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1/27/04 - Mt. Pleasant

Strong Winds Take Down Radio Tower

  The cold weather we experienced Tuesday blew in Monday afternoon, and blew out most of an East Texas town's radio stations.

  Now thousands of listeners want to know why their favorite stations are suddenly silent.

  It broadcasts to Mt. Pleasant, Mt. Vernon, Sulphur Springs and Pittsburg. But Tuesday there's nothing to hear.

  "We lost four of our radio stations on air," says president, Bud Kitchens.

  It happened Monday when wind sent the station's tower crashing down.

  "Terrible crash sound, it shook the floor and the building and the windows actually shook. At first I thought a vehicle crashed into the building from the parking lot. I ran out back and immediately noticed that there was not a 250 foot tower standing in the air anymore," says traffic director Justice Thornburg.

  "My operations director gave me a call and said I have bad news. I said, 'what would that be?' He said the tower has fallen behind the building. At first I thought he was kidding but he wasn't,' recalls Kitchens.

  While the radio waves are silent the phone lines certainly aren't. Disappointed listeners wanting to know where they're at. "Yes we are experiencing some technical difficulty. Our tower has fallen," says Thornburg to one caller.

  Luckily the wind blew the tower down away from the transmitter and the station itself. But they're working on getting it all fixed as soon as possible. "We are hoping that if everything goes as planned we will have KSCN 96.9 and KALK 97.7 on the air late Wednesday afternoon or early evening," says Kitchens.

  Until then, there's no need for radio personalties, there's only silence.

  One of the stations, has switched to broadcasting in Sulphur Springs for now. They are actually up and running right now. The remaining two FM and one AM stations should all be operating again no later than next week.

Amy Tatum reporting.

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