HIGH ISLAND, Long Island Sound

A clear view of High Island is seen from Orchard Beach. This is a small, uninhabited island northeast of City Island that is owned by CBS Radio; its most prominent features are a pair of radio transmission towers for CBS’ primary NYC properties, WCBS-AM 880 and SportsRadio 66 WFAN. Prior to 1961 it was home to a group of summer rental cottages. A private plane crashed into WCBS’ tower on 8/27/67, the day before WCBS’ new all-news format was set to debut, which was delayed for a week until a temporary tower could be erected.

Though it’s connected to City Island via a footbridge, High Island is currently uninhabited since the transmitters are unmanned. WFAN’s and WCBS’s engineers monitor the towers from remote locations. Mike Bierman was the island’s caretaker between 1997 and 2007, and the farmhouse where he and his family lived is still standing.


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4 Responses to HIGH ISLAND, Long Island Sound

  1. KG2V says:

    Not really a foot bridge, It is a one lane bridge capable of handling mid sized trucks so they can get equipment on and off the island. In fact, though no one lives there, there is crew on the island regularly. Lots more info here

  2. chris says:

    But I wonder why it was called “High” island?
    Was it given that name by the local teenagers?

  3. John says:

    High Island is in the Bronx. I was near the footbridge around 2003 or 04 or both. The bridge is by King Ave. & Terrace St. The transmission antennas for WCBS & WFAN are on the same red & white large tower. If you go to the WCBS (AM) Wikipedia page, you can click on the Transmitter coordinates, and then go to Bing Maps & click on “Birds Eye View” & zoom right in ! There is also an auxiliary back-up tower for both these stations. These two stations are official FCC “Clear Channels”. They have “nighttime protection” from other stations on the same frequency from interfering. They both run 50,000 watts day & night. Here in Toledo, Ohio, I am near the edge of their nighttime antenna pattern; barley getting the signal. Other stations, say the many Chicago clears come in at “local station strength”. While living in Brooklyn, one time the two stations were off the air for maintenance late at night. I received a high powered station on 880kHz, KRVN, Lexington,NE at 50,000 watts & CKLQ, Brandon, Manitoba at 10,000 watts ! While the WCBS & WFAN antennas are in the Bronx, WFME 1560’s antenna is in Maspeth, Queens. The remainder of the medium wave (MW) stations licensed to NYC have their antennas physically located in New Jersey; stations like WABC 770 & WOR 710, etc.

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