Martz Communications has given up on the idea of using low-powered FM translators to make inroads in a tough Detroit radio market. Owner Tim Martz has pulled the plug on the local operations and put the translators up for sale.
Fans of modern rock '94.3 The Bone' in Metro Detroit had the station disappear off the airwaves this afternoon as it's FM translator on 94.3 (W232CA) suddenly went silent, along with it's HD counterpart on WGPR-FM HD3. A brief message on the station's Facebook page read, "All good things must come to an end. We're sorry to say that The Bone has ceased operations today. Thanks for your support Detroit. You're the best."
A similar message was found on the Facebook page of The Oasis - a station that had already lost its FM translator on 104.7 due to interference issues with Toledo's WIOT-FM on the 104.7 frequency.
As of 5 p.m. today. WGPR was no longer broadcasting in HD - meaning both subchannels were no longer available.
The idea of using single FM translators to cover a market the size of Detroit seemed to be dubious at best from the start. On the east side of Metro Detroit, 94.3 suffered from interference from CKSY-FM from Chatham, ON. The interference issues on 104.7 were well documented in the southern portion of the metro area. It appeared that Martz was planning to bring back The Oasis on FM 92.7- the station had repositioned itself using that frequency and the company had purchased a third translator that was going through the process with the FCC to move it into southern Macomb County.
Having subpar over-the-air frequencies in an already tough financial market for radio may have been too much to overcome in terms of trying to make money for Martz.
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