For the third time this week, I got in the car and the radio (tuned to WGBH-FM 89.7) was singing a song of signal-free static. The two earlier static spectaculars came between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. Today’s 100% content free experience came between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m.
After the second dead-air day, I became curious to what was happening. I turned on the sister station (Classical 99.5 WCRB) and the announcer chatted about the music – no mention of problems down the dial. A google search turned up nothing.
Today, when I was blessed with my third 89.7 surround sound static session, I called the station. After a few minutes on hold, I learned my radio wasn’t allergic to frequencies between 89.6 and 89.8, and the dead air was a side effect of painting the transmitter tower.
Well, the voice on the other end of the phone said it was posted on the website, and today I found this little reference in the middle of the main page:
Please excuse the interruption
89.7 WGBH will be off the air on Thursday, 7/15, 2pm-4pm due to required maintenance of its broadcast tower. We will continue to stream live online.
Buried elsewhere in the website was this message:
89.7 Broadcast Alert:
The WGBH 89.7FM broadcast tower is getting a new coat of paint this week to protect it from deterioration and make it more visible to planes during the day. Periodically we will need to turn off the transmitter or reduce its power to protect the painters while they work. 89.7 listeners can expect some interruption of our broadcast service during this time. Online streaming will not be affected by the work.
So, if you have taken your car to the stereo store due to intermittent static sessions, let’s hope your new radio was worth the price because the old one wasn’t malfunctioning.