WSBCís frequency allows for 15 miles or less at night. Probably less. Thatís what Iíve seen on graveyard frequencies.
I should point out, those stations are still leasing plenty of time. As is WNWI, WEEF and WKTA. WPJX is even leased out and it was prior to the translator (Which covers less than the AM) Chicago is very diverse and this helps a lot as far as brokered Ethnic.
Boston (For example) is also quite diverse and has a lot of Brokered Ethnic stations on AM that have full schedules. They have a pirate problem as a result. A lot of pirates target some of these communities. Iíve seen some of them run pirate or part 15 signals while leasing time on Brokered stations ontop of it.
One of my favorites is WNTN-AM. It was a 10kw Daytimer built in an upscale suburb (Newton) in 1968. They took to leased Ethnic in the 90s. The owner was offered a ridiculous amount of money for the land. A CP to diplex on another stationís tower. It was then sold to the son of a previous owner who ran a long running Greek show and built out. Itís still up and running from itís new site with a schedule of Greek, Italian, English, Arabic and other shows. Only has 3 watts at night. That station connects to the Greek community there more than anything I have ever heard. Itís top notch.
As long as there are immigrant communities with nothing for them on the radio, there will be a demand for stations that offer it. These shows connect these communities. Yes it can be done online, however there is so much content online that standing out is still a bit more challenging than being on the radio. Trust me, Iíve run several internet stations in the past. Aside from a select few, they go nowhere as far as audience no matter how hard I tried to promote them.
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