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Wednesday, October 21

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Merge

Our post about WBEZ potentially using WLUW for its northern repeater frequency drew swift response from WBEZ and WLUW's program director, Shawn Campbell (whom we interviewed awhile back), as well as a reader. The short answer? "No way." Much, much more after the jump...

From WBEZ: "As Chicago Public Radio prepares to launch a new broadcast service in 2007, WLUW is not being considered part of the plan for locating a signal to extend coverage to the Northwest Chicagoland area. We respect WLUW's long-standing relationship with its audience members, and we will help WLUW in their efforts to continue providing quality radio programming to the community."

From Shawn Campbell: "There's absolutely no truth to this rumor, believe me! The WLUW signal is only 100 watts, and gets Chicago Public Radio nowhere near the coverage they need to extend north (they need to get up to Lake County, up the north shore, etc. Our reach gets to Skokie and Evanston, and not too far beyond). We've had discussions with them about this, because we've been aware of the fact that they are looking for a signal to the north, and we talked to them about the issue so we could reassure our staff. Further, any such move would be a violation of the agreement between Loyola and Chicago Public Radio. Third, the question of CPR "buying" WLUW, which is also mentioned in the post, was never an issue -- it wasn't for sale."

And this from GB reader Michael: "The website www.radio-locator.com is a fantastic resource for things like this. Among its many features, it generates maps of the predicted coverage area of every radio station in the country. Here's WLUW's. As you can see, WBEZ's music service would be abandoning much of suburban Cook County and almost the entirety of Lake and McHenry County if it were to carry out the plan outlined in the WLUW Watch blog. They may have a plan to boost signal. So far as I understand them, FCC rules force broadcasters with overlapping coverage to be at frequencies that are at least second adjacent, i.e. WLUW has to avoid conflict with existing broadcasts from 88.3 to 89.1. That could bring them into conflict with Lake Forest College's station, WMXM, and W206AI, a repeater for religious station KAWZ. WBEZ could, of course, purchase another station in the northern suburbs. I doubt that they would abandon such a wealthy part of their service area entirely."

Following the links on the WLUW Watch page, it appears it's connected in some way to a former WLUW DJ who was fired a couple years ago. Take that bit of information, and his description of the circumstances, as you wish.

So there you have it. Conspiracy squashed. Incidentally, WLUW is currently holding its funding drive right now — contribute if you can!

 
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