Detroit Pistons moved to CBS due to HD Radio interference?


Pete Skorich, Detroit Pistons Director of Broadcasting, addressed a rumor that  RBR-TVBR heard regarding a rate reduction in The Detroit Pistons contract with Clear Channel’s Sports WDFN-AM 1130 kHz over poor reception in the evenings. Details had it that 50-kW KMOX St. Louis (1120) and 50-kW WRVA Richmond (1140) were killing WDFN’s nighttime signal because of their skywave HD Radio carriers on 1130. Well, Skorich tells us there was no rate reduction but instead a complete move to CBS Radio’s The Ticket (WXYT) simulcast of 97.1 and 1270 some two years ago.

But he did note it was because of reception complaints: “That was one of the components, and we were with them for five years. They had a weak signal and we were getting a lot of people that could not hear us. It could have been [because of] HD Radio, but at the time we were totally unaware of it.”

WDFN is 50-kW during the day, but lowers its power to 10-kW in the evenings. CBS Radio’s KMOX added HD Radio in May, 2006. In the Summer of 2008, CC Radio pulled WRVA’s nighttime digital signal “due to destructive interference to three high-power AM stations the company owns in Detroit, Milwaukee and Minneapolis operating on adjacent 1130 kHz,” according to This was potentially just after the Pistons moved to The Ticket.

RBR-TVBR observation: This has been a complaint from time to time for local stations affected at night by first-adjacent 50-kW skywave stations. Even full-time 50-kW AMs have issues in their markets from distant HD Radio skywave signals.

But this is the first time we’ve heard it could have been a factor in programming and associated revenue. You may note that on 1270 AM, there are no first adjacent 50-KW stations that would add HD Radio interference onto its signal. As well, it is 50-KW full-time.