The proposed auxiliary AM tower would be built next to the existing AM tower near the Moorestown-Cinnaminson, NJ border: The 425-ft. tower for 50-kW WPHT-AM—located in an open field—was built roughly 60 years ago (before most of the surrounding homes) and a number of Cinnaminson residents say it’s been a source of disturbances ever since. Now they’re concerned a proposed second tower will create even more problems.
CBS Radio East Inc., which owns the existing tower and the 21 acres it sits on, sent letters to residents near the tower informing them of its intention to build the aux 199-ft tower for WPHT closer to the road.
CBS appeared before the Moorestown Zoning Board 1/21 seeking variances for the project. Chiefly, CBS seeks approval to exceed the 45-foot height restriction placed on buildings in the SRI (Specially Restricted Industrial) zone.
On 2/10, CBS Radio East met little resistance from the Cinnaminson Township Committee as it presented its plans to add a second radio transmission tower to its site, but it got an earful from residents in a separate session afterward, noted the Philadelphia Inquirer: “They complained that the broadcast signal interferes with their cellphones, landlines, and TV reception, and several said they could even hear it coming out of electric switches, radiators, and bathtubs.”
CBS’s meeting before the Cinnaminson committee was informational.
“The company is very desirous to have all our radio stations have backup ability,” David Skalish, engineering manager for CBS Philadelphia, told committee members. He and other engineers said the new tower would broadcast at 35,000 watts…less than the 50,000 watts the existing tower uses. “The two will not broadcast at the same time,” and the backup tower will never exceed 35,000 watts.”
Louis D’Arminio, an attorney representing CBS, told committee members it plans to plant trees along Church Road to provide better visual screening. The existing tower – built when most of the area was tomato fields – now rises out of a broad swath of tall grass, the story said.
After about a half-hour before the committee, CBS representatives relocated to another room in town hall to field questions from a half-dozen residents, most of whom complained about the signal interference from the existing tower and voiced concerns about whether the signal might pose a health risk.
Moorestown’s zoning board has scheduled a formal hearing 2/18 on the application for a use variance.