KBAI Flips

August 1, 2017


Hi Jason

Bellingham’s KBAI 930, once owned by Steven Smith, has today flipped from canned liberal talk to classic hits – “K-Bay 98.9 & 930 AM” – a format & imaging used previous to the talk format. It’s a welcome addition to the regional radio dial here & a real shame it doesn’t have the power to easily penetrate metro Vancouver. In that city, long-time oldies/classic hits C-ISL 650 is about to drop the format for canned sports. The new K-BAY should pick up some new listener’s in B.C.’s Fraser Valley as a result

Mike C

12 comments

  • Steven Smith

    I just heard that news today. It is unusual to be putting music on AM today. We were considered unique in keeping the station a music format nearly 20 years ago. Maybe they feel it will be more competitive with the low power FM signal given out to AM stations by the FCC but it is pretty weak and spotty. I was driving the other day, put Kgmi on FM and got so many drop outs that I went back to AM right away. It is, also, odd that they decided they could not make it with liberal talk. Bellingham is so liberal that if the format cannot make it here, its viability is wholly suspect. Yet in liberal Bellingham, Kgmi has kept Limbaugh, Hannity and other conservatives on the air for years. It is ironic, I hear so many locals complain about Rush L. but those bitching do not seem to support the liberal talk alternative wiith their pocket books.

  • Steven Smith

    I left two previous comments here, with my personal thoughts on this, and they seem to have vanished. Odd.

    • pugetsound

      Disappearing comments is not good. I went back, RESTORED and APPROVED any comments which had been shut off/trashed. This is just one more issue with the COMMENTS app that will continue to be looked at. Seems it only happens when I am away from the blog for an extended period. Weird stuff.

      • mikec

        me too on the missing comments which I’ve noticed just got posted & see I have replies from Steven which I’ll get to. When my comments don’t show there is always a small pink-coloured message bar: “Comments awaiting moderation” or something similar. Hope you can fix this Jason or at least check regularly to see if there’s any un-posted messages. I tried 3 times to reply to Steven regarding the Peace River station! 🙁

        Steven – I too was surprised that KBAI dropped liberal talk & re-adopted the classic hits format they dropped previously. When I get tired of all the talk, sports & other BS while DXing at night, it’s nice to park the communications receiver on 930 for a little musical interlude. I’ve got a pre-set for 930 once again on our SUV radio, but K-BAY is always a little sketchy to listen to driving around the island here. At night…forget it! However, having music now locally on 930 makes it much tougher to try & pull KTKN Ketchikan out of the night-time mix on the frequency. Last night, there was a ball game with lots of dead air in between the action which gives me lots of time to figure out whose being received at that moment

      • Steven Smith

        Mikec…..do you know the power output of the FM translators. If you are in range, it is clean but not so good for listening in the car. Driving and turning corners leads to dropouts and static. I am guessing maybe 100 watts? Also, they are not promoting stereo. Does this mean it is the AM mono feed sent to FM.

        • mikec

          Steven- the power of 98.9 is 250 watts & HAAT 132M. It looks like the stick is located somewhere between E Sunset, Barkley Blvd & Woburn Rd. No idea if 98.9 is stereo. With my 10 element FM yagi antenna on a 40′ tower rotated to Bellingham, I can pull in the translator just barely above the noise from KCLK Seattle so can’t tell. The few times I’ve been listening I’ve never heard ‘stereo’ mentioned

      • mikec

        Jason I’ve tried several ‘conversations’ with Steven in different threads & most of my stuff disappears too with a pink pop-up that reads: “Comment awaiting moderation” Hope you can fix this….it’s frustrating

        • Steven Smith

          Thanks Mike. Better than I expected as to power. When I was snooping online, I see they bought the translator frequency from Twisp, WA. I think they paid 20k. If I still had the station I would have done that too. I get that moderator message sometimes too…but it seems to get lost.

          • mikec

            20K is a great price for a translator. I’ve put a few LPFMs/translators on air here in BC the past decade for around 25K w/IP-based STL. Excellent value for the money even if it isn’t broadcasting in stereo. With mono, the coverage would be extended a bit & an overall reduction in multi-path (ie – “picket-fencing”) AND would attract new listeners

        • Steven Smith

          Mike….in re-reading that…..it sounds like the antenna is on a Kpug tower. They are on E. Sunset not far from Woburn with Barkley nearby. When I was doing home inspections at Barkley area I was surprised how often I saw the Kpug towers. It would make sense, that Kpug building is just sort of a big equipment housing with the towers and transmitter stuff. Kpug towers are the most centrally located, for reaching central Bellingham, of Saga’s tower sites. When we went nights at Kbfw, the PE really wished we were at KPUG’s site. He said it would be easier to develop a directional loop over the main city than at our site…..which as the crow flies is pretty close to Kpug. He wanted me to talk to them about sharing their towers, but I did not want any part of that. It sounded complicated at the time and like a formula for competitors infighting. And the firm with the sticks had the upper hand.

          • mikec

            Steven – You made a very wise decision particularly in a small market. I know of at least 3 similar situations in small markets that ended up going seriously south & it was the lessee in each arrangement that got the short end of the stick. (pun intended) . It’s never a good idea to give a competitor the upper hand & assume all will go well. I figured this was on the KPUG towers or an adjacent tower on the Saga compound. Just looking at KGMI’s translator data for 96.5 it’s identical as is the coverage pattern

        • pugetsound

          There should be no moderation to your comments, as you are a registered member with no restrictions. In the last 20 days, only one comment got held back for moderation. I am not sure why unless you are banging out several comments in a short time frame. Yet, even that restriction does not apply to you. I am mystified.

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