Home › Forums › temp › Can someone summarize the Ken Cartwright outcome for me? › KCKX AM & Class D radio stations
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In another era of radio broadcasting, prior to the spread of FM stations, the FCC’s solution to granting local radio licenses (localism) was accomplished with a “daytime only” radio service. Many of these stations were on Mexican and Canadian Clear channels on the AM BCB. In later times, small, close-spaced, local AM stations were shoe-horned in and were licensed as “daytimers” or Class D stations. The daytime powers were increased when the FCC went to computer modeling to predict daytime ground wave and nighttime sky wave propagation. This process helped regulators predict nighttime interference levels more accurately in “city’s of license”. Obviously, the nighttime power levels did not come up to the heretofore 250 watt minimum of previous years. The FCC ruling, then, dealt with pre-sunrise and post sunset authority and eventually the process led to very low power at night to keep these Class D stations on the air 24-7.
When Class C AM stations were allowed to increase to fulltime 1kw day and night (unlimited), the argument to keep daytimers off at night became somewhat indefensible in the face of the deteriorating economics of operating a local Class D.
With access to a nighttime signal authorization, and now FM translators, the FCC will no longer license NEW Class D stations. The new AM classifications and service parameters are available at:
And finally, I used to engineer this station (KCKX). I knew the original builder and owner. There is a very well established AM station on 1450 KHz in Eugene, Oregon, just 50+ miles from this station in Stayton and a 5KW Class B license in The Dalles, Oregon at 1440 (90 air miles Northeast). Remember, when you cut the distance in half, that is where the other stations listening signal contours very likely lie. Where the signals overlap (and they do) nobody listens to either station. The KCKX operation has always been a little on the “loose” side; fudging on EAS, logging, maintenance and the like.
Ken is NOT on the hook for this power change violation. That part of the rules and FCC case law established responsibility for violations years ago when the FCC allowed brokerage of a station’s time and facilities (LMA, TBA, LSA and constulting agreements). The responsibility for license rules compliance lies squarely with the licensee alone, period.