Wednesday, July 08, 2009

KPHX rises

Well, it seems the rumors are indeed true. Liberal talk on KPHX (1480AM) in Phoenix is back.

The station, which had aired the format for over two years, brought it back to the local airwaves today.

Here's a statement from their website

Welcome back! The Progressive Talk format has returned to the airwaves in Phoenix, Arizona! I want to thank all our sponsors, advertisers, listeners, hosts and everyone in the community who made this dream a reality. We look forward to bringing you the most compelling, provocative and entertaining programming there is to offer locally and nationally. Over the next several days we will be adding new features to our website, At times the website will be temporarily down as we make these upgrades. We encourage you to participate in whatever ways you can to make our mutual endeavors a success. Please feel free to send me any suggestions or ideas you might have regarding 1480 KPHX to Peace!

There are some differences between the new KPHX and the former incarnation run by the now-defunct Nova M Radio. Most notably, Nova M is out of the picture. This new one appears to be run by former Nova M personality Mike Newcomb, who is hosting a weekday afternoon show on the station.

Much of the on-air lineup is similar. Mike Malloy, Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller Bill Press and Randi Rhodes can still be heard here. One interesting addition is Ed Schultz, who had not aired on the Nova M incarnation but will air evenings on delay.

Currently, it doesn't appear as if the station has a live streaming link (unlike the old KPHX). And unlike the old KPHX, this is being put forward as merely a local radio station, rather than the flagship for an upstart radio network.


bill said...

Same static-filled weak signal. No market penetration against the other talk stations. Signal drops down to nothing at night even though I live 10 miles from the transmitter. Guess I still get to stream liberal talk from out of state....

Then there's Mike Newcomb. He's always had a Michael Jackson fixation, so guess what he has spent most of his time barking about during the station's debut week?

This reincarnation won't last long either.

ltr said...

There's nothing they can really do about the signal and wattage. That's the FCC's call. And many small AM stations across the land have terrible reach, particularly at night. They're basically out of luck, save for an application to improve or relocate the transmission facilities. But those are far from sure things.

In short, be thankful for what you've got.

bill said...

Actually it is not the FCC's call. A station can apply for a power increase any time. All it takes is money.

Or the smart thing to do would be to move to the expanded AM band. Mucho cheaper in the long run.

I can't be thankful for something I can't hear.

The reason KPHX has never cracked any decent share in the ratings is for this very reason.

Lu Cifer, said...

How many stations in the Phoenix's area that have big signals are owned by Cum Channel or whatever else friggin defacto monopoly? Just curious. The real ISSUE here, once again, is OWNERSHIP

bill said...

Good point. Almost all of the big ones are Crud Channel, CBS or some other of the Big 5.

550, 620, 910, 960, 1230 (not a "big" station but a pretty desirable one), 1580 are all corporate owned.

A lot of others are either Mexican or Religious. They will never change unless they go broke.

A couple of really vulnerable ones are 1060 and 1100. Total losers. No ratings at all.

ltr said...

Actually it is not the FCC's call. A station can apply for a power increase any time. All it takes is money.

It takes FCC approval. And of course, money. Applications for transmitter changes have to be submitted. And that doesn't cost much.

If the FCC determines that, say, KPHX can't improve it's signal, then not much can really be done, save for trying to buy a more powerful frequency.

Let's face it, if all it took to improve a signal was money, everyone would do it. As we can see, that's not the case.

Or the smart thing to do would be to move to the expanded AM band. Mucho cheaper in the long run.

Again, it has to go through the FCC approval process.

The reason KPHX has never cracked any decent share in the ratings is for this very reason.


bill said...

You are splitting hairs; reminding me of someone from

The FCC only approves applications for station mods. It does not initiate them.

1000's of other stations have jacked their power up to broadcast signals that no one listens to. 1360, 1510, 1010 are prime examples of that

It takes money to run a radio station PERIOD. If a station is not making money, then either the programming sucks or the management is incompetent. Or both.

ctk said...

before the drobney's fired manzo, farias and others, word i hear was that kphx was indeed making money. they had billboards up advertising the station. when the bloodletting concluded kphx lost revenue and ears. at least, that's what the locals say.

although i'm sitting nearly 1500 miles away, i think that if what happened before the firings repeats itself, kphx can make some money and stay on the air.

ltr said...

You are splitting hairs; reminding me of someone from

You're not making sense. And please don't bring any of that radio-info drama shit here. I rarely ever even post there.

The FCC only approves applications for station mods. It does not initiate them.

Isn't that what I already said? I know some of you think I'm some kind of rube, but anyone with half a brain knows this.

1000's of other stations have jacked their power up to broadcast signals that no one listens to. 1360, 1510, 1010 are prime examples of that

If a station can find a way to do it, meaning that it won't interfere with other stations, then it is possible. But often, stations higher up the dial are rather short-spaced, meaning that there are a lot of them, and the likelihood of causing interference is much greater.

The reason the stations you mentioned could do it is that they found a way that would not interfere.

The big problem with the 1480 frequency in Phoenix is that it is short-spaced by stations at the neighboring 1490 frequency in Prescott, Clifton and Tuscon, all in Arizona. Meaning that if KPHX wants any hope of the FCC giving the go-ahead on improvements, they would likely have to find a new frequency. NOw, I'm certainly not an engineer, but on the surface, that sounds like it could be a roadblock to all of this. If you want real specifics, call the station. Perhaps you'll get lucky and be able to talk to the engineer. He'll give you the complete low-down.

As it stands, they've got 5000 watts during the day (which is not bad) and 500 watts at night (which doesn't go far). I'm not saying they're at a dead end as far as improvements go, but just saying that there are often reasons they can't do it. AM signals are rather touchy. There are so many factors involved, such as terrain, ground quality and of course, the whole day and night thing.

Needless to say, boosting a station's power is not as easy as you seem to think it is. That's why there are so many crappy AM stations dotting the landscape.

If you'd like to find out more about KPHX and various applications, paperwork, etc. that they filed with the FCC, you can find that at this link.

It takes money to run a radio station PERIOD. If a station is not making money, then either the programming sucks or the management is incompetent. Or both.

Tell us something we don't know.

bill said...

Ltr, you have gone off your meds. Maybe you should have someone READ and explain my posts since you obviously don't know has been said.

As for drama, you're doing a fine job right here.

The big problem with 1480 is not that it is short spaced with stations on 1490, which used to be class IV operations afforded NO protection of any significance at all.

If you really want an example of short spaced, perhaps you can write a thesis on why the FCC allowed 1510 to migrate in from Mesa and hike its power to 22,000 watts. That act alone kills KPHX for most of NE Phoenix. And would seem to violate FCC spacing requirements. Or rather it would have violated them assuming they even exist. I can list 1000's (don't stain your BVDs, its an allegory) of similar gross violations of the rules.

The problem with 1480 is it is a graveyard frequency.

5000 watts, all shunted south of Phoenix, sucks. Period. And their nighttime pattern? Laughable but not unexpected for the frequency.

It would take a minimum of around 20,000 watts to cover Phoenix. That's not going to happen. I doubt if it could be done with the present directional array, and the construction of a new one would cost mucho dinero (that means a lot of money).

The other option as I already mentioned would be migrating to the expanded AM band. No more directional arrays. A new xmitter only....

AM signals are not "touchy." I don't know exactly what you are trying to say there but try again. If they were "touchy", then 740 and 1580 would not be operating with a nighttime authorization.

The FCC, at the behest of the broadcasters, has essentially turned all AM radio into local service only, which means relaxed tech standards, more interference and decreased coverage areas.

I also never said increasing a station's power was easy. You really do need someone to read my posts to you....

I said if KPHX doesn't find a way around their current dilemma, they will never amount to anything in the Phoenix market. Period. No possible argument there.

Actually, about 1/3 of the AM stations have crappy signals. They never should have been licensed in the first place. And daytime only stations? Unless you live in a very rural setting, what is their purpose?

Call KPHX and talk to their engineer? Do they have one or do they barter that out too? If they have an engineer, he should be working on the biggest new problem they have: that being their nighttime coverage is about 2/3 of what it used to be. Which really sucks. Nets a signal of about what.... 6-8 miles? I could stand on Camelback Mountain with a megaphone and reach more people.

With your hair trigger personality, you should stay away from radio-info. At least there the Phoenix board clearly demonstrates that anyone can peck out a few words on a keyboard (regardless of whether they make any sense).

Have a nice day.

Oh yeah: Maybe you should tell Mike Newcomb it takes money to run a radio station. And a network. Like his famous flameout of the "On Second Thought" fiasco.

With Newcomb, the fox is not only guarding the hen house, he's inside getting ready for dinner.

Lu Cifer, said...

Geez Bill, condescending much? Troll. You just repeated at least half of what LTR said, while calling him a "hair trigger personality". You sir, are kookoo for cocopuffs!

ltr said...

Bill tells me to get back on my meds. Priceless.

Bill, you're obviously off the reservation. And you're also talking in circles. Everything you've said seems to make like boosting power is as easy as a snap of the fingers.

That's what you get when all you've learned about radio is from troll-infested message boards.

Got a problem with the station? Call them. I'm not involved with them, and there are a few people there that probably don't much care for me.

Or better yet, perhaps you should choose another radio station that doesn't get you so hostile. Does Phoenix have a smooth jazz station?

Finally, the only one creating drama here is you. Are you really Emacee/FSL in disguise?

Paul said...

I have been to Phoenix on a numerous occiasons and the KPHX signal is crappy. But at least they have a talk station.

BTW: We are trying to Get Progressive Talk back in Sacramento call KFBK AND KSTE and ask to add Progressive talk shows to Sacramento.

bill said...

Ltr, it looks like you and your spirit brother "lu cifer" never made it through the middle school.

And you must share the same lack of meds.

You obviously don't give a shite whether progressive talk in Phoenix succeeds or not.

I am tired of seeing half-baked attempts at making it fly in Phoenix.

This is what we have here again. Likewise I never said it was easy to make a physical change to a facility. Oh no. It's very difficult. That's why 50% of the AM stations out there have made significant upgrades to their signals over the past ten years.

You can't refute so you resort to attacks. You obviously did get your training from Your knowledge of radio seems to have come from reading old Radio Shack catalogs.

Conversation with you is impossible. So let's let it go......

Give KPHX six months and when they can't even scrape up a .5 share and end up begging listeners to send in $25 contributions, let's see what happens then.

Ed Schultz was right: Newcrumb's plan is "bake sale radio."

ltr said...

Dude, you really, really need to chill out.

You're obviously pissed off because I challenged you, and with cold, hard facts. Therefore, I must be crazy and difficult to communicate with. And you attack me while accusing me of resorting to attacks. Okay, now I get it. You're acting a Republican.

And again, comparing other stations' upgrades to KPHX is like comparing apples and oranges. Here's a suggestion - how about commisioning an engineer study to figure out how to improve their situation? Let's see what you come up with.

If the whole KPHX thing irritates you so much (and it obviously does), then I suggest getting satellite radio, a fancy web-enabled phone to listen to webstreams in the car, or just load up your mp3 player with podcasts. I've got tons of links for that in the center column.

Seriously, don't you have anything better to bitch about?

bill said...

WHAT facts? Challenging me? With what?

That a Class C station in Phoenix is "short spaced" with a Class B station 150 miles apart??? (Clifton) or even Prescott or Phoenix.... That statement is ludicrous.

1440 is "short spaced" with 1450 in Tucson. No directional array. No nothing. Because neither 1440 or 1450 even comes close to serious overlap because the frequencies are so high on the dial that with a miserly 1 kw or 5 kw there's no issue.

Same thing with 1540 in Phoenix and 1550 in Tucson. There is definite overlap there

Yet the FCC deems there to be no interference problem.

Yet try listening to either station with either an analog or digital radio if you are somewhere between both xmitters and tell me there's no problem.

Obviously you don't get the point, which has been proven again and again. Marginal coverage progressive radio stations never succeed in any market.

Satellite and internet radio are fine for people who want to play (and waste their time). Do you want to be a market force or do you want to twiddle your thumbs?

No, you are the one who will bitch about the sorry state of the media because you can't see the problem right in front of your eyes.

Okay. Instead I can bitch about Mike Newcrumb, who has been behind the scenes in the collapse of two out of the three progressives in Phoenix. And his talk show talents are hardly worthy of prime time. But don't take my word. We'll let the Arbitrons prove that point as well.

Have a nice day.

Lu Cifer, said...

Bill, you sir, are an asshole.
Shit-disturbers such as yourself are the ones who need meds. If you have so many problems with LTR's blog, then you are perfectly entitled to GO ELSEWHERE and have a nice life.

ltr said...

Okay Bill. I called KPHX to inquire as to why they just don't up the power. What they said is that they enjoy annoying obnoxious assholes like you.

Now go away. It is clearly evident that you can't play well with others, and you just like to pick fights.

Your future comments will be deleted.

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