As we had suspected, 50-kW Clear Channel Rocker WIOT-FM Toledo, OH would be an issue for Martz’s recent Smooth Jazz addition to the Detroit market, “104.7 The Oasis.” And yes, Clear Channel is a bit of a hypocrite here with its attempt to add a translator in NYC, but nonetheless on 5/19 it filed a petition claiming that Martz’s 250 watt W284BQ is interfering with the reception of WIOT. Clear Channel’s attorneys have demanded that the FCC revoke The Oasis’ license.
In its FCC complaint, Clear Channel attached a list of 13 listeners that claimed The Oasis interfered with their reception of WIOT, not in Toledo, but in the Detroit metro area (yes, WIOT could previously cover large swaths of the Detroit area). Clear Channel’s attached filing points out that these complaints are within its 54dBu contour. Download Clear Channel’s petition at the top right of this page.
Martz opposed the petition and say it will “vigorously fight this attack, both with the FCC and in the court of public opinion.” (also download at the top right of this page). The company also recently launched Alternative 94.3 “The Bone” in Detroit—another translator.
Martz has put up a website: www.savetheoasis.com, asking supporters to take action and save the station. Listeners can help by sending emails of support to The Oasis at [email protected]. Supporters can also contact the FCC and Clear Channel, as well as Wayne, Oakland and Macomb, MI County executives and other national and state elected officials. Contact information for each of the above is available at the website.
Said Tim Martz of Martz Communication Group: “The outpouring of love and support from Detroit has been overwhelming. Unfortunately the status of Detroit’s favorite smooth jazz station is in jeopardy.”
Martz stressed that WIOT is solely a Toledo station and does not market itself in Detroit. He also said WIOT does not sell advertising in and for Detroit.
The Smooth Jazz format had previously disappeared from the Detroit radio dial in 2009 when CBS switched V98.7 to Top 40. However, it does offer it on the station’s HD-2 signal.
RBR-TVBR observation: WIOT has shown up in Detroit ratings, but nonetheless, this is pretty similar to complaints over HD Radio digital signals bleeding into adjacent markets and causing interference. These listeners are within WIOT’s protected contour (near the edge), but they are also in the Detroit and/or Ann Arbor, MI markets, according to Arbitron. Let’s face it, the dial is crowded and keeps getting more so. We doubt much will be done to The Oasis because of both of these issues, but it should be an interesting case for the FCC to look at. Further complaints may surface from folks on the southern edges of the Detroit metro that commute to and/or from the Toledo area for work. That stretch of I-75 between Southgate and Monroe, MI is probably pretty full of co-channel interference right about now.