Cross Border Blasters

Mister B

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Jun 3, 2008
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El Paso County Texas
This week one of the few radio stations that I still enjoy, XHIM (105.1 FM) switched from hits of the 70's, 80's and 90's back to traditional Spanish music. This got me to thinking about the history of American companies leasing transmitters across the river in Mexico. The most famous of all was XEROK (800 AM) which was the #1 rated top 40 station in the US in the mid-seventies. They had 500,000 watts and could be received in Albuquerque during the day and there were rumors of night-time reception in Alaska. There is still a Spanish station there and they claim the same wattage, but I find it fades out north of Las Cruces, NM.
I see that several active members in this section live in the upper midwest. Is there a history of US stations broadcasting from across in Canada? I know there is an extrmeely tall broadcasting tower in Toronto. I have never heard a Canadian radio station, I should put that on my bucket list.
 

ejb1980

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Oct 26, 2010
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There are requirements for Canadian stations to play a certain quantity of Canadian content. Also, the CRTC doesn't allow that. But many American cities do receive Canadian stations... Detroit probably being the most. But anywhere along the border will get them.

The tower in Toronto gives some good range, but the FCC seems to be allowing more stations to be co channels with Canadian stations. I receive just as many Canadian stations than American stations where I live in VT. Montréal is only around 70 miles away. There is a strong 100.7 from Montréal, CBFX 100,000 watts. They stuck WPLB in Plattsburgh, NY on 100.7. Needless to say, neither is listenable in the car.

I am talking about FM. I receive TSN radio 690 AM and CJAD 800. I don't know what else... I can't listen to AM long because the noises and audio quality are just awful.
 
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ejb1980

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Oct 26, 2010
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As for the other way, there are definitely stations in northern NY that are basically Montréal stations, with listeners, promotions, and ads. WYUL and WVNV are the two I am referring to. Locally, a couple of the Burlington/Plattsburgh locals reach Montréal, too, and occasionally even mention them.

There definitely isn't sharing like Mexico. I didn't know that Mexico did that until I got Directv and saw their OTA database has info for some Mexican stations, but not USA stations.
 

Iceberg

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Here in suburban Minneapolis when the "local" AM station signs off (WDGY 740AM) as soon as they shut off the power (daytimer only) I pick up 740 out of Toronto
But Canada doesnt have alot of what would be a "border blaster".....and with most of them going to FM (off AM) they are dropping one by one
 

Mister B

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As for the other way, there are definitely stations in northern NY that are basically Montréal stations, with listeners, promotions, and ads. WYUL and WVNV are the two I am referring to. Locally, a couple of the Burlington/Plattsburgh locals reach Montréal, too, and occasionally even mention them
Of course it works both ways here also. In fact at least half of the radio stations in El Paso are Spanish stations. Until the mid 70's Spanish stations were in Mexico and English language stations were in Texas but then they began to mix up. Of course the demographics of El Paso has changed dramatically during that time.
There is one TV station in Juarez (XHJUB) whose programming consists almost entirely of reruns of US shows and movies dubbed to Spanish but can be heard in English on the secondary audio channel. It can only be received with an antenna. Although I have seen their schedule on-line, the names of all the shows have been translated to Spanish and my 4 semesters of Spanish from 40 years ago is rather rusty.
 

Art7220

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Sep 20, 2004
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I remember listening to Xrok 80 in Central Cali back from 1976-80. Came in only at night of course. They used to play the songs a little fast. No other station ever did that, I think. There was CKLW 800 am from Windsor/Detroit. It was "Boss Radio" around 1967. Since it was on the same freq. as the Mexican 800, you could only pick up the Canadian 800 east of KC. More info on www.wikipedia.com/wiki/CKLW
 
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Mister B

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That is a very interesting article about CKLW. As I stated above, I do not believe the old XEROK still has the power they once did. It could also be they have not properly maintained the equipment, so possibly the Canadian station reaches further south. It is really not anything interesting, playing very traditional Spanish music just like a couple dozen others in the area.
 

Blindowl1234

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Dec 16, 2008
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With a decent car radio you can get CKLW in the Cincinnati area in the daytime. It's not a strong signal but its there. We used to get the 740 AM signal from Toronto at night. I think we've a low wattage station here that kills the Canadian signal. In the 70's when we would DX a Spanish station we figured it was from Florida or Cuba....Now who knows it's probably a local station.
 

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