1997 MIT Mystery Hunt Puzzle 28 Solution

Answer: WRIT

I drew crosshairs across each clock, judging based on the alignment of the clocks that the copy I received is very close to the proper orientation, and found that each minute hand appears to be very close to a multiple of 10 minutes. I got these times:

EX: Salem, MA 12:30
Houston, TX 7:40
Kermit, TX 6:00
Franklin, TN 9:50
Cedar City, UT 9:40
Garner, NC 10:00
Espanola, NM 9:50
Nevada, MO 12:40
Douglas, AZ 9:30
Rapid City, SD 9:20
Woodbine, GA 11:00
Shelton, WA 10:30
Plymouth, IN 10:50
Ephrata, WA 8:10
Lakeland, FL 12:30

The Salem, Nevada, and Lakeland clocks stand out because they are shortly after midnight per the directions of the puzzle, while all others are in daylight hours of the morning. This tells us that they are not times at all. They are AM radio stations based in the indicated cities.

The Salem clock is an example. The station at 1230 AM broadcasting from Salem is WESX. So we have to take the 2nd and 4th letters from each station's call letters. Then we get the following (based on call letters in effect in January 1999):

KTRH - Houston, TX 740 AM
KERB - Kermit, TX 600 AM
WAKM - Franklin, TN 950 AM
KBRE - Cedar City, UT 940 AM (now KOBY)
WRTG - Garner, NC 1000 AM
KDCE - Espanola, NM 950 AM
KNEM - Nevada, MO 1240 AM
KAPR - Douglas, AZ 930 AM
KKLS - Rapid City, SD 920 AM
WCGA - Woodbine, GA 1100 AM
KMAS - Shelton, WA 1030 AM
WTCA - Plymouth, IN 1050 AM
KTBI - Ephrata, WA 810 AM
WONN - Lakeland, FL 1230 AM

Then the message is THE BAMBERG-DENMARK SC AM STATION. There is only one station broadcasting from Bamberg-Denmark, SC, now WVCD, but in 1999 it had the call letters WRIT. So WRIT is the answer.