Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Maybe It's the Heat

No, not the Miami Heat -- I mean the North Texas summer heat.

I don't know what it is, but the 104.1 FM signal upon which I rely for my commute and downtown listening, if possible, is getting worse.  I used to be able to pull the station in from my workplace during the day, but at least in the morning I end up with that East Texas C&W station.  And it's noticeably worse on the AM and PM commute as well.

AP, were you the confessor who looked up the status of the 1310 AM signal upgrade on the FCC site?  I myself checked into it and must not have guessed the right links.   Any chance you (or anyone else) could update us on that?

I still see zero downside to a signal swap with 93.3 and considerable upside.  Maybe I'll nag you all about that again sometime soon.  The last time I raised this one of our grumpy commenters actually wrote a strong substantive comment  as to why a signal swap wasn't viable.  I didn't buy it, but it was thoughtful and had some good information.  I need to go back and check that. 

Enjoy the parade, everyone.

Follow Your Plainsman on Twitter:  @Plainsman1310


T4 In Rockwall said...

Yeah, my HD signal (99.5-2) has been down for the last 3 days. I'm sure they're all related.

ap said...

Hey Plainsman,

I think the comment I made was #10 on this post:

I'll see if I can dig up the exact link, but it required digging through the FCC's search mechanism; i.e. it's not a static page.

Anonymous said...

I can expalin why it's not viable, and I'll try not to be grumpy while I do it.
The Ticket's average billing for the past few years has been in the 15-20million dollar range. i93 is probably billing this year around 5 million dollars. For the swap to make sense, they need a combination of billing on 93.3 and 1310 that combine to that 25mil total. The Ticket is one of the 2 or 3 highest billers in the market (beat by WBAP and/or KISS), they are already the #1 station with Men25-54, etc, so JUST switching to FM doesn't necessarily equate to higher ratings, which SOMETIMES equals more revenue.
As is, the reason we have 2 other sports stations in town is because the other stations undercut their spot prices- both ESPN and the Fan offer to advertisers what can be perceived too be a better value in advertising. yes, the Ticket has higher ratings, but those spots come with a higher price tag. So to repeat, a switch to FM may mean slightly better ratings, but that doesn't necessarily translate to higher revenue.
And see above, you need to replace a format on 1310 with something that will replace the majority of i93's billing. If you guys think you know of a format that will bill 4 million dollars a year, let's hear what it is.

Anon E

cancer monkey said...

I've noticed the weak FM signal lately too, and I've hoped it was just a temporary condition while they work through an upgrade.

As an aside and completely apropos of nothing, has anyone ever noticed that the 104.1 signal completely disappears while you're passing the Belt Line Road exit heading south on 35E? It comes back by the time you pass the exit, so it's maybe a total of 50 yards of dead space. The same thing happens to a lesser extent at the exact same spot going north (right before the entry ramp merges with 35). It's consistent during the day, but I've never noticed it at night.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the FM signal has certainly degraded recently. I'm getting a faint memory of the exact thing happening about a year ago so maybe it could be related to the heat. I have no idea what affects the signals but I've been curious for the last couple of years since I use an FM transmitter and it's so inconsistent (it will work perfectly fine for weeks and some days it just gets all staticky for seemingly no reason). If anyone has any expertise on this I'd be interested to read it.

Scott said...

Typically, you can get better FM coverage on cool cloudy days, vs what we have now. I have not been in town lately, but I notice it with a lot of stations. That's how radio go.