I take strong exception to the Randy Stine front-page article in the March 11 issue that insinuated that the listing of “off-air stations” is caused by the current downturn in the economy or that bankers are causing this to happen. Certainly, a bit of more investigative work would have cleared up a lot.
Here in Wisconsin, we have two AMs that are dark. One has a company owner that declared bankruptcy, funded by a multi-millionaire who woke up one morning and decided the business plan he dreamt up didn’t work, apparently from the beginning. The second AM is having a problem getting a satellite dish installed at their new location, in the dead middle of winter.
As far as the three silent FMs in Wisconsin, one is moving to a larger market and changing frequencies. Another is in the non-commercial band and owned by a national operator of religious programming, seeking a local studio waiver. The third FM that is dark is apparently operated by that same millionaire who ran out of ideas but didn’t run out of money.
To paint the economy as the reason for stations going silent is not accurate, nor to describe this as a “practice.” It is something that happens sometimes. The real reasons may not always be affected by the economy. A simple review of the filings at the FCC would have shown otherwise.
WGBW Radio Station
Two Rivers, Wis.
Ed. Note: RW did not intend to imply, in publishing the charts of currently silent stations, that all of them had gone silent due to economic conditions. The story text made clear that stations go silent for various reasons, though it explored the question of whether the pace had picked up, as some have perceived anecdotally.