Crossroads Communications FM Station B102.7 is now back on the air at partial power after a lightning strike destroyed nearly 700 feet of coaxial transmission line that runs the height of the broadcast tower. The station went off the air around 10:30 a.m. last Friday.
"It looks like lightning, during the storm Thursday night, struck the cable and then it took several hours for water to work its way into the line," said Mike Petersen, Crossroads Communications' general manager. When program and operations director JD Sell went out to the site after the signal was lost, smoke was rising from the damaged cabling. Technicians from Sherwood Tower Service estimate that replacing the transmission line will take about two weeks.
Crossroads Communications engineer Tom Mulvihill worked with Sherwood technicians into the wee hours of the morning Tuesday to implement a temporary fix -- a broadcast antennae mounted approximately 200 feet up on the tower. By 2 a.m. the signal was restored to Terre Haute and most of the surrounding areas.
"We want to apologize to our listeners and advertisers for any inconvenience," Petersen said. "Every radio station takes precautions to prevent storm-related damage like this, but there is no accounting for Mother Nature."
Crossroads Communications is a locally owned business with five radio stations including WBOW 1300 AM and WSDX 1130 AM as well as 102.7 FM WBOW, 104.9 FM WAXI and 97.7 WSDM. WBOW 1300 AM and WSDX 1130 AM are simulcast stations airing ESPN Sports Radio.
For more information, call John Sherman at 234-9770.