Letters: Remembering Richard Mertz
It was with great
sadness that the WUKY(FM) family learned of the death of Richard
Mertz (Nov. 20 issue). His advice and counsel over the years have
been invaluable to us, and he will be sorely missed.
Several years ago,
Richard helped us design and build our new transmitter plant,
including our first-ever HD Radio transmission system.
I’ll never forget one
blustery winter day when Richard was at the transmitter site doing
final proofs on the system with our chief engineer, Gordon
Brandenburg. Suddenly, Gordon’s cell phone rang. It was the tower
owner, calling to relay a complaint from the crotchety engineer at
another station whose antenna was right below ours on the tower. The
engineer claimed our new transmission line had come loose and was
flapping around and damaging his antenna.
Richard grabbed his
trusty digital camera with a telephoto lens, flung open the door of
the transmitter shack and snapped a series of photos of our firmly
secured transmission line. The photos were immediately emailed to the
tower owner, and we never heard another word from that engineer —
not on that subject at least!
That’s the kind of
man Richard was: Always prepared to help and to resolve problems,
even imaginary ones, quickly and definitively.
Only So Many Options
Regarding “AM Efforts
Should Include Tech Solutions” by Paul Thurst (Nov. 6), I believe
C.E. Thurst has competently zeroed in on the subject of AM broadcast
future: There are limited solutions to “saving” the AM spectrum
and modulation methods.
Let’s be perfectly
candid: Maintaining an AM station is expensive due to aging towers,
feed lines, transmitters and pattern proofing. The FCC NPRM offers no
who are experienced in AM station maintenance are in very short
supply. Next, listeners are, in my opinion, migrating away from AM to
other modes of program content delivery.
The AM spectrum is
being hammered with manmade noise, and there appears to be no
technical/engineering solution. Again, in my opinion, AM IBOC,
which is proprietary, is not going to save the AM band. DRM can be
tested, but America has a reluctance to adopt European formats.
are not going to switch to adding a new format to in-dash electronics
after the big push to IBOC (no big success in my opinion).
The front-page story in
the Nov. 6 Radio World, “Brazil Broadcasters Push AM Migration,”
says it all.
Lastly, slim profit
margins for AM stations do not encourage station owners and managers
to support a fading and expensive radio modulation-dependent carrier
Ross F. du Clair
(K-LOVE & AIR1)