October 24-31, 2002
WSAJ, Grove City, Pennsylvania
Sorry about the grain on this week's picture, but we had to
do a little digital enhancement to bring out the important element
of this interesting image from September, 2001.
You're looking at Rockwell Science Hall on the campus of Grove
City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania, a sleepy little burg
about 90 minutes north of Pittsburgh and south of Erie. Today,
Grove City is probably best known to drivers on I-79 as the home
of a big outlet mall - but for radio history buffs, it deserves
mention for a different reason: WSAJ radio.
The calls alone (part of an early run of sequentially-assigned
ones) should serve as an indication that this station dates back
to the very earliest days of radio licensing, 1921 to be exact
(and even then, it was the successor to an amateur station, 8CO.)
If that's not enough, check out that longwire "cage"-type
antenna! Yes, that's the mighty WSAJ(AM) on 1340, still carrying
on its 80-plus year legacy of broadcasting, a few hours a week
WSAJ, you see, is the remnant of an ancient share-time arrangement
with what's now WOYL on 1340 in Oil City, 40 or so miles to the
northeast. WOYL used to be WKRZ, and it would sign off for a
few hours on Sunday mornings and two nights a week when WSAJ
took the air for an hour or so with its broadcasts from Grove
City, running all of 100 watts into that wire.
The share-time is long since gone, with both sides agreeing
that 100 watts from Grove City really wasn't interfering with
250 (and later 1000) watts in Oil City. (And that, friends, is
why WOYL is one of a handful of directional graveyard-channel
AM signals...) But WSAJ continued to be only an occasional voice
on the AM dial, especially after the debut a decade or so ago
of WSAJ-FM on 91.1, transmitting full-time from those two bays
behind the old wire cage antenna.
When we took this picture a little more than a year ago, WSAJ(AM)
was completely silent and had been for a while, since the demise
of its antiquated (installed in 1950, and not necessarily brand-new
even then) GE transmitter. While a new LPB transmitter was already
in place inside Rockwell Science Hall at that point, the resumption
of broadcasts on the AM side awaited repairs to that old antenna,
which were finally completed in the spring of 2002.
So WSAJ carries on, and if you're close to the campus on the
right Sunday morning or weekday evening, you too can tune in
to the continuation of this very long-running bit of Pennsylvania
Next week, we'll show you why there was no Site of the Week
last week, as we begin a multi-part look at the many wonderful
towers of the Dallas-Fort Worth market!
Like our recent WTIC picture? It's
one of the more than a dozen Tower Site images featured in the
2003 Tower Site Calendar, coming this fall from Tower Site of
the Week and fybush.com.
If you liked last year's edition, you'll love this one: higher-quality
images (in addition to Avon Mountain, this year's edition includes
Providence's WHJJ; Mount Mansfield, Vermont; Buffalo's WBEN;
KOMA in Oklahoma City; the legendary WSM, Nashville; Brookmans
Park, England; WPAT, Paterson; Four Times Square, New York; WIBC
in Indianapolis and more), more dates in radio history, a convenient
hole for hanging - and we'll even make sure all the dates fall
on the right days!
This year's calendar will go to press in late October, and
if you order now, you'll have yours in hand by mid-November,
in plenty of time for the holidays. And this year, you can order
with your Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express by using
the handy link below!
Better yet, here's an incentive to make your 2003 NERW/Site
of the Week subscription pledge a little early: support NERW/fybush.com
at the $60 level or higher, and you'll get this lovely calendar
for free! How can you go wrong? (Click here
to visit our Support page, where you can make your NERW contribution
with a major credit card...)
You can also order by mail; just send a check for $16
per calendar (NYS residents add 8% sales tax), shipping included,
to Scott Fybush, 92 Bonnie Brae Ave., Rochester
Thanks for your support!