Thursday, March 22, 2007

There's radio in Samoa?

With all of the K and W silliness I've explained in the past, it comes as a surprise to many people that Most United States-affiliated broadcasting stations located in the Pacific have in fact been assigned K calls. Yes this makes no sense in the historical context. The point was originally to be able to discern ship from shore communiques on call alone...
As with all FCC rules, there are some notable exceptions. For example, all the stations in Guam, Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands should all have K calls, Right? But there have also been a few W assignments...

WVUV-AM in Leone America Samoa still has grandfathered calls. In addition to that, they dont observe the 10Mhz spacing there, so it's frequency is actually 648 AM. This gives WVUV the distinction of being the furthest west "W" call sign in the United States. Because of this and for no particularly good reason, The FCC allowed them to use a "conforming" call when they launched a Low Power TV outlet on Channel 30, WVUV-LP in 2005. Great Radio Heritage Story here. (love that site)

But allow me to note, that the FCC had a momentary lapse in 2002. they allowed anew station in Tafuna, also on Samoa to operate for a few months as WDJD-AM on 585. It was eventually required to switch to a K-prefix call. They became KJAL.