Decommissioned radio tower to be felled in Port Angeles
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Todd Ortloff, general manager of KONP radio in Port Angeles, stands next to the radio station’s former transmitting tower on the west end of downtown Port Angeles on Thursday. The decommissioned tower is scheduled to be dismantled and removed early Sunday morning.

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — No need to adjust your dial.

The KONP radio tower is coming down Sunday morning, but it won't affect the Port Angeles radio station that broadcasts on 1450 AM and 101.7 FM.

“We are no longer using it,” station General Manager Todd Ortloff said.

The 178-foot tower will be cut from the top down in 20-foot sections after workers set up starting at 6 a.m.

The metal frame will be on the ground by 10 a.m. “or 11 at the latest,” Ortloff said.

“We're going to have some fun with it this weekend,” he said.

Electrical power

Electrical power will be turned off to surrounding businesses in the triangle lot between First and Front streets in west downtown, including the Peninsula Daily News, for the safe removal of the guywires that have supported the tower since it was raised in 1960.

A Seattle tower company and a local crane operator will handle the tower removal.

Ortloff said the station chose Sunday morning for the operation to minimize impacts to surrounding businesses. No special ceremonies are planned.

KONP moved its studios from the shadow of the tower to 721 E. First St. in October 2008.

The station, owned by Brown M. Maloney of Sequim, sold its building at 313 W. First St., which is now the Port Angeles Baby Store.

KONP began broadcasting its FM simulcast at an antenna farm on the east side of the city off Melody Lane in November 2011.

The original 1450 AM signal, which has been on the air since 1945, was moved to the antenna farm in April 2012.

After the new antennas were up and running, the old downtown tower “became more of a liability,” Ortloff said.

“Obviously, the folks there have no need for an antenna,” he said.

“It should make things a little easier down there.”

The red-and-white radio tower replaced KONP's original radio mast, “an old spruce tree that they brought in from Indian Valley,” Ortloff said.

“It is the last vestige of KONP's original location,” he added.

The radio mast is the second Port Angeles tower to be taken down in recent months.

On April 8, the 175-foot Peninsula Plywood chimney stack was felled as part of the Port of Port Angeles' $1.6 million clearing of the 19-acre former mill site on Marine Drive.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: June 06. 2013 5:36PM
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