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4. Stolen Alabama AM tower sparks a broader conversation about the station's 'bizarre' operational history
Wed Feb 21, 2024, 03:25 PM
Feb 21
Stolen Alabama AM tower sparks a broader conversation about the station’s ‘bizarre’ operational history, and video debunked claims

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator / February 15, 2024

PLEADING TO POLICE – WJLX General Manager Brett Elmore is requesting the Jasper, Alabama Police Department, which has now been put under a national spotlight, to capture the thieves who stole his AM radio station’s 200-foot guyed tower and its transmitter. Some critics of the incident believe the theft was a coverup so that the FCC would not find out that the station had not been broadcasting for quite some time, and media outlets were duped into accepting Elmore’s claims. A video also contradicts Elmore’s assertions.

Other than local, state, and industry media covering a communications tower collapse, unless it involves a fatality, failure incidents seldom get national legs. However, when an AM station general manager in Jasper, Alabama, reported earlier this month that vandals in the night had walked off with his 200-foot tower, forcing him off the air, it had all the right visuals, novelty, emotion, and angst for additional coverage.

So much so that AP, the Washington Post, CNN, Fox, New York Post, the Today Show, hundreds of newspapers, blogs, and other U.S. and foreign outlets couldn’t ignore writing about it.

WJLX General Manager Brett Elmore informed Wireless Estimator that blogger Ron Johnson, who refutes the theft allegations, “has more skeletons in his closet than my local cemetery,” and his website can only be compared to the Onion, but less relevant.

Partly because WJLX 1240 AM station manager Brett Elmore has played the media like a fine fiddle, championing the need for a thorough investigation and marketing why America should contribute to his GoFundMe page that has already raised over $10,000 towards his goal of rebuilding the station’s uninsured stolen tower and transmitter that will cost at least $60,000. Elmore now states that the cost could be anywhere from $100,000 to $150,000.

“Now we’re silent, but we won’t be silent for long. I’m gonna work tirelessly to get this thing back up and running, one way or the other,” Elmore said in an interview with The Guardian. ... “The sad part is that Jasper has always been a radio town. They have always supported their local radio station,” he said.

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