Dear WAMC Family,
I can’t tell you how grateful we are to be able to ensure our future by buying the tower we have been on all these years. I’m talking about the broadcast tower on Mt. Greylock that allows us to send our signal throughout our seven-state listening area.
As of the time you are reading this, the money has come pouring in to support the effort. We are well on our way.
With the money, however, there are some questions people are asking. So, we thought we’d devote this space to answer them.
Q: Why is Channel 10 leaving/selling the tower?
A: For its own good reasons, WTEN is no longer broadcasting from the tower. We cannot move from this location, or even on the tower itself, as we would lose our extensive coverage. Additionally, we couldn’t move locations without FCC approval, and we’d need to find an available location. Generously, WTEN has offered us the opportunity and we must take it.
Q: Why has WAMC bought the tower, as opposed to continuing to rent it from a new owner?
A: WAMC can’t be certain that another owner would continue to rent space to WAMC, or that they’d satisfactorily continue to maintain the site. You can see that losing our space on the tower would be devastating to our station.
Q: Is the choice to purchase the tower fiscally responsible?
A: Thanks to WTEN, we have been able to arrive at a very fair deal. WAMC exists because of the support of our members. Without the broadcast signal from the tower on Mt. Greylock, we would lose all of those listeners and their support. WAMC would not survive.
Q: Are there other expenses that WAMC will incur?
A: Yes. As the owner of the tower, WAMC pays rent to the landowner, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Also, there are some improvements needed at the site, as well as ongoing maintenance. We will do whatever it takes to stay alive.
Q: With the purchase of the tower, does WAMC have the opportunity to rent space to other entities and earn revenue?
A: Yes. WAMC will honor current lease agreements with those occupying space on the tower now. And as space permits, we will remain open to additional tenants. A portion of this rental revenue is owed to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as part of the agreement to lease the land on which the tower stands.
Q: How would a profit-making endeavor like renting space on the tower affect your non-profit status?
A: Renting out space on the tower and receiving income does not affect our non-profit status. We file appropriate tax return forms to account for this revenue.
Q: Is WAMC investing in old technology when its audience might be increasingly streaming on their smartphones or perhaps using apps that are independent of any tower?
A: More than half a million cumulative listeners get our signal from the tower on Mt. Greylock or its various translators each month. Although many people tune in to our app or stream live, the mainstay of our station is this tower, and its listening members that support us.