Jim Dalke, CPBE, Editor – Six Seattle Class C FM stations were knocked off the air Thursday morning, November 8 when a Tiger Mountain master antenna suffered major fire damage. Damage appeared to be confined to the antenna array on the tower and the transmitter buildings below were undamaged.
The stations affected are iHeart stations KZOK 102.5 , KBKS 106.1, KJAQ 96.5; Hubbard stations KNUC 98.9 and KQMV 92.5; and Entercom’s KSWD 94.1. All of the stations except KBKS are broadcasting temporarily from their auxiliary facilities on Cougar Mountain. KBKS has an auxiliary transmitter at another nearby Tiger Mountain site. All of the stations were broadcasting HD from the Tiger antenna and do not have HD capabilities at the auxiliary sites, leaving a big gap in Seattle HD coverage.
The Tiger Mountain facility is located about 20 miles east of Seattle at an elevation of 2800 feet. The master antenna is a 32-bay array on a self-supporting 300-foot tower. The combined RF power from the six transmitters is about 150 kW. The tower structure and antenna array were built in 1999 by American Tower.
It is not known how long it will take to repair or replace the massive antenna array. Meanwhile, the stations will be broadcasting from their auxiliary sites.
The smoke at tree top level in the above WSDOT photo is from the burning debris that has fallen off the tower.
Below are some gallery photos with more coming.