Wednesday, May 25, 2011

5.25.11 Bee-otch of the Day: Clear Channel

Name: Clear Channel
Age: 39
Occupation: radio behemoth
Last Seen: San Antonio, TX
Bee-otched For: wanting to end The Oasis

Oh, great. Here comes Clear Channel wanting to protect shit that doesn't matter to anybody outside the places they serve.

Clear Channel has its head up its ass again. This time, they're fighting with the FCC to shut down a recently-launched smooth jazz station in Detroit. The station is 104.7 The Oasis, but technically, they're a low-watt translator station rebroadcasting the HD2 signal of WGPR 107.5. The station is owned by a man named Tim Martz, who also owns another recently-launched station in Detroit, modern rocker 94.3 The Bone (simulcasting WGPR-HD3).

Martz owns the translators, but per FCC rules and regs, the translators must rebroadcast another station. So, he's leasing the HD signals of WGPR, whose main signal is still airing the urban format it's had since 1964.
Of course, Martz wants to raise some hell in the Detroit market, as evidenced by the positions of his stations. Somehow, the FCC is allowing him to put his alternative station on 94.3, which interferes with a station from Canada. But now, it's his 104.7 stick that's raising the ire of good 'ol Cheap Channel.

The evil radio group, which also gives us Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Ryan Seacrest is petitioning the FCC to shut down 104.7 The Oasis because it interferes with their white trash-friendly rocker WIOT, also at 104.7 in Toledo. WIOT has been telling its downriver Detroit listeners to report to them and the FCC of The Oasis' signal-jamming.

Now, Martz is firing back by launching a new website asking listeners to save the fledgling smooth jazz station. On the site, they claim that Clear Channel has a vendetta against Martz, even though WIOT is a Toledo station designed not to serve Detroit. They also point out that CC owns seven sticks in Detroit, and they're only trying to protect their asses from a station that only broadcasts with 250 watts as compared to 50,000. 

Weirdly enough, Martz has a permit to move 104.7 to 93.9, where 100,000-watt Canadian AAA station CIDR/93.9 The River's positioned. However, Martz claims that his 93.9 will be highly directional to protect CIDR, but this could turn into a heavy war between the FCC and the Canadian government over signal protection. As I mentioned earlier, 94.3 The Bone is blocking a Canadian station CKSY 94.3 out of Chatham, ON. But, CKSY shouldn't have much room to complain since their stick is 50 miles from Detroit. Their distant contour per maxes out just east of Sterling Heights.

I remember a similar incident some years ago in northern Michigan when Northern Broadcast decided to dump a simulcast of their unpopular AC 106.7 WSRT (now talk as You FM) on a translator station at 95.5 out of Boyne City/Petoskey. Problem was, it interfered with Northern Star's Modern Rock 95-5 The Zone (now part of the Real Rock 105/95-5 simulcast) out of Glen Arbor, which is west of Traverse City. Even worse, Northern Star eliminated The Zone's simulcast with 94.5 Mackinaw City - serving Petoskey, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and the rest of the Straits Area - angering rock fans in the area and forcing them to listen to Northern's white trash rocker WKLT 97.5/98.9. So, Northern and Northern Star - two different companies mind you - duked it out and agreed to move the 95.5 translator to 95.3 where it stands today.
In my honest opinion, Martz is a genius. For years, Clear Channel has screwed over listeners and employees alike, just like most other radio groups. Hell, they STILL deserve to burn in hell for what they did to Howard Stern in 2004 just because of Janet Jackson. I know, WIOT's grade B contour barely scratches Livonia. It also doesn't make it to Detroit, either. Martz is a small fish, but CC is a Beluga. All these little translator stations have done is piss off the big guys since they've pissed Detroit off.

I know, smooth jazz sucks. This is all about the lesser of the evils, which is Martz. But I agree that it's time for something new to come to town in terms of radio. I'll admit that I kinda like 94.3 The Bone. I'm a new rock guy, and Detroit needs more than two choices for rock. WRIF is old and 89X has to bow to CanCon. True, The Bone could be edgier, but I do like the variety so far. Yeah, the signal sucks, but maybe all the publicity it and 104.7 The Oasis will help 'em out a little.

Oh, and I just read that good 'ol Rush Limbaugh's ratings are down... A LOT. Way to go, Clear Channel! 

May David's pebbles knock you down.  


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