Cuban Blowtorch Update

Ray says situation has nothing to do with IBOC.
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Ray says situation has nothing to do with IBOC.

To follow up on the Cuban interference situation with WOR on 710 kHz, Buckley’s Tom Ray has heard from one other AM that’s similarly affected.

The offer is still open for other AMs that want to join in and bring the problem to the Feds attention. “The more people who band together, the better chance we have of someone listening to us and hopefully getting this issue resolved,” he tells me. Contact him directly at

The story caused a firestorm of reaction. Both Tom and I received messages along the lines of “You got what you deserve” from those who believe the Cubans are retaliating in response to WOR’s IBOC signal. (And I cleaned up that sentiment for print.)

He reminded me the situation “has nothing to do with IBOC and, in fact, pre-dates IBOC.” He believes the Cuban signal is a combination of groundwave and skywave and describes it as co-channel interference by a station operating against international treaty causing harmful interference well inside the protected contours of a Class A station. The signal, he says, reaches Central Jersey, Long Island and the Connecticut shore, where WOR has anywhere between 5 and 75 millivolts per meter of signal.

By checking various databases, we find that any station authorized for operation on 710 kHz in Cuba is 1 kW or less. A 1 kW station in Cuba will not put a local-grade signal into Central Jersey, says Tom.

I’ve got to agree with him on this one. This situation could happen to any station. If you’ve got a constructive comment, you know where to reach him.