Monday, January 21, 2013

KAAY Off The Air

According to Doug Virden a couple of days ago, KAAY was definitely off the air, due to water seepage from the bad roof affecting the transmitter.  When I was at the transmitter site almost two years ago this coming April, I could see evidence of leakage from the roof, near the newer transmitter.  This isn't surprising that the current owner is running this once mighty station into the ground...after all, it's all about the money, isn't it?

I have been involved in buy-outs before (non-radio/broadcasting) where new owners do "hatchet jobs" on businesses, refusing to invest in a thriving business, bleeding them to the last penny until they finally bankrupt the business and closing the doors or selling it off for pennies.  I have jumped horses in mid-stream, missing the inevitable and I have had the horse shot out from under me, I know what happens in business.  Too bad, that business ethics no longer apply, that the dollar is their god and jobs don't matter.  Even though we need jobs in America, some businesses are not willing to make the investment to keep businesses going.  Why not feed the goose that lays the golden egg?  No, some would rather butcher the goose and cut it open, looking for a mother lode of golden eggs, only to find there are none...and the goose is dead.

The old axiom, "you got to break a few eggs to make an omlet" no longer apply, in these cases.  Is KAAY destined to die a rotting death?  What a horrible way for a giant, both in history and fame, to wither away.  Can it be saved?  At least made a National Historical Site?  Anyone????

My opinion and mine only.

Bud S. (


  1. Bud,

    I totally agree ! What a shame to see that Historic Site rot-away...all because the current owner has no "soul" for preserving a Legend.

    The same situation occured, in a way, here in St. Louis a few years ago when Inbev bought-out the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. Much of the original History/Heritage has vanished...and what a shame that is.

    Thanks for Posting this...


  2. Unfortunately, thats the market at work, maybe the value will sink low enough that a broadcaster buys it.

  3. The problem with it becomming a historical site is the company still will not spend money on the building. Also the RCA transmitter has been torn apart. I would say maybe abot 25% of the RCA has been removed. The wall above the RCA has been partially busted out. Windows have been broken by vandals. The RF feed line has been destroyed by vandals as well.


  4. I read about the leaky roof so I checked Google maps in satellite view, zoomed in on the is that roof all torn up. It appears the wind lifted one corner and peeled it back....very sad indeed...
    I haven't read or I missed about the all the KAAY recordings left behind in the building as have they been removed before they become dumpster material?

  5. For the sake of accurate information without ranting:

    1) The MW-50 is off-the-air due to failure of the big oil-filled transformer in the 25KV power supply. There is a replacement transformer available on site (A complete MW-50B was purchased on eBay several years ago for parts), but the rectifier stacks are different and are on order.

    The auxiliary transmitter did fail because of the roof leak. Water and transmitters don't play well together, and the damage is such that it's a total loss. Another auxiliary is on the way.

    The RCA was pronounced dead ten years ago. What has been removed are the big oil-filled transformers that contained PCB, a hazardous substance banned by the EPA. The transformers were safely recycled according to legal guidelines. Unfortunately, the only way to get them out was the same way they went in, which required a hole through the front. The RCA was not anywhere near museum-quality condition. Like most RCA transmitters of that vintage that were not installed in climate-controlled environments, the paint is cracking and falling off in chunks.

    The roof is being replaced. It ain't cheap.

    And yes, the transmission lines and ground system have been ripped up by copper thieves. The station is under an STA for reduced power non-directional at night. The cost of rebuilding the night DA is more than huge--and unfortunately, NO AM radio station is as profitable as they once were. Being a business, all that has to be taken into account. It will eventually be restored.

  6. I found out about the absence of KAAY's silence of late since I've had a busy week at work and have not found time to bandscan the AM radio dial. Anyway, I shot this video in my vehicle while in the driveway yesterday afternoon (January 24, 2013) which demonstrates what the AM Radio dial in Southeastern Arkansas sounds like when KAAY is off the air. Note at the beginning the winter groundwave reception of WDIA 1070 Memphis and a very weak station on 1110KHz which is likely KGFL 1110 Clinton AR. By the way, 1110KHz was once occupied three decades ago by KAKA (later KXSA-AM) Dermott AR a directional daytime-only station which had a country music format. But that is another subject altogether...

    Via Youtube (SAFE for work where not blocked).

  7. If they do nothing but go back to dollar a holler what's the point?

  8. Just to let everyone know, KAAY will be back on the air soon. A 5KW transmitter is being delivered hopefully tomorrow (1-29-13) Just waiting on the crystal now.

  9. A 5 KW... bah. What happened to 50kW? What happened to decent programming???