Big Brew City AM Gets An FM Translator


In a sign of the times, Wisconsin’s “most powerful radio station” is getting a translator as it attempts to lure FM radio listeners who rarely, if ever, go to the AM band.

In an announcement made Wednesday morning, The E.W. Scripps Co.‘s longtime News/Talk WTMJ-AM 620 in Milwaukee — a Class B with 50kw from 4 towers during daylight hours and 10kw at night from 6 towers — is getting an FM translator to “expand the programming reach” for the station.

The translator is W277CV, at 103.3 MHz. This facility is moving from Waukegan, Ill., to the heart of Milwaukee, giving it coverage of nearly all of the metropolitan area.

WTMJ is the home of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball club and the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.

“WTMJ is ‘Wisconsin’s Radio Station,’” said Tom Langmyer, VP/GM of WTMJ and VP of News, Talk & Sports for Scripps. “Bringing WTMJ to the FM band improves our reach in Milwaukee’s quickly developing downtown region — and with the large percentage of FM-only listeners.”

The FM translator will take WTMJ’s feed from the HD-2 signal of Scripps’ Country WKTI-FM 94.5.

RBR+TVBR OBSERVATION: WTMJ says it is Wisconsin’s “most powerful radio station.” Clearly those are empty words, since it is the latest AM station to try to expand its audience by grabbing a puny 250-watt FM to pretty much salvage its long-term future. This is “AM revitalization?” We should have moved AMs to HD Radio signals and pushed hard to get HD Radio incorporated into every car radio and home tuner on the market.

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