WFAD silent; search for parts continues

MIDDLEBURY —WFAD-1490 AM has been off the air for the past six weeks and will continue to feature static for approximately another month while owners of the Middlebury radio station try to find some replacement parts for its aging transmission equipment.
Ed Flanagan, vice president of Addison Broadcasting, confirmed the news last week. Addison Broadcasting is a subsidiary of the Champlain Radio Group, which owns eight radio stations in Addison and Chittenden counties, including WFAD and The Point 104.7 FM in Montpelier.
“We have some technical issues we are trying to sort out,” Flanagan said.
He noted WFAD’s transmission equipment is around 25 years old. The company’s engineering crew is trying to find some new parts in order to get WFAD back on the air. Completely replacing the equipment is not an option as it is “very expensive,” according to Flanagan.
WFAD was once an active, independently owned local radio station with home-spun programming, including talk shows and area high school and college sports events. Former Gov. Jim Douglas, a Middlebury College graduate, was once a radio personality on the station.
The past decade has seen the station phase out local programming and adopt a format that has ranged from country music, to all-sports syndicated shows through ESPN. Most recently, the station had adopted an all-comedy format with syndicated shows, including a lot of stand-up. Flanagan said WFAD will resume that comedy format once it gets back on the air.
Addison Broadcasting does not currently have WFAD listed for sale.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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