WCNY Applies to Move Antenna

June 14, 2010 by

SYRACUSE -- Classic FM (WCNY) has requested permission to move its transmitter to the relatively new TV tower on Sentinel Heights. Word comes from Scott Fybush's NorthEast Radio Watch that WCNY wants to move from its older tower in Pompey. Updated 6/22 with additional information.

Fybush reported today that WCNY had been hoping to build a multi-station "panel antenna" around the tower, but no other FM stations wanted to join WCNY in the effort. But that won't keep WCNY away from the tower, which already transmits most of the Syracuse market's TV signals. Rather, WCNY wants to go it alone, requesting approval for a single FM antenna at the top of the tower.

Fybush reports the antenna would provide a directional signal, to protect Rochester's WXXI-FM at 91.5 and "several other short-spaced signals." WCNY-FM broadcasts at 91.3 FM.

According to the FCC, the current WCNY antenna is transmitting with 18,500 watts at 226 meters above average terrain. The new antenna at Sentinel Heights would be positioned 389 meters above average terrain, but the effective radiated power would be lowered to 6,800 watts.

Due to the U.S. Census Bureau's recent shutdown of the "Tiger" mapping system, the FCC website is unable to generate the usual "60dB Contour Map" showing the expected coverage area of the proposed new antenna site.  But the contour map for the existing WCNY transmitter is still on file.

Added 6/22: Thanks to an anonymous reader who read through WCNY's application on file with the FCC and found a document which includes maps of the proposed new coverage area (PDF), and how it's expected to overlap with other stations on the same channel and adjacent channels.

As usual for most stations in our area, the new signal is also subject to a review of how it will impact stations across the Canadian border... but the firm who conducted the study for WCNY believes the proposed overlap [with CJLX, Belleville, Ontario] would be "actually less than with the currently licensed WCNY facility. In that the currently licensed facility of WCNY is acceptable based on the existing overlap the facility proposed here would also be acceptable."

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