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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Missing our public radio repeater!

It's been about a month that WESA's Ligonier repeater -- 104.1 on the FM band -- has been off the air. WESA (formerly WDUQ when it was associated with Duquesne University) is the "Essential Public Radio" radio station serving the Pittsburgh area with national (NPR news) and local radio programming. WESA broadcasts at 90.5 FM in Pittsburgh, but has a weak signal in the Ligonier Valley. For that reason, they also have repeaters in Johnstown (100.5), Somerset (104.1) and New Baltimore (92.3).
I recently sent an e-mail to WESA to inquire about the problem with the Ligonier repeater, and got a nice reply from the station's general manager, DeAnne Hamilton, who explained that the transmitter here has been adversely affected by the lack of air conditioning at the tower site.
"We don't own the tower itself, so our chief engineer is working to determine the best plan to ensure transmission," she explained.
She added that WESA may need to seek a grant to purchase new equipment, and may need letters of support in that regard. So if you miss WESA's signal here in the Ligonier Valley, as I do, please be prepared to show your support if and when it's needed.
I know I cheered when the former WDUQ's repeater signal first hit the airwaves here, and I miss not being able to tune in my favorite programs on WESA at 104.1 -- especially on Saturday mornings (Allegheny Front, Car Talk, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, etc.). I'm also a big fan of Morning Edition, the BBC news broadcasts, Saturday night jazz, and All Things Considered.
Let's all hope we can keep this programming on the air here in Ligonier Valley!