New KPUG/Bellingham, WA FM Translator Simulcast Causes Problems For KIRO-F/Seattle In Whatcom County
October 28, 2016 at 6:12 AM (PT)
The flood of FM translator moves to rebroadcast AMs may be causing some collateral damage, and the BELLINGHAM HERALD reports that the sign-on of a new FM translator for a local BELLINGHAM, WA AM has blotted out a prominent SEATTLE station's signal in much of WHATCOM COUNTY.
SAGA BROADCASTING Sports KPUG-A/BELLINGHAM signed on K247CM, moving in from CENTERVILLE, WA, last week, broadcasting on 97.3 FM, the same frequency as BONNEVILLE News-Talk KIRO-F/TACOMA-SEATTLE, the market adjacent to BELLINGHAM. KIRO VP/GM CARL GARDNER told the HERALD that the station has received dozens of calls asking what happened to KIRO's signal in WHATCOM COUNTY; he said that he empathizes with SAGA's situation, saying, "We support KPUG in what they are doing; we just want them to do it on another channel."
SAGA has added FM translators for all three of its BELLINGHAM AMs, and Market President/GM DON KURTIS said that the FM signals "allow us to better and more conveniently cover our local market, which was the intent of the FCC (revitalization) program." He noted that finding frequencies for the translators was complicated by being between SEATTLE and VANCOUVER and needing Canadian approval as well.