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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I listen to KTBB or TheTeamFM on Alexa or my mobile device?

Please go to the “Get the Apps!” page to install the free streaming apps for both iPhone and Android.
You can also stream the stations directly from your PC from our “Listen Live” page.
Listening on Alexa is easy as well – just go to our “KTBB/TheTeamFM on Alexa” page to find out how.




Why is the KTBB 97.5 FM signal interrupted by static and other stations?

The problem has nothing to do with KTBB’s signal strength. Our signal strength, like all licensed radio stations, is a function of fixed values that are set forth in the operating parameters section of our license, which is issued by the Federal Communications Commission. No station has the capacity or the authority to unilaterally alter its operating parameters.

Nominally, the FCC sets those parameters so as to provide interference-free service over a station’s city of license. Under normal conditions, KTBB 97.5 FM puts a “city grade” signal over Tyler and Longview and the surrounding communities.

The problem stems from an atmospheric phenomenon called “tropospheric propagation,” — commonly just called “ducting.” Here’s a Wikipedia article on it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropospheric_propagation

The phenomenon tends to be particularly acute in this part of the world during the summer.

What follows is a greatly simplified explanation.

Tropospheric propagation, or ducting, most commonly occurs when air aloft is warmer than air on the surface – what the weathermen call a “temperature inversion.” Normally, air gets cooler as you gain altitude away from the heat reflected by the Earth’s surface. But when you have a large high pressure dome overhead, (which typically accounts for our miserably hot temperatures in the summer), it is common for air temperatures to warm as you gain altitude. Eventually, as you climb, the air temperatures will start to cool. But in the summer, when winds are light and high pressure systems tend to stall over a particular area and stay in one place, there is frequently a layer of air – a few thousand feet thick — that is warmer than the air on the Earth’s surface – particularly in the morning (more on that in a moment).

This area of warm air aloft creates what amounts to a boundary for VHF radio signals. FM radio broadcasting occurs in the VHF portion of the radio spectrum. Rather than leave the transmitting antenna and radiate straight out across the horizon and into space, radio frequency energy comes into contact with this warm air boundary and is refracted or bent, just as a lens bends light — causing the signal to follow the curvature of the Earth. What is created is effectively a “duct” through which a VHF signal can travel a great distance.

The result is that a radio station from far away will interfere with a station close to home. The interference you typically hear in this area is either from KFNC, the all-sports station at 97.5 FM near Houston, or KLAK, an adult contemporary station at 97.5 FM in Grayson County, near Sherman, Texas. While those stations are interfering with us, our signal is most likely interfering with them. It is a two-way street. The effect on your individual listening depends almost entirely on where you happen to be at any particular moment. When the phenomenon is occurring, it affects nearly every FM station at one place or another within its coverage area.

The phenomenon typically decreases as it gets later in the day and the Earth’s surface warms. When surface temperatures rise, the differential between surface air and air aloft disappears and thus the warm air boundary disappears. When that boundary is gone, the “duct” no longer exists and the radio frequency energy resumes radiating straight out across the horizon and into space.

Ducting is extremely annoying and, unfortunately, there isn’t anything we can do about it other than — in the particular case of KTBB — jump over to the AM band and listen at 600 AM.

Thank you for listening.




Why is Mark Levin not on at 5pm anymore?

Why is Mark Levin not on at 5pm anymore?

We made the decision to program a local news hour at 5:00 p.m. based on the very latest audience ratings. Our least listened-to daypart is late afternoon. By being live and local for an hour on the way home, we hope to replicate the success that we have long enjoyed with the KTBB Morning News.

We know that we are largely a “car radio” radio station. That, coupled with the fact that we are the only local news radio, led us to develop the “Drive at Five” to capitalize on the need that working people have for a news update as they drive home.

Another consideration is the nature of the Mark Levin Show. Across the country, Mark Levin enjoys his strongest ratings on the east coast where his program begins at 6:00 p.m. This strongly suggests that the tone and tenor of the show is better suited to early evening than late afternoon. Accordingly, we have pushed the start of The Mark Levin Show to 6:00 p.m. local time.




What’s going on with the KTBB 97.5 FM Signal?? It’s terrible in the mornings!

What you are experiencing is an atmospheric phenomenon called “tropospheric propagation.” It happens when warm air aloft overruns cooler air on the surface. The result will be to set up conditions wherein VHF radio signals, such as those in the FM radio band, are able to travel well beyond their normal coverage limits. The phenomenon is referred to colloquially as “ducting,” because what in effect happens is that an atmospheric “duct” opens which then carries a VHF signal past the horizon and allows it to follow the curve of the Earth.

What you are hearing is not a weak signal from us. What you are hearing is a strong interfering signal from a distant FM station. Where you are, you are likely hearing KLAK 97.5 FM from Sherman, Texas. Move around the area and depending on where you are, just about any FM station on the dial could be receiving interference. It’s positively maddening and it is, at this time, about the worst I’ve ever seen it and I’ve been around a long time.

The bad news is that it’s really bad right now. The good news is that it’s temporary. Generally, the effect lessens as the day goes on.

It will abate when the enormous high pressure ridge that Dr. Bob Peters keeps telling us about either dissipates or moves off.

Until then, we regret the inconvenience.

Thank you for listening.
Paul Gleiser




How do I contact KTBB?

You may send mail to: KTBB Radio 1001 E.S.E. Loop 323 Ste 455 Tyler, Texas 75701. Or phone numbers are: Main Office: (903)-593-2519, Fax: (903)-597-8378 and the KTBB Studio Line is (903)-593-5822.




How can I correct a news story?

Please either call our offices (903)-593-2519 and ask for the news dept, use the Contact Us Page or you can send an e-mail directly to news@ktbb.com. We will take your information, investigate and make corrections if needed.




Will you be streaming Texas Rangers games online?

Unfortunately no, we will not. Major League Baseball retains Internet streaming rights. Individual teams are not allowed to offer streaming in their agreements with their radio network affiliates.
We would certainly like to but our hands are tied.




Do you have any plans to boost your AM station’s signal strength?

Yours is a question we get nearly every fall. If it were up to us, we’d be on the air at 100 kilowatts. The equipment to broadcast at a higher power output is relatively cheap and, despite the high energy costs that so dominate the headlines as I write this, so is the electricity. If we could, we’d go buy a gangbusters transmitter and crank it all the way up. And so would every other broadcaster. Therein lies the problem.

If every broadcaster simply put as much signal in the air as he or she had the checkbook to buy, the spectrum would be a chaotic jumble of useless noise.

Which is what was rapidly becoming the case in the late 1920s and early 1930s as the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) was formed and that agency began allocating frequencies, power and directionality.

When the sun sets, KTBB, like most AM radio stations, changes its power and the directions in which it most strongly radiates its signal.

Radio Frequency energy (RF) in what is commonly called the AM band (535 kHz to 1700 kHz) has a characteristic called the skywave. During the day, ionization of the atmosphere by the sun suppresses the skywave and your receiver detects only the groundwave. But at night, when solar energy is gone, the skywave is “free” to travel great distances. As a result, the skywave of a station in Tyler, Texas can cause severe interference for a station in a state as far away as either coast. The skywave effect diminishes with an increase in frequency (dial position). Therefore, a station that is low on the dial like KTBB at 600 kHz will have a very significant skywave component.

To deal with this physical property of AM radio, the FCC allocated radio stations in the U.S. in such a way that some stations are fully powered both day and night, a great many stations are only on the air in the daytime and the rest operate at a higher power by day and a lower power by night.

KTBB is in the last group of stations. Our daytime power is 5,000 watts. Our nighttime power is 2,500 watts. We change power at local sunrise and local sunset. As you know, that time changes with the changing of the seasons. As I write this, our power-up time on KTBB is 7:30 a.m. CDT and our power-down time is 6:45 p.m. CDT As I mentioned, those times change as the seasons change.

As if that weren’t enough, KTBB, like most AM stations, uses a directional antenna system. Simply put, we radiate our signal more strongly in some directions than in others. This, too, is to provide protection from interference to stations in other communities that also operate on our frequency (600 kHz) as well as to stations in other communities that operate on frequencies adjacent to ours (580 kHz, 590 kHz, 610 kHz, and 620 kHz). Our directional pattern changes for daytime and nighttime operation at the same times that our power changes. Our pattern is such that we do not radiate as strongly to the east toward Longview at night as we do in the daytime. Also, we protect KLBJ(AM) in Austin. They are at 590 on the dial, the first adjacent channel to us at 600 kHz. Thus, we “pull in our horns” to the south as the sun sets.

The question that always follows is, “Well, can’t you do something to raise your power.” And the answer that must follow is, “No, we can’t.” The AM Table of Allotments for the United States is a giant jigsaw puzzle. What we do will affect our neighboring AM stations, which will affect their neighbors and so on. So what we have is for all intents and purposes fixed. I hope this answers your question.

You can view a table listing of the AVERAGE HOURS OF SUNRISE AND SUNSET by clicking on this link: Sun Hours

Many of our listeners that are affected by our power and pattern changes are making use of our web streaming service. If you live in the Tyler-Longview metropolitan survey area as defined by ARBITRON, the radio ratings company, you can subscribe to our streaming service for only $0.99 and you can listen on any computer you own.

The eligible counties of residence are Smith, Gregg & Cherokee.

Click here: Stream Terms for complete information.

I appreciate your interest and I hope I have answered your question.
Paul L. Gleiser
President




I missed one of your shows, is it possible to obtain a copy of that show?

Yes, if the show in question is part of our MP3/Podcasting program. The following shows are available, for 1 week, for download and podcasting – More information and a list of available podcasts




Why can’t I get your station 600 am before 7:30 in the morning?

Yours is a question we get frequently at this time of year as the sun begins rising later and setting earlier. You didn’t specify where you live in the area so my answer will be general in nature. But put simply, as the sun rises and sets, KTBB, like most AM radio stations, changes its power and the direction in which it more strongly radiates its signal.

A little technical information. Radio Frequency energy (RF) in what is commonly called the AM band (535 kHz to 1700 kHz) has a characteristic called the skywave. During the day, ionization of the atmosphere by the sun suppresses the skywave and your receiver detects only the groundwave. But at night, when solar energy is gone, the skywave is “free” to travel great distances. As a result, the skywave of a station in Tyler, Texas can cause severe interference for a station in a state as far away as either coast. The skywave effect diminishes with an increase in frequency (dial position). Therefore, a station that is low on the dial like KTBB at 600 kHz will have a very significant skywave component.

To deal with this physical property of AM radio, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allocated radio stations in the U.S. in such a way that some stations are fully powered both day and night, a great many stations are only on the air in the daytime and the rest operate at a higher power by day and a lower power by night.

KTBB is in the last group of stations. Our daytime power is 5,000 watts. Our nighttime power is 2,500 watts. We change power at local sunrise and local sunset. As you know, that time changes with the changing of the seasons. As I write this, our power-up time on KTBB is 7:30 a.m. and our power-down time is 7:45 p.m. As I mentioned, those times change as the seasons change.

As if that weren’t enough, KTBB, like most AM stations, uses a directional antenna system. Simply put, we radiate our signal more strongly in some directions than in others. This, too, is to provide protection from interference to stations in other communities that also operate on our frequency (600 kHz) as well as to stations in other communities that operate on frequencies adjacent to ours (580 kHz, 590 kHz, 610 kHz, and 620 kHz). Our directional pattern changes for daytime and nighttime operation at the same times that our power changes. Our pattern is such that we do not radiate as strongly to the east toward Longview at night as we do in the daytime.

The question that always follows is, “Well, can’t you do something to raise your power.” And the answer that must follow is, “No, we can’t.” The AM Table of Allotments for the United States is a giant jigsaw puzzle. What we do will affect our neighboring AM stations, which will affect their neighbors and so on. So what we have is for all intents and purposes fixed. I hope this answers your question.

You can view a table listing of the AVERAGE HOURS OF SUNRISE AND SUNSET by clicking on the link below:
http://www.ktbb.com/sunhours.php

I appreciate your interest.

Paul L. Gleiser
President






 
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