Antenna Modification Not ‘Streetz’-Sound In Norfolk


As everyone in the media industry knows, possession of an analog facility housed at Channel 6 on the VHF band brings audio to 87.7 MHz on the FM band.

In Norfolk, the facility that acts as a radio station but is licensed as a LPTV operation is the home for “Hip Hop for the 757.”

It appears the station’s antenna system was modified, and the licensee failed to tell the FCC.

Streetz 87-7 is the branding used for what is WMTO-LP 6, which reported in December 2017 as a new facility serving the Norfolk market.

It is licensed to Syncom Media Group, and it received a Notice of Violation after the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau acted on a complaint of a possible unlicensed radio station.

Agents from the Enforcement Bureau’s Columbia, Md., office on April 6 ventured down I-64 to inspect WMTO’s LPTV facility in Suffolk, Va., which uses the tower for WGNT-TV.

It observed that WMTO-LP was utilizing a four-bay, circularly polarized FM antenna. There’s just one problem: the station’s latest license authorization (File # 0000040181) authorizes WMTO-LP to utilize horizontal polarization.

As such, Syncom was required to file a modification application to implement a
change to its antenna polarization. That never happened.

Furthermore, WMTO’s power output was way too high.

FCC rules state that the maximum peak effective radiated power (ERP) of an analog low power TV station can’t exceed 3kw for a VHF channel. In the case of Streetz, the station
was operating a Nautel FM Transmitter (Model NS2.5) to generate the station’s aural carrier. An Enforcement Bureau agent used the observed transmitter output (TPO) along with the values noted in the station’s license to calculate the ERP of 12.4 kw for the aural carrier—far exceeding the authorized ERP of 660 Watts.

Now, Enforcement Bureau Region One Regional Director Dave Dombrowski wants an explanation and any remedial and corrective measures taken by Syncom with 20 days of the Dec. 4 NOV issuance.

The Streetz hip-hop format was created by Steve Hegwood‘s Core Communications.