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Does Wilmington have any HD radio stations available or are they planned for 2012?

Mike Voorheis
StarNews

High-definition radio, like HD TV, provides a clearer signal for the consumer. Essentially the cost vs. benefit evaluation continues to keep radio companies in Wilmington from going HD.

Similar questions were posed in 2009 (http://www.myreporter.com/?p=2914) and 2010 (http://www.myreporter.com/?p=8771), and not much has changed.

HDRadio.com lists WHQR on HD and HD2 as the only HD stations in the Wilmington market.

Mike Farrow of Cumulus Broadcasting, which owns several Wilmington stations, said the company has no plans for an HD station in Wilmington in the near future. Likewise, Paul Knight of Sea-Comm Media said that family of stations has no plans for HD radio in Wilmington any time soon.

They both cited the Catch-22 involved. Automakers won’t install HD radios in their cars until there are more stations, and radio stations won’t broadcast in HD until there are more potential listeners with HD devices.

The equipment necessary to transmit an HD signal costs in the $150,000 range, Knight said.

RELATED LINKS:

When will WHQR begin broadcasting on its third HD channel?

When will DirecTV provide high-definition programming on local Wilmington channels?

User-contributed question by:
Josh Stutsman

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2 Responses to “ Does Wilmington have any HD radio stations available or are they planned for 2012?”

  1. On May 3, 2012 at 12:15 am Henry wrote:

    I worked in broadcasting for many years and the answer is simple. Local broadcasters are cheap and stations in this market are behind in technology and do not wish to spend money here because we are a small market. They keep giving the same answer that we the public will not listen or we are not willing to upgrade our radios to receive the broadcasts in digital HD. New radios are available at places like Best Buy fairly inexpensive and are also in many new cars. I had HD radios installed in my vehicles a couple of years back and really enjoy the quality and variety of programming when I travel to Raleigh. Wilmington stations are a tax write off to the parent companies like Cummulus and Capital. They invested heavily in HD radio in markets like Raleigh and Charleston, SC and upgraded there several years ago. Those markets have so many choices in HD ranging from classical to bluegrass to alternative. If you don’t broadcast in HD in those markets, then you can’t compete. Unfortunately HD will not happen here because they think we don’t what it is and they just don’t want to spend the money. The same can be said for our local TV stations. When digital TV became a reality and broadcasters could add additional channels, our local stations added only one. One local station WILM owned by Capital has no plans to even add a second channel. Raleigh stations are broadcasting 3 and 4 secondary channels on every station and choices include a lot of retro TV channels like Antenna TV , Memorable Entertainment TV (MeTV) , movie channels, music video channels, etc. For an area that bragged so much about being first in digital, we have really been slighted in TV programming and the same can be said for local radio.

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