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Mars Hill Gets FCC Nod for New Signal

UTICA/ROME — The Mars Hill Network, flagshipped by Syracuse’s WMHR, is a big step closer to adding another full-strength FM signal to its collection. The FCC has approved a construction permit (CP) for the new signal in Herkimer County.

News of the addition comes by way of the latest edition of NorthEast Radio Watch, published earlier today by Scott Fybush.  Fybush reports the new signal at 88.7FM will be licensed to Richfield Springs. The FCC approved the application after turning down an informal objection from Albany CBS affiliate WRGB-TV.

Sidebar: Those familiar with the Capital District know WRGB is channel 6, and analog TV channel 6’s audio is carried at 87.7 FM. While this may seem moot since (except for low-power TV) there’s no more analog TV, according to Wikipedia, WRGB has been trying different ways to keep offering its audio on the FM dial, but so far, those attempts have been successful.

According to the FCC, the new signal will transmit from a location a few miles north of the village, not too far west of NY Route 28, the primary route between Richfield Springs and Herkimer. The new signal will be authorized to broadcast with 2,200 watts of power from a height of 69 meters above average terrain.

The application for another Mars Hill signal at 88.1FM, southwest of Richfield Springs, remains in the application stage. It’s not clear if the CP approval for 88.7 will lead to the 88.1 application being withdrawn.

3 Comments to Mars Hill Gets FCC Nod for New Signal

  1. “Those familiar with the Capital District know WRGB is channel 6, and analog TV channel 6’s audio is carried at 88.7 FM.”

    This is not correct. It should be 87.7 FM.

    • Right you are, audio4tv. The article has been corrected, thanks for pointing it out. Not being an engineer, I have to ask… why would a radio station at 88.7 cause WRGB to object? Could a signal at 88.7 in Richfield Springs really be close enough to interfere with plans to restore the TV Channel 6 audio feed on 87.7 FM in Albany?

  2. Its an odd situation with radio stations on the low-end of the FM dial that are near a TV channel 6. I know of situations where channel 6 TV stations complained about FM signals as far away as 91.5 FM. In fact my alma mater, Herkimer County Community College, has to transmit its radio station’s signal (WVHC) vertical polarization-only as a result of WRGB, even though it is not only many miles away from Albany but quite a way up the dial as well. The next closest 91.5 signal to WVHC, WRPI in Troy, actually wound up on 91.5 as a result of WRGB as well (they were originally on 91.3, but moved to 91.5 to get further away from WRGB’s audio frequency). I also understand that in the Philadelphia market, WPVI has historically had a less-than friendly relationship with the market’s non-comm signals between 88.1 and 91.9.

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