TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: 'K' v. 'W' Television Station Callsigns

Re: 'K' v. 'W' Television Station Callsigns

Robert Bonomi (
Sun, 24 Oct 2004 01:18:22 +0000

In article <>, Neal McLain
<> wrote:

> Anthony Bellanga <anthonybellanga@withheld> wrote:

>> Louisiana and Minnesota both "straddle" the Mississippi River.

> In my experience (mostly in cable TV), the Mississippi-River rule can be
> more accurately stated as follows:

> "K" = west of the Mississippi River plus the entire state of
> Minnesota.

_that_ "rule" adds at least half-a-dozen 'out-of-place' 'W' stations
to the list. Including places such as Duluth, MN. :)

>"W" = east of the Mississippi River plus Louisiana parishes
> located in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans DMAs.

[[.. munch ..]]

> Bonomi's list included:

>> WOI (AM, FM, and TV ... ), Ames, Iowa

> WOI(AM) and WOI-FM are licensed to Iowa State University. WOI-TV is a
> commercial station (ABC affiliate) serving the Des Moines/Ames/
> Marshalltown DMA; it's still licensed to Ames, but it claims "Des
> Moines" in its publicity. ISU does not operate a TV station (most
> public television stations in Iowa are operated by Iowa Public
> Television, a state agency independent of the state universities).

Your knowledge of history is woefully lacking. WOI TV _was_ owned and
operated by Iowa State University (known as "Iowa State College of
Agriculture and Mechanic Arts" until 1959), *was*an*ABC-affiliate*station*,
until relatively recently. (i.e. 10 years ago -- ISU sold the station
to ABC's parent company in March 1994; it was perceived as a 'valuable
asset' that could be sold, at a time when the Regents, and the State
as a whole, were in dire financial straits. People in education were
_extremely_ opposed to the sale idea, and went to court over it; the
issue eventually ended up before the _U.S._ Supreme Court.)

See: <>
for some of the station history, and the contention surrounding the
selling of the station.

WOI-TV was in operation _long_ before 'Iowa Public Television' came
into existence. In point of fact, WOI-TV was the _first_ TV station
in the state broadcasting on a regular schedule.

They became an ABC affiliate fairly early.

Yes, a public-university-owned =commercial= broadcast station is
_unusual_. As a network affiliate of a commercial network (the *only*
kind of 'network' TV in those days :), it was _very_ unusual, possibly
even =unique=.

>> WWL Waterloo, Iowa. Intrestingly, KWWL is in the same town.

> WWL(AM) and WWL-TV are now located in New Orleans, LA.

Looks like memory has played me false on this one. Further checking
shows it has always belonged to Loyola University, in New Orleans.
(I'm going to have to do some more digging on this -- I'm _sure_ that
WWL was in the Cedar Rapids/Waterloo metro area in the 50's-70's. "I
may be wrong, but I'm not uncertain" applies :) The university-owned
and operated TV station in New Orleans was a CBS network affiliate, as
of 1959. So, WOI-TV was not the only university-owned network TV
affiliate -- but I don't know of any other that was owned/operated by
a _public_ institution.

>> WSUI Iowa City, Iowa Also the home of KSUI. *SAME* owner,
>> even. :)

> WSUI(AM) and KSUI(FM) are licensed to the University of Iowa
> (formerly, State University of Iowa; hence, "SUI"). UI does not
> operate a TV station (same reason ISU doesn't).

Bzzzzt! Thank you for playing. See above.

Iowa State owned and operated a commercial (_not_ 'public' television)
station for more than 40 years. Among other things it provided 'hands
on' training, in a "real, working station environment" for students in
the television programs (both in journalism and engineering) at Iowa

The University of Iowa, on the other hand, never had a program in
television, and thus never found a 'need' for their own television
station. :)

>> WOW Omaha, Nebraska

> AM only; sister TV is WOWT.

Again, knowledge of history is lacking. see:

WOW _did_ operate AM and FM stations, for years,

WOWT is a call-sign change, from the original WOW-TV.

>> WMT Cedar Rapids, Iowa

> WMT(AM) and WMT-FM only; sister TV is KGAN(TV), formerly WMT-TV.

A call-sign change for the TV station. <grin>

>> WOC Davenport, Iowa

> AM only; sister FM is WLLR(FM); sister TV is KWQC(TV).

>> WRR Dallas, Texas

> FM only (PAT: classical music, streamed online!)

I believe there was an AM station with that call-sign, originally.
Has since undergone a name-change.

[[.. munch ..]]

>> and, some hair-splitting (Metro area crosses the river,
>> transmitter_could_ be on the Illinois side of the Missippi):

>> WIL St. Louis, Missouri

> FM only. Transmitter is located in Missouri.

>> WRTH St. Louis, Missouri

> The FCC has no record of this callsign.

*THAT* is a surprise! Considering ...

My cribsheet says "1430 AM, St. Louis".

And, according to <>:
WRTH1430 Business Office
(314) 983 -6000
11647 Olive Boulevard
Saint Louis, MO 63141

>> WLTE Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

> FM only. Transmitter is located in Minnesota, on the east side of the
> Mississippi River. That's still on the "K" side of the line according to
> the version of the rule I stated above.

If you're going to put all of MN in the 'K' district, there are at least
another half-a-dozen 'W' call-signs worthy of being listed. <grin>

As far east as Duluth.

>> WMCN St. Paul, Minnesota

> FM only. Transmitter is located in Minnesota, on the east side of the
> Mississippi River.

>> WBJI Blackduck, Minnesota

> FM only. Blackduck is in Beltrami County (page 72-B2 in DeLorme).

>> WIRN Buhl, Minnesota

> FM only; Minnesota Public Radio affiliate. Buhl is in St. Louis County,
> near Hibbing (page 75-D6 in DeLorme).

>> WACO Waco, Texas.

> FM only.

> WEW(AM) is licensed to St. Louis, but the transmitter is located in
> Washington Park, Illinois. FCC record at:
> <>.

> WIL-FM is licensed to St. Louis, and the transmitter is located in
> Missouri. FCC record (scroll down below WILL-FM) at:
> <>

> Neal McLain

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Is there a 'WIL' (one /L/) in
> St. Louis? The reason I ask is because there is a 'WILL' (two /L/)
> at the University of Illinois in Champaign, 580 KC on AM band.) PAT]

Yes. WIL (one 'L') has been in St. Louis for a *long* time; W-ILL (two 'L')
is a comparative newcomer. And, as Ogden Nash says, I've never heard of a
three-'L' spelling. <grin>

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: When you discuss WLTE or other 'W'
stations in Minnesota, maybe the reason for the 'W' there is because
the Mississipi River only begins part way into Minnesota; a bit south
of St. Paul (or actually Bay City, WI) where the water is just a small
stream and becomes known as the 'Mississippi River'. Most of Minnesota
has nothing to do with the river. PAT]

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