Raising The Rhythm
Digital Studio|November 2018

Indian-American Rahul Walia shares excerpts from his experience of being the first FM broadcaster to debut atop World Trade Center

Anisha Gakhar
The avail of FM translators has enabled many stations limited to kHz-based broadcasts, to conceive improvised ways of obtaining an accessible on-air home for a HD multicast channel, given the difficulty faced by the radio broadcasting industry to bring HD Radio to consumers.

In the country’s top radio market with arguably the most crowded spectrum, one translator owner has been able to carve out a substantial signal for his FM translator W284BW, a 99-watt facility at 104.7 Mhz. Indian-American Rahul Walia, who owns two other radio frequencies in New Jersey, has become the first FM broadcaster to transmit programming from atop the new World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, New York City.

Geo Broadcast Solutions is finding new ways to help broadcasters launch FM radio services in populated areas with a crowded spectrum. This is the case with 104.7 FM in New York City, which has become the first FM radio broadcaster to transmit programming from One World Trade Center.

The translator is enables a two hour long loop of New York City themed songs being fed from Spanish Broadcasting Systems’ 93.1 WPAT-HD2 Paterson NJ. While many television stations have made the move to the new World Trade Center antenna, the translator is the first licensed FM there.

Several New York City television broadcasters returned to One World Trade Center earlier this year, thanks to a joint effort between The Durst Organisation and the Port Authority. “We are pleased to welcome Touchdown Venture’s W284BW to the World Trade Center broadcasting facility, the pre-eminent broadcasting facility in New York City, broadcasting from the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere,” said John Lyons, AVP and director, Broadcast Communications, The Durst Organisation.

EARLY LIFE

Just as every music aficionado swears by the radio in his childhood and teenage years, Rahul Walia also developed a liking for the radio. “Since my college days, I had always been fascinated by radio and wanted to venture into the same. I started my career in the USA by launching the first 24/7 Indian format station. Because that was on a NCE-FM station, it cleared out the way for the fact that translators could be the solution,” he commented.

Apart from 104.7 FM, Walia owns 92.7 FM and 100.7 FM translators that broadcast the Indian format in New Jersey; both broadcast as ‘Radio Asia.’. He also runs a multicultural advertising and PR firm that specialises in delivering to the Asian and Indian demographics.

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