||This article possibly contains original research. (January 2011)|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2009)|
|Type||Audio broadcast television network (2008–09)
Internet radio station (2010–present)
Over the air broadcasts (2014-present)
|Owner||Mega Media (2008–09)
Joel Salkowitz (2010–present)
|Dissolved||October 30, 2009 (Television only)|
Pulse 87 is an American television franchise that operated as a radio branding. The brand was formerly owned and operated by Mega Media. As of February 2010, the format was resurrected as an online internet station under new management following the bankruptcy and liquidation of its former owner. The brand returned to radio as the new branding for Dance outlet KYLI/Las Vegas, Nevada on June 24, 2014, and later expanded to Washington, D.C. with FM translator W249BE adopting the format in October 2014.
Background and format
The network consisted entirely of low-power television stations that operated on the former analog channel 6. The audio portion of that TV channel operates at 87.75 MHz, at the very low end of the FM radio spectrum in the United States, and can be picked up on FM radios provided the station broadcasts in analog television. Pulse 87 stations operated a dance radio format.
Mega Media did not own any stations, instead opting to lease time from the stations.
There are currently no "Pulse 87" affiliates. The network only ever succeeded in getting its programming on one station, WNYZ-LP in New York City, which ran the format from February 2008 through October 2009. Mega Media had announced plans to bring the "Pulse 87" brand to three other low-power stations, KSFV-CA in the San Fernando Valley (serving Los Angeles, California), WDCN-LP in Washington, D.C. and WLFM-LP in Chicago, Illinois, all of which would have started carrying Pulse 87 programming on June 1, but those plans were scrubbed after leasing deals with the owners of those stations fell through.
Since low-power television is unaffected by the digital television transition, the stations would have been able to continue to broadcast beyond the full-power analog shutoff date of June 12, 2009. If and when low-power stations are also forced to switch to digital (currently slated for 2015), this will effectively bring an end to this usage of television as a radio, unless the Federal Communications Commission frees up the Channel 6 frequency for radio broadcasting (digital television on the VHF low band, where channel 6 resides, has been very problematic and subject to interference). A proposal by WRGB in Albany, New York to broadcast FM audio using a vertically-polarized 87.75 MHz carrier on an experimental basis had failed (causing co-channel interference between the digital signal on channel 6 and the analog FM signal at 87.75 FM), with technical constraints effectively precluding the co-existence of analog audio with a digital TV channel 6.
Financial problems and closure
Plans to expand Pulse 87 to other markets were canceled due to financial difficulties, most of which were unrelated to the creation of the Pulse 87 format and predated it significantly. On August 12, 2009, Mega Media filed for bankruptcy, reporting $3.5 million in liabilities against assets of just $180,000. Mega said it was hoping to continue operating Pulse while it restructures under Chapter 11.. By September 2009 the station was still on the air. According to the Stipulation and Order Regarding the Time Brokerage Agreement agreed to by Mega Media and Island Broadcasting and approved by the bankruptcy judge, Mega Media was required to pay $500,000 by 5:00 pm on October 30 to Island Broadcasting. If that payment was not made in time, Island Broadcasting had the right to terminate the contract, and therefore Pulse 87 would have been off the air.
On October 15, 2009, the buyout deal was still not confirmed, and there were no signs that it will take place in the near future. Mega Media needed to receive a last-ditch infusion of capital by the following week in order for Pulse 87 to have a hope of staying on the air.
On October 25, 2009 at 8:30 pm, WNYZ-LP suffered a studio-transmitter link outage caused by a Verizon fiber cut. The station was broadcasting silence, or "dead air", until 12:30 pm on October 27. Three days later on October 30, 2009, the lease between the Mega Media Group and Island Broadcasting ended after Island Broadcasting failed to receive the $500,000 it was owed under the terms of the contract. Island Broadcasting was under no obligation to continue letting Pulse 87 use their signal without paying for the lease.
On October 30, 2009, Pulse 87's New York station signed off at 5:00 pm. At this point the website continued to carry Pulse 87 online but WNYZ was at this point simulcasting WPTY, a semi-rival station on Long Island. By the end of the day, Pulse 87's web site streaming had also ceased, although the stream for their iPhone app was still active, with no other indication of any change or even a goodbye message, as if the station were still operating. On November 3, 2009 the Pulse 87 web page, stream and iPhone app were all pulled permanently offline. Mega Media has converted their bankruptcy to a Chapter 7 case, which means that all of their assets will be liquidated and all employees have been laid off. Most of its creditors will not receive anything and the corporation will no longer exist. The stock price is less than a twentieth of a cent per share.
On January 1, 2010 the Pulse 87 web page was reregistered by an entity claiming to be Mega Media Group, redirecting to an iTunes referral service known as "itune.biz." (Since the original Mega Media was liquidated, there is no way that it could be the original Mega Media.)
WNYZ, the lone affiliate for the format, switched to a simulcast of similarly-formatted WPTY-FM 105 on Long Island in November 2009, but WPTY dropped the deal in January 2010, ending dance music on the 87.7 frequency. The FCC eventually revoked WNYZ's license in June 2011.
Re-emergence through internet radio
On February 15, 2010 www.pulse87ny.com launched as a commercial-free internet stream using the lead-ins from the former Pulse 87. The website's re-launch branding is "NY's Real Dance Music Leader." The new site is operated by Joel Salkowitz, the former program director of the Pulse 87 format, who purchased the Pulse 87 automation equipment and rights to the Pulse 87 bumpers in the Mega Media bankruptcy auction.
The new website logged 20,000 views within its first 48 hours. In addition, Salkowitz has announced plans to bring back many of the former on-air staff. Most will return as volunteers as the new internet station gets its footing and works towards securing advertisers.
Return to terrestrial radio
On June 24, 2014, LKCM Broadcasting, the owners of KYLI/Las Vegas, adopted the "Pulse 87" brand, replacing the interactive Jelli format it has used since 2011. This brought the Pulse brand back to radio for the first time since its 2009 demise. The Pulse 87 brand will continue online.
On October 24, 2014, Metro Radio announced that its FM translator, W249BE/Arlington, Virginia, would become the second station to adopt the Pulse 87 brand. The station, which simulcasts Spanish AC WTNT, covers the Washington, D.C metropolitan area. The move marks the first time since 2009, when it attempted to bring the format to the market as the proposed format for WDCN until it was cancelled at the last minute by the station's owners.
- Current on-air staff:
- DJ Bomb Shel
- Abel Sanchez
- Mike Hush
- Charlie Cavallo
- Enda Caldwell
- Jesse F Daniels
- Mixshow DJs:
- Former on-air staff
- Star And Buc Wild (2008)
- Laura Stylez (2008–2009)
- Ruby Tuesday (2008–2009)
- Showboat (2008–2009)
- DJ Serg (2008–2009)
- DJ Yonny (2008–2009)
- Frankie Vasquez (2008–2009)
- Jonathan Peters (2008&ndaSH;2009)
- DJ Lil' Cee (2009)
- Nicholaus "Niko" Petrou (2009)
- Nick Marchesani (2009)
- Vinnie T. (2008–2009)
- Andre "The Dre Dog" Ferro (2008–2011)
- Eutopia (2010–2011)
- "Mega Media Group, Inc. Signs Letter of Intent to Lease Frequencies Covering Los Angeles and Chicago". Mega Media Group. March 9, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-13.[dead link]
- http://www.pulse87ny.com Internet Radio site. Accessed 24 February 2010.
- http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/2010/02/17/2010-02-17_pulse_still_beats_saved_by_net.html Accessed 24 February 2010.
- "Pulse Headed For Las Vegas" from Radio Insight (June 24, 2014)
- "Washington To Gain A Dance Pulse" from Radio Insight (October 24, 2014)