Monday, May 7, 2007

WKRP,Opps,WKMX In Wellsville



This story reminds me of the old t.v. sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati. You will recall that Terry Brown and his AM radio station WKMX was welcomed with open arms to our village. It was the first time in Wellsville history that we had a radio station within the village limits. When I read about it even I was excited. Being an old fart I was born and reared in the radio era. Seems I would rather have a radio playing in the background than sitting watching the boob tube most of the time.

WKMX was originally started locally by a fellow named Terry Brown. Mr. Brown first came to notice as the owner of Sitaclabs and opened a shop on 5th Street in East Liverpool. Sitaclabs performed such services as computer repair & sales. Later on they offered to sell items on e-bay for those of us that didn't want to go through the trouble.

Mr. Brown hit the ground running and soon after opening his shop started up WKMX in East Liverpool. He was hailed by the East Liverpool Business Association as a town hero when the powers-that-be converted WOHI to an ESPN station. Then he came to Wellsville and opened a station in town. He was given free use of the old liquor store for his studio. We even had our own Johnny Fever with popular local d.j. Skip Hamilton hosting "Skip's Diner" playing oldies two nights a week.

In an article by Youngstown Vindicator correspondent Gail White published on February 4, 2007, Mr. Brown was quoted as saying that WKMX was hosted by a server in the United Kingdom that he could control from anywhere via the internet. He also said he had a 10 foot antenna that could broadcast just under two miles on AM frequency 1620. The article went on to say that he petitioned the FCC for a license and WKMX was born.

On April 9, 2007, the FCC Enforcement Bureau, Northeast Rgion, Detroit Office, issued a "Notice of Unlicensed Operation" to Terry Brown, Wellsville, Ohio. The notice stated that the "Commission's records show that no license was issued for operation of a broadcast station on 1620 kHz..." It went on to state that the station was emitting far more power than what was permitted in Part 15 of the Commission's rules which "constitutes a violation of the Federal laws". In all caps the notice stated "UNLICENSED OPERATION OF THIS RADIO STATION MUST BE DISCONTINUED IMMEDIATELY'. The FCC is the Federal Communications Commission which governs all types of broadcast communications from television down to CB radios.

Even back in the 70s I recall that the FCC demanded that anyone using a CB radio be licensed. It was mostly ignored. Although I'm not an expert on FCC rules and regulations I find it hard to believe that they would issue the same call letters for two different stations. WKMX is the call letters of a long time established FM radio station in Enterprise, Alabama. Part 15 of the Commissions rules allows for a licensed station to broadcast using a maximum of 1/10th watt output. KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh uses 50,000 watts for their broadcasts. Legitimate Part 15 stations are called Low Power AM broadcasting stations that are mostly popular in small town communties by community groups or as toys for radio hobbyists. On the web site www.part15.us the comments stated that Mr. Brown was using a grossly illegal transmitter or antenna. The call letters could not be found in the FCC register for AM stations and he did a good job of fooling the people into thinking he was licensed.

So what's the story here? Did Mr. Brown bring a farce to town to exploit the small town bumpkins for a few advertising dollars? Did he mean to apply for a license and just forgot to mail in the paper work? These are probably questions we'll never know the answers to. Personally speaking I could never pick up the station on AM 1620 nor could I get the internet stream on my computer. After coming across the FCC Notice I noticed that the www.wkmxlive.com web site is gone along with the one for Sitaclabs. Once again Wellsville does not have a radio station to call our own. WKRP was always known as a fictional radio station created by writers for a television show. Now we can say we had our own fictional radio station.

16 comments:

Prince Planet said...

This is just too wild to imagine but hey, was it really going to last? Maybe it was a good thing to do in the begining but in order to have this type of system running in this small town/village you have to have people who know what they are doing and know what they are talking about. I really don't know if they young people who have listen to the station but it would have to have a varity of music in order to keep the people coming back and tune in. If my 8 yr old likes to listen to my old school music then anyone can.

LOL said...

Very good story on this topic, I was not aware of these events. Wow, I am in shock. I had a feeling about this guy.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Good writeup NIB, another Wellsville farce!

Anonymous said...

This is not so much a "Wellsville farce" as it is a con man's farce. East Liverpool was the first to bite the bate. Appears to me he hooked both communities.

Devil's Playmate said...

What, exactly, did he "hook" either community out of? I don't recall him getting any kind of money, tax abatements, special considerations from either ELO or Wellsville.
Do any of you know all the facts behind the FCC's ruling?

more from the devil said...

As for never knowing the answers to the questions you asked, that would entail actually doing some investigation, asking the FCC and Terry Brown, for example, not just speculating on a blog.

Terry Brown said...

Hi everyone.. Just wanted to stop in to set the record straight… First.. I have NEVER said that we were a licensed station.. If you had bothered to read the papers, it does say that we are a non-licensed Part15… Now as far as the FCC part.. One of our transmitters were operating out of range and the agent came and we discussed it because someone had a problem with it…. So he explained to me how to fix this and he was VERY nice and professional. We are even in the process of getting a higher power FM license…As far as everything being down, we had to turn it off while the agent looked into every.. We have at this time been cleared of everything and have been given the OK to go back on the air. I am currently going through the process of moving the server to another internet company to get a better price.. So all of you that I am “conning”: your money can sleep better at night. . Now on to the CON part of this.. Do any of you realize that I work everyday and then work at the station and goto the games and help film them to bring them to the people who cannot get to the games or even for the players who would like to see their games afterwards… And sorry to disappoint you all, but, I have not made even one dollar from any thing that we have done so far.. But I can tell you that I have put thousands of dollars of my own money into this.. why? Because I love it and enjoy doing it. so lets see if I am conning anyone out of anything , then wouldn’t that mean that I would be getting money from “SOMEONE”?.... Come on people pay attention.. I was broadcasting over the internet a long time before ELBA got involved.. I was asked to help when the WOHI station left and went ESPN.. So we got some transmitters so that at least some of the people around could hear our broadcasts.. Not everyone can. But at least we are trying.. And for the person that said they had a feeling about “this guy”….Come on.. what have I done to arouse suspicion?, Spent my own money to create something that I thought people were enjoying, Getting people involved in a community?.. so what wrong did I actually do.. and please tell me how I conned anyone out of anything.. get your facts straight here before you start bashing me.. But I see that’s what most of you do here anyway. So why should I be any different.. But for those of you that do enjoy the station….It is coming back.. working with the ISP to get a new internet service there within a few day and you guys can watch me con you out of more of your money… Sorry for the sarcasm but damn you people are endless on your witch hunts…

Terry Brown

Anonymous said...

Great job Terry. I love it when someone calls another person's bluff. Truth be told, the origional post was entertaining, but DAMN, the reply was better. Another old wellsville fart that thinks he knows everything. TOO FUNNY. Thanks for a good laugh.

Terry Brown said...

Thanks... I jsut hate when people jump to conclusions that they obviously have NO CLUE about..and that includes the author of this site....They didnt even bother to ask anyone what was goin on before getting this bashing session going...If anyone would have bothered to look at some of the good things that we have done then they might have got involved instead of sitting at home reading sites like this jsut waiting for the next lashing..We arent perfect but we try to have fun with what we do and trying to help the community..I just wish there were more positive people out there..And people,,, that includes the owner of this site or anyone else interested.. please....if you want to know anything else about me or the station, or well anything just email me.....heres my email address.....n1c02@yahoo.com


Terry Brown

Ole Nib said...

Mr. Brown - Your comments are interesting. However, I didn't view my piece so much as a "witch hunt" but rather just stating the facts. Answer me this: Doesn't a LPAM Part 15 station still have to be licensed by the FCC? Did Gail White from the Vindicator get that wrong? What about the duplicate call letters with the station in Enterprise, AL? WKMX AM was not registered with the FCC. Where did they come from? If you were not registered with the FCC how did you get call letters that are strictly controlled to avoid duplication at the least? Do you deny that you got a notice from the FCC Enforcement Bureau, Case Nuber EB-07-DT-072, Document Number W20073236005?

Truly I wish you well in your future endeavors. In spite of other opinions I do not know it all and that is why I ask questions. I'm a radio fan be it AM, FM or internet stream. I too miss the local touch that WOHI use to give us. Your ramblings haven't convinced me that your motives are completely altruistic. They reminded me of what Shakespeare wrote of Queen Gertrude in Hamlet when he penned "the lady doth protest too much, methinks".

Anonymous said...

i thought it was a noble idea, if not an impractical one, to attempt to put a radio station in the 'ville. i enjoyed listening to the basketball games.

Terry Brown said...

Hi again. I only came here to clarify what actually did happen.. …..As far as the call letters.. as I have stated before in the news articles, that the FCC did not issue call letters to us.. I have also stated that if in the future that we do get a “license” then we will have to start using different call letters that the FCC will issue.. The call letters that we have now are strictly to give us a name of some sort.. As far as the notice from the FCC.. No I don’t deny it.. Actually the FCC agent called me on my cell phone and ask that I meet him at the station. After meeting him. He did point out what we were doing wrong and explained to me how to fix the problems.. We are going back on the air this week.. Check it out sometime... I’m sure there will be more problems on the way but I guess we will deal with them when they get thrown at us.As far as the witch hunt statement. Not one person even tried to contact me before writing anything here… n1c02@yahoo.com

Terry Brown

Ole Nib said...

Details, details, details... Aren't they a bitch!

I sincerely meant it when I wished you well in your future endeavors. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Terry Brown is well known to fail at every endeavor he undertakes. He has had his house foreclosed on and lost it. If he can't even pay his mortgage how can he run a legitimate business? If he lived anywhere but in that area he'd be exposed for the worthless con man that he is.

Terry Brown said...

WOW... i forgot about this blog until today.. someone emailed me and told me about the "newest" post on ME... im impressed.. where do I start.. this is so amusing now. sure, ive had my ups and downs in life.. jsut like anyone else.. unlike the anonymous who have nothing better to do than sit at home and speculate on what they think of others.. I keep going. and I guess if was was a real good con man. then i couldve "conned" the bank into lowering my payment so I wouldnt have lost the house.. Come on..is that all you have.. there is so much more that you couldve hit on I mean hell ive been in the paper for good as well as bad things in the past few years and my house being foreclosed on is all you have.. Then you dont know me at all.. Hell ive been into radio business.., a computer shop, ive even been involved in a sex scandle with a psycho at one time....who still to this day follows me around..... so if you reallllllly wanna dig its all out there.. Im an open book for anyone.. As I said before.. if you have something you want to know, just ask. dont keep posting as anonymous, im serious,. what are you afraid of. I read these blogs here and Matts from time to time and see everyone bashing everything and everyone. but all of you do it under an anonymous name. I bet if matt or nibb made you use your real name ...I bet only a few would even bother posting. Why, because its easier to say what you want true or not as long as no-one knows who you are..and you know im 100% correct.. Let us ask you , what do you have to hide? must be something or you would post your name here.. and I bet you are afraid that if we really knew who you were, there would be so much that we would find out....could make for some good reading...So I say mr/mrs anonymous. if you really think im that bad of a person, or I have conned you out of even $1.00... then please call me on my cell phone.. Oh I forgot you really dont know me so you dont know it... But here is my "public" email address that any of you frightened little people can reach me at. Dont worry I dont bite......hmmmm... no really i dont.. sorry for the smart assed comment. but damn.. what else can i say.

n1c02@yahoo.com <-----------my address.........


to this date not one person ahs emailed me there and bitched, whined, complained, or whatever.... maybe because i would have your name then.....and I also see by the time fram that this was posted that you either have no job and living off of someone. OR.. you work somewhere where you can sit on your butt all day and use a computer.. so the psycho comment might just strike a nerve....

Terry Brown

Anonymous said...

Ah, This is spot on! Clarifies
many contradictions I've heard