WLVE was the Beautiful Music outlet for Madison, as well as for much of south central Wisconsin. Though licensed to Baraboo (near Wisconsin Dells), their large signal footprint blanketed Madison and beyond. With my receiver and antenna system, I had no problem hearing them on a regular basis from Apple Valley, MN.
The big coverage is somewhat unusual, since Baraboo falls within the “Class B” region. This means FM stations have a maximum output of 50,000 watts at 500 feet. By comparison, the rest of Wisconsin is a “Class C region”, with maximums of 100,000 watts at 2,000 feet. Chris Tarr (current engineer of 94.9, now WOLX), told me this is because WLVE was “grandfathered” into the new rules. This allows them a tower height of 1,299 feet vs the 500 foot limit that would otherwise apply. As everyone knows, height is king regarding distance coverage on FM!
This aircheck consists of two station breaks. The weather forecast is given, followed by either a PSA and station identifier (first break) or Legal ID (second break.) Very basic formatics. The long “pause” between elements was common among Beautiful Music stations of this time. I left the final pause intact so you could hear how “clean” the frequency was at my location. The Winegard 10 element FM yagi antenna I used was extremely directional. It had great rejection, especially off the sides of the beam. I could hear four stations on 94.9 and separate all of them by rotating the antenna; KQDS/Duluth, WLVE/Baraboo, KGGO/Des Moines, and KQAA/Aberdeen. All were received clearly and free of interference from each other. Of course, this was before the FCC began shoehorning in several new stations and allowing translators on every so-called “open” FM frequency. Reception of WLVE>WOLX would be impossible from this location today, due to co-channel KLCH in Lake City, MN.
In addition to the big Winegard beam, I used a Pioneer SX-3900 receiver, Alliance rotor, Belden RG59 ultra low loss coaxial cable, Technics stereo cassette deck, and Scotch Highlander 90 tape for this project.
PS: If you know who the announcer is in this clip, please let me know. Thanks!