The Durst Organization, owners of the 1,776-foot World Trade Center tower (formerly known as Freedom Tower), wants to install a broadcast antenna in an effort to attract radio and television stations currently airing from the Empire State Building—since the WTC terror attack in 2011.
Thomas Bow, Durst SVP, told the Wall Street Journal that the development firm wants to become the premiere broadcast facility in NYC. Durst said it expects to be able to take in about $10 million a year in rents and fees from some two dozen broadcasters at One World Trade Center. The tower is expected to be completed at the end of 2013. The Empire State Building took in $16.1 million in 2010, said the story.
Before 9/11/01, the top floors of One World Trade Center were a beehive of broadcast and utility radio activity. There were numerous repeaters, microwave relays, plus analog and new digital television transmitters in operation, feeding plenty of RF to arrays on two masts reaching 1,400 feet above the ground. The facilities were well designed, with plenty of back-up power and cooling. Eight television stations using WTC1 for their primary transmitters were: WPIX (analog and digital), WCBS (analog), WNBC (analog and digital), WABC (analog and digital), WNET (digital), WWOR (digital), WPXN and WNJU (both digital, but not yet transmitting). FM stations were knocked out as well—including WQHT, WRXP, WKTU and WKCR.
Durst is well known to New York broadcasters. Among its other considerable real estate holdings is 4 Times Square, whose 1,143 feet includes a 300-foot broadcast tower, mostly for FM stations. Those may be the first to be enticed to move over once a new antenna is installed.