This week's update completes our 2011 run of Orlando audio, including some extra HD2s and HD3s courtesy of traveling companion Garrett Wollman. (We've also added a few of his IDs to help complete our coverage of Daytona Beach and Melbourne.) As always, check out the accompanying photos over at Tower Site of the Week - and while you're at fybush.com, how about a free preview of NorthEast Radio Watch, too? Enjoy...
Yup...as constant as the snow showers outside our upstate new York window, it's another pile of Orlando IDs from the 2011 Big Trip. And once again, there's more Orlando over on Tower Site of the Week. One more week of Orlando to go to round things out, and then it's off to the west coast! (Of Florida, that is.)
Let's see: I've already mentioned Disney. I've riffed on the area code. I've dissected the market's unusual geography. What's left - Universal Studios? The Magic?
I could always go all roadgeek and write about the unusual colored US highway markers that once distinguished Florida's roads, including US 192, where at least one of the tower sites in this week's Site of the Week is located.
Or I could just dump another nice big pile of Orlando-market IDs on you, with the promise of still more next week, before our ongoing "Big Trip '11" moves on down I-4 to Tampa Bay...
Radio geeks tend to also be highway-numbering geeks and phone geeks, too, so it's only appropriate to observe that as recently as a quarter-century ago, Florida's population was still small enough that a single area code, 305, covered everything from the Keys all the way up to Orlando - and it took only two other codes, 813 on the west coast and 904 up north, to cover the rest of the Sunshine State. (Those two codes had themselves split off from 305 way back in Florida phone history, 813 in the early 1950s and 904 in 1965.)
Today, it takes 17 area codes to do the same job, and our focus in this week's update is on "407," the code that split off from 305 in 1988 to serve everything from Palm Beach up to greater Orlando. (Maybe you've heard of its most famous number, "407-W-DISNEY"?)
Like the other old-line Florida area codes, 407 has split multiple times since then: its southernmost reaches along the "Treasure Coast" and into Palm Beach County split again in 1996, with the coast getting 561 (and splitting again later on to create 772 in Vero Beach and Fort Pierce). The most recent split was a weird one: "321" was created in 1999 to serve the "Space Coast" in Brevard County, and it serves both as a split there (replacing all 407 numbers in that county) and as an overlay code in the rest of 407-land.
Today's update, however, focuses on the area that went to 407 in 1988 and stayed there - and you can not only hear those Orlando IDs here, you can see the relevant towers over at Tower Site of the Week.
And stay tuned...we're covering 407-land for two more installments before we move on to sample the glories of 863, 813, 727, 941 and 239 before turning north again into 352 territory!
We're midway through the massive "Scott's Big Trip 2011" collection of IDs here on Toppy, as we recap a two-week trip through the Sunshine State that took us to nearly all of Florida's big markets. The two huge exceptions we saved for future trips were the Panhandle, from Tallahassee west, and the conurbation that is "South Florida." Our trip down the east coast made it only as far south on I-95 as Melbourne, leaving everything from Vero Beach to Fort Pierce to West Palm to Boca to Miami to the Keys for another journey someday. But while we were recording a nice near-full set of IDs from the Melbourne market (which for our purposes encompasses all of Brevard County, including Cocoa and Titusville, and which is this week's Tower Site of the Week feature), we also picked up at least a few IDs from the Vero Beach-Fort Pierce market 30 miles to the south, too.
Next week, we turn inland and begin a deep dive into the Orlando market...stay tuned!
Daytona Beach isn't quite a new Toppy market - but it comes darned close. This week's update (paired, as always, with pictures over at Tower Site of the Week) fills in nearly the entire market from our 2011 visit, plus some bonus IDs from Flagler County just to the north.
And you know what? At 8 this morning, the temperature in Daytona Beach was almost exactly the same as in Rochester. Granted, it'll still be mostly sunny and 66 there this weekend while it's snowy and 25 here, but we'll take it while it lasts...
It's not only the largest city in America, by land area (thanks to annexations galore) - Jacksonville, Florida probably comes somewhere close to the crown for largest number of AM stations licensed right to the city itself, per capita. In this week's update, we hear most of them, and every station you hear today you can see in this week's Tower Site of the Week, save for the one you can see this month in the Tower Site Calendar. Check it out!
Like the Sunshine State? I sure hope so, because the next few weeks of my updates here and over on Tower Site of the Week are all about Florida from my 2011 "Big Trip." This week it's a big chunk of Jacksonville FM radio IDs here on Toppy, and you can see their towers (and some TVs, too) on Site of the Week!
We kick off 2013 here on Toppy with some IDs that I was hoping to refresh in the final days of 2012. Had the weather (and a huge breaking local news story, and spousal health) not intervened, Blaine and I would have been somewhere around Lafayette, Indiana in late December. But we weren't, and so instead this is a good excuse to bring you a bunch of IDs rather quickly recorded during an unexpected stop in Lafayette earlier in 2012.
But wait, there's more! We also bring you the very first new IDs of 2013 - the sounds of Boston's WTKK 96.9 with its first ID after the end of its long talk format, as it headed into what may or may not be a stunt with urban as "Power 96.9" earlier this morning. And up the dial, there are new calls at 101.7 - say goodbye to the short-lived WHBA and welcome WEDX, for "Evolution 101.7." (Hey Jeff - did you record any "Evolution" under the WHBA calls these last few weeks?)
Starting next week, it'll be all sunshine and palm trees here for a while, as I start to get serious about digging out "Scott's Big Trip '11," which was all Florida, all the time. Stay tuned!