DC HD Radio tidbits


Clear Channel is now simulcasting its WTNT-AM on the HD-3 signal of sister Country WMZQ-FM (WMZQ-HD2- is Classic Country). We also reported CC also began airing Progressive Talk WWRC-AM on its AC WASH-FM HD-3 last month (WASH HD-2 is Easy Listening). Meanwhile, Bonneville has temporarily turned off its WTOP-FM HD-2, which was airing its iChannelMusic.com unsigned artists network. Why? Likely to fix signal problems. The network is delivered locally via satellite and the local delivery has been cutting off lately for 30-second stretches, while the signal remained strong. CC Radio's WBIG-FM HD signals were off air yesterday as well. The Radio One-Bonneville LMA for WPRS-FM DC has had no HD signal for days now.

SmartMedia observation: Not a bad idea for DC AMs to simulcast on HD-3. CC picked two stations that have pretty poor coverage, especially in the Northern VA suburbs outside of the Beltway. The good news is they kept music formats on their HD-2 streams. Using HD multicasts for AM sister station relays defeats the purpose of HD Radio-to offer more music variety.

The usual complaint on HD Radio is how will consumers take a liking to it if it's so unpredictable? One would think broadcasters could keep HD and HD multicasts on the air in a consistent fashion. Maybe in some markets…