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Saga Uses FM translators to Spread Multicast Programming

'While we wait for HD Radio to take off, we've found a way to make it work for us'

Saga Communications has found a twist to HD Radio multicasts.

Ira Wilner, Saga Communications chief engineer of its Keene, N.H. cluster, tells me Saga is re-broadcasting its HD2 and HD3 streams on its FM translators. “Thus, we have a large base of listeners who do not have to go out and buy HD Radios, though we do encourage them to do so to listen directly to our digital signals. But in the meantime, while we wait for HD Radio to take off, we’ve found a way to make it work for us.”

One Saga FM PD who programmed a holiday music channel (WKNE-HD3 at 103.7 MHz in Keene, N.H.) says he’s receiving positive feedback from businesses and individual listeners who have found it, according to Wilner. “It doesn’t hurt that the translator is second-adjacent to the powerhouse FM station whose HD3 is originating the programming.”

Ira says the PD is cross-promoting the holiday music channel on the WKNE main and HD3 channels, and vice-versa — cross-promoting the multicast channels, suggesting that folks buy an HD Radio and use their holiday gift early if it’s an HD Radio and enjoy the music now.