Think about this for a moment; how many consumers are going to travel from Vermont over Lake Champlain to shop in New York? When it comes right down to it, most will agree that the number is a small one but the same can not be said for shoppers in New York choosing Plattsburgh as their primary destination for purchasing goods and services. While no formal study exists as to the number of consumers who drive from the Adirondacks to Plattsburgh, we believe the numbers would represent a large percentage of the population. Ask 100 residents of the Adirondacks how often they shop in Plattsburgh and it could be as high as 65% who will say “At least twice a month.” if not more, and that number could increase to as much as 85% of the population visiting Plattsburgh once a month for groceries, home improvement, clothing, furniture, entertainment, crafts, shoes, sporting goods, for the kitchen, a new appliance, and much more. Target, Wal-Mart, Lowes, Price Chopper, The Champlain Centre Mall, Bed Bath and Beyond, Staples, Dicks, and other major outlets have become a major destination of consumers with money in their pockets to spend. It may be that some of these consumers travel to Vermont once and a while, for a MacBook Air from the Apple Retail Store (75 Middlesex Turnpike, in Burlington – Just in case you were wondering) but odds are consumers won’t cross Lake Champlain in either direction unless there’s a good reason.
WNBZ broadcasts on several different frequencies, 1240am in Saranac Lake, 106.5fm in Saranac Lake, 105.9fm in Plattsburgh and the 50,000 watt signal originates from the summit of Lyon Mountain on the tower owned by Mountain Lake PBS in Plattsburgh. The signal at 106.3fm is licensed by the FCC as a Class C2 station which means our 50,000 watt coverage contour is protected from incursion by other stations in the United States. Canada is a different story, unfortunately. Stations north of the boarder are only required to protect our contours on our side of the boarder with Canada, Similarly, however, the same rules apply to us on this side of the boarder which means when we applied for the license, we were able to apply for the C2 Class Status which is representative of a 50,000 watt station and because of this we cover the North Country like a glove.. Beyond the “City Grade” contours our station has been know to cover route 7 in Vermont from the Canadian Boarder south to Manchester, mostly thanks to the conductivity of Lake Champlain..
A Translator in Plattsburgh (at 105.9fm)
So why then does the station need a translator in Plattsburgh at 105.9fm and another in Saranac Lake at 106.5fm? The short answer is that we don’t but it’s a hell of a thing to have local city grade coverage in both markets plus the large coverage area encompassed by 106.3. While the primary coverage of 106.3 is known to reach a large population and stretch as far across the North Country as Potsdam to the West and Jay Peak to the East and as Far South in Vermont as Manchester and the Adirondacks in Upstate New York, in order to accomplish our goal, we had to place the transmitter much higher than an average FM signal. The FCC requires that FM signals broadcasting in their class above a normal height, must reduce the overall power of their transmitter, thus covering a similar area projected from the standard height above the ground. In some cases, the compromise between height and distance and transmitter power may include the loss of signal in basements and larger buildings, which is why we’ve added the translators in the primary coverage centers to supplement the primary signal. We’re currently investigating an additional signal synchronization concept which will strengthen our coverage in the Adirondacks, Malone and Massena even further if the concept proves feasible. Even now however, our coverage in New York is unique and sets us apart from ALL OTHER stations in Vermont vying for a share of marketing budgets from Advertisers on the New York Side of the Champlain Valley.
When it comes to our other stations, ROCK105 covers Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake with two distinct FM signals – 105.5fm in Lake Placid and 102.1fm in Tupper Lake. We’re also broadcasting WNBZ on 1240am. Our Morning News Programming has been on the air since before the Olympics came to Lake Placid and has a listener base which we believe includes a majority of listeners in the Adirondack Park. The Morning News is now Simulcast 6am to 9am weekdays on WNBZ (106.3fm, 106.5fm, 105.9fm, 1240am) and ROCK105 (105.5fm Lake Placid and 102.1fm Tupper Lake) and on Time Warner Cable Channel 19 and Channel 2.