May 9-16, 2001
South Mountain, Phoenix, Arizona
Back home in NERW-land, a "big" mountaintop FM/TV
site (think West Peak in Meriden, for instance) might have a
half-dozen or so towers to show off. Fly into Sky Harbor Airport
in Phoenix and you're just a few miles from a site that puts
any of New England's offerings to shame.
to South Mountain, home to just about every FM and TV station
on the Phoenix airwaves.
If I've read my maps correctly (and no doubt some friendly
Phoenix engineer will correct me on some of these), here's what
you see, from left to right, in the photomontage above:
KJZZ 91.5, KUPD 97.9 and KNIX 102.5 share the towers at the
far left. The tall painted tower is home to KKLT 98.7, while
just behind it sits the tower of KAET-TV (8) and KPNX-TV (12).
Just to the right is the guyed tower of KTVW (33), the Univision
That broad self-supporting tower with the three UHF antennas
on top belongs to KNXV (15), and is also home to Telemundo affiliate
KDRX-LP (48). The painted tower to the right is KTVK (3), and
to the right of that is KASW (61), which shares its tower with
KKFR (92.3) and KESZ (99.9). Religious KFLR (90.3) is on the
short tower that's next in line, followed by a tower shared by
KSAZ-TV (10), KPAZ-TV (21) and KOOL-FM (94.5). KMLE (107.9) is
on the unpainted, guyed tower next to the right, followed by
KPHO-TV (5), with KPHO-DT (17) mounted on the side.
KYOT (95.5) is at the back of the mountain in this view (actually,
a bit closer to Phoenix than the rest), followed by KMXP (96.9)
and the candelabra tower that (I think) is home to KUTP (45)
and KPPX (51). Finally, at the northeast corner of the mountain,
sit KDKB (93.3) and KZZP (104.7).
wait - there's more! As you round the last corner on the drive
up the mountain (it's part of a city park, the South Mountain
Reservation, and the paved road up is well-marked, though it
takes about 20 minutes to drive) and face the gate that leads
to the transmitter buildings, there are two more sticks on the
left. Those, with the sun behind them in this image, are KZON
(101.5) and KSLX (100.7).
who's not on the mountain? Only two Phoenix-licensed FMs: classical
KBAQ (89.5) and share-time KNAI and KPHF (88.3). Mexican regional
KHOT-FM (105.9 Paradise Valley) sits in the hills visible to
the northeast of the Phoenix skyline, while several other rimshotters
(KLNZ 103.5 Glendale, KPTY 103.9 Chandler and the 106.9 Buckeye/107.1
Apache Junction and 106.3 Sun City/100.3 Globe simulcasts) use
still more distant sites at the east and west edges of the market,
along with translators to help fill in the gaps.
Don't forget to take a few minutes on the drive back down
to look down at Phoenix itself as it sprawls beneath you. The
city's many AM stations are spread out widely throughout the
Valley of the Sun; we'll examine some of those sites in a future
Site of the Week.