Quincy, IL (January 4, 2005)–Nashville’s WQZQ(FM), The Party, is on the air with a low-powered HD Radio transmitter by Broadcast Electronics, making it the first FM in the country music capital to convert to HD Radio.
“We talked about HD Radio for two years, and decided its time had come when the FCC permitted separate antennas (for the HD Radio signal),” said Bud Walters, the president of Cromwell Group, which owns 21 stations in addition to WQZQ(FM).
Separate antennas spared WQZQ(FM), a 100kW station, the cost of replacing its main high-powered transmitter and enabled it to install BE’s affordable low-powered FMi 73 transmitter specifically for HD Radio. WQZQ(FM) installed the 280W low-powered transmitter into an existing backup antenna in November for separate broadcast of the HD Radio signal. The transmitter came standard with BE’s FXi 60 digital FM exciter and FSi 10 HD Radio signal generator.
Cromwell Group plans to convert 12 stations to HD Radio over the next two years, all using low-powered transmitters to make the conversion. In addition to WQZQ(FM), Cromwell owns 100kW The Buzz WBUZ(FM) and another station in Nashville, as well as seven stations in Kentucky and Indiana and 12 in central Illinois.