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105.5 WBMI goes silent

Covers all of Northern Lower Michigan (from Ludington to Tawas northward), as well as the Straits Area and Soo Region.
bmw
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105.5 WBMI goes silent

Post by bmw » Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:29 pm

I've noticed that they've been off the air for at least 3 weeks now, with only WWCK weakly coming in now and then. I couldn't find anything posted in here, and google searches turned up mostly empty....until I found this:
A silent STA is being sought by WBMI-FM 105.5 in West Branch, Mich. The station has had its share of troubles in recent years.

WBMI is a Class A FM playing country music’s greatest hits, serving such Michigan towns as St. Helen and Skidway Lake. In August 2019 it found itself in a tussle over its future ownership. A family trust filed an objection with the FCC against the station’s transfer from its licensee to a new 50/50 partnership driven by the station’s manager. “Misrepresentations” were noted by the trust.

A Court Order negated that deal, handing this FM to a receiver — Mark Sanger, owner of Iredell Broadcasting, licensee of WSIC-AM 1400 and two FM translators in Statesville, N.C.

Sanger, as receiver for WBMI licensee CF Broadcasting, needs time to review WBMI’s equipment and what to do with the station now that it is in his control.

A State of Michigan Circuit Court is deciding the matter.
https://www.rbr.com/a-transactions-free ... t-the-fcc/



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MWmetalhead
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Re: 105.5 WBMI goes silent

Post by MWmetalhead » Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:34 pm

They have a nifty website!

https://wbmiradio.com/


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Ben Zonia
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Re: 105.5 WBMI goes silent

Post by Ben Zonia » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:41 pm

Please tell me that CMU isn't going to end up with it. We don't need another satellite.


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Re: 105.5 WBMI goes silent

Post by Realist » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:56 am

Ben Zonia wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:41 pm
Please tell me that CMU isn't going to end up with it. We don't need another satellite.
Considering that CMU broadcasts from 96.9 in nearby Sterling, I doubt it...



bmw
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Re: 105.5 WBMI goes silent

Post by bmw » Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:52 am

I certainly can't see this ever again operating as a stand-alone station. The coverage area is anemic. Other than West Branch, what else does it cover? Rose City? St. Helen? Big deal. Its signal in areas like Standish and Gladwin certainly isn't city-grade and it barely makes it into places like Tawas or Houghton Lake. It is a basically useless signal.

Here's the coverage map:

Image

As for CMU, I'm not sure this really adds all that much to their coverage gap, especially since it has a NULL towards Houghton Lake. Maybe Carroll Broadcasting? Simulcast WIOS. There's not really much available on the FM dial in terms of talk radio in that part of the state.



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Re: 105.5 WBMI goes silent

Post by CK-722 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:22 am

The apparent "Directional Antenna" pattern is actually caused by the large terrain differences in different directions, not the antenna. WBMI is NONDIRECTIONAL. It looks like a two tower AM pattern with a lot of augmentations. They turned off WBMB 1060 years ago, and it wasn't on that long. WBMI 105.5 has been off the air for a few years once before. WWCK-FM boomed in on my car radio, as it used to in the old days of FM when it was the only station in Michigan on 105.5. I agree it could be paired with another FM simulcast to extend coverage, but CMU is redundant.


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bmw
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Re: 105.5 WBMI goes silent

Post by bmw » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:30 am

They're also quite short-spaced against WWCK - their signal gets out further to the south than this map indicates as they cause interference with WWCK as far south as Saginaw and in much of Bay county this frequency is a jumbled mess. I'm guessing that with them off the air that WWCK comes in much better throughout the Tri-Cities.



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Re: 105.5 WBMI goes silent

Post by CK-722 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:32 pm

I think part of the problem with the WWCK-FM is the actual composite pattern of the Directional Antenna. Like we see in the case of WLAV-FM, there are a number of shallow nulls in the major lobe. Plus, according to the Canadian Treaty restriction for 105.5 Chatham, ON, the composite ERP in the WWCK-FM pattern is lower than it has to be, affecting reception in Grand Blanc, Fenton, and other Southern Genesee County areas. WWCK-FM and WBMI are fully spaced according to Section 73.207, but the variation in WBMI's HAAT with azimuth is quite extreme. Between these two factors, there might be actual interference like we know there is.


Is THAT where they got the idea for the 486-SX?

Same (x, y, z), different (t)

Your bullet missed my trial balloon.

RTN Price. Not guaranteed. As of 12:30, 157.71 Down 0.22.

Artificial Intelligence is a Child that needs a Parent to guide it through.

CK-722
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Re: 105.5 WBMI goes silent

Post by CK-722 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:09 pm

I just checked, the HAAT of WBMI in the general direction of WWCK-FM extends the 37 dBu F(50,10) contour 10.2 km over the 100 meter HAAT reference. Add that optimized mounting that might favor West Branch by a few dB, and a composited DA pattern that might decrease WWCK by 1-2 dB from the 25 kW ERP, and you are talking about de facto interference. I thought it was just that West Branch was high enough to not have much shadowing.


Is THAT where they got the idea for the 486-SX?

Same (x, y, z), different (t)

Your bullet missed my trial balloon.

RTN Price. Not guaranteed. As of 12:30, 157.71 Down 0.22.

Artificial Intelligence is a Child that needs a Parent to guide it through.

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Colonel Flagg
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Re: 105.5 WBMI goes silent

Post by Colonel Flagg » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:56 pm

WBMI certainly is a challenge. I may be wrong, but I don't believe it was always a standalone facility. Seems to me it was part of group of stations based in Alpena for a time. Someone here probably remembers. WBMI sounded best in the 80s as I-105, a Top-40/AOR hybrid. My suspicion was they were using the TM Stereo Rock reels back then. It's a shame they allowed WBMB 1060 to get cancelled. As I recall, the AM and FM were together on the same stick, so WBMB shoulda been an easy fix. Fast forward 20 years, and WBMB, a daytimer, would have the perfect candidate for an FM translator. Not sure what to think of this one, but I shudder to think it may end up with CMU, or one of the Jesus-casters. West Branch is probably too "ham & egger" for Interlochen to be interested.

The court appointed Receiver is another problem. Receivers can be an unmitigated disaster. I've seen these high priced suits empty the building, and sell the equipment for pennies, just to avoid paying rent. At that point, you no longer have a working radio station, just a bare license. Sometimes, during Receivership, the tower site gets encumbered as well. While every station, and every story is different, Receivership often doesn't end well.


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