WNAX AM (and FM) in Yankton, SD is one of those stations with a far-reaching signal and far-reaching influence in the plains states. Stop into any antique mall in South Dakota, and you’re liable to find some sort of WNAX paraphernalia, especially some “Your Neighbor Lady” cookbooks as I came across in Arlington, SD.
WNAX is famous in radio circles especially for their tower. It was the tallest broadcast tower in North America when it was built in 1942. The structure currently stands at 911 feet and is still a sight to behold. Since there’s no great place to park a Winnebago along the highway near their transmitter site, I was reduced to taking these photos from the vehicle while going by. You’ve got to love the art deco transmitter building.
WNAX has a 3-tower array, using the main taller tower during the day and phasing the other two in at night. The main tower is a bit of an optical illusion. The best way to describe it is thus: imagine a normally proportioned tower and simply stretch the dimensions equally. The scale of this this is massive! (I couldn’t even get the whole thing in the frame.)
WNAX still broadcasts from the original transmitter building, but has relatively new studios after a 1983 fire destroyed the old ones. Visiting was more or less locked down at the time of my visit due to Covid, but I got a few shots from the lobby.
I really look forward to a return trip and perhaps a peek inside the transmitter building. It was a quick visit, but still fun to see a heritage powerhouse station still alive and well.