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North Carolina Station Loses Two Towers to Vandalism

"These recent incidents coincide with a dramatic increase in metal thefts," said the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters

Police are investigating after vandals brought down two local radio towers belonging to WSJS(AM), according to station officials on social media. The Class B station’s signal is down, as is an FM translator at 101.5. Three other translators are not affected.

A photo of one of WSJS’ fallen towers following vandalism this week. (Credit: Stu Epperson, owner of The Truth Network)

WSJS took to social media to alert its listeners to the incident, and the subsequent impact on its programming, Wednesday, Jan. 11.

WSJS is the flagship station for “The Truth Network,” a conglomerate of 17 stations owned by Christian broadcaster Truth Broadcasting Corporation that broadcast predominantly Christian and Bible-based topics in North Carolina, Virginia, Iowa and Utah.

WSJS serves the Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point markets in North Carolina with a 5 kW directional signal. It airs a talk and sports radio format.

WSJS(AM) coverage map, courtesy of radio-locator.

In a post on social media, Stu Epperson, the owner of The Truth Network, shared a statement following the damage to the towers:

“Today has been one of the toughest days of my broadcasting life … someone has destroyed several of our towers. Criminal investigation is underway. The FBI is involved since it’s a federal crime. Can’t share the details, but please pray for the person responsible to come to faith in Christ, for law enforcement and for our team as they rush to get us back on air.”

Owner Stu Epperson sitting on one of WSJS’ fallen towers. (Credit: Stu Epperson)

According to WFMY News, a TV station based in Greensboro, the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters issued a message to member stations about the vandalism, writing in part, “NCAB has recently heard reports from several association members of perpetrators intentionally damaging communications towers and stealing copper from broadcast facilities/tower sites. As has been reported to us, at least three radio sites in the Triad area have been vandalized; in one instance, a tower’s guy wires were cut, leading to a tower collapsing. These recent incidents coincide with a dramatic increase in metal thefts, with copper, bronze, brass and aluminum all being targeted, according to law enforcement.”

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