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AM Stereo: One On, One Off

AM Stereo: One On, One Off

As one station turns on an AM stereo signal, another turns it off.
On Dec. 30, AM stereo was set up on WSOS at 1170 kHz in Augustine Beach, Fla. The station, running an oldies format, is owned by 3 Point Media of Florida. According to engineer Alan Alsobrook, it had been stereo previously under different owners.
“They lost their stereo processor to lighting some time before they sold it and ran in mono for a year with just a pilot,” he said. “When the station was purchased and I relocated the transmitter, I eyed all the stereo equipment, which was all in good shape. Later, as I went through the public file, I found several letters from listeners complaining that the station was no longer in stereo.”
New studios were already built with stereo capability, and the transmitter was collocated. Alsobrook wonders if this will be “the last new C-Quam station ever on the air in the USA.”
“I’m curious to see if anyone notices,” he told Radio World.
Meanwhile, columnist Robert Feder of the Chicago Sun-Times writes this week that WGN(AM), owned by Tribune Co., has installed a new Harris transmitter and chose not to equip it for stereo, 22 years after it went stereo in that big market.
“Mark Krieschen, vice president and general manager of WGN, confirmed the move and noted that Harris has sold 40 similar transmitters, ‘and from what we hear, not one station has gone stereo,'” the columnist reported, but he notes that “angry correspondents to Web sites and online message boards” have complained about the change.