Radio One fails to win WWIN power upgrade


Baltimore FM WWIN operates out of Glen Burnie MD with the 3 kW of power on a 91 meter stick, and it’s hemmed in by the threat of interference to other stations. Owner Radio One had hoped that moving the city of license and procurement of certain FCC waivers would allow it to double the station’s wattage, but it ran into objections and is not to be.

Radio One wanted to take the station’s city of license from Glen Burnie MD to Arbutus MD. Both communities are part of the Baltimore urbanized area, and the change would not require moving the station’s transmitter so much as an inch. What it would do is upgrade the station’s signal output to 6 kW.

Waivers would be required to treat the change as a minor modification, getting around the normal requirement that such a change as a whole is not to increase the area or population in which interference to other nearby stations exist.

Radio One said that the one station that would suffer somewhat was Cumulus York PA FM WSOX on 96.1, and that Cumulus had agreed to let the Radio One plan go through.

However, CBS and its WPGC-FM Morningside MD (Washington DC), Howard University and its WHUR-FM Washington DC and Prettyman Broadcasting and its WICL-FM Williamsburg MD (Hagerstown) did object. They pointed out the problem with WSOX, and also claimed their stations would be impacted – WPGC and WHUR from a first-adjacent dial position and WICL from co-channel dial position.

In a nutshell, the FCC stated its reluctance to grant waivers and its requirement that there is a high level of justification to depart from its normal regulatory policy. Given all of the factors involved in this case, it did not find sufficient reason to grant the upgrade to WWIN.

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