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WGN Photo Contest - Steve & Johnnie Show


Sometimes during the night I listen to AM talk radio.  I have my favorite stations and hosts that I follow.  It is amazing how many stations from distant locations you can pick up during the nighttime hours thanks
to the changes in the ionosphere which cause AM signals to travel by skywave (See Wiki at the bottom of the blog).  Of course there is the syndicated powerhouse coast-to-coast-am featuring George Norry, Ian Punnet, George Knapp and occasionally the infamous Art Bell.  I have followed this program for over a decade from stations like WGST (Atlanta), WTAM (Cleveland), WOAI (San Antonio) and WLAC (Nashville) among others.

I also have my local favorite station WSB-Atlanta with Neil Boortz (re-Boortz at night). 

When coast-to-coast-am is to freaky to listen to when they discuss topics like sasquatch sightings and I have already listened to Boortz I scan the dial to other favorites like WLW (Cincinnati) and listen to the show directed at the over-the-road truckers or WWL (New Orleans) with Dave Ramsey discussing people's debt, WLS (Chicago) that sometimes features classic Art Bell or WJR (Detroit), WHO (Des Moines) and KMOX (St Louis).

One of my favorite nighttime stations is WGN (Chicago) with hosts like Steve & Johnnie, Nick DiGilio and Brian Noonan.  WGN offers fresh content and light talk and sometimes makes me smile while I listen while in bed in the middle of the night.

Steve & Johnnie have their weekly and monthly schedule, so I know that when I listen on Wednesday nights they are most likely discussing personal computers and have experts from "save-my-butt" on the radio helping with the listener's call in computer troubles.

My all time WGN favorite is once a month when Will Crocket from co-hosts the "Monthly-Photo-Challenge" talk show with Steve & Johnnie.  In their program, digital photography questions are answered and new products are introduced and reviewed.  The program addresses topics related to beginner's all the way to advanced photographers.  Photography is one of my hobby passions and I find the program interesting and educational.

Roughly every month there is a "Monthly-Photo-Challenge" contest with a theme and WGN hosts a web address for listeners to upload their photos that will be judged the next month.  In the past 6 months I was the runner-up in December / January 2010 "Seasonal Shots" and the winner of the June 2010 contest of "Take your best shot".

Here are the two photos that I submitted:

Dec / Jan runner-up: Georgia Pacific Wreath (Atlanta) June Winner: Rural Georgia Gas Pump

The story: "Photo taken in downtown Atlanta at the Georgia Pacific Building, looking up the 52 story building at the Christmas Wreath on a partly cloudy day. My reflection is in every shiny sphere." Thanks to Christopher Reed for submitting!

Photographer Christopher Reed took the grand prize in June's monthly photo challenge with the picture of this gas pump in rural Georgia. The theme was "Take your best shot!" Participants were asked to submit their best photo, regardless of subject.

  --> Listen to the announcement <--

From Wikipedia...AM broadcasting

Medium-wave and short-wave radio signals act differently during daytime and nighttime. During the day, AM signals travel by groundwave, diffracting around the curve of the earth over a distance up to a few hundred miles (or kilometers) from the signal transmitter. However, after sunset, changes in the ionosphere cause AM signals to travel by skywave, enabling AM radio stations to be heard much farther from their point of origin than is normal during the day. This phenomenon can be easily observed by scanning an AM radio dial at night. As a result, many broadcast stations are required as a condition of license to reduce their broadcasting power significantly (or use directional antennas) after sunset, or even to suspend broadcasting entirely during nighttime hours. Such stations are commonly referred to as daytimers. In Australia AM stations are not required to reduce their power at night and consequently stations such as the 50Kw 3LO can be heard in some parts of New Zealand at night.

In the United States and Canada, some AM radio stations are granted clear channel status, meaning that they broadcast on frequencies with few other stations allocated, allowing an extended coverage area. Relatively few stations enjoy clear-channel status. Commercial broadcasters generally rely on the ground-wave coverage only as their target market for advertising.

The hobby of listening to long distance signals is known as DX or DX'ing, from an old telegraph abbreviation for "distance". Several non-profit hobbyist clubs are devoted exclusively to DXing the AM broadcast band, including the National Radio Club and International Radio Club of America. Similarly, people listening to short wave transmissions are SWLing.