Obviously, it didn't or should I say "couldn't perform well. As of this writing almost all local programming has been removed the station is awaiting it's sale or demise. Corporate greed if I've ever seen it!
I blame the FCC for allowing a corporation to own more than one station in one market. Radio has stooped to the lowest it has been in years!