"Offenders of The Faith"
Based on my own listening experiences and the tips I have received from you out there in radio land, I have compiled a tentative list of AM stations that were at one time full-fledged stereo operations but sadly, for one reason or another, have turned their stereo generators off. Where I have the info available, I have included the best way to get in touch with them. (Please, fill me in on what's missing!)
I have also decided to include a Real Media clip of various AM stations that at one time were either full blown stereo or never chose to be in the first place. Using simple software to convert their current mono signals to that of "simulated stereo" for the purposes of this demonstration, this clip has been included to show how good these AM stations could sound if they only choose to do so. (My sincere thanks Ryan McDow of Knightwolf Studios for voluntarily doing this clip up for me.) To hear the montage, please click here.
1270 CJCB in Sydney, Nova Scotia - Here's the once mighty CJCB's logo these days:
Below is how it looked in the 80's as seen on the re-vamped version of the well-known CJCB "Sunspot". (This promo item was issued to commemorate CJCB's 60th Anniversary on the air in 1989.)
For me, this station shutting off their C-QUAM exciter is the biggest disappointment of all. CJCB was one of the pioneers of AM STEREO stations not only in Canada, but also North America. As you can see from the above, where the "1270" is located on the new logo is where the word "stereo" used to officially appear for years. When they fired up their stereo generator back in 1984, you would have thought it was the Second Coming of Christ and they wasted no time changing their official logo to reflect this fact:
It was a very exciting time for me, and they were pretty excited about it too. They picked the Motorola C-QUAM system initially and, fortunately for them, they picked right. Every second spoken phrase on the air at that time had the phrase "AM STEREO" in it, or so it seemed. The jocks said it, their liners said it, their promotional items said it and the building even had it plastered on the front of it. (In fact, it still does to this day.) I can vividly recall one of their jingles from that time: "The best to you, from AM STER-E-O, 12-70 C-J-C-B." They truly sounded amazing back then and they continue to play music today. After a re-positioning from "CJCB AM STEREO" to "AM's Variety Station, 1270 CJCB", they flipped formats with sister station K94 FM on Monday, June 29, 1998 to "Cape Breton's Country Favorites, 1270 CJCB". I remember when I discovered that they were no longer broadcasting in stereo. It felt like an old friend had died or something, and I suppose this is true to some extent. I called CJCB to complain about this, and do you know what one of the jocks (who shall remain nameless) told me? "It's very expensive to broadcast in AM STEREO." Now what kind of an excuse is that? After sharing that one with several engineers I know, they were stunned that he would even say something like that. (Can you blame them though?) I was also told that they "wanted to increase their coverage area to compete with the local mono AM Oldies station" (Oldies 950 CHER), which, by the way, is the absolute worst sounding station I have ever heard. (This last "excuse" is no longer valid thanks to yet another wonderful merger which will see CHER eventually move in with CJCB and sister station K94 FM.) Furthermore, they said that "there are no longer any manufacturers who make AM STEREO units", and because of this lack of AM STEREO radios, they "became tired of having to deal with calls from listeners who wanted to hear them in stereo as they advertised, but couldn't find any AM STEREO radios for sale anywhere." Sounds like some pretty lame and rather ignorant reasoning to me. Realistically, since they still have all of their fully operational C-QUAM stereo equipment, all they have to do is snap the switch on their exciter back into the STEREO position and they're back in business. If they do not want to promote themselves as a stereo station, that's fine. (As long as they're in stereo, I'd be happy.) Anyway, the point is, if you care to drop CJCB a line and share your comments or thoughts with them on their decision, then here's how to do it:
CJCB AM 1270 322 Charlotte Street Sydney, NS B1P 1C8 Canada Phone (902)564-5596 FAX (902)595-1270
The Operations Manager's name is Dan Barton.
780 KIXX (CFDR-AM) in Halifax, NS - These guys obviously don't care about their listeners. They'd rather cut corners on transmitter/stereo exciter maintenance and repair to improve their bottom line than put out the quality, hi-fidelity programming they're capable of. They're nothing more than a jukebox with commercials these days, being automated 21 out of 24 hours a day on weekdays and 24 hours a day on weekends. No wonder they're dead last in the ratings. Here's their address, phone, and FAX #'s:
Classic Country 780 KIXX 2900 Agricola Street Halifax, NS B3J 2Z4 Canada Phone (902)453-2524 FAX (902)453-3120
The PD's name is Gary Evong.
530 CIAO in Brampton, Ontario - CIAO moved from 790 to 530 after CJFT AM STEREO (licensed to Ft. Erie, Ontario) went dark in December 1994 and moved to over to FM as CKEY-FM. In all fairness, CJFT and CIAO are not the same station nor were they ever owned by the same company, but I wonder why CIAO didn't keep the stereo indicator lit after their move down the AM band? This is even more puzzling when you consider they are still playing music with an Ethnic/Rap format and known as Hot 530.
630 CHED in Edmonton, Alberta - Currently a Talk/Information and Sports play-by-play station for Edmonton's own Oilers, Eskimos, and Trappers. Back in their Top 40 days, CHED began broadcasting in stereo using the Kahn/Hazeltine system and then switched to Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO in 1988. These days, they have gone back to broadcasting in mono. The logic for the decision to cease stereo broadcasting seems to be that, "No more music = no point in running stereo."
640 CFYI in Richmond Hill, Ontario - Once upon a time, The Hog (as it was known back then with the calls CHOG), used to pump out a Hard Rock format in beautiful AM STEREO. However, after a call letter, format and name change to simply Talk 640, they continue to send out the pilot tone, but there is no evidence of any real stereo anywhere to be found.
650 CISL in Vancouver, British Columbia - For the longest time, they couldn't seem to make up their minds at Oldies 650 CISL as to whether they were indeed an AM STEREO station or not. It seemed as though broadcasting in true Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO was a random occurrence at best. Currently, they are broadcasting in plain old mono with no pilot tone being sent out either and it appears as though this is the way it will remain. According to Chris Larke, Station Engineer at Oldies 650 CISL,
"Unfortunately, we have had to discontinue our AM STEREO service for various reasons. Over the past number of years, the cost of repair/maintenance as well as the lack of support for the AM STEREO exciter equipment has become prohibitive to the continuation of this service. As well, we are now having to spend a considerable amount of money on the set-up and service of the new CISL DAB signal."
Very sad indeed. At least in Canada, where the Eureka L-147 digital system is the standard, this does not preclude an AM station from broadcasting in both analog and digital stereo. Unfortunately, Oldies 650 CISL has decided to push forward with a technology that will allow virtually no listeners to hear them in stereo, when leaving the C-QUAM exciter in operation would have allowed thousands to. In the meantime, you can listen to Real Media sample of Oldies 650 CISL back in the Good Ol' Days when they were in true AM STEREO by clicking here.
680 CFTR in Toronto, Ontario - Now known as All News Radio, 680 NEWS , the 50,000 watt CFTR was a Top 40 rocker from 1972-1993 and former home to John Records Landecker (where he did a stint on morning drive from 1981-1983). Remember this...
For the record, CFTR originally began broadcasting in Kahn/Hazeltine AM STEREO back in 1983, and then switched to the Motorola C-QUAM system. They remained an AM STEREO music station until Monday, June 7, 1993, when they fired everyone and changed formats to that of All News. They continued broadcasting in stereo for a time after the format change, but decided to finally revert to glorious mono once again. (My sincere thanks to Bill Dulmage of The Bill Dulmage Radio and Television Archive for allowing me to reproduce the above vintage logo of 680 CFTR.)
680 CJOB in Winnipeg, Manitoba - Manitoba's Information Superstation, News/Talk 680 CJOB had been broadcasting in stereo up until 1996. Unfortunately, during a severe flood, their transmitter was severely damaged. They replaced it with a new transmitter, but since then have not been available in stereo.
730 CJNW in Vancouver, British Columbia - Formerly known as Vancouver's Hit Music, LG 73 (legal calls CKLG), this 50,000 watt flamethrower was well known for broadcasting monaural programming despite sending out the 25 Hz pilot tone. Word has it that the engineers were notorious for playing with the LG 73 signal, but with the widest coverage and highest wattage of any Vancouver AM station, they really blew it by not broadcasting their former music format in full stereo. (For the record, CKLG originally began broadcasting in stereo back in the mid-80's using the Kahn/Hazeltine system, but then switched to the Motorola C-QUAM system and and then operated literally for years with "the light on but nobody home".) Sadly, it's gone from bad to worse for CKLG as they have officially switched formats from AC to that of All News and, to top it all off, changed their classic call letters from CKLG to CJNW and are know ID'ing themselves as All News NW2. (They are still sending the pilot tone out, but the source of programming is still in mono.) For those of you who may be interested, LG 73 was one of Canada's foremost Top 40 stations for many years (dating back to the early 60's) and it is more than a little depressing to lose another yet another 50,000 watt music station on AM. (For some thoughts on this recent decision to switch formats, please see The LG73 Tribute on Gord Lansdell's NW Broadcasters Page.)
770 CHQR in Calgary, Alberta - Originally hitting the airwaves in AM STEREO back in the mid-80's with the Motorola C-QUAM system, these days Calgary's News/Talk Station QR-77 has reverted to boring old mono. Yet another great waste of a 50,000 watt Canadian flamethrower.
800 CKLW in Windsor, Ontario - This once great powerhouse Top 40 station (which was known as The Big 8 or simply "CK" and was heard over most of North America) officially became "The first station in The Motor City and all of Canada to broadcast in AM STEREO" back on Friday, September 10, 1982. Here's how their official logo changed to reflect this fact:
CKLW eventually went on to switch to an Adult Standards format in 1984, but sadly decided to revert to mono when they ditched playing music altogether and flipped formats with 500 watt sister station 580 CKWW (also in located in Windsor) back on Monday, March 1, 1993. As a result, CKLW became a full time Talker known as The Information Station. Their explanation for the bright idea to shut off the stereo gear was that "a mono signal had a larger coverage area". Gimme a break. An "alternative" explanation for this decision was that CKLW originally began broadcasting in stereo using the Harris system back in 1982, and when that particular system subsequently failed, they simply went back to mono rather than make the conversion to C-QUAM. If this was indeed the case, it seems like a case of sour grapes to me. Why? Well, CKLW had the distinction of being the flagship station for Harris AM STEREO, but eventually all Harris stations were offered a C-QUAM exciter modification kit and modulation monitor modifications as part of the partnership program between Harris and Motorola back in 1984. In any case, according to Dave Fazakas of the Engineering Dept., here's the story on the current (and future) state of affairs at 50,000 watt AM 800 CKLW:
"The Harris and C-QUAM exciters have long since disappeared. Our STL is mono and we only have one landline to the transmitter. It's unlikely you will ever hear CKLW in stereo again. Sorry!"
Well, we can't blame Dave I guess, but this is very surprising that a station owned by the AM STEREO-friendly CHUM Radio Group is not broadcasting in stereo. Yet another great waste of a 50,000 watt signal if you ask me. It's even more sad when you consider that CKLW not only once boasted as being "The first to broadcast AM STEREO in mid-America", but also served as a test station for the Delco Electronics division of General Motors in Kokomo, Indiana when they were originally designing and developing AM STEREO radios for their vehicles. (My sincere thanks to Bill Dulmage of The Bill Dulmage Radio and Television Archive for allowing me to reproduce the above vintage logo of 800 CKLW.)
900 CHML in Hamilton, Ontario - A once great Oldies station who decided to switch to a Talk format and, for some inexplicable reason, decided to take a giant step backwards into mono broadcasting.
960 CFAC in Calgary, Alberta - Currently running a Country format and with the moniker Your Country Connection, CFAC has reverted to broadcasting in dull and lifeless mono. This is rather a shame for a 50,000 watt flamethrower that originally began broadcasting in AM STEREO back in the mid-80's with the Motorola C-QUAM system, don't you think? If anyone has any further details as to why they shut their exciter off, please let me know.
1000 CKBW in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia - Primarily a Country formatted station with some AC thrown in for good measure, Hometown Radio CKBW originally began broadcasting in AM STEREO back in the mid-80's with the Motorola C-QUAM system. For various technical reasons, however, CKBW discontinued stereo operations around the beginning of 2000. Apparently there were equipment problems with the stereo portion of the transmitter, and the decision was made to not bother replacing these components because the costs outweighed any potential benefits. As a result, a return to the airwaves in AM STEREO is not being considered by CKBW as they feel that the number of people who could access an AM STEREO signal is so small, it is simply not economically feasible. I'm rather sad to hear this as CKBW is one of the few remaining truly "Hometown" AM stations left in Canada and certainly in Nova Scotia and their 10,000 watt full time signal has been heard by DX'ers everywhere.
1010 CFRB in Toronto, Ontario - This 50,000 watt News/Talk station has decided to pack in their AM STEREO days and revert to mono. The official reason? According to Steve Kowch, CFRB Programming/Operations Manager, "We dropped AM STEREO because not enough people supported it, including car makers. The new thing will be digital radio. That is where the future is and it isn't that far away." A bunch of rather misinformed statements, don't you think? All I can say is, "My how times change." As one AM STEREO fan told me, "I remember CFRB going stereo in late 1983. They started out with just one show which was the evening classical music show known as Starlight Concert. They would record the show in their FM sister station's CKFM studios in stereo and play it back at the 'RB transmitter site because CFRB had not upgraded their studio equipment for stereo at that time." But, on Monday, July 30, 1984 at 10:10 am, this all changed as CFRB AM officially became CFRB AM STEREO. To say they were extremely proud of it is an understatement and this was quite obvious, judging from some of the old CFRB logos:
Hmm, maybe they should have a new logo designed that says "CFRB - Now in Mono". With all this in mind, if you would like to complain and/or like to see (and hear) CFRB turn their stereo exciter back on, please drop Mr. Kowch a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
1070 CHOK in Sarnia, Ontario - Currently running an Oldies format, the stereo light's a glowin', but there's nobody home here.
1130 CKWX in Vancouver, British Columbia - R.I.P. C-QUAM, following CKWX's switch to an All News format and their official moniker to News 1130. During their previous Country format days, they pumped out excellent stereo, and were actually one of the first AM stations in the city of Vancouver to do so.
1200 CFGO in Ottawa, Ontario - Most recently known as The BUZZ with the calls CJBZ and a Dance Music format (and before that as Energy 1200 with the calls CFGO), CJBZ switched to an All Sports format on September 1, 1998 and became known as OSR 1200 (which stood for Ottawa's Sports Radio). These days, the CFGO calls are back and their moniker is now Team 1200. Somewhere in the shuffle, somebody decided to switch not only the format, but also the stereo exciter off and revert to 100% mono. This is really sad, because if you've ever had the pleasure of listening to live coverage of a sporting event on the radio, you know the dramatic difference a stereo broadcast can make.
1260 CKHJ in Fredericton, New Brunswick - On Monday, June 5, 2000 this station known as CIHI since it first hit the airwaves on August 19, 1977, adopted the calls and format of it's FM sister station 105.3 CKHJ FM and became known as Today's Country KHJ - kinda cool for all us radio fans out there! (For the record, CKHJ FM changed its call letters and format to that of a Contemporary Rock format, with the on air moniker The Fox.) As for the former CIHI, they had been an AC station from day one and officially went AM STEREO on February 1, 1988. They were then known as Stereo 126 CIHI and even had cool little magnets printed up to this effect. In the 90's, a repeater on 103.5 FM came on the scene with a 24 hour simulcast of the AM side. Apparently though, CIHI thought that because they were simulcasting on FM there was no need for them to continue broadcasting in AM STEREO. Rather maddening to me. After all, they laid out the money for the exciter, so why not continue to use it? When you consider the fact that they they still have a music format, it would sound much better in stereo on AM anyway. Don't you agree?
1310 CIWW in Ottawa, Ontario - A full-time 50,000 watt station known as Oldies 1310, CIWW is no longer broadcasting in AM STEREO. For a while, they were indeed putting out a pilot tone, but that has since disappeared. Apparently, they were always mono (with or without the pilot tone) and it is unclear as to when or why they ceased stereo transmissions.
540 KIEZ in Carmel Valley, California - No further details available.
540 KWMT in Fort Dodge, Iowa - Here's a Country station which was broadcasting in AM STEREO until November of 1999. Unfortunately, they reverted to mono as a result of being acquired from J.P. and John Jenkins of Bloomington, Illinois by Clear Channel in August of that year. So once again, we have another victim of Clear Channel's pathetic anti-AM STEREO policy.
540 WLUX in Islip, New York - A 250 watt Adult Standards station with the monikers Traditional Popular Music With A Twist and Unforgettable 540. Sadly, WLUX is no longer broadcasting in AM STEREO and here's the official reason why from General Manager Stefan Rybak:
"For a variety of technical reasons, we turned our AM STEREO off several months ago. AM STEREO is a fabulous concept, but almost 97% of all radio listeners don't listen to AM STEREO. In and of itself, it's a great idea, but it never took off. However, just around the corner is Digital Radio Broadcasting, and I expect that to far surpass anything AM STEREO was supposed to deliver."
This is a complete 180 for a station with such a loyal following that has been known to ID itself as "First On Your Dial In AM STEREO". Judging from his comments, it seems as though Mr. Ryback has been seriously misinformed on the facts concerning AM STEREO and Digital Broadcasting. Most importantly, Digital will never surpass anything that AM STEREO can currently deliver. It's really sad that stations so easily fall victim to the misconception that "if it's digital, it must be better" without knowing or understanding all the facts involved. As a result, listeners of WLUX now have to settle for dull, boring mono coming from their speakers while waiting for Digital to "come along and save them", when all the while they could be enjoying their favorite Adult Standards and Big Band music in glorious and superior analog C-QUAM AM STEREO.
540 WWCS in Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania - Now a Radio Disney affiliate, prior to this WWCS changed their format from Ethnic programming (from the World Radio Network 1) to Oldies on Monday, December 4, 2000. They were known as The Pittsburgh Sound which was comprised of vocal harmony, swinging jazz and hard-driving Rhythm & Blues with the moniker Radio One. Regrettably, WWCS discontinued AM STEREO broadcasting during this phase due to "a lack in demand in the marketplace". However, according to the Webmaster of the WWCS website, the real story on why the stereo was dropped is as follows:
"Unfortunately, WWCS management recently learned that the stereo exciter for the station is malfunctioning and made the reluctant decision to terminate stereo broadcasting for the time being. This decision was influenced by radio manufacturers, who have not supported the AM STEREO format with compatible receivers. This seems odd, since one of the questions WWCS has been asked again and again is "where can I buy an AM STEREO radio?" There is an obvious demand in the market, but until electronics manufacturers realize that, it did not seem feasible to reactivate the AM STEREO exciter. Your message is being passed on to management. If the decision is made to resume stereo broadcasting, the station will e-mail you."
Judging from this courteous response, it seems that stereo may indeed return to WWCS. In an effort to assist them in seriously considering restoring it, and to further aid in reinforcing the fact that there is a demand for AM STEREO in the marketplace, please drop them a line at email@example.com Hey, you never what might happen.
540 WZER in Jackson, Wisconsin - This Contemporary Religion station known as Z-54, may may still be sending out the 25 Hz pilot tone, but as part of the mono-only Catholic Family Radio Network, there's no stereo to be found here.
550 KFYR in Bismarck, North Dakota - Currently running an AC /Talk format with Oldies on the weekends, KFYR originally broadcasting in AM STEREO with the Harris system back in the mid-80's. A switch to the the Motorola C-QUAM system took place and KFYR continued to broadcast in full blown stereo up until Clear Channel (aka The Evil Empire) got a hold of them. To illustrate this, let's play compare and contrast with their logos for a moment:
The former logo of KFYR (on the left) clearly states the word "STEREO"; however, this word interestingly disappears in their new logo (on the right) which now states "550 AM RADIO". It's a pretty safe bet that this was no accident and we have the gang at Clear Channel with their anti-AM STEREO policy to thank for the loss of yet another opportunity to hear music in stereo on the AM band. The attitude at KFYR should have been "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", but Clear Channel is obviously a firm believer of the "If it ain't broke, break it" school of thought. What a shame.
550 KTRS in St. Louis, Missouri - Sadly, it's now official. The Big 550 KTRS with a format of Entertaining, Informative Talk Radio switched off it's C-QUAM AM STEREO exciter for good in February of 2001. Prior to this, KTRS had been sending out the the 25 Hz stereo pilot tone for years, but was not broadcasting in true stereo. They merely feed a mono signal to their STL, while leaving the pilot tone in to more or less "fool their listeners". Apparently, they have no interest in going back to stereo. Brilliant thinking boys and girls!! Back when they were known as KSD and then in the early 80's as KUSA with a superb sounding Country format, they had the distinction of putting the first AM STEREO station on the air in St. Louis. In fact, the entire AM transmitting plant was re-built to accommodate AM STEREO and everything was new, right down to the coax. Needless to say, it sounded fantastic. Once upon a time, there were actually three AM STEREO transmitters at KSD/KUSA! (A main, and two back-ups.) They also did the development beta testing for the first Broadcast Electronics AM STEREO generators and modulation monitors at the KSD/KUSA site, and the beta testing on the first BE AM transmitters (including the ones with AM STEREO). Talk about a complete 180! Disgustingly, it's all going to waste now. What happened? Well, as the story goes:
KSD AM adopted a Country format in 1981 (after a disastrous stint as a Talk, and then an All News format). They were known as 55 Country for two years, and went stereo with their new KUSA calls using the Motorola C-QUAM system in 1983. This station sounded excellent thanks to their engineers, one of whom was Scott Clifton. Gannett, their parent company supported both KUSA and KSD-FM equally until 1987 when KSD FM hired an expensive morning host. The KUSA budget suffered and management flipped KUSA to Old Country and then to CNN News. The station next ran a Nostalgia format for a few months and then eventually went Talk.
The rest, as they say, is history. However, unlike their initial run at it twenty years ago, KTRS (whose calls stand for Talk Radio St. Louis) has become a successful Talk station in the St. Louis radio market since 1997. Unfortunately though, gone are the glorious days of true AM STEREO. If you're so inclined to mention your disapproval and/or disappointment surrounding this decision, you can send all notes against this illogical decision to Operations Manager Fred Zielonko at:
The Big 550 KTRS 638 West Port Plaza St. Louis, MO 63146 Phone (314)453-5500 FAX (314)453-9704
550 KTSA in San Antonio, Texas - On Friday, July 23, 1982 at 6:14 pm, KTSA became "The very first AM radio station in America to broadcast in AM STEREO using the Kahn ISB system." Sadly, "Since switching the from a music format to their present News/Talk format on Saturday, April 6, 1991, KTSA discontinued stereo transmission." These are the exact words that can be found on KTSA's very own web page. The former statement is something to be extremely proud of, while the latter statement, if you ask me, is something to be extremely ashamed of.
550 WDUN in Gainesville, Georgia - WDUN used to be an AM STEREO operation, and it is unclear as to why they discontinued it as they still have the same News/Talk format they have always had. Even though they are a News/Talk station, they still carry sports events like Atlanta Braves baseball which were broadcast in full AM STEREO. Word has it, "you wouldn't believe how much better it sounds!"
550 WGR in Buffalo, New York - Known these days as SportsRadio 55, WGN originally broadcast in AM STEREO using the Kahn/Hazeltine system. They were still in stereo after dropping their music format and running a NewsRadio 55 format, but somewhere along the line the stereo got shut off for good. It is unclear if they elected not to switch over to C-QUAM in 1993 or if they did so and then decided to shut it off altogether. Any further details on WGR would be greatly appreciated.
550 WKRC in Cincinnati, Ohio - WKRC was reportedly broadcasting in AM STEREO using Kahn/Hazeltine system, but as early as 1985 they decided to shut it off after having used it for only a year or so.
550 WICE in Pawtucket, Rhode Island - In the 1980s, the 550 KHz frequency was indeed AM STEREO with the Motorola C-QUAM system. Since then, however, WHIM moved to that frequency in 1991, but when they went back to 1110, WHIM switched their format to Sports. 550 then became WICE, but WICE died in 1995 when it became BusinessRadio 550 WPNW. When WLKW (formerly on 790, and 990 before that) came to 550, the music returned (Nostalgia) but the AM STEREO got left behind somewhere in the shuffle. To confuse everyone even more, WLKW switched their calls back to WICE in September of 2000.
560 KMON in Great Falls, Montana - KMON is currently running a Country format with the moniker C'mon Country; unfortunately, they're doing so in mono. KMON originally began broadcasting in AM STEREO back in the mid-80's with the Motorola C-QUAM system (and announcing this fact on tha air), but decided to shut it down for some unknown reason. If anyone has any further details, please pass them along.
560 KSFO in San Francisco, California - KSFO had been broadcasting with the Motorola C-QUAM system since the the the mid-80's, but these days they are full blown mono and known as Hot Talk 560 KSFO. There's no further details available as to why they decided to stop broadcasting in stereo.
560 KWTO in Springfield, Missouri - KWTO used to broadcast in AM STEREO, but no longer do so after switching to an All Talk format.
560 WFIL in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Now a Religious Talk station known as Christian Information Radio, WFIL officially went stereo back in 1985 with the Kahn/Hazeltine system when they were an Oldies station. In 1991, they switched to an automated Beautiful Music format, and was, so I'm told, "One of the best sounding AM STEREO stations ever." Apparently, when they switched to the religious format in 1993, they switched off the stereo. Actually, as far back as 1979 WFIL was experimenting with and broadcasting in Kahn//Hazeltine AM STEREO. At that time, anyone could check it out if they had two fairly equal radios, one tuned slightly above 560 and one tuned slightly below.
560 WIND in Chicago, Illinois - Currently running a Spanish format, it seems as though a breeze recently blew out the Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO pilot light at WIND. There are no further details available.
570 KLAC in Los Angeles, California - As of October 2000, and thanks to the brilliant thinking of anti-AM STEREO corporate broadcaster Clear Channel, the last MOR formatted station in Los Angeles plans to switch formats to that of All Talk. However, the real disappointment began back in December 1998. Since that time, there has been no stereo broadcasting to be heard or even a pilot tone from the former Adult Standards 570 KLAC. The exact moment came on December 19, at about 12:15 am, when they were playing Christmas Adult Standards and a slight "pop" was heard during The Carpenter's "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. After this, all programming went to mono permanently. The reason? KLAC began test broadcasting of IBOC digital stereo; as a result, you are unable to broadcast C-QUAM analog stereo and IBOC digital stereo at the same time. (The same story as at 1060 KYW in Philadelphia, PA.) Well, that's all fine and dandy that they're test broadcasting in IBOC digital, but this leaves two important questions: first of all, who is actually listening to them in IBOC digital stereo, and secondly, what about the current listeners of KLAC who enjoyed hearing them in good ol' C-QUAM AM STEREO? Guess we know where their little experiment and pending format change leaves them!
570 KLIF in Dallas, Texas - These days known as The Talk Station for Dallas and Fort Worth, KLIF chooses to broadcast in dull and lifeless mono. However, back in the mid-80's to early 90's with the calls KRQX they were playing Classic Rock in full Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO. Since the format change, however, the AM STEREO days have become a thing of the past. What's ironic though is how some of the local hosts brag on the air about being able to hear the music interludes in stereo through their headphones. That's great for them, but it would be better if all the listeners could hear this as well. Don't you agree?
570 WKYX in 570 Paducah, Kentucky - A former a long-time Adult Contemporary station in the Paducah market, WKYX's 1000 watt daytime signal would usually make it all the way up to St. Louis. They officially went AM STEREO in 1989, only to drop it suddenly in 1991 while still running their Adult Contemporary format. WKYX has since switched to a News/Talk format and continues to broadcast in glorious mono.
570 WSYR in Syracuse, New York - The News & Weather Station, Newsradio 570 WSYR (which is really more of a Talk station) was a mix of news and talk when they first went stereo using the Kahn/Hazeltine system. However, they were still stereo when they went Talk on a full-time basis. There's no need to guess why they are in mono though, as they are now owned by Clear Channel.
580 KSAZ in Marana, Arizona - This Adult Standards station is merely sending the pilot tone out but is not broadcasting in AM STEREO.
590 KFNS in Wood River, Illinois - Now known as Fans 590 and running a Sports Talk format, these guys were at one time a full-fledged AM STEREO operation. Not any more. KFNS also has a sister station on 100.7 FM which simulcasts their Sports Talk format. Interestingly, the FM side runs a pilot, but is still wired for mono. The AM is/was obviously wired for stereo, but they've decided to broadcast mono instead. Smart move, boys!
590 KOMJ in Omaha, Nebraska - Now known to listeners as Magic 590 KOMJ with an Adult Standards format, for years they went by the classic three letter calls WOW and were a once great Country station using the Kahn/Hazeltine system. They did make the switch to C-QUAM but, sadly, fell victim to the "loss of coverage" fallacy mindset of owners Journal Broadcasting in September of 1999. What a tragedy.
590 WDWD in Marietta, Georgia - Formerly WKHX, these guys used to broadcast in Kahn/Hazeltine AM STEREO with a Real Country format. Since being acquired by Disney, however, a switch in calls has ensued as has the blowing out of the pilot light. Is anyone really surprised?
600 KOGO in San Diego, California - Formerly known as KLZZ with a Top 40 format in AM STEREO. (Originally with the Kahn/Hazeltine system and then a switch to Motorola C-QUAM.) Since being acquired by Jacor, however, a switch in calls to KOGO occurred as well as a format switch to that of Hot Talk. Needless to say, bye-bye stereo broadcasting as a result of Jacor's anti-AM STEREO policy.
600 WMT in Cedar Rapids, Iowa - 600 WMT was one of the first stations in Cedar Rapids to begin broadcasting in AM STEREO with the Motorola C-QUAM system back in the mid-80's. Naturally though, since Jacor got a hold of them, the days of AM STEREO are a thing of the past.
610 KAVL in Lancaster, California - Formerly a Country and then Oldies station that was broadcasting in AM STEREO with the Motorola C-QUAM system, a format change to X-TRA Sports 610 ensued which snuffed their stereo pilot out too.
610 KFRC in San Francisco, California - Playing Oldies from 1957 to 1973, KFRC has been broadcasting in AM STEREO in an on again/off again fashion over the past several months. It seemed as though they would be staying in craptacular mono for good, but as of the week of May 7, 2000 they started to light the stereo light once again by sending out the 25 Hz pilot tone only. However, during the week of July 3, 2000, the pilot tone was turned off once again and the stereo light comes on no more. One fact which is clear though is that KFRC still has the gear to broadcast in stereo, but they just can't seem to get it right for some reason. After all, their format would sound much better in AM STEREO than in dull, muddy mono. There has been no explanation given for these recent events, but if anyone out there knows what's going on, please pass it along. (For the record, KFRC originally began broadcasting in AM STEREO using the Kahn/Hazeltine system back in the mid-80's.) Word has it though, that KFRC will be switching to an All Sports format in the very near future. Yeah, that's just what we need - another mono Sports station polluting the airwaves.
610 KRTA in Medford, Oregon - Currently running a Spanish format. No further details available.
610 WPLO in Greysen, Georgia - "The stereo light comes on, but you can't hear any stereo," seems to be the word about these guys. WPLO were at one time a full service station with a suburban-aimed Country format, good personalities and the on-air name Stereo 610 WPLO. Unfortunately, this format didn't work for WPLO and they are now running an All Spanish language format. (For those keeping score, WPLO they moved down the AM band to 610 from 1360 in 1989 where they were WGNN.)
610 WRJS in Birmingham, Alabama - These days known as Heaven 610 with a Gospel format, back when they were a Top 40 station with the calls WSGN they were indeed a full-blown AM STEREO operation. As the story goes, WSGN began broadcasting in stereo with the Kahn/Hazeltine system back in late 1982/early 1983. This event ended an improvement plan that upgraded the studios and production equipment to stereo. (Only the news studio remained monophonic.) At the time, the station was owned by Harte-Hanks, but was sold to NewCity Communications in 1986 and became WZZK-AM (which eventually began simulcasting WZZK-FM's Country format). It was only after this took place that the AM STEREO equipment was deactivated. After Cox Radio absorbed NewCity in 1997, the station changed formats again and again before finally settling on WRJS Heaven 610 with their current Gospel format. (Most recently, they had the calls WAGG.)
610 WTVN in Columbus, Ohio - WTVN played mostly Oldies on the weekends until a couple of years ago, but then they switched to an All Talk format and turned off their stereo generator. (If you already guessed it, you're right - another Jacor casualty.) History-wise, WTVN's All Talk format didn't come in all at once, but slowly crept in over a period of years. For a long time, WTVN was a full service station running a mix of Oldies and Adult Contemporary music, except from 8:00 pm to midnight when they ran a general interest talk show. Then, in late 1989 or early 1990, they introduced their first overnight talk show which consisted of a loose mix of general interest talk, trivia contests, and a smattering of music. At about the same time, talk took over the early evening slot from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Then, in the fall of 1993, Rush Limbaugh's show moved from 1230 WCOL to WTVN. A couple of years or so later, Dr. Laura's show came on board. By this time, the only music programming left was a few hours on Saturdays and Sundays and a song or two here and there overnight. Eventually, even this scant music programming went away. As for AM STEREO, WTVN they first tested their equipment in the spring of 1988, but didn't go ahead with it full force until 4 years later in the spring of 1992. A rather interesting thing about WTVN's sound is that they always had (and still do have) a slight reverb as part of their audio processing. It isn't turned up very loud, and the decay is pretty short, but it is enough to be noticeable which gives them a rather distinct sound. Too bad about the stereo though.
620 KEWS in Portland, Oregon - Another station acquired by Jacor. Of course, this means so long to AM STEREO broadcasting as well.
620 KTAR in Phoenix, Arizona - Until recently, KTAR used the infamous "pilot tone trickery" method to trip the stereo light. That is, they only had mono audio being fed to their transmitter. KTAR has since ceased their "trickery", not by deciding to run true stereo, but rather opting to turn their pilot off altogether.
620 WHEN in Syracuse, New York - Hey, do you remember "WHEN"???
In the early 90's, WHEN was broadcasting Oldies in beautiful AM STEREO, and according to my sources, the sound was fantastic. But they, "like every other station in Rochester", had the wonderful idea to turn off their stereo generator. This instance of AM STEREO abandonment parallels that of 1270 CJCB's for me. I have a Motorola promotional article entitled "A Conversion with WHEN Radio - Syracuse, New York", dated May 13, 1986 which details the station's conversion from Kahn/Hazeltine to Motorola C-QUAM. (You may remember that WHEN was the station that bought a Kahn exciter and then promptly mailed it off to Motorola in exchange for their C-QUAM system. Needless to say, Mr. Kahn was not happy that Motorola got their hands on one of his systems to dissect.) In any case, this particular article has excerpts of interviews with then GM Bob Carolin and CE Roy Taylor who were at that time the biggest believers in and supporters of AM STEREO in general and in particular for their station. In fact, their enthusiasm for it is actually contagious as you read through the article. My, how things take a giant leap backwards in only a short 14 years! (My sincere thanks again to Bill Dulmage of The Bill Dulmage Radio and Television Archive for allowing me to reproduce the above vintage logo of 62 WHEN.)
620 WTMJ in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - It seems as though News/Talk 620 WTMJ has decided to put an end to their days of broadcasting in AM STEREO "due to coverage reasons". According to Andy Laird, Director of Engineering for Journal Broadcasting, "The value of their stations lies in their great coverage areas, and that it is impossible to hear them in stereo beyond their immediate groundwave coverage. (This is the "loss of coverage" argument, or fallacy as I call it.) As well, their company has shut off their AM STEREO exciters on all but two of their stations, which will eventually be mono as well. (They killed AM STEREO on 590 KOMJ (ex-WOW) in Omaha, NE around the end of September 1999.) Mr. Laird, who used to live about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, said he used to tune in the big AM STEREO stations at night, and "only 640 KFI would come in with even a marginal signal in stereo with all the interference". He claims all the other stations "sounded fine when switched to mono" on his SONY SRF-42 AM STEREO Walkman. To me, this is nothing more than a lame excuse. I would think that common sense would prevail here, but in the corporate radio world, that is obviously non-existent. These "explanations" are even more maddening when you consider that WTMJ still plays music on the weekends. I wonder if they'd go and shut off the stereo in all their FM stations as well? Not likely.
620 WZON in Bangor, Maine - Currently running a Talk format, WZON (which is owned by horror writer Stephen King) used to broadcast in AM STEREO, but gave up doing so after switching to their current format. The station originally used the Kahn/Hazeltine system, and I can actually remember the commercials on TV featuring King explaining how to receive 620 WZON in AM STEREO on the SONY SRF-A100 by making sure it was switched into the "B" position on the AM STEREO mode selector.
630 KHOW in Denver, Colorado - The old 63 KHOW originally began broadcasting in AM STEREO using the Harris system back in the mid-80's. However, since being acquired by Jacor/Clear Channel, the days of playing music and broadcasting in stereo are a thing of the past. (Gee, what a surprise.) Naturally, the music format was ditched for that of Talk and the stereo exciter was put out of commission. With the new monikers The Talk Station and Real Talk K-HOW, this yet another real waste of present bandwidth for a once great AM STEREO music station if you ask me. What a shame.
630 KIDD in Monterey, California - Under former calls KXDC with a Contemporary/Fusion Jazz format in AM STEREO back in the early 90's, KIDD is now running an Adult Standards format with the light on, but again, there's nobody home.
630 WMAL in Washington, District of Columbia - Actually located in Bethesda, Maryland, WMAL started broadcasting in AM STEREO using the Kahn/Hazeltine system back in the early 80's. With this in mind, WMAL can truly be considered one of the pioneers in the history of AM STEREO broadcasting, and were considered by their faithful listeners to be, "the best sounding AM STEREO station (or just plain AM, if that's all you had)." However, time passed, management/format/ownership changes occurred, and around 1988 yet another brilliant consultant convinced management that AM STEREO was not in their best interests in regards to their coverage area. (What a lame line that is.) These days, WMAL is ABC/Disney owned and is yet another News/Talk station still without AM STEREO anywhere to be found. What a shame.
640 KFI in Los Angeles, California - LA's More Stimulating Talk Radio 640 KFI, on the orders of AMFM Inc. and their anti-AM STEREO policy, reverted to broadcasting in craptacular mono as of the middle of January 2000 after over 15 years of broadcasting in AM STEREO. According to Marvin Collins, CE at KFI, "It is an AMFM Inc. decision, not mine, and looks to be permanent." This is truly disgusting, as KFI was one of the very first stations in Southern California to go AM STEREO with the C-QUAM system back in the early 80's and for years proudly ID'ed themselves as The Amazing AM STEREO, 64 KFI. It's not too hard to tell where the suits keep their heads at AMFM Inc., is it?
640 WLVJ in Royal Palm Beach, Florida - Currently running a locally programmed, MOR format 24 hours a day, WLVJ was in stereo in the late 80's and early 90's, but then reverted to mono when they became a Religious station. It is not known why the stereo equipment was silenced, but if anyone has any further details, please pass them along.
650 WSM in Nashville, Tennessee - One of the oldest and most popular radios stations in the United States, this 50,000 watt flamethrower Country station and Home of The Grand Ole Opry became the first in Nashville to broadcast in AM STEREO (using the Motorola C-QUAM system) on Monday, December 6, 1982. Sadly, just one month shy of its 18th anniversary of analog stereo broadcasting, this came to an end on Monday, November 6, 2000. According to Tom Bryant, former long-time Production Manager at WSM,
"The move came concurrently with the startup of a new transmitter (the second in as many years) with the aging Continental which had served as a backup unit now being replaced with the two year old Harris. C-QUAM will not return."
The reason why is that WSM is now making preparations for IBOC Digital testing and eventual full time operation with this system. (As you may or may not know, IBOC Digital and Motorola C-QUAM analog stereo are mutually exclusive means of stereo transmission. As a result, the C-QUAM exciter must be shut down when the IBOC testing commences.) In an e-mail received from WSM Engineering, they had this to say:
"Technology is moving at a blinding pace. C-QUAM AM STEREO was an unsuccessful attempt to improve AM radio listenership. With the merger of the two leading proponents of In Band On Channel (IBOC) digital broadcasting, it is our opinion the transition to this digital system is close at hand. In AM broadcasting, the C-QUAM and IBOC systems are not compatible. One system is on the way out, the other is on the way in. Please bear with us while we make this important transition in technology."
Furthermore, according to an unnamed WSM source,
"C-QUAM gets in the way of our progress toward IBOC. Of course, once IBOC is in place, stereo audio will be available to digital users."
And what digital users would they be I wonder? Who knows, but one thing's for sure, there are millions of people who are able to receive WSM in C-QUAM AM STEREO and these broadcasts will be sorely missed. One of the greatest disappointments will be the loss of hearing the live broadcasts of The Grand Ole Opry on Saturday nights in full, glorious stereo. Instead, listeners will now be forced to listen in horribly muddy mono. What a shame. If you're disappointed with this decision, there are several ways to contact WSM and let them know what you think:
650 WSM Administrative Office (Engineering, News, Programming, Production, Sales) 2644 McGavock Pike Nashville, TN 37214 Phone (615) 889-6595 FAX (615) 871-6778 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, you can send an e-mail directly to WSM Operations Manager Kyle Cantrell at email@example.com and/or Watt Hairston in Engineering at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that Tom Bryant (who was mentioned above) is no longer with WSM and in no way had anything to do with the WSM decision to discontinue C-QUAM AM STEREO broadcasting. However, he encourages anyone to e-mail him at email@example.com as he is still in a liaison position between WSM and DX'ers and would be glad to field any questions or comments.
One final note: There have been reports that WSM is still being received in the evening in C-QUAM AM STEREO. If you have been one of the lucky listeners to hear this for yourself, please drop me a line with the details.
660 KGDP in Orcutt, California - Currently running a Religious format. They were indeed broadcasting this format in AM STEREO in the past using the Motorola C-QUAM system, but the reason as to why they shut it off is unknown.
670 KBOI in Boise, Idaho - Currently known as The Station To Depend On, News/Talk 670 KBOI, these guys also carry The Midnight Cowboy overnight feed with Bill Mack. Unfortunately, KBOI is no longer broadcasting in AM STEREO. Why? Well, KBOI killed their AM STEREO when the processing at the station was changed from the CRL to an Optimod 9200. The Optimod 9200 is a digitally based unit which is only available in mono. (There are no plans for a stereo version either.) Add to this, the fact that the present owners, Citadel Communications Corporation, don't want AM STEREO in their stations. As a result, the AM STEREO generator(s) that were once a big part of KBOI are gone forever.
670 WSCR in Chicago, Illinois - Formerly known as All News 67 WMAQ, a change in calls and format to that of Chicago's Sports Radio The Score 670 occurred in August 2000. (For those following along at home, WSCR's calls and The Score Sports format was previously found at 1160 AM in Chicago.) In any case, after all the dust settled, the Motorola C-QUAM exciter that had been in use at the 670 frequency was still left on, but there's no separation to be heard anymore. Here's the official word on the pilot tone only status direct from WSCR Radio Engineering Services:
"WSCR uses an OPTIMOD AM STEREO Generator that feeds the old WMAQ transmitter in Bloomingdale, Illinois. The program audio that you are hearing is not in 'stereo', but really two channel mono. We don't have plans to take out the stereo generator."
So there you have it. According to Engineering Services, technically "stereo", but really just craptacular mono. Actually, they don't seem to know what they're talking about at WSCR as the 670 frequency is not even putting out the 25 Hz C-QUAM pilot tone any longer. It's just too bad that WSCR won't give their listeners the full experience of their stereo broadcasting capability. An engineer from WSCR recently stated,
"WMAQ did indeed run AM STEREO - and it was C-QUAM. The equipment is still in place and WSCR may return to stereo when they move to the old WMAQ studios. Right now though, the path to the transmitter is mono. (It seems just as foolish to broadcast a Sports/Talk station in stereo as it did to broadcast an All News station in stereo - but who am I?)"
Well, simply put, it sounds much better in stereo regardless of what format you're running. (For the record, the former WMAQ originally began broadcasting in AM STEREO with the Kahn/Hazeltine system back in the mid-80's.)
680 KKYX in San Antonio, Texas - A great Classic Country station with a 50,000 watt signal, KKYX has stopped broadcasting in AM STEREO for the following reasons:
"For several years, KKYX did broadcast in AM STEREO, only to find that a very low percentage of folks even had AM STEREO receivers. With the AM STEREO signal on, it also brings down the volume of your signal. e.g., WOAI, KTSA, KONO and all other stations were louder than we were when tuning across the AM dial. Most folks (who were not listening in stereo) thought we were actually a weaker station when in fact we are 50,000 watts."
I don't know where these guys come up with this stuff. Once again, another terrific waste of a 50,000 watt music station on AM.
680 KNBR in San Francisco, California - This current News/Talk station once broadcast in Kahn/Hazeltine AM STEREO, but there is no longer any pilot tone nor stereo to be heard coming from them these days. Perhaps they elected to not make the switch to C-QUAM when the FCC finally adopted this standard in 1993.
680 WOGO in Chippewa Falls/Hallie, Wisconsin - WOGO was indeed broadcasting a Contemporary Christian format in AM STEREO up until December 1999, but apparently it was a last gasp as they switched to a Talk format and have put the kibosh on the days of AM STEREO. Shame on them!
690 WJOX in Birmingham, Alabama - Formerly known as WVOK with an Oldies format in AM STEREO, WJOX now has a Motorola C-QUAM exciter in working order, but, "Due to the platform motion, loss of coverage and destruction of their mono signal it was turned off." Sounds like a most lame excuse to me.
690 XETRA in Tijuana, Mexico - Located near San Diego, California, this 77,500 watt flamethrower (once known as Mighty 690), was a Top 40 powerhouse in the early 80's. Actually, XETRA was the prototype Kahn station going back to the late 60's. Known then as Beautiful X-tra Music, they tested the latest version Kahn/Hazeltine exciters and also used the Kahn PowerSIDE system for a time. The offset-dial, two-radio Kahn stereo reception technique was published in magazines like Popular Electronics showing how it was possible to use two AM radios tuned to the upper and lower sidebands to receive them in Kahn AM STEREO. During the late 80's, XETRA changed their format to Oldies, but currently are running the XTRA Sports format. (It is this one-time home to legendary DJ Wolfman Jack where the infestation of the XTRA Sports format began on the AM dial in 1991.) The use of the Kahn "PowerSIDE" has ceased as well. Once again, we have Jacor to thank for all this.
700 KWLW in North Salt Lake City, Utah - Formerly a Beautiful Music station, KWLW decided to simulcast Oldies 94 KODJ-FM for a period, but unfortunately in mono. It was thought that their next plan of attack was to become yet another yakety-yak station, but instead they became Classic Country AM 700. Actually, the truth be told, when Jacor bought the station and killed the Beautiful Music format, they intentionally killed their stereo too after ordering the engineer to remove the stereo generator from service. Unfortunately, this is all part and parcel of the stuffed shirts' anti-AM STEREO attitude at Jacor. But as I type this, in October of 2000, the story gets stranger: I am receiving reports that KWLW's signal is indeed sometimes being received in AM STEREO. It's been described as "hit and miss", as there are many days when they are not in stereo and many when they are on with full separation and the stereo indicator glowing brightly. If anyone can find out just what is going on at KWLW, please let me know.
700 WLW in Cincinnati, Ohio - Simply put, WLW killed their stereo for "coverage reasons". Specifically, WLW is owned by Jacor, and Jacor doesn't believe in AM STEREO. They own 21 AM stations in the United States, and the last one that had been broadcasting in AM STEREO - 980 WONE in Dayton, Ohio - shut it off around the beginning of February 1999. Apparently, a few of the other Jacor stations still have all of their AM STEREO transmitting equipment sitting unused because management says to leave it off. As the story goes, supposedly somebody at Jacor was a big Kahn fan and was so turned off by the occasional platform motion of C-QUAM that they decided to kill AM STEREO at all of their stations. What a bunch of sore losers.
730 WFMW in Madisonville, Kentucky - A Country station that sounded pretty good in AM STEREO - that is, until a couple of years ago. The reason? A brand new Optimod 9200 processor which is only made with mono capability. It doesn't make sense to me that a station would put the time and effort into going AM STEREO, only to later on put a piece of mono-only equipment in their audio chain that renders all the stereo gear useless.
740 KIDR in Phoenix, Arizona - Formerly known as Beat Radio, it seems as though KIDR dropped their AM STEREO when they were bought out by Radio Unica.
740 WGSM in Huntington, New York - WGSM used to broadcast in AM STEREO when they were running a Country format. However, since becoming a Radio Disney affiliate in 1998, their stereo exciter was switched off. (I've always thought it was rather ironic that Radio Disney is so proud of proclaiming "We're All Ears", since they apparently only want you to listen to their stations in mono. After all, kids are people too.) In any case, these days WGSM is now simulcasting Nostalgia formatted 1110 WHLI AM STEREO in Hempstead, New York, but they're still in mono.
740 WNOP in Cincinnati, Ohio - Licensed to Newport, Kentucky, WNOP is a Jazz station that had a bleak period of running only CNN Headline News. They have returned to traditional Jazz programming now, but their days of broadcasting in analog AM STEREO are over. As of late December 2000, WNOP has been sold to some Catholic broadcasters who intend on dumping the mono Jazz format for that of Religious shortly. (Much to the disappointment of a lot of faithful jazz listeners in the area.) Word has it that WNOP never did sound good when they were in stereo due to an ever present hum in the signal, the frequency response being marginal at best, and a very bad directional pattern. Why they never cleaned it up their signal after spending the money to go stereo makes one wonder about the ownership, management and engineering at the station doesn't it? Anyway, WNOP just got a brand new transmitter that reportedly is AM STEREO compatible, but they still are broadcasting in mono. I'm told that their old transmitter got toasted by a lightning strike, and the new one sounds unbelievable in mono. The new owners are running the station 24 hours a day (1000 watts during the day, 30 watts at night) and WNOP is currently a test station for IBOC digital. Time will tell if the new owners decide to turn the analog AM STEREO back on with the new Religious format when they realize what a dud IBOC is.
750 KFQD in Anchorage, Alaska - Still utilizing its 50,000 watt RCA ampliphase transmitter, KFQD started broadcasting in stereo with the Kahn/Hazeltine system back in the mid-80's, but utilized the Motorola C-QUAM system from 1991 until 1995. Unfortunately, the owners decided to change formats from Full Service AC to News/Talk and revert to broadcasting in mono. Shame, shame.
750 WSB in Atlanta, Georgia - This clear channel Voice of the South went stereo with the C-QUAM system sometime in the mid-80s, when they slowly converted from full service to a Talk format. WSB shut off their stereo exciter in the summer of 1990, just before the arrival of former WQXI morning man Gary McKee who was hired to do afternoon drive on WSB. There was still some music programming on WSB at this time, but the end of it being heard on the morning show came when Bobby Harper was fired in 1991. It's unfortunate that the stereo was eliminated though as I've been told that WSB's talk shows sounded really neat in stereo. I've also been told that, "All the bumper music was in stereo as well as all broadcasts of the Atlanta Braves games. Now they sound about as good as their real audio feed on broadcast.com". What a pity.
770 WABC in New York, New York - A one time Top 40 giant, WABC decided to put an end to their Musicradio 77 days on Monday, May 10,1982 when Dan Ingram and Ron Lundy sent them off into the sunset and a switch to a Talk format followed. However, after the format switch, WABC apparently did go AM STEREO with the Kahn/Hazeltine system. When or why they shut their stereo off is unclear, but I'm guessing that when the FCC adopted the Motorola C-QUAM standard in 1993 they decided not to make the switch.
780 WBBM in Chicago, Illinois - Hot on the heels of the demise of AM STEREO broadcasting at 670 WMAQ/WSCR in August 2000, NewsRadio 780 WBBM decided to follow suit in September. According to Mark Williams, Technical Operations Director for Infinity Broadcasting in Chicago,
"There are no plans to turn the exciter back on at either 780 WBBM or 670 WSCR. To process the stations more aggressively, it is not worth the stereo and since there are no AM STEREO radios being made, it is not worthwhile to have the AM STEREO turned on. Besides, the since the commercials are the only thing in stereo, it was not worth it to keep the station in stereo."
I happen to disagree with all three comments since they are all erroneous. (However, there is no need to re-hash all this here.) Just once though, I'd like to hear a truly sound and logical reason for an AM station shutting off their stereo. I personally have not heard one yet and they seem to be getting more lame all the time. For instance, when asked about keeping the disabled C-QUAM exciters in place at WBBM and WSCR, Mr. Williams said he plans on doing so, in the event that he ever felt like changing the stations back to stereo, he could turn them back on. Huh??? If this is the case, then why not just leave them on in the first place? (As a suggestion, if you want to hear how stereo commercials can really jump out at you and catch your attention on a News or Talk station, just tune your radios to 720 WGN or 890 WLS in Chicago. Come to think of it, leave them tuned there. These are both examples of AM stations that know how to do things right.)
790 WAXY in South Miami, Florida - Currently running an Adult Standards format (with some Talk programming), WAXY has what's been described as "excellent audio processing". Unfortunately, they're in mono. They used to broadcast in AM STEREO with the Motorola C-QUAM system, but they decided that they'd rather have a "a good, solid mono signal than a stereo signal". Huh? What kind of reasoning is that?
790 WSKO in Providence, Rhode Island - Formerly WLKW, and in AM STEREO, but since a switch in format to Sports and calls to WSKO (The Score), the stereo exciter has been switched off. It seems as though there's been a lot of switching going on (and off) at WSKO lately, but not necessarily the right kind. For those keeping score, WLKW moved to 550 on the AM band (in mono) and then switched their calls to WICE in September of 2000.
790 WQXI in Atlanta, Georgia - As the story goes, WQXI were apparently the first to station switch to AM STEREO in Atlanta in 1983 with the Kahn/Hazeltine system. "QUIXIE" had an Oldies format at that time, but was the Top-40 Powerhouse of Atlanta in the 60's and 70's, successfully knocking two competitors into other formats in the 60's. Several formats followed: automated Oldies, Adult Contemporary/AC, satellite Adult Standards (Unistar's AM Only), local brokered potpourri and even a run at a pre-teen format before finally settling on their present All Sports format with the moniker The Zone. WQXI eventually switched to the Harris system and the AM STEREO pilot light continued to glow during the Adult Standards period, but interestingly, only at certain times. Specifically, when WQXI was running Unistar's AM Only format, they had their AM STEREO exciter on a timer and the stereo was engaged at 6:00 a.m. and disengaged at 7:00 p.m., seven days a week. As a result, they were in full-blown stereo during music programming, but mono only while running the shows of Bruce Williams, Neil Myers and Myrna Lamb. These days, the stereo light does not come on at all, as they turned their exciter off forever when they switched to All Sports back in the mid-90's.
790 WTAR in Norfolk, Virginia - This is an interesting and bizarre story, so please bear with me. Back in the mid 80's, AM 790 WTAR went stereo with the Motorola C-QUAM system and their Oldies format, only to have the station sold years later and the Oldies format scrapped completely in favor of Talk. Although WTAR did transmit the 25hz pilot with no stereo programming, the station was once again sold, this time to Clear Channel Communications; subsequently, the pilot was turned off for good and the oldest station in Virginia at AM 790 (WTAR) was given a new spot on the dial. Clear Channel Communications other AM station at this time was News Radio 850 WNIS, and was upgraded to 50,000 watts with "a pattern that would give the dead nightmares". In fact, the pattern was so bad that the signal was actually worse after the upgrade than it was before. This was due to their signal now being directed north most of the time. WNIS was carrying Rush Limbaugh, and due to all the changes, no one could hear his show anymore. So, what do the brilliant PD's and station managers decide to do? Elementary, my dear Watson! They swapped WTAR with WNIS. After all the dust settled, the results were WTAR News Radio 850 and WNIS AM 790 with no stereo to be found anywhere. The questions that arise from this fiasco are: "Why not merely swap the programming between the sister stations?", and "What drives some of these PD's, station managers and station owners to do the ridiculous things they do?"
810 WDDD in Johnston City, Illinois - WDDD (which started life as WDDW) went AM STEREO back in 1989 when they were running an Adult Contemporary format. At that time, the station had just added 250 watt directional night service to protect Schenectady and Kansas City. (They're also 250 watts during the daytime, to protect Kansas City). They were still broadcasting in stereo in 1992, although by that time they were simulcasting their highly successful Country formatted sister station on 107.3 FM. WDDD eventually went on to switch to an All Sports format and turned off the stereo generator in the process. (For those interested, WDDD holds a Construction Permit for 1690 AM. Time will tell if we'll see the stereo light lit when they move to the Expanded Band.)
810 WGY in Schenectady, New York - Now a Talk station, Radio 810 WGY decided to revert to mono back in 1997. PD Tom Parks explanation for their revision to mono is that "he has his reasons that people like yourself will not understand" and his attitude towards this decision is that "it is not supposed to be your place to understand." Rather rude and arrogant, don't you think? In the meantime, if you're interested in complaining about WGY's decision, please contact Mr. Congeniality, Tom Parks himself, at firstname.lastname@example.org
800 WPLK in Palatka, Florida - Currently running the Stardust Oldies format, WPLK has been in mono for almost a year now due to a problem with their C-QUAM exciter. The engineer claims that fixing the problem, "wasn't a high priority on his list". With an attitude like this, one wonders of WPLK will ever return to the airwaves in AM STEREO. If you'd like to give them a call and put a bug in the ear, their # is (904) 325-5800.
810 WHB in Kansas City, Missouri - During their stint as Missouri's Farm Voice with a Country format, WHB was indeed broadcasting in full blown Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO. However, since switching formats to that of Sports Talk, and their moniker to that of Sports Radio 810 WHB, they have decided to revert to mono.
830 KPLS in Anaheim, California - Formerly a great Variety/Talk station (Jazz, Rock, etc.), since the fall of 1998 KPLS has been broadcasting the mono Catholic Family Radio feed. Bye bye, AM STEREO.
830 WCCO in Minneapolis, Minnesota - Here's an example of a cookie-cutter News/Talk station that went to great lengths to install AM STEREO transmitting equipment only to kill it off in the end. (For those who interested, WCCO officially went AM STEREO with the Motorola C-QUAM system back on Wednesday, October 2, 1985 after having spent an entire year preparing their programming and engineering departments and all of their equipment for broadcasting in stereo.) As mentioned above, WCCO is a full time News/Talk format, and if you're interested in letting them know how you feel about them shutting off their stereo, send e-mail to the Program Director at email@example.com or WCCO Management, or anyone else there at firstname.lastname@example.org It would be interesting to hear what, if anything, they have to say.
840 KXNT in North Las Vegas, Nevada - As KVEG with a Top 40/Talk format, these guys were indeed a Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO operation. Rumor has it that their C-QUAM exciter may have been stolen.
840 WHAS in Louisville, Kentucky - Known these days as Newsradio 84 WHAS with the moniker Depend On It, WHAS sadly dropped their AM STEREO when they had some problems with their C-QUAM exciter back in 1995. At that time, management decided to revert to mono due to the Talk programming which was taking over the station. (It doesn't help one bit that anti-AM STEREO broadcaster Clear Channel owns them now.) Interestingly, WHAS holds the distinction of being the last 50,000 watt AM station in the United States to have a full time Adult Contemporary format. (They dropped the last of their music programs in 1996.) I've been told they sounded awesome in AM STEREO. They were so proud of their stereo status that they even promoted on the air the fact that they were the only AM STEREO station in Louisville. Needless to say, AM STEREO was even part of their official logo. Remember this...
When you compare the above logo with their current one, you'd never know that AM STEREO was even a part of WHAS' history...
As can be seen from above, the Depend On It moniker is conveniently placed where AM STEREO once appeared not that long ago. Ironically, one thing we can't depend on any longer is to hear 84 WHAS ever broadcasting in AM STEREO again. My, how times change.
850 WRMR in Cleveland, Ohio - Currently running a Nostalgia format with the moniker Music of Your Life, WRMR are no longer broadcasting in AM STEREO. If anyone has any further details, please pass them along. (For the record, WRMR began broadcasting in stereo with the Motorola C-QUAM system back in the mid-80's.)
860 KTRB in Modesto, California - Once a Country station in full blown stereo, these days with an All News format, it seems as though the stereo equipment has been silenced for good. (Click here to see a picture of all their Harris brand C-QUAM AM STEREO equipment going to waste.) No further details concerning KTRB's decision to revert to mono are known.
860 KPAM in Troutdale/Portland, Oregon - This former Contemporary Christian AM STEREO station decided to revert to mono for some unknown reason around December of 1998. They went on to switch their format to News/Talk on May 1, 2000, but their stereo remains a thing of the past.
860 KWPC in Muscatine, Iowa - This 250 watt daytime/8 watt nighttime Variety station with the moniker Mix 86 decided to cease broadcasting in stereo sometime around the beginning of March 2001. They claim that since they have to drop down to eight watts at night, the stereo interferes with the distance in which they are able to broadcast their signal. We all know that is not true and is nothing more than yet another misconception and a lame excuse.
860 WGOM in Marion, Indiana - Formerly a true C-QUAM AM STEREO music station, WGOM decided to switch to Talk and turn their stereo off as well.
860 WGUL in Largo, Florida - Still running a Music of Your Life format, for some unknown reason, WGUL is no longer broadcasting in AM STEREO. If you happen to know why, please drop me a line.
880 KWIP in Dallas, Oregon - No further details available.
880 WMEQ in Menomenie, Wisconsin - This News/Talk station killed their AM STEREO citing, "Our programming is mostly mono anyway". Well, that doesn't cut it for me. If you've got functioning equipment which allows you to broadcast in stereo, then there's no reason whatsoever why you shouldn't continue to do so. End of story.
900 KRRA in West Covina, California - Currently running a Spanish format with a new transmitter. No further details available.
900 WEMG in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Initially WURD, and now known as WEMG, these guys are sending out the 25 Hz pilot tone and are simulcasting a mono link from their sister station 104.9 WEMG FM. This is due to the lack of a stereo studio-to-transmitter (STL) link This is somewhat of a disappointment, especially since they have some great Latin music and some great dance tunes as well. They are a relatively new station just starting out and hopefully they will get the necessary equipment to make them a true AM STEREO operation. (Word has it they are waiting for the owners (Mega Broadcasting) to spring for the required stereo STL.) Time will tell I suppose, but in all fairness, Mega has a reputation as being an AM STEREO friendly broadcaster.
910 KNEW in Oakland, California - For a period, KNEW was simulcasting with their Top 40 sister station K-101 FM, but they switched to formats to that of C-Net News and turned off their AM STEREO exciter in early July 1999. By all accounts, the AM side was a superb sounding station, and we can all guess why they shut their stereo off for good.
910 KOXR in Oxnard, California - Running a Spanish format with the moniker Radio Lobo, KOXR was previously broadcasting this format in Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO, but it was discontinued for some unknown reason.
910 KVVQ in Hesperia, California - Currently running a Popular Standards format. No further details are available.
920 WMOK in Metropolis, Illinois - Currently running a Country format, the pilot light is on, but there's nobody home.
930 KHJ in Los Angeles, California - Remember the Good Ol' Days of 93 KHJ where "AM Meant All Music" and this was their logo?
Well, not exactly in their present day incarnation. KHJ did add Kahn/Hazeltine AM STEREO capability in the mid-80's, but then owners RKO were forced to sell their AM operation by the FCC. As a result, 93 KHJ was sold to Beasley broadcasting in 1986, and since the KHJ calls were kept at the time for RKO's TV station, there was no choice but to change the AM calls. The historic three letter calls were officially changed on January 31, 1986 and KHJ then became known as KRTH with with an Oldies format that lasted until April of 1991. At that time, the calls changed to KKHJ and they became an All Spanish music station. KKHJ next became an All Spanish News station during the entire year of 1999, after which time they went back to playing Spanish music, with the present format being that of Ranchera Oldies. Somewhere along the line though, the stereo disappeared from 930. (The most likely reason for this is they elected to simply shut the Kahn/Hazeltine exciter off altogether and not switch over to the Motorola C-QUAM standard.) In any case, and thankfully, on Wednesday, March 15, 2000 the historic three letter calls of KHJ were restored to 930 AM in Los Angeles. And, if all goes well, KHJ will be removed from this list as they will eventually be returning to the airwaves once again in glorious AM STEREO. Stay tuned!
930 WEOL in Elyria, Ohio - Currently running an AC/Sports format, WEOL was at one time a Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO operation, but not any longer. If you have any further details as to why they reverted to mono, please pass them along.
930 WNZS in Jacksonville, Florida - WNZS is running an All Sports format these days, but back in the early 90's as WRXJ, they had an Oldies format in full blown AM STEREO. (Their calls were WJAX before this, but the WJAX calls now reside at 1220 AM.) Word has it that WNZS sounded great, but once Clear Channel got a hold of them and switched the calls and format, they wasted no time in shutting off the C-QUAM exciter for good.
940 KFRE in Fresno, California - Now running a Hot Talk format, KFRE was at one time a Country station broadcasting in AM STEREO using the Motorola C-QUAM system. No further details as to why they shut their stereo off are available.
940 KXTK in Des Moines, Iowa - In their former incarnation as KIOA, these guys ran a simulcast of their sister station 93.3 KIOA FM in beautiful AM STEREO. However, the original calls, simulcast and AM STEREO are now a thing of the past.
940 WMAZ in Macon, Georgia - Back in their good ol' music music days, WMAZ was a tried and true AM STEREO station. In fact, they originally began broadcasting in stereo with the Motorola C-QUAM system back in the mid-80's. However, since switching to a News/Talk format with lots of syndicated programming, the stereo has become a thing of the past.
950 KJR in Seattle, Washington - KJR was broadcasting in AM STEREO using the Harris system for a brief period following its Top 40 heyday as a Classic Hits station. Now that they're All Sports, there's "no room on the bench for stereo".
950 KKFN in Denver, Colorado - Currently running an All Sports/Sports Talk format with the moniker The Fan, there's no more stereo to be heard from KKFN these days. According to the CE, this was mainly a Programming and Engineering decision since they felt that with their current format, the stereo wouldn't have much impact. Needless to say, I strongly disagree with this line of reasoning. Furthermore, I would suggest that they give a listen to SportsRadio 66 WFAN in New York to see just how broadcasting in AM STEREO can indeed have an impact on the overall sound of the station.
960 KPXQ in Phoenix, Arizona - Currently running a Christian/Religious format, when KPXQ was known as "KOOL Oldies", they too were broadcasting in AM STEREO. However, since being sold to Salem two years ago, they killed their stereo and reverted to mono.
970 KAFY in Bakersfield, California - No further details available.
970 KBBT in Portland, Oregon - These days running a Country format with a full time simulcast of sister station FM 98.5, the call letters have changed and they are now known as Couple County Classics 970 KUFL. Unfortunately, they are no longer broadcasting in stereo either. In the late 1980's, KBBT was not very well known, so they had some latitude in their format. I'm told they had , "A wonderful mix of Alternative and 80's Rave Punk eclectic stuff" and weren't shy about announcing their stereo status on the air.
970 KBUL in Modesto, California - As KBEE, these guys were once too an AM STEREO operation, but not any more.
970 KUPL in Portland, Oregon - Currently running a Classic Country format, KUPL were always an AM STEREO operation, but aren't any longer. No further details are available.
970 WMAY in Springfield, Illinois - Formerly an AM STEREO station in their music days, WMAY reverted to full blown mono when they switched their format to Hot Talk 970 back in 1994.
970 WWSW in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania - WWSW switched to an All Sports format from Fox Sports Net in September of 2000. Prior to this they were running an Oldies format and were at one time an AM STEREO operation. Sadly this is no longer the case. No further details concerning this decision are available.
980 KFWB in Los Angeles, California - This station was broadcasting their News format in Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO, but had some problems with their stereo exciter and decided to turn it off rather than fix it. Apparently, they used a stereo synthesizer/expander for for their news dialog, but the background teletype sound and commercials were in true stereo. KFWB even advertised that they were an AM STEREO station. They were involved in a 50,000 watt upgrade to their transmitter, but intend on remaining in mono. Here's why:
"The most significant issue KFWB faces as an AM station is fighting electrical and radio station interference that is an unfortunate product of FCC allocations and the rise of computers. As well, radios with poor sensitivity in many cars compound the problem. We have now installed new audio processor to give us more "Talk Power" which unfortunately works only in the monaural mode. While there are certain technical aspects of AM STEREO that take advantage of the ability of some AM STEREO radios to make us sound better and somewhat louder, we decided on a choice which gives the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people in our coverage area."
And there you have it, folks. Apparently, no one notices a difference in mono now than when they were in stereo, with the exception that listeners do not have the good, rich, wide sound from both of their speakers.
980 KKMS in Richmond/St. Paul, Minnesota - Currently running a Religious format and known as Minnesota's Word, at one time they were indeed broadcasting in AM STEREO using the Motorola C-QUAM system. The reason as to why it was shut off is not known.
980 WONE in Dayton, Ohio - Currently running an Adult Standards format and simulcasting on 1340 WIZE in Springfield, OH, WONE has recently decided to stop broadcasting in AM STEREO. When they were still running a Country format, they were a true AM STEREO operation. However, in 1993 they switched to a Talk format and switched off their stereo. Then, in late 1994, they switched to their current format. For awhile, their slogan was, The Superstars of Music in Stereo, but unfortunately, they were only sending the pilot tone out. Now they're just straight mono. It is unclear exactly why this happened, but I'd bet that the reason Jacor owns them has everything to do with this decision. Sadly, WONE was the last Jacor-owned station that was still broadcasting in stereo. This brings the grand total of AM STEREO killings to 21 out of 21 for Jacor's AM stations. Oh, and by the way boys, shutting off the stereo didn't improve your coverage either like you seem to think it would.
990 KATD in Pittsburg, California - Currently running a full-time simulcast of nearby Spanish station 1010 KCHJ in Delano, it seems as though the C-QUAM exciter has been shut off for good. Prior to this, KATD was running a Sports Talk format (with some music) and were known as The Cat. Word has it that the powers that be want to move the 990 frequency to Sacramento, but since this is not likely to happen, 990 might be silenced completely just to boost the 1010 frequency. This is purely speculation at this point, so if anyone knows any further details, please pass them along. (For those wondering, KATD's original calls were KKIS.)
990 KTMS in Santa Barbara, California - Currently running a Talk format, this one time decent sounding AM STEREO station is, unfortunately, stereo no more. There have been a myriad of format and call letter changes at this station over the past decade, with them most recently being known as KBBQ. They did indeed broadcast in stereo in the past for their Country, Show Tunes, and All Jazz formats.
990 WDEO in Ypsilanti, Michigan - Around Labor Day of 1999, the former WWCM changed owners and their calls to WDEO, switched formats from Contemporary Christian music to Catholic talk and discontinued broadcasting in AM STEREO. Why? This station was stereo since day one of their hitting the airwaves and even used to used to promote the fact they were AM STEREO 990 WWCM on billboards in SE Michigan.
990 WHOO in Orlando, Florida - Despite running a Nostalgia format, WHOO ceased broadcasting in AM STEREO sometime in 1995. They had what has been described as a "real nice sound" and even though they installed a new transmitter, they are now in "glorious, overmodulated mono". No further details as to how or why they arrived at this decision are available.
990 WZZD in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - WZZD is a contemporary Christian music station who were also stereo for a while in the late 80's/early 90's, but they are a mono operation now. They were apparently a very good sounding station and there seems to be no real good reason why they stopped broadcasting in stereo.
1000 KOMO in Seattle, Washington - A 50,000 watt powerhouse that broadcast in "superb AM STEREO" (with the Harris system) when they were running a full-service AC format. However, now that they are yet another dopey yakety-yak/news station, glorious mono emanates from your speakers.
1010 KIQI in San Francisco, California - Currently running a Spanish format, for some reason KIQI decided to kill their AM STEREO.
1010 KXEG in Tolleson, Arizona - Currently running a Religious format (and a simulcast of Radio Kasa 1540 KASA in Phoenix at times), KXEG has decided to shut off their C-QUAM exciter and revert to mono. No further details surrounding this decision are known.
1010 WINS in New York, New York - A powerhouse station to say the least, it seems as though when Westinghouse took them over, they also decided to shut the stereo off too. I used to love hearing their "All News, All The Time. This is 1010 WINS. You Give Us 22 Minutes and We'll Give You The World" liner in stereo.
1010 WIOJ in Jacksonville Beach, Florida - When they were running an Oldies format and known as Redneck Rock & Roll, WIOJ was also broadcasting in AM STEREO; however, since switching to a Religious format, bye bye C-QUAM.
1010 WORM in Savannah, Tennessee - Formerly broadcasting in AM STEREO with an Oldies format, it seems as though AM 101 The Worm has shut off their C-QUAM exciter and reverted in mono for some unknown reason.
1020 KDKA in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania - On their web page, 1020 KDKA boasts that on Friday, July 23, 1982, they became "The first radio station in the world to broadcast in AM STEREO" (using the Kahn/Hazeltine system). (There seems to be some disagreement concerning this statement however. If you'd like to know more, click here.) A source who was listening to this broadcast kindly passed along the following background information about that day:
"KDKA, and several other stations around the country, had been operating in Kahn/Hazeltine AM STEREO for at least a year before the alleged first broadcast. They were operating under a Special Temporary Authority (STA) from the FCC, and were engaged in performance testing of AM STEREO hardware and the AM STEREO signal itself. The terms of the STA specifically forbade KDKA, and all other stations having stereo STA, from announcing their stereo status to the public. By the way, this was not the first test of AM STEREO on KDKA. Much earlier, in about 1962 as best I can recall, KDKA broadcast a form of stereo called Independent Sideband (ISB), also under an STA. There was considerable local publicity that time, in which KDKA urged listeners to use two receivers tuned slightly above and below the station to hear stereo. Unfortunately, it never caught on. Even before that, in 1957 or 1958, KDKA actually broadcast AM/FM simulplex stereo on a few occasions. That method involved sending one channel on AM and the other on FM, and did not require special authorization."
"As for the July 23, 1982 broadcast, this date was declared by the FCC to be the official inception of AM STEREO in the United States. I believe the hour was specified as well, and it was 6:00 PM Eastern Daylight time. KDKA led up to the moment for weeks, both on the air and in PR they released to news organizations. At the appointed hour, Roy Fox handled the announcing as KDKA dropped their signal and then came back on with very distorted sound (it sounded like the signal became phase modulated). They eventually resolved the sound to a clear sounding AM signal. I was listening on a mono receiver, so I can't claim to have heard the first official AM STEREO broadcast in stereo. According to local engineers, after the first few minutes of the "first AM STEREO broadcast", KDKA turned off the signal, reverted to A3 modulation and did not again employ stereo until months later, after replacing the experimental Kahn exciter. Overall, the claim to be first is very cynical. A more accurate representation would be that they made the first announcement of AM STEREO, but even by that standard, the claim is unsubstantiated. Numerous other stations had the equipment in place, and could have done the same thing, since they all received authority from the FCC at the same time. I doubt if anyone kept track of such claims though."
At some point, KDKA did make the switch to Motorola C-QUAM, and for 10 years give or take, they did broadcast in full AM STEREO. Disgustingly, KDKA killed their stereo sometime in 1997. What sacrilege! This would be similar to Chevrolet boasting that they were the first car company to use airbags, and then stop making them available any of their current cars.
1020 KTNQ in Los Angeles, California - Another once great Top 40 station from December 1976 to August 1979, "10Q" changed formats after over 50 years of English broadcasting to all Spanish programming on Wednesday, August 1, 1979. They added Kahn/Hazeltine AM STEREO in the mid-80's (and then eventually converted to Motorola C-QUAM ), stopped using "10Q" altogether in 1996, and began ID'ing themselves as "10-20 AM, The Talk Station". They eventually went on to kill their AM STEREO due to the following reasons as explained by David Gleason, CE of KTNQ:
"In 1995, with our then Corporate Director of Engineering, we did extensive field monitoring of KTNQ which was in C-QUAM AM STEREO. KTNQ is a highly directional station, with deep, deep nulls. When driving in areas along the increasing or declining sides of the nulls (or when driving in the nulls themselves) and when driving through minor lobes of the DA pattern, there was considerable distortion as well as really objectionable platform motion (so much so that the engineer had to stop several times and get out of the car to "stabilize" form the quaziness it caused). Furthermore, in places like under bridges (LA has thousands and thousands) and among buildings (LA has millions), there were often unpleasant artifacts, like flanging and ringing, similar to the null phenomenon. All these went away when the C-QUAM was disconnected for the testing. Finally, with this information in mind, a decision was made to permanently discontinue AM STEREO. After changing back to AM mono, we noted that there was an increase in listening to the east of the transmitter site in the null and minor lobe areas. In fact, the station began showing up in the Riverside/San Bernardino Arbitrons with notable shares, something it never did when it was in stereo and when, coincidentally, the signal was very distorted in that market. The net gain in the LA market was such that the station moved significantly in the ratings and we can not help but consider that the discontinuance of the AM STEREO operation was part of it."
Yeah, whatever. In any case, as of January 2001, KTNQ has ditched their Spanish Talk format to become a Spanish Oldies simulcast of Los Angeles FM'ers KRCD and KRCV, "who did not have the coverage that KTNQ adds to the formula". This decision having been made, the next logical question to ask was whether KTNQ had any intention of returning to the LA airwaves in AM STEREO. Here's the response to that enquiry, in a nutshell, once again from David Gleason:
"Recently, we took KTNQ back to a Nostalgia-based music format and the issue of AM STEREO came up in a meeting, where all the engineering staff had loud objections to putting the gear back on the air. Furthermore, several years ago, the decision was made to replace all the STL facilities for KTNQ and the new system is monaural. At present, it would be prohibitively expensive to return to stereo. I believe AM STEREO is not moving ahead, will be replaced by IBOC and is damaging to directional AM's. Any AM station that wants to run it is in its rights; however, those that do should consider the negative artifacts and evaluate the position of the station. Period."
Oh well, so much for ever hearing any bit of real stereo (i.e., analog) ever coming from KTNQ again. Talk about unfortunate.
1040 WJHR in Flemington, New Jersey - After a change in ownership and about a month after switching to Chat Radio 1040 on May 3, 1999, new owners Nassau Broadcasting (who have turned off stereo at all of their AM stations) made the decision to turn off WJHR's AM STEREO exciter in order to "increase their coverage area". Prior to this, the then Top 40/CHR formatted Jersey's Hometown Radio, WJHR was owned by Multicultural Broadcasting who actually have a policy of requiring all of their AM stations to broadcast in stereo. WJHR started out as an Adult Contemporary station in January 1998, added AM STEREO the following month and gradually switched to a Top 40/CHR format in the spring of that year. As mentioned above, the switch to Chat Radio 1040 occurred on on May 3, 1999, but this was rather short lived. A couple of months later, the Talk format was dropped and WJHR began running a 24/7 simulcast of Business Talk Radio 1350 WHWH in Princeton, NJ. (Interestingly, WHWH is another former Adult Contemporary AM STEREO station.) Today, WJHR still uses a Harris DX-10 transmitter and completely state-of-the art equipment all the way from the microphone to their towers. Everybody who worked for or listened to WJHR during their Top 40 music format says WJHR was the best sounding AM station they ever heard. And to top it all off, they even ID'ed themselves on the air as AM STEREO 1040, WJHR. My, my, my, what a shame to see such a great station take such a colossal step backwards.
1050 KTCT in San Mateo, CA - As KOFY, these guys were in AM STEREO, but they aren't any longer.
1050 WEVD in New York, New York - It seems as though News Talk 1050 WEVD has stopped broadcasting in AM STEREO. It's uncertain as to why this decision was made, but it certainly doesn't seem to make any sense. As a suggestion, why not drop them a line at email@example.com and let them know that you miss hearing them in stereo.
1050 WTKA in Ann Arbor, Michigan - Currently running an All Sports format and known as The Ticket, WTKA was a true AM STEREO station between March of 1997 and March of 1999. It is unknown why they decided to shut their C-QUAM exciter off and revert to mono.
1050 WTSJ in Cincinnati, Ohio - WTSJ stopped broadcasting in AM STEREO rather quickly after they started. They tried to do a Christian Positive Country format that never went anywhere, but they're back to Christian talk and Gospel music these days. Interestingly, WTSJ still has a sign on their tower right next to I-71/75 near downtown Cincinnati that says WTSJ 1050 AM STEREO. NOT!!!
1060 KYW in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Another Westinghouse news station which was stereo from about 1986 until 1998. They dropped the "Group W" label, and also stopped announcing "in AM STEREO" at the top of each hour. When asked why they killed their stereo, they said it was to prepare for their switch to Digital Broadcasting, "since you can't broadcast analog C-QUAM AM STEREO and IBOC digital stereo at the same time." Based on this, they went back to mono. They also disagreed with the FCC's statement that millions of AM STEREO radios have been sold since the 1980's. Oh well, ignorance is bliss I guess. In any case, KYW was once a great sounding station with their "ticker" machines in the background in stereo and, of course, all their production as well.
1070 WKII in Solana, Florida - WKII used to broadcast their Adult Standards format in AM STEREO. (Until their exciter died, that is.) In order to save money at the expense of their sound, they elected not to repair it.
1080 KOTK in Portland, Oregon - As KWJJ, yet another former AM STEREO operation who went on to kill their stereo programming.
1080 WTIC in Hartford, Connecticut - Another big gun talk station that originally used the Kahn/Hazeltine system and was indeed broadcasting in AM STEREO up until only recently. Don't know the reason behind this move either, but, if you so desire, get in touch with them and let them know how you feel.
1090 KMXA in Aurora, Colorado - These days KMXA is running an All Spanish format with the moniker Radio Tri-Color in full-blown mono. However back in the mid-80's when they had the calls KLSC and were running an AC format (and trying to compete with fellow Offender 630 KHOW in Denver) they were broadcasting in stereo with the Motorola C-QUAM system. Since that didn't work out, the format was changed to Country, but the stereo continued to blast forth. However, since being sold and the format switched to Spanish around 1996, the stereo exciter has been silenced. (For those keeping score, the city of license for this station was originally Denver when it began as a daytimer, but it changed to Aurora when night authorization was granted.) Some other interesting history on this station is that it's original calls were KAAT when they first hit the airwaves in the 70's. Although they had a great 50,000 watt signal, it was a only a daytime station. As mentioned above, they made the silly mistake of trying to compete with legendary KHOW 630 with an Adult Contemporary format and didn't last very long. The station was eventually sold a couple of times and changed call letters and formats a few times as well. One of their calls was KLDR (which stood for "Leader") and they used it for a few years. Some local investors bought it in the early 80's and pumped a lot of money into it when they were still trying to compete with KHOW. One of those investors was Denver area car dealer Leo Payne. Mr. Payne was undoubtedly a wealthy man, but his resources could hardly match the deep pockets of KHOW's owner Doubleday Broadcasting. The claim to fame for the station was that it moved into Hugh Heffner's personal apartment in the hotel that housed the now defunct Denver Playboy Club. (The place was quite plush and was equipped with excellent broadcast gear.) They eventually applied for and received night authorization, but with only 500 watts using a very sharp pattern from a 6 tower array near Watkins, east of Aurora. The legend is that the tiny night signal shoots due west straight down Colfax Ave. and it disappears if you go a few blocks away from Colfax to the north or south. (That is a bit of an exaggeration, but it's reasonably true.)
1100 KFNX in Cave Creek, Arizona - Formerly known as KCCF when they were running an AC format which apparently had "The best sounding AM STEREO ever heard", these guys recently switched to a 3 KHz feed from WALE in Providence, RI and are now running a brokered time Talk/Infomercial format, which features New Age Medicine. Not surprisingly, they proceeded to kill their stereo as well. Yet another waste of a 50,000 watt flamethrower. What a shame! (On all accounts, I might add.)
1110 KFAB in Omaha, Nebraska - Currently running a News/Talk format with the moniker SuperStation 1110, the pilot light was on, but there had been nobody home for quite some time. Apparently, not a lick of separation had been heard from KFAB since they abandoned their music format and switched to News/Talk back in 1990. As of late January 2001, the pilot light was blown out altogether. These days, KFAB's programming choices are poor, and it's truly amazing that anti-AM STEREO broadcaster AM/FM Inc. hadn't shut off the C-QUAM exciter for good a long time ago. Oh well, it was only a matter of time I guess. So much for being a "SuperStation".
1110 KRLA in Pasadena, California - It was bad enough that at the stroke of midnight on November 30, 1998, after nearly 40 years of virtually continuous Rock & Roll, we lost the great Oldies 1110 KRLA to a switch to a Talk format. They continued to broadcast in AM STEREO after the switch, but at the beginning of April 1999, the new LA Talk 1110 decided to blow the pilot light out for good on their AM STEREO days. (For the record, KRLA first hit the airwaves in AM STEREO using the Kahn/Hazeltine system back in the mid-80's and then made the switch to the Motorola C-QUAM system.)
1110 WPMZ in East Providence, Rhode Island - Currently running the Radio Unica format "off the bird", WPMZ came on the air in 1995. Before that, it was WHIM from 1992-1995, WWRX 1110 CNN (The CNN Headline News re-feed) from 1991-1992, and before that they were known as WHIM 1110 AM STEREO. (A fact that their bumper stickers proudly stated.) It is unknown why WPMZ is no longer broadcasting in AM STEREO, but right now they are in craptacular mono.
1120 KMOX in St. Louis, Missouri - Unfortunately, it's now official. After many years of broadcasting in high quality AM STEREO, this 50,000 watt, top-rated News/Talker known as The Voice of St. Louis intentionally put an end to these days for good around April 24, 2000. According to Paul J. Grundhauser, Supervisor of Technical Operations at KMOX,
"It is not temporary, nor is it a problem. We have turned off AM STEREO on KMOX. This decision was made by our General Manager, our Operations Director, our regional head of engineering and myself. The lack of availability of AM STEREO radios and the compromises you make in your audio chain to broadcast in stereo were too great to ignore. I don't really believe there is much interest in AM STEREO any longer. Hopefully, if DAB becomes a reality, then stereo will once again be on the agenda for KMOX."
Judging from the above comments, I guess it will be a cold day somewhere very warm before we ever hear stereo coming from KMOX again. This is really sad, as they still run Don Wolff's I Love Jazz music show on late Saturday evening/early Sunday morning from 10:00 pm -2:00 am. (Although the turntables/CD players weren't wired for stereo at least until 1994, the fact that music programming is still run on KMOX is yet another reason why their move to drop stereo is illogical.) Another terrific disappointment is the loss of one of the great pleasures of listening to KMOX: the full stereo broadcasts of both the Cardinals home baseball games and the Blues home hockey games. (For the record, the Blues games moved over to fellow St. Louis offender 550 KTRS beginning with the 2000-2001 season.) If you'd like to drop KMOX a line and put a bug in their ear, their e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org After all, you don't know what could happen unless you try.
1130 WBBR in Bloomburg, New York - These guys used to be an AM STEREO operation, but since their switch to a Business News format, they switched their stereo generator into mono as well. Despite their rather silly decision on the matter of their AM STEREO, here's a little bit of interesting history on the station. WBBR was once known as WNEW, and had the American Popular Standards format that 1560 WQEW in New York had just prior to switching to Radio Disney on January 28, 1998. Still with me? Excellent!! Anyway, at that time, 1560 WQEW (who were using the former WQXR calls) was running a Classical Music format. When WNEW was sold to Bloomburg (sometime in 1995), all of the DJ's and hundreds of well-known celebrities had a huge on-the air going away party for the station. It seemed like the end of the world but happily WQXR/WQEW stepped in, hired all of the DJ's from WNEW, took all the music, and PRESTO! - a seamless transfer of power! All was well with the world once for a time, that is until the new WBBR killed their stereo and WQEW went on to leave their American Popular Standards format homeless after only 3 short years and kill their stereo as well.
1130 WDFN in Detroit, Michigan - Formerly WCXI and WWWW, 1130 WDFN went from playing Country music in stereo as Country 11 to Sports Talk in mono in July of 1994. They said that they had a computer as their "board" and to go stereo on that would double the required memory on the computer. Well, who cares about your listeners as long as you're saving money right?
1140 KCMJ in Palm Springs, California - Currently running a Pop Standards format. No further details available.
1140 KHTK in Sacramento, California - Currently running a Talk format. No further details available.
1150 KCKY in Coolidge, Arizona - Known as Radio Exitos, this Spanish Religion station is sending out the 25 Hz pilot tone to trip the stereo indicator, but are feeding a 3 KHz mono signal in both channels to their transmitter. Go figure.
1150 KXTA in Los Angeles, California - In their Top 40 days as Hot Hits KIIS AM (and before that as KPRZ), these guys started to broadcasting in Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO back in 1984. However, since being acquired by Jacor, they switched their calls and format to that of XTRA Sports and have made AM STEREO a thing of the past.
1160 KSL in Salt Lake City, Utah - A one time Full Service/Adult Contemporary station, KSL originally began broadcasting in AM STEREO using the Kahn/Hazeltine system back in the mid-80's. These days with their variety format, however, the AM STEREO days are a thing of the past. I assume KSL elected to not make the switch to the Motorola C-QUAM system when it became the standard in the United States in 1993.
1170 KCBQ in San Diego, California - A former Top 40 and then Oldies station with a lovely Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO signal. Jacor moves in, AM STEREO moves out. Need I say more?
1170 WKLN in St. Augustine Beach, Florida - This 830 watt daytimer with a Nostalgia format stopped broadcasting in full stereo back in October of 2000, and the pilot light was blown out three months later in late January of this year. Word has it WKLN intends to resume broadcasting in stereo when they move down the AM dial to 770 KHz with a new 24 hour licence that will see them broadcast with a power of 10,000 watts days/5000 watts nights. Stay tuned!
1180 KOIL in Bellevue, Nebraska - One of the few AM stations that were actually running the Radio Disney format in full blown AM STEREO (they way it was meant to be heard), KOIL is unfortunately now broadcasting in mono due to some problems they were having with their C-QUAM exciter several months ago. Hopefully, they will be able to get their exciter fixed ASAP, as KOIL had really great sounding AM STEREO on 1180 with both the current Radio Disney format and their previous Nostalgia format.
1180 WHAM in Rochester, New York - Once this 50,000 flamethrower was acquired by Jacor and switched to their present day Talk format, they also switched off their Motorola C-QUAM exciter for good too. It's no secret that we have the stuffed shirts and other assorted suits at Jacor to thank for this wise move. Complaints may be sent (and rightly so) to email@example.com
1190 KEX Portland, Oregon - This 50,000 watt Full Service operation was a great sounding station, prior to their decision to revert to monophonic broadcasting that is. It is likely that it will remain this way as per the "sore loser" behavior of the gang at Jacor. Another waste of a flamethrower signal.
1190 KEZY in Anaheim, California - Formerly known as KORG with a part Adult Standards and part Korean format, KORG switched to an All Spanish format. However, since taking the KEZY calls, they are now an All Korean station. No further details regarding their revision to mono are available, but it is a fact that every hour on the hour the legal ID stated, "You're listening to the Swingin' Big Bands in full Hi-Fidelity sound on AM STEREO KEZY Anaheim/Los Angeles".
1190 KMYL in Phoenix, Arizona - Currently running a Music of Your Life format, it seems that as of the end of May 1999, KMYL's AM STEREO says are over. Beyond this, no further details are available.
1190 KPHN in Kansas City, Missouri - Back in the early to mid-90's when they had a Big Band/Nostalgia format and formally had the calls KFEZ, they were indeed broadcasting in true, high fidelity AM STEREO. (For those keeping track, their original calls were KJLA.) This was another example of what one listener describes as, "The best sounding AM STEREO station I have ever heard." Sadly, new owners took over from Beal Broadcasting around 1997, and it was all over. KFEZ got moved up the AM band to graveyard frequency 1340 and forget about anymore stereo. The new calls of KPHN took over on 1190 with a Talk format in full blown mono.
1190 WGKA in Atlanta, Georgia - This AM daytimer was one of the only AM stations broadcasting a Classical format, so it was a logical step for this station to go stereo. In the early to mid 80s, they started with Harris AM STEREO, then modified the Harris exciter later for C-QUAM. (Which the station owner said worked better than an actual Motorola encoder.) For a short period in the early 90s, they featured Big Band music on Friday afternoons that was recorded live in a ballroom in Atlanta. "It sounded very, very good," I'm told. The station was sold in 1997, and the new owner replaced automation used during morning and late afternoon with live announcers, and changed the format to Free Form. (Remember the days when jocks were actually allowed put a stack of old LP's, CD's, etc. on a table and play them at random? "Stackin' That Whack, Baby!") Unfortunately, WGKA scrapped their AM STEREO and added more signal processing. The mystery as to why this decision was made remains to this day. In it's current incarnation, WGKA is running a Southern Gospel format and is calling itself WGKA - The Mighty 690. In my opinion, they'd be a whole lot mightier if they'd turn the stereo back on.
1190 WOWO in Fort Wayne, Indiana - A 50,000 watt clear channel station, WOWO broadcast in stereo until they changed owners. They used to promote their AM STEREO on the air (along with their AMAX certification), but they killed it while still doing their AC music format. They next gravitated into an Oldies format, but, like so many others, dropped it in favor of a News/Talk format in 1996.
1210 KLDI in Laramie, Wyoming - Currently running an Oldies format, KLDI were broadcasting in AM STEREO, but not anymore. No further details are available.
1210 WNMA in Miami Springs, Florida - As WCMQ with a full-time Spanish music format, these guys were in full AM STEREO. However this all came to an end several years ago when they changed their calls to WNMA and their format to that of All Spanish News/Talk.
1220 KIIS in Canyon Country, California - Until recently, these guys were known as KBET and were running the XTRA Sports format. Like so many others before them, they were broadcasting in AM STEREO when they were a music station running an Adult Contemporary format. Sadly, those days are over, as the stereo pilot has since been turned off. But, here's where it gets interesting: KIIS AM is now simulcasting KIIS FM in Los Angeles full time except when they broadcast LA Dodger games. However, given that this is a simulcast and KIIS FM features Rick Dees and a Contemporary music format, why is it that their AM signal is still in mono? Word has it, "the station would not go stereo again because of the corporate policy prohibiting AM STEREO broadcasting for any Clear Channel Communications, Inc. stations." What a bunch of morons!! If you would like to give Clear Channel a piece of your mind about their braindead policy, e-mail links to each personnel member are available on their website at www.clearchannel.com (Don't forget to ask them why their line of reasoning doesn't include them turning the stereo off at their FM stations too.)
1230 KYPA in Los Angeles, California - Formerly known as KGFJ with an R&B/Classic Soul Oldies format in AM STEREO. Since then, they have changed formats twice with the first being Religious and the second being Talk. The calls were switched to WYPA with the arrival of the Talk format, but the days of AM STEREO broadcasting were put to an end in 1995.
1230 WCOL in Columbus, Ohio - WCOL used to broadcast in AM STEREO back when they were running a satellite Adult Standards format and continued to do so when they ran a satellite Oldies format, and also when they simulcast their sister station WCOL FM for a period. WCOL then switched to Oldies again, but in early 1993, WCOL finally dropped all music programming and succumbed to the All Talk virus. Interestingly, they kept their stereo exciter on for a couple of years, but eventually decided to shut if off for good. (For those interested, WCOL originally broadcast in AM STEREO using the Harris system.)
1230 WFOM in Marietta, Georgia - WFOM used to be in AM STEREO when they broadcast a Financial News/Talk format. Ironically, since switching to a Gospel format (which is a simulcast of their sister station Glory 1340 WALR in Atlanta) and beginning to play music, they are no longer broadcasting in stereo. Doesn't make much sense does it? Word has it, they even used to have an ad in the Yellow Pages that said AM STEREO 1230.
1230 WONN in Lakeland, Florida - Currently running an Adult Standards format, there's no more pilot and no separation from WONN. Despite their logo stating that they are an AM STEREO station, it appears as though they've reverted to mono for some unknown reason.
1240 KNRY in Monterey, California - Formerly an AM STEREO station, but are now running there current Talk format in mono.
1240 WJON in St. Cloud, Minnesota - This News/Talk station has decided to turn off their stereo exciter because "AM STEREO receivers are no longer being produced, even for the automotive market." Talk about a misinformed statement. Considering they are a News station, perhaps they should have checked their sources more carefully before arriving at this misinformed decision. In the meantime, the C-QUAM exciter sits on a shelf collecting dust. Word has it, it will be offered first to the other AM stations in the Regent Broadcasting chain in the U.S., and if there are no takers, it will be sold off to any other interested party.
1240 WSYY in Millinocket, Maine - Currently running a Country format with a full time simulcast of their FM sister station North County 95, the AM STEREO has been turned off here for some unknown reason.
1250 KBSZ in Wickenburg, Arizona - A 350 watt daytimer with an Oldies format, KBSZ was indeed broadcasting in Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO up until recently. These days, however, they're back in craptacular mono, but the reason for this turn of events is not known.
1250 WEMP in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Formerly a satellite fed Oldies station, but since a switch to Religious format, bye bye AM STEREO. Apparently, there is not enough storage space/time on their hard drive system to run their new format in stereo.
1250 WMTR in Morristown, New Jersey - Formerly an AM STEREO Nostalgia station, WMTR switched to an All Talk format on May 15, 1999. (At this time, the music and previous format moved down the dial to former Sports mono station 1170 WWTR in Bridgewater, NJ.) One theory for WMTR's decision to stop broadcasting in stereo was that they would be sending their stereo equipment to be installed at WWTR in time for their new format, but this turned out to be wishful thinking. The story is that WMTR doesn't want to pay for more than two audio lines, so the two that were originally used for during their AM STEREO days are now split into one audio feed line for 1250 and another for their simulcast on 1170 WWTR.
1260 KGIL in Beverly Hills, California - Currently running a simulcast of the All Jazz format (Contemporary and Classic) of the new 540 XEJAZZ AM STEREO, KGIL is lighting the stereo light, but not fooling anyone. (Actually, KGIL used to have a legal ID on the air that stated, "You're listening to AM STEREO KGIL, Beverly Hills" and this was only about one year ago.) It's a shame that they're not putting out a true stereo signal as their current music format (and their previous Adult Standards one), can really show of the beauty of AM STEREO. Here's the story though: KGIL's stereo transmitter is located in San Fernando (which used to be their city of license) and the studio there is fitted for stereo broadcasting. However, KGIL are now sending programming remotely from West Los Angeles, and their current ISDN feed is mono. This could be fixed rather easily though, as it just takes two cables and a stereo link.
1260 KOIT in San Francisco, California - Originally hitting the airwaves in AM STEREO with the Kahn/Hazeltine system back in the mid-80's, these days there's no more stereo to be heard at KOIT AM. They are currently running a 24 hour simulcast of sister station Lite Rock, Less Talk 96.5 KOIT FM, and my guess is they never bothered to convert to C-QUAM when it became the standard for AM STEREO broadcasting in the U.S. back in 1993. Tsk, tsk.
1260 KTTS in Springfield, Missouri - Known as The Radio Ranch and running a Country format, KTTS decided to kill their AM STEREO transmitter in September of 1999. In a nutshell, the reasoning for this decision is, "We have decided to maximize the "listen ability" of KTTS and believe that can be better achieved without stereo." Sorry, but no matter what they have to say, I completely disagree with this line of "reasoning". In fact, here's what a listener had to say about this:
This was a major loss, as their AM STEREO usually sounded BETTER than their FM STEREO operation. (They do some simulcasting on weekends, and both are Country so it was easy to do a side-by-side comparison.) Overall, the AM signal was cleaner, less distorted, less heavily processed/compressed/limited, and with almost the same frequency response!) KTTS was sold got around the first of 2000 or just before, and even though the format wasn't changed, this may have had something to do with the C-QUAM being shut off.
1260 WBNR in Beacon, New York - Currently running an AC/Oldies format, WBNR was indeed formerly broadcasting in Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO. In fact, all the stereo gear is still in place, but they they refuse to turn it back on. Besides being truly maddening, this does not make an ounce of sense to me.
1260 WGAY in Washington, District of Columbia - Formerly WWDC, Chancellor decided to lend the WGAY calls to WWDC AM most likely to "park" them while they wrangle with new calls for their FM sister station Jammin' Oldies WGAY 99.5 FM. In any case, 1260 WGAY was running their syndicated Music of Your Life format in glorious AM STEREO up until early May of 1999, but decided for some unexplained reason to shut it off.
1260 WMMM in Westport, Connecticut - Now a News/Talk/Classical Music station (which also simulcasts on 89.9 and 91.1 FM), WMMM became one of the first stations in Connecticut to broadcast in AM STEREO using the Kahn/Hazeltine system back in the mid-80's. However, rather than switch to the Motorola C-QUAM system, WMMM reverted to mono in 1993 when the FCC adopted the C-QUAM system as the standard for AM STEREO broadcasting in the United States.
1270 KAJO in Grants Pass, Oregon - KAJO is currently running a Nostalgia format and is known as K-Joe. Unfortunately, this one and only local AM STEREO station left on the dial arbitrarily decided to discontinue their stereo broadcasts. When a concerned listener called them to see what was wrong with their signal they said, "You are probably the only listener in ten-thousand who has bothered to do so". WOW, what a nice remark to make! (For those keeping score, KAJO originally began broadcasting in stereo with the Harris system back in the mid-80's.)
1280 KIT in Yakima, Washington - These days KIT is running a Talk format and has unfortunately been "possessed" by The Evil Empire (i.e, Clear Channel). KIT originally began broadcasting in AM STEREO back in the mid-80's with the Harris system when they were running they described as an "old line" MOR station. They evolved into a News/Talk format after changing ownership a while back when the Ingstad group from Minnesota and North Dakota bought them. Since being acquired by Clear Channel however, one can assume that any stereo capability they might have had has been demonized and doomed by the death and destruction of the Evil Empire. Truly sad.
1280 WFAU in Gardiner, Maine - As WABK, these guys were broadcasting in Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO. These days as WFAU with a Nostalgia format, the stereo is a thing of the past. No further details are available.
1280 WGBF in Evansville, Indiana - Now a News/Talker, WGBF went AM STEREO in the mid-80's when they were running an AC format and stayed stereo through an AOR simulcast and a time with an Adult Standards format as WWOK. Later, they took back the original calls of WGBF, switched to Sports and finally to their present day format. Unfortunately, within the last couple of years, they turned their exciter off and reverted to mono.
1280 WWTC in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota - For the longest time, WWTC had their stereo exciter turned on, but were sending a mono signal to the transmitter. (Apparently, they didn't want to pay for two phone lines.) In any case, WWTC was sold to the Catholic Family Radio Network, who run their broadcast feeds strictly in mono. Based on this, WWTC has taken their stereo generator out of service for good.
1290 KKAR in Omaha, Nebraska - Known these days as K-Car with a News/Talk format, back in "the vintage 1290 KOIL days", they had some truly great sounding AM STEREO. That is, until their old transmitter got toasted in 1993. Sadly, they elected to not restore stereo service to the 1290 frequency.
1290 KZBN in Santa Barbara, California - Formerly known as KBBQ with a Country format in Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO, these days as KZBN with the moniker The New Bob and a Nostalgia format, the stereo is a thing of the past. Anyone know why?
1290 WHIO in Dayton, Ohio - Currently running a News/Talk format, WHIO was broadcasting in AM STEREO, but stopped doing so at least a year ago. No further details as to why this decision was made are available.
1300 KGLO in Mason City, Iowa - A Variety/Talk station with a former logo that clearly stated they were AM STEREO:
KGLO originally installed the Harris AM STEREO system and turned it on during the first week of August 1986. About a year and a half later, Harris supplied a modification bulletin describing how to modify their STX-1A exciter to convert it to operate in C-QUAM and this conversion was done in the Summer of 1988. KGLO took great pride in their AM STEREO signal, but the staton was sold to new owners in the Spring of 1990. (This was even before Cumulus Broadcasting got a hold of them.) These days, KGLO has a new transmitter site, with a new transmitter to boot, but have gone back to the dark ages and are broadcasting in craptacular mono. According to Tim Flemming, Operations Manager at KGLO,
"It is my understanding that there will be an update in the future to enhance the sound of KGLO. At this time, however, engineering is not using AM STEREO as an option. Thanks for your continued interest."
Hmm, if you read between the lines I guess this means the C-QUAM days are over at KGLO and the IBOC days are coming soon. (It's too bad they'd rather utilize a technically inferior means of broadcasting though.) With their current moniker being, A Friend You Can Count On, it's really sad to think that we can't ever count on them broadcasting in C-QUAM AM STEREO again.
1300 KKOL in Seattle, Washington - Currently running a News/Talk format with the moniker Conservative Talk KOL, AM STEREO is now a thing of the past here. Back when they had the calls KMPS with a Country format, they were indeed a full stereo operation right up to the point the transmitter plant on Harbor Island in Seattle was hit by an arson fire on February 17, 1996. All was lost, but was then rebuilt with all new stereo equipment and finished by October of 1997. Literally, the day after it was finished it transferred ownership from Infinity Broadcasting to Salem Broadcasting and the calls and format were changed to those of the present day. While KKOL is still indeed capable of broadcasting in AM STEREO, it has been in mono ever since.
1300 WTAQ in Grange, Illinois - This former Spanish format station stopped broadcasting in AM STEREO when Disney took them over on July 16 of this year.
1310 KMKY in Oakland, California - Currently running the Radio Disney format for children, the C-QUAM exciter was taken out on December 15, 1997 at the order of the new owners, ABC/Disney. ABC has a ridiculous "corporate policy" of no C-QUAM in their AM stations, so we can all assume what the bean counters and stuffed shirts will systematically set out to do with their other stations. This is absolutely deplorable and must be stopped.
1310 KXAM in Mesa, Arizona - This Talker is yet another example of an AM station who sends out the pilot tone to trip the stereo indicator, but actually broadcasts a mono feed.
1310 WTLC in Indianapolis, Indiana - Currently running a Gospel format with the moniker The Light, it seems as though we won't be seeing the stereo indicator light up from these guys any more. Why? The boss ordered that the AM STEREO be turned off, as he thinks that transmitting one channel is actually cheaper than transmitting two. (Talk about being way off the mark on that one!) It's hard to believe that people with such huge misconceptions as this are actually put in charge of running radio stations isn't it?
1320 KCTC in Sacramento, California - Currently running an Adult Standards format with the moniker Sunny 1320, it seems as though this once excellent-sounding station with "one of the finest stereo signals on the air in Northern California" has completely shut down their stereo equipment. They were still broadcasting in stereo earlier in 2000, but the reason as to why they reverted to mono is not known.
1320 WJGR in Jacksonville, Florida - Currently running a Talk format with the moniker The Source, the days of broadcasting in stereo are a thing of the past at WJGR. Back when they had the calls WQIK they were indeed a full fledged AM STEREO operation, but they have since reverted to glorious mono. No further details are available, but it is known that from about 1984-1999 they were owned by Jacor/Clear Channel and the AM STEREO audio processing equipment from CRL is still in use today.
1330 KFH in Wichita, Kansas - KFH used to broadcast in AM STEREO when they were running an Adult Standards format back as early as 1998. However, this is the last time stereo was ever heard coming from this station. Since switching formats to that of Hot Talk 1330, KFH has decided to revert to full time monophonic broadcasting.
1330 KLBS in Los Banos, California - As evidenced by their logo, KLBS boasts on their web page that they are in fact an AM STEREO station broadcasting Portuguese programming. Apparently this isn't the case any longer, despite the fact that their legal ID even states that they broadcast in AM STEREO.
1330 WRCA in Waltham, Massachusetts - Currently broadcasting a Salsa music format, WRCA recently installed a new digital mono processor in their audio chain. As a result, bye bye AM STEREO. This is rather unfortunate as I'm told that WRCA was, "The best sounding AM STEREO station ever heard. Period."
1340 KIST in Santa Barbara, California - These guys used to be an AM STEREO Oldies station, until a switch in calls to KXXT, the new format of XTRA Sports and the subsequent blowing out of their stereo pilot. However, KXXT dropped the XTRA Sports format , restored their legendary KIST calls and actually switched their format back to Oldies. (This time it's the Live From Las Vegas syndicated Oldies feed.) I've been told that their dropping of stereo was no big loss as their separation was minimal and the fidelity marginal. They are triplexing (along with 1290 KZBN) off of 1490 KBKO's tower (who is incidentally, another Offender.) Naturally, when you share a tower with two other stations, decent bandwidth is hard to come by. Despite this, perhaps with the switch back to Oldies, KIST could take a run at AM STEREO once again with much improved results if it's done right this time.
1350 KGHF in Pueblo, Colorado - Currently running an Adult Standards format, KGHF used to broadcast in AM STEREO, but no longer do. No further details are available.
1350 WHWH in Princeton, New Jersey - A true AM STEREO operation up until about two years ago (shortly after they switched from a great Adult Contemporary format to a Nostalgia format.) They ran the Nostalgia format in stereo for a few months, and even ran a few IDs promoting their AM STEREO status. Suddenly, they mysteriously switched to mono and then in December of 1998, they became known as Business Talk Radio 1350 WHWH. Speculation has it that the reason WHWH dumped stereo on 1350 was to put the stereo equipment into use at their EB station 1680 WTTM. However, WWTM is no longer broadcasting in stereo either.
1360 WCKY in Cincinnati, Ohio - WCKY used to broadcast in AM STEREO in the mid-80's when they were known as WWNK AM 1360. At this time, they were simulcasting an AC format with 94.1 FM. I'm told the difference between the two was night and day and with the wideband engaged on the Sony SRF-A100, they were AWESOME! The AM side had much more warmth and presence. Later on, it was discovered that the AM STEREO exciter had problems and they honestly tried to fix it, but Harris was very frustrating to them and they finally killed it in exasperation. Unfortunately, there's no hope for this station now as it's owned by Clear Channel (formerly Jacor) and the equipment remains in the rack to collect dust.
1360 WDRC in Hartford, Connecticut - WDRC stopped broadcasting in stereo a few years ago due to their C-QUAM exciter failing. As a result, the decision was made to revert to mono as they felt it was not justified to replace the exciter to let a chosen few listen in. As one source puts it, "WDRC was always The Oldies station, and Brad Davis is still the big DJ there. When I worked for an amusement company in Bloomfield, CT we were located virtually under the WDRC tower, so anything that had a speaker in it would receive them. We even could hear them on the phone from the bleedthrough - who needed music on hold? Actually, if you put a wad of tinfoil in your mouth, and you had fillings, you could hear WDRC in your head!" For the record, the idea of restoring stereo service to WDRC was bounced around, but the owners, not the engineering department, decided that it wasn't worth the investment. Oh well, when you have accountants running radio stations instead of real broadcasters and engineers, what do you expect?
1360 WLYN in Lynn, Massachusetts - Formerly an AM STEREO station, I'm told WLYN are "too cheap to pay for a second phone line to continue stereo operation". Considering they have a petition before the FCC to move to the Expanded Band with stereo, let's hope they don't have the same attitude on their new frequency as well.
1360 WTSH in Rome, Georgia - As of late December 2000, WTSH is no longer broadcasting in AM STEREO. Unless this is merely a temporary technical glitch, the reason for this decision is unknown. Besides the revision to mono, everything else apperas to be business as usual as there has been no format change at WTSH and they continue to simulcast their sister Country station WTSH-FM 107.1 (South 107) which is also located in Rome, Georgia. If anyone has any further details, please pass them along.
1370 WSPD in Toledo, Ohio - WSPD originally started broadcasting in stereo using the Kahn/Hazeltine system back on Tuesday, December 28, 1982, but evetually went on to switch to the Motorola C-QUAM system. On Wednesday, January 19,1983, their stereo status was officially announced on the air with the proclamation that WSPD had become "The first station in northwestern Ohio to broadcast in AM STEREO". Today, however, they are yet another example of an AM station who has gone on to not only switch to a News/Talk format, but to also kill their stereo for "coverage reasons". Yeah, right. The fact of the matter is that it's the geniuses at Jacor who made this decision to revert to mono. Do these guys really believe that mono is superior to stereo? Perhaps they would be wise to seek some counselling for this.
1380 KLPZ Parker, Arizona - Currently running a Country format, KLPZ is sending the 25 Hz pilot tone out, but there's unfortunately no separation to be heard.
1380 KRKO in Everett, Washington - Their jingle used to play "K-R-K-O, 1-3-8-0, AM/PM Stereo." (Almost the right bandwagon boys, save for the FCC and its decision to not decide). Great stereo two or three years ago during brief stint as an Oldies station, but alas another casualty of the "same 200 songs over and over again FM big ugly", KBSG. Now KRKO is another infamous mono Talk station.
1380 WNNY in New York, New York - Formerly known as La Radio de Nueva York with a Spanish and other Ethnic format and the calls WKDM, these guys had been off the air since July 2000. They returned to the airwaves in September (as WNNY) running a loop in Spanish about the new Spanish All News format that would be starting soon. Sadly, they're not broadcasting in stereo anymore. As the story goes, 1380 WKDM was sold from Multicultural Media to Mega Broadcasting. Encouragingly, both companies own and actively support several AM STEREO stations, however it seems that Multicultural Media took out 1380's stereo equipment when they sold it. So, for the time being WNNY will be broadcasting in mono, but hopefully this will change in the near future.
1380 WNRI in Woonsocket, Rhode Island - The gang at WNRI has changed formats from MOR to Talk; as a result, AM STEREO is a thing of the past. Sad as it is on its own, it's even more sad when you consider that this move has virtually left the entire state of Rhode Island AM STEREO free. (The only AM STEREO station these days is 1000 watt Full Service/Variety 1240 WOON also in Woonsocket.) Interestingly, a call to WNRI in early July 2000 resulted in the poor chap on the other end of the phone stating that he was at a convention and "according to a Harris representative, there are only nineteen AM S STEREO stations left in the United States". Talk about misinformation! Hey, if you'd like to give 'em a call and straighten them out though, their phone # is (401) 274-4270.
1390 KSLM in Salem, Oregon - Owned by Entercom Communications, run from their Portland offices and currently running a 24 hour simulcast of Sports-formatted The Fan 910 KFXX in Vancouver, WA, KSLM at one did broadcast in full AM STEREO. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. Actually, KSLM still has AM STEREO broadcasting capabilities as they have a new transmitter with the Motorola C-QUAM exciter built in. However, don't expect to hear them in stereo anytime soon, as "it's a real waste of an exciter to run it on a mono sportscast".
1390 KXSS in Waite Park/St. Cloud, Minnesota - Currently running a Nostalgia format and known as Magic 1390, KXSS is no longer broadcasting in AM STEREO. If anyone has any further details, please pass them along.
1390 WGCI in Chicago, Illinois - Currently running an All Gospel format (and before that known as Dusties 1390), WGCI had been broadcasting in stereo using the Motorola C-QUAM since the mid-80's. Until recently, that is. This is quite surprising for such a station that has always been a supporter of AM STEREO. Presently, there is neither any separation in their signal, nor is a pilot tone being sent out. The reason why? Well, WGCI was owned by Gannett for all of those years when they were broadcasting in stereo. However, they sold WGCI to Chancellor, which later became AMFM, Inc. and we all know what the next move was: bye, bye AM STEREO.
1400 KGMY in Springfield, Missouri - KGMY is now running an ESPN Radio format. Before this, as an MOR station known as Memories 1400 AM, KGMY decided to blow their pilot light out during the week of October 11, 1999. However, I've been told that their stereo audio was "gritty and distorted" and that "they never did seem to get it right".
1400 KKZZ in Santa Paula, California - An Adult Standards station who reverted to mono based on the reason that they only wanted to use one phone line rather than two for stereo broadcasting. However, KKZZ (aka K-Joy) has said that they are working on a microwave link for stereo instead. Hopefully this will be up and running soon. (In the good old days, KKZZ was known as KZTR and were running a Classic Rock format in Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO.)
1400 WEOA in Evansville, Indiana - Currently running an Urban format, WEOA has great sounding processing but are unfortunately no longer broadcasting in stereo. They originally went stereo around 1984 as Country WROZ, stayed stereo for a Beautiful Music simulcast with new calls of WIKY and later as satellite-fed Oldies. In 1992, the calls were changed to WJPS with a live Oldies format. A couple of years later in 1994, they said goodbye to AM STEREO for some reason. The format then changed to Urban around 1996 and the original calls of WEOA returned. As my source tells me, "They are the best sounding AM in these parts, but they are mono."
1400 WSAM in Saginaw, Michigan - For the most part a music station, WSAM has decided to stop broadcasting in AM STEREO for some unknown reason.
1410 KTME in Lompoc, California - As KBOX, and with an AC format, these guys used to broadcast in Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO. (They were also running a full-time simulcast with their sister station on 104.1 FM at this time.) This was done up until 1992, when the 1410 frequency switched to an Oldies format in mono for a short time, but then switched calls to KTME and the format to News/Talk in full blown mono as it is today. ( For the record, the now separate FM is still KBOX 104.1 with an AC music format.)
1410 KRML in Carmel, California - On the air with an All Jazz & Blues format, the pilot light is on, but there's nobody home. KRML was indeed broadcasting with full separation in 1999, but for some unknown reason, they're running a mono feed to the transmitter these days.
1420 WAOC in Saint Augustine, Florida - Currently running a Sports format, WAOC was at one time an AM STEREO station, but now I'm told, "their board is mono, as is their transmitter, and even though this is the case, the right channel is distorted." To clarify this further, WAOC's transmitter came from the old 590 WPLO in Atlanta (which is now WDWD), and although the right channel is distorted when listening to it on an AM STEREO radio, there's no proof yet that WAOC ever were stereo on 1420. If anyone can clarify this, please drop me a line.
1420 WVJS in Owensboro, Kentucky - As the story goes, three minutes prior to the change from live Oldies to All News from AP radio, the engineer dropped the pilot. The station today is Westwood One Adult Standards. Even thought the Optimod 9100 BE exciter and transmitter are set up for stereo, they keep it in mono. When WVJS went stereo back in 1986, it sounded as good (if not better) than its sister FM. (A footnote, WVJS was ready for stereo in 1970, but due to the stupidity of the FCC in establishing a standard, they waited.) The station sounds like crap today...no high end on a wide-bandwidth receiver...what a waste! As one of my sources puts it, "I long for the glory days of WVJS".
1430 KEZW in Aurora, Colorado - Currently running a Nostalgia format consisting of Popular Music from the 1940's to the 1970's, KEZW is no longer broadcasting in AM STEREO. Why? Well, it seems as though KEZW dropped the Motorola C-QUAM system a few months ago in favor of running a Kahn PowerSIDE to increase their coverage area. Upon contacting the engineering department, my source tells me,
"It was a disappointment to hear that they didn't receive any calls from listeners when they turned off the stereo on their Motorola exciter, but they have received a number of comments from listeners in Boulder and Greeley that they are hearing them much better with the PowerSIDE. The bottom line in this instance is that coverage is more important, especially since nobody (until me) even noticed the absence of C-QUAM."
1430 WDAL in Dalton, Georgia - In the late 80's and early 90's this station had an Oldies format and was broadcasting in AM STEREO. A couple of years ago, however, they switched to a Spanish format and have since shut their AM STEREO off.
1440 WPRD in Winter Park/Orlando, Florida - Currently running a Spanish format with the moniker La Cadena Fantastica, it appears as though WPRD is sending out the 25 Hz C-QUAM pilot tone, but there's no separation to be heard.
1450 KBMC in Sonora, California - Currently running a Talk format, the stereo indicator lights, but there's no separation to be heard here.
1450 KNSI in St. Cloud, Minnesota - Currently running a News/Talk format, KNSI originally went AM STEREO with the C-QUAM system back in the mid-80's. However, it is unclear as to why they shut their stereo transmitting equipment off for good.
1450 WMOH in Hamilton, Ohio - Once a full-fledged AM STEREO station in the mid '80's playing AC music, WMOH decided to put this to an end when they went All Talk.
1460 WZNZ in Jacksonville, Florida - Back in the early 90's when they were known as Z-Rock 1460, WZNZ was indeed a full blown AM STEREO station. However, a switch to an All News format occurred and the C-QUAM exciter was switched off. WZNZ dropped their All News format earlier this year and are now simulcasting 106.5 The Promise (WBGB FM). Since they're back to a music format, I see no reason for them to not turn their stereo exciter back on (assuming it didn't get sold or trashed in the interim). For the record, WZNZ is now owned by Concord Media.
1470 KUTY in Lancaster, California - At one time, KUTY was running a Country format in beautiful Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO, but are now running a Spanish format in glorious mono instead.
1470 WKAP in Allentown, Pennsylvania - Currently running a Nostalgia/Big Band format, WKAP had always broadcast in AM STEREO until around October of 1999. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason as to why they decided to revert to mono.
1480 KSBQ in Santa Maria, California - Currently running a Spanish music/Talk format, KSBQ is sending out the 25 Hz Motorola C-QUAM pilot tone, but there's no separation t be heard.
1490 KBKO in Santa Barbara, California - Currently running a live, locally delivered Tejano/traditional Mexican music format with the monikers Radio Bronco and La Musical, KBKO was indeed in full stereo up until September of 1999. I've been told they really had a great sounding signal, but now it sounds muddy and flat in mono. (Of course it does, you'll never get an AM mono station to ever sound any better than that.) But, I've also been told that :
Even a new transmitter didn't help KBKO as much as you'd think; their stereo days were like 1340 KIST's mentioned above. I got the nickel tour of the 1290 KBZN/1340 KIST/ 1490 KBKO triplex setup and it's mighty complicated. The CE of KBKO says the other two stations' C-QUAM equipment would have had to have been adjusted properly (and it wasn't) for him to have a decent shot at sounding good in AM STEREO. I believe him, as he is the CE for a number of local stations. The one that sounds best by far is the only one where management doesn't tell him how to set the processing, etc. (It is an FM running a Classical format, and it sounds phenomenal.) The man knows what he's doing, but in most cases he's not allowed to practice what he knows will produce excellent fidelity.
Kinda sad when a professional is not allowed to utilize their skills, don't you think?
1490 WOLF in Syracuse, New York - WOLF broadcast in Kahn/Hazeltine AM STEREO for much of the 1980's, and were such supporters of it that they even gave away the coveted SONY SRF-A1 and SRF-A100 AM STEREO radios. In the 1990s however, the AM STEREO was turned off, but in May 1999, WOLF began to send out the pilot tone again with plans to later go back to broadcasting in full stereo using the Motorola C-QUAM system. Unfortunately, two weeks later, the pilot signal was gone, never to be seen (or heard) again.
1510 KMSL in Ontario, California - Until only recently, these guys were broadcasting in AM STEREO, but for some reason decided to turn their pilot off. Another unfortunate loss, as having recently replaced their transmitter, KMSL sounded better as a result.
1510 KMZT in San Rafael, California - Formerly known as KJOY and KJQI, KMZT has been reincarnated as a Classical station (again) after a brief stint with a satellite Nostalgia format. They are also getting a healthy signal into the East Bay and San Francisco from an interesting and new 2500 watt, four-tower array on top of a warehouse in West Oakland. But, as before, the stereo indicator lights even though the music is nostalgically monophonic, despite their on-air promotion of AM STEREO. Interestingly, their web site, "KMOZART" offers on online stereo stream. The question that begs to be asked is, "Whatever are these people thinking of?"
1510 WJKN in Jackson, Mississippi - This 5000 watt daytimer with a full service AC format was indeed a full blown AM STEREO station who actually promoted their stereo status on the air and proclaimed themselves to be America's First All-Digital AM STEREO Station. They still have their C-QUAM generator on, but are only feeding it mono audio. Why? Apparently, their Dolby DSTL (Digital Studio-to-Transmitter Link) developed problems and while they actually did get it repaired, it unfortunately died on them again. Word has it they purchased a used Marti STL-10 analog mono STL to keep the station on the air. As a result, WJKN listeners will see the stereo indicator glowing brightly on their AM STEREO radio, but the audio is "mono as mono can be". Hopefully the gang at WJKN can get this problem solved ASAP.
1510 WNRB in Boston, Massachusetts - Carrying the One-On-One Sports network feed 24 hours a day, WNRB was at one time a true AM STEREO station. Then they decided to merely send out the the pilot tone only for a while. Sadly, they have recently blown that out too. A 50,000 watt station with not a lick of stereo to be heard. What a waste!
1520 KOMA in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - Currently running a 50's and 60's Oldies format, KOMA was once indeed a tried and true AM STEREO station. As the story goes, their transmitter was unfortunately hit by lightning in 1993 and this ended up blowing the stereo generator. According to Program Director Kent Jones, here's the story why KOMA is broadcasting in mono these days:
"Our AM signal used to be stereo, but lightning kept knocking out the exciter and the manufacturer of our transmitter could not make a good fix for it... so we stay mono. But, our Internet broadcast is now in stereo so try us there."
Huh? What kind of a statement is that? The stereo Internet feed might be all well and good, but it's useless for people who want to listen to KOMA in their cars, while out talking a walk, or even over the air. Sounds like a cop out to me. (Actually, this is now a moot point as KOMA can no longer stream their music audio on the Internet because of the recently enacted Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).)
According to KOMA's Chief Engineer Dennis Orcutt (who is also the CE for Renda Broadcasting), the reason for the revision to mono is:
"We at one time did transmit in stereo. Our Nautel 50 KW solid-state transmitter does not run well in stereo. The exciter that came with the stereo equipment drifted off frequency and destroyed the transmitter. It is our choice not to let that happen again especially since there are so few stereo tuners out there."
First of all, one would think that a simple phone call to Nautel (who is a well-respected transmitter manufacturer with a great many AM STEREO transmitters in use on the air all over the world) would surely provide a once-and-for all fix for KOMA's unfortunate (and rather difficult to believe) problem. If this was in fact the transmitter causing this, ever hear of warranties, boys? Furthermore, exciters are crystal-controlled and don't just simply drift off-frequency. Again, this all sounds like a cop out to me. And to add to this theory, here's the latest response from the KOMA engineering department regarding their decision to longer broadcast in AM STEREO:
"KOMA has not been in stereo for about 8 years and I have no intention on putting it back in stereo. The exciter went off frequency and before the Nautel AM FET 50 could shut down, it destroyed over $50,000 worth of FET's (Field Effect Transistor). I don't feel that this vintage transmitter is worth the risk, nor are there enough people listening with AM STEREO radios. Hopefully some day in the 21st century we will be able to come up with a suitable digital plan to support some kind of AM STEREO broadcasting. Thank you for your interests, but you should mark KOMA off the list for AM STEREO."
To clarify things even further, Patrick Roberts from KOMA adds,
"The "exciter" that we had on the Nautel is an external BE that is synthesized. What happened is that about 9 or so years ago, before Dennis Orcutt or I were associated with KOMA, the exciter glitched and started generating a carrier at 1490 AM. The 1490 signal didn't set well with the Nautel and started smoking FET's in the Nautel "exciter" amplifier section, and further caused many FET's in the cubes to start failing. It took the assistant engineer at the time, Craig Conwell, a fair amount of time to finally determine that the BE was the cause of the failure. The puzzling problem for him was that he had some power output, but couldn't hear a signal. After finally determining what the source of the problem was, the normal Nautel exciter was put back on by re-installing the factory jumper and returning the station to the air in mono after having to rob FET's from some cubes to get the exciter back on with just a few cubes in the finals running."
"So, why are we not broadcasting in AM STEREO? First, as Dennis stated, we don't want to smoke our Nautel transmitter to serve a few folks with AM STEREO receivers. Although BE supposedly fixed the external exciter, I cannot and will not trust it. I'm sorry, it's just not worth the risk. A second thing that stops us from going stereo is that we do not have a good way to transmit stereo from our studios to the AM transmitter site. We would have to buy a stereo generator and decoder so that we could get it down the composite STL from the FM tower to the AM, and we would have to stop using our SCA that is currently using one of the channels on the STL from the studio to the FM tower. Without giving up stuff and buying stuff, we can't even get there from here. We are also are using a huge, real, very mono, German-made reverb that currently warms up our AM signal. This plate reverb is about 6 feet long! Needless to say, we won't be able to find another companion for this reverb to go stereo. I would really hate to give up this, as it makes our oldies sound like they should on AM. For the record, we simulcast on 92.5 FM, so if someone really must have stereo, we offer it there."
OK, I can at least follow this explanation, but the fact remains that I've been told time and time again that their former stereo signal really sounded great, and it would really be wonderful if KOMA and fired the C-QUAM exciter back up again. (Otherwise, it's just another waste of a 50,000 watt signal if you ask me.) If you're a regular listener, why not get in touch with them and let them know you miss their AM STEREO broadcasts? Their e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
1520 WWKB in Buffalo, New York - Now known as Business Talk Radio 1520 WWKB, it seems that AM STEREO has become a thing of the past at this 50,000 watt flamethrower. They originally began broadcasting in stereo using the Motorola C-QUAM system back on June 15, 1984, but since the mid-90's they had only been sending the 25 Hz pilot tone out. Unfortunately, they have now shut their exciter off altogether. Prior to settling on their latest format, WWKB was running a simulcast of CHR/AC sister station Kiss 98.5 FM (WKSE) in mono, after having dropped the mono-only network feed of One-On-One Sports on January 29, 2000. (For those wondering, WWKB is still running the popular overnight Country show The Road Gang, but unfortunately this is a mono-only network feed.) In any case, broadcasting their 50,000 watt flamethrower signal in mono is really a waste if you ask me. I vividly remember listening to KB 1520 when they were doing their Real Country format full-time. I must say, their sound was exceptionally good with excellent separation. In the meantime, if you're interested in contacting WWKB about their lack of stereo, here's how to get in touch with them:
WWKB 1520 AM 500 Corporate Parkway, Suite 200 Buffalo, NY 14226 Phone (716)884-5101
1530 KFBK in Sacramento, California - No further details available.
1530 WSAI in Cincinnati, Ohio - Currently running a Nostalgia/Religious format, it seems as though WSAI is merely sending out the pilot tone, while the source of their programming is in mono.
1540 KMPC in Los Angeles, California - Now known as The New 1540 KMPC and running a Sports Talk format, back in the 80's they were known as KZLA and proudly broadcast in Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO. However, a call letter change to KFAC and then to KXED and a format change to Spanish occurred in the late 80's, but the stereo remained. That is until the 90's when the calls changed to KCTD along with the format to that of Sports. However, you would think that with the recent change of calls to those of KMPC, they'd at least try to live up to what the original KMPC did in the good old days when they were on 710 and in AM STEREO.
1540 KXEL in Waterloo, Iowa - While this News/Talk station would have you believe they are the The 50,000 Watt AM STEREO Flamethrower, a closer listen would reveal otherwise. Only the pilot tone is being sent out at NewsTalk 1540, and there's no separation to be heard. Word has it that KXEL (owned by Bahakel Broadcasting) started broadcasting in "AM STEREO" in April of 1999 to better compete with AM STEREO EB'er The Talk Station 1650 KDNZ in Cedar Falls. Well, if KXEL would get it right and start broadcasting with full separation, then maybe the competition would really heat up.
1550 KYCY in San Francisco, California - Formerly known as KKHI and KPIX, these guys took a run at a Country format when they switched their calls to KYCY. These days, KYCY is All Talk with the goofy slogan "Yadda Yadda". Word has it, "It is one of the worst excuses for a talk station in recent history." As for their stereo status (or lack thereof), no further details are available.
1550 WAZX in Atlanta, Georgia - Formerly known as WYNX, these guys used to broadcast a Gospel format in AM STEREO with a 50,000 watt daytime signal. Unfortunately, like so many other stations in and around Atlanta, they switched formats to that of Hispanic and turned off their stereo. Interestingly, they still list themselves in the white pages of the phone book as WAZX AM STEREO 1550.
1560 KNZR in Bakersfield, California - Currently running a News/Talk/Sports format, KNZR is merely sending out the 25 Hz pilot tone. There's no separation to be heard whatsoever.
1560 WQEW in New York, New York - Formerly a Classical station, then a switch to a successful American Popular Standards format (with one of the best sounding AM STEREO signals anywhere, I might add), ABC/Radio Disney came in on December 28, 1998, switched the format and wasted no time pulling the plug on AM STEREO. They may be "All Ears" now, but they also have the mouse brain mentality to go along with it considering the recent changes which have taken place. It wasn't broke boys, so why did you have to "fix it" so that your new listeners can't receive you in AM STEREO anymore?
1580 KBLA in Santa Monica, California - Formerly known as KDAY and originally using the Harris system, they are now a Korean Music and Talk station. KBLA was lighting the stereo indicator for a while, but a closer listen would reveal otherwise. Now, the pilot light is gone and they are completely back to broadcasting in mono. They use six towers to flame throw towards their city of licence (and Hawaii) from a site located one mile from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. At this site are fully-equipped stereo studios, however they sell block programming time to Radio Korea. This company's studio is in that community and the programming is all in mono. When they were KDAY, they were then extremely proud of their stereo status and even enhanced it by fitting 1600 KMNY in Pomona, CA with a Kahn PowerSIDE. Also, a former listener of KDAY has told me that they were, "The best sounding AM STEREO station I have ever heard anywhere."
1580 KCWW in Tempe, Arizona - Yet another Radio Disney station that was formerly broadcasting in AM STEREO, but is now mono. Specifically, the pilot tone is gone and the stereo is too. Interestingly, this is one of the few Radio Disney stations that actually carried the format in true AM STEREO. As well, KCWW was at one time the site that Motorola used to show possible purchasers what AM STEREO could do for their station. (This is when they were owned by Buck Owens, had the calls KNIX and had a Country format.) As soon as Mr. Owens Owens sold it, the stereo was shut off. Oh well, Disney gets a hold of a station and it's all downhill from there. As I have always maintained, this should NOT be allowed to happen.
693 4KQ in Brisbane - Currently running a Hits & Memories format and a once tried and true AM STEREO operation, 4KQ has "stopped bothering" to broadcast in stereo in the last 12 months or so.
774 3LO in Melbourne - This local and most popular ABC station on the mainland, 3LO did indeed broadcast in stereo for many years. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. According to the 1999 book The Sound of Melbourne - 75 Years of 3LO, here's the reason why:
"AM STEREO was not a success, either in Australia or overseas. Two circumstances conspired against its success. The broadcasting industry didn't agree on standards for processing audio for AM transmissions, which meant that high-fidelity AM receivers were not marketable. Secondly, because of the economic climate, AM STEREO receivers didn't catch on in the marketplace. In May 1995 3LO reverted to mono transmission."
This is rather unfortunate as it has been determined recently that Melbourne is not only the AM STEREO capital of Australia, but they have also earned the distinction of having more AM STEREO stations currently on the air than any other city in the world with a total of five- Magic 693 3EE, Sport 927 3UZ, News/Talk 1278 3AW, Easy Listening 1377 3MP and Music/Talk 1503 3AK. (For those trivia buffs out there, the 3LO calls were chosen after those of 2LO in London.) So much for the misinformed claim that, "AM STEREO was not a success, either in Australia or overseas."
873 2GB in Sydney - Currently running a Talk format, once upon a time 2GB were indeed broadcasting in AM STEREO. Unfortunately, they no longer are.
882 4BH in Brisbane - 4BH originally began broadcasting in AM STEREO back in the mid-80's with the Harris system. These days however, there is nothing but mono coming from this Easy Listening station.
1080 6IX in Perth - 6IX also started broadcasting in AM STEREO back in the mid-80's using the Harris system. Unfortunately, the Oldies format they are running now is completely mono.
1098 7LA in Launceston - Known as The Best Mix of Yesterday and Today, 7LA was indeed an AM STEREO station at one time. Unfortunately, it was turned off several years ago in the early 90's when "the network came together". This network refers to the fact that 7LA is the flagship station of the full time simulcasts to sister Northern Tasmanian stations 540 7SD in Scottsdale, 558 7BU in Burnie and 900 7AD in Devonport. The explanation put forth for the revision to mono was, "What was the point of 7LA staying in AM STEREO when the others weren't? This translates into additional cost for no benefit." This explanation doesn't hold an ounce of water with me however.
1170 2CH in Sydney - On approximately October 13, 2000, Sydney's Home of Relaxing, Easy Favorites, Easy 1170 2CH, reverted to mono for some unknown reason. (Specifically, they they are broadcasting a "stereo" signal, but the audio link from the studio to transmitter is mono. In other words, the light is on, but nobody's home.) For those keeping score, 2CH originally began broadcasting in stereo with the Kahn/Hazeltine system back in the early to mid-80's, but made the switch to the Motorola C-QUAM system when it became the standard Down Under in 1985. These days, 2CH is Sydney's only remaining 24 hour AM music station (with an Easy Listening format with songs from the 1960's to 90's) and broadcasts to a market of 4 million people. Therefore, it is essential that 2CH station reverses their decision and returns to broadcasting in full stereo. However, it is necessary that they are first made aware that there are listeners who are are not happy about their recent decision. With this in mind, please take a moment and drop them a line from their Listener Feedback Page.
1269 2SM in Sydney - On the air with a Classic Hits/Talk format these days, 2SM originally began broadcasting in AM STEREO with the Harris system back in the mid-80's and proudly advertised this fact on the air with ID's proclaiming, "STEREO! STEREO! 2SM". Sadly, they're now back to broadcasting in craptacular mono these days since their transmitter blew up about twelve months ago. This was a rather unfortunate occurrence for sure, but what is totally incomprehensible is the fact that despite being in the process of doing a $100,000 (AUS) upgrade on their technical equipment, the engineering department at 2SM has absolutely no intention of restoring their former stereo status. What a tragedy. If you'd like to complain to 2SM about this decision, please drop them a line at email@example.com
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