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 StopIBOC.com. 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.