WAGE could return to N.Va. airwaves
WAGE (1200 AM) could return to the Northern Virginia airwaves by October, following county approval Wednesday of plans to build broadcasting towers.
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, in a 7 to 2 vote, approved a plan for three 195-foot-tall towers on land owned by the local water treatment authority near the Loudoun County and Russell Branch parkways.
The new radio towers would boost the station’s power level to 50,000 watts in the day, allowing the station’s signal to reach across county lines and deeper into other parts of the Washington region. Before the station signed off last year, its wattage was 5,000 during the day.
County planners had objected to the location of the site because it sits on a flood plain. Planners and other board members also raised concerns about potential damage the towers might have on nearby wildlife.
Station owner James Weitzman said the construction of the towers could be completed by Oct. 1 and the station could begin broadcasting its new signal immediately.
WAGE was a Loudoun County fixture for many years. For decades it maintained a commitment to local news, airing birth, wedding and death announcements, weather and traffic reports, local sports and information on community events.
In recent years, it had switched to a more syndication heavy format as losses from the recession piled up.
“If this goes away, we will not be able to get it back,” said Supervisor Lori Waters (R-Broad Run), who voted to support the tower construction plan. “For those reasons, [allowing construction] outweighs concerns over land use.”
-- Sholnn Freeman
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