The WGNO/WNOL and WLAE Towers.

I have lumped these together because the one-lane gravel road through the swamp that leads to them had a locked gate at the main highway. I'd have gotten close to each site separately otherwise. As it was, I had to take my pictures from the shoulder of Paris Rd. in Chalmette.

The WGNO/WNOL tower is owned by WGNO/WNOL (Tribune Broadcasting). It was built in the 1970s as WGNO's tower. WNOL was added to this tower when Tribune acquired both stations. Currently, WGNO and WNOL are not using their tower, but are transmitting from the WDSU tower. They plan to return to this tower eventually.

The WLAE tower is owned by WLAE (Willwoods Community, non-profit organization). WLAE leases the top of their tower to radio station WWL-FM 105.3 MHz. WWL-FM is owned by Entercom. This tower was built in 1984 by The Archdiocese of New Orleans (WLAE's original owner).

Specifications on the WGNO/WNOL tower:
Height: 319.8 meters
Height above sea level: 319.8 meters
Location: 29 58' 58.00" N Latitude 89 56' 58.00" W Longitude
ASRN#: 1028290

Specifications on the WLAE tower:
Height: 320 meters
Height above sea level: 320 meters
Location: 29 58' 57.00" N Latitude 89 57' 9.00" W Longitude
ASRN#: 1000007

Specs on WGNO (construction permit to return to this tower - not yet operational):
Display Channel: 26
Digital Channel: 26
Affiliation: ABC
Owner: Tribune
Power: 1000 kW
HAAT: 1013' (309m)
AGL: 1013' (309m)

Specs on WNOL (construction permit and maximization granted - not yet operational):
Display Channel: 38
Digital Channel: 15
Affiliation: CW
Owner: Tribune
Power: 1000 kW
HAAT: 1013' (309m)
AGL: 1013' (309m)

Specs on WLAE:
Display Channel: 32
Digital Channel: 31
Affiliation: PBS
Owner: Educational Broadcasting Foundation, Inc. (Willwoods Community)
Power: 200 kW
HAAT: 898' (274m)
AGL: 898' (274m)

A long shot of the towers:

The base of the WGNO/WNOL tower. This building had about 10 feet of water in it during Hurricane Katrina. I assume that the reason WGNO and WNOL have not executed their construction permit to build here is because they plan to build a building that can withstand hurricanes and their storm surges. The towers on this page are outside of the hurricane levee protection system.

The top of the WGNO tower. Before Katrina hit, WGNO analog (26), WNOL analog (38), WGNO digital (15) and WNOL digital (40) were all combined into this array. When they return, they may or may not use the same array.

After Katrina destroyed these transmitters. The two analog transmitters were set up at the SpectraSite tower, the first stop on this tour. The digital signals were run as sub-channels on WPXL's transmitter for a time. The signals of WPXL digital and analog, and WGNO and WNOL analog were combined on the same antenna. Later, a temporary channel 15 transmitter carrying both WNOL and WGNO's digital subchannels ran at WDSU's site for a time. This signal was combined into WDSU's UHF side-mount antenna.

Now, post transition, WGNO, WNOL, and WDSU are combined into WDSU's side-mount (seen earlier in this tour).

The base of the WLAE tower. WLAE is living dangerously. They operate on a shoe-string budget and cannot afford to reconstruct their building for better hurricane resistance. Their transmitter building took 10 feet of water in Katrina, but it has not been elevated. WLAE was off the air for over a year after Katrina while they repaired this building and acquired a replacement transmitter. Perhaps they can enter some arrangement with WWL-FM to elevate the building.

The top of the WLAE tower. Notice the FM circular polarized array at the top. The WLAE antenna is a side-mount below that. They have used this same side mount since 1984.

Start the tour again.
Back to the previous page.

Take a tour of the WVUE Studios.

Some pictures of the Dish Network and DirecTV New Orleans receive facility.

Email the tourguide: <marksu@spectra-one.com>