Work continues to restore WUPE-FM signal


WUPETwo towers collapsed atop Florida Mountain in North Adams, MA from a storm last weekend took Gamma Broadcasting’s Classic Hits WUPE-FM Pittsfield, MA and translator W266AW for University of Massachusetts’ WFCR-FM Amherst, MA off the air. The collapse also knocked out police, fire, municipal and cell phone signals. Now, three cell phone providers and two broadcasters are scrambling to restore service.

Around midnight Saturday, high winds apparently caused one tower to topple onto a second tower with both crashing to the ground, Cory Thurston of Williamstown, principal owner of North Adams Tower Company, told the Berkshire Eagle.

The company operates the 150-foot cell tower that leases space to Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint-Nextel. The 160-foot radio tower broadcasts the FMs.

Meanwhile, WUPE is also trying to get back on the air:  “We’re working on a temporary antenna that could be up as early as Monday afternoon, possibly on Tuesday,” Todd Lee, operations manager, told the paper. WUPE programming can still be heard on WUPE 1110 AM or via live-streaming on the Internet.

Verizon Wireless and the other cell phone providers were notified and are working on temporary solutions in order to re-establish service. Verizon Wireless has deployed a portable antenna not far from the tower site, according company spokesman Mike Murphy.

See the Berkshire Eagle story here.