> I was talking with a friend that works for Shamrock in
> He told me that KMYZ & KTSO do not have an operator in the
> building during the overnight.
> Is it legal to allow stations to run without a person taking
> readings or monitoring the station?
Yes, it's legal in most cases. There are some exceptions, like if a station does not have stable equipment or if it's a directional AM signal that does not have automated equipment. Readings, and even transmitter logs in many cases, are no longer required (unless there's an exception condition). The station log, which still is required, can take the place of a transmitter log, which used to be one part of a station log, in a lot of situations. You simply have to have enough of a record to prove that your transmitter equipment is stable. I've heard Cox practices this as well, though KRMG would require automated transmitter equipment.
> I realize that EAS can be automated and that transmitters
> can call the engineer if there is a problem. Just strikes
> me as odd that you can close the radio station for 5-6 hours
> and walk away.
Well, when you think about it, it's really not all that odd because transmitter equipment is so stable. It's just different from our old routine. The station attendance rules were designed when transmitters had to have constant attention because the technology was not as advanced as it is now. I worked at one station for about three years and never once had to adjust power, even in icing conditions, because it was a solid-state transmitter that was THAT reliable. In the entire three years I was there, it never had even a single hiccup and no operator ever had to adjust the power. The engineers touched it a few times during routine maintenance and tower work, but those were the only times the power was adjusted in that three years.
The station I work for now, by the way, is one that we just walk away from and leave unattended in nights and overnights. It took me some getting used to as well, but I kinda like it now. I remember working at a station when the PD was fired on the Friday evening before Thanksgiving. No one other than management and those in the building at the time knew about it. When he went home, he called all of his weekenders and told them they had the entire next week off. I was the night guy, and my relief did not arrive at midnight. I made frantic phone calls only to find my relief left town immediately after hearing he was off for the week to visit his family in Chicago. Our utility fill-in guy left town, too. There was literally not a part-timer within 100 miles of the station, and our overnight guy already had the week off. I worked all night and a good portion of the next morning because the station had to be attended, and there was no one else who could do it. I worked an extra 10 hours that weekend (midnight to 10 AM Saturday) before getting some of the full-time staff back in. The fact that I know that will never happen where I am now really helped getting used to unattended operation!