Wednesday, December 19, 2007

WYSL Files Second IBOC Complaint

The FCC has received a second complaint about AM interference from WYSL GM Bob Savage.

He says adjacent-channel IBOC noise from WBZ in Boston is disrupting service of his station in Avon, N.Y., during day, night and critical hours.

Savage asked the commission to “take immediate enforcement action.” He told me his station is listenable for only some five hours a day.

He may be the most prominent critic right now, Savage said, but he’s not the only one.

“Martin Stabbert is not an idiot. Bob Neil has concerns. I’m so frustrated. It’s just wrong,” he said, referring to concerns about interference among executives at Citadel and Cox Radio, respectively. “Our business is being destroyed by this.”

Savage told me he offered WBZ, a CBS station, three potential solutions: They could give him an STA for a nighttime power increase; buy his station and turn it off (with no specific price mentioned) or turn off IBOC at night.

A CBS Radio spokeswoman declined comment, as did an FCC official I queried.

Meanwhile Savage also wrote NAB President/CEO David Rehr about this issue. After receiving an e-mail newsletter from Rehr about performance royalties, Savage wrote back to Rehr in strong language: “The NAB conspired with major group broadcasters and with Ibiquity to totally throw stations like WYSL under the HD-AM bus. Thanks to the wonderful National Association of Broadcasters our very existence is threatened — not that you people care.” Savage is not an NAB member.

Rehr responded to Savage in an e-mail shared with me by NAB Radio Department EVP John David. Rehr said NAB does care about independent radio operators and said it had tried to reach out to Savage several times this year to discuss his concerns and membership.

“We are very interested in collecting anecdotal reports about the experiences of stations with operation of AM IBOC at night, both positive and negative, and will consider the input you have provided,” Rehr said.