First, they took the original Vulcan at 105.5 away from us. Now, Clear Channel has brought it back, but only in a scaled-down, inexpensive-to-operate version. Please join if you want CC to bring back the Vulcan programming as it used to be.
These are what the Vulcan listeners have been complaining of and would like Clear Channel to change:
*Poor Signal coverage.
The “new” Vulcan signal at 103.1 barely covers Jefferson County. The station operates at 250 watts on a translator, or low power FM, which is primarily used to rebroadcast AM stations. Unfortunately, the new Vulcan signal cannot reach the adjoining counties of Walker, Blount, St. Clair, and Tuscaloosa with a city-grade signal. In comparison, the original Vulcan at 105.5 operated with 29,500 watts, and other Birmingham FM stations operate with 100,000 watts… a vast difference in the Vulcan’s current 250 watts. This is the maximum power allowed for these types of translators, and even this power is only granted for a six-month extension. The Vulcan is actually only licensed for 130 watts. Once the waiver expires, Clear Channel would either have to reapply with the FCC for the 250 watts they are currently using, or be permanently approved for the increase. If not, the signal would revert back to the 130 watts for which they are actually licensed. Regardless of which power the Vulcan will ultimately use (130 or 250 watts), the station’s signal will still be subpar with other Birmingham FM’s, putting it at a disadvantage in competing with other radio stations in the market. The Vulcan cannot increase the power for the station as it is now, as there are already other stations in both Columbus, MS and Moulton, AL on the 103.1 frequency, as well as radio stations on either side of the Vulcan’s channel, including WNPT in Tuscaloosa and WMXS in Montgomery. The Vulcan listeners deserve a better signal and we ask that Clear Channel put the station on a comparable FM outlet in order to compete effectively with the other Birmingham radio stations.
Clear Channel is currently using one of their format labs for the Vulcan programming. Format labs are Clear Channel’s attempt to homogenize radio programming, so they can feed all of their stations across the country with programming for each respective format; these formats are NOT done “in house”. Vulcan listeners, therefore, do not have a station which gives them a local connection. Furthermore, any input from listeners as to what types of music should be offered on the station, listener requests is completely useless, as the entire programming comes from out of state and cannot be altered, as in doing so, changes the programming for the entire format lab for all stations across the country. Many of the Vulcan listeners are complaining that the music is becoming too repetitive, sometimes hearing the same songs an hour or so apart, or around the same time each day. Others ask that newer material be offered and less classic rock material. We ask that Clear Channel do an “in-house” format as they used with the original “Vulcan” at 105.5, so as to allow listener input and broaden the music playlist.