Text and photos by SCOTT FYBUSH
We’re back at home base after two weeks on the road across America, and while we catch up from a drive to Denver to back (and lots of interesting visits along the way that you’ll see in this space soon), here are a few final looks at the Omaha and Lincoln markets that were omitted from our coverage these last few weeks from our February visits there.
The drive from Omaha to Lincoln on I-80 is a short one – it’s a wide, straight highway where traffic moves at close to 80 miles per hour, so it’s easy to get from one city to another in under an hour.
Unless, of course, one gets distracted by the tall towers that sit south of 80 – and of course, we did get distracted that way, especially when we had the chance to meet up with Salem’s Mike Shane at the aux site of his KGBI (100.7) near Gretna, off gravel roads a few miles south of 80.
This was once the KGBI main site, before Salem moved the religious station in to the Omaha Crown Point tower farm (we saw its new main facility in this installment a few weeks back), and it remains a fully-functional aux site. It’s also now the main site for NRG Radio’s KOOO (101.9 La Vista), a former Lincoln-market signal that’s moved in to the Omaha market.
The two stations have separate transmitter rooms, but share an antenna at the top of this 1200-foot tower by way of a combiner behind the KGBI transmitter.
Just a couple of miles to the north and west, another tall tower out here is home to the market’s Fox affiliate, KPTM (Channel 42/RF 43) and CW affiliate, KXVO (Channel 15/RF 38); this tower was also home to Omaha’s old KEFM (96.1), which has since moved in to the Crown Point tower farm as iHeart’s KISO.
On the way back in to Omaha, there’s one more small site to be seen, far away from most of the rest of the market’s towers.
Out Dodge Street (US 6) near the famed Boys Town, a short utility tower holds the antenna for Salem’s K233CO (94.5), the translator for “Answer” talker KOTK (1420) that gives the station’s AM coverage a boost where it needs it, out in the fast-growing western suburbs of Omaha.
Thanks to Salem’s Mike Shane for the tours!
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Season two of “Top of the Tower” offered you several preview editions during the NAB Show last month in Las Vegas – and now we’re (finally!) back to regular weekly editions. Join host Scott Fybush and a wide variety of industry insiders every Wednesday for interesting conversation about what’s happening in the business of radio and TV, not to mention programming, engineering and the newsroom.
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Next week: Southern California in Transition