Recent Issues:

Feb. 16, 2004

Feb. 9, 2004

Feb. 2, 2004

Jan. 26, 2004

2003 In Review

9/11 Plus One: The World Trade Center Broadcasters Recover

Buy the 2004 Tower Site Calendar

DCRTV - DC, Baltimore Radio & TV

Your message here - contact to reach thousands of NERW readers every week!

February 23, 2004

Vox Sells (Most of) Glens Falls Cluster

FRIDAY EXTRA: In addition to the disappearance of Howard Stern from Clear Channel-owned stations, including WNVE (95.1 Honeoye Falls) in Rochester, there's more big news we're tracking for you here at NERW Central. NERW has learned that Pamal is preparing to flip WXPK (107.1 Briarcliff Manor) from a simulcast of top 40 WSPK (104.7 Poughkeepsie) to AAA, becoming the first commercial adult album alternative outlet within listening range of New York City. Many more details on these big stories next Monday, right here at

*The sell-off of Vox's properties around the Northeast continued last week, as Bruce Danziger and Jeff Shapiro's group filed to sell most of its stations in Glens Falls, NEW YORK to Jim Morrell's Pamal group.

Even as Vox has been selling off many of its stations in the region (the Pioneer Valley to Saga, Concord to Nassau), Pamal has been busy expanding, adding stations in Springfield and Westchester - and now, for $2.5 million, Vox's sports WMML (1230 Glens Falls), standards WENU (1410 South Glens Falls)/WENU-FM (101.7 Hudson Falls) and country WFFG (107.1 Corinth).

Those are four of the six stations Vox bought when it created the cluster back in 2000 - WMML, WFFG (then WHTR) and WZZM (93.5 Corinth, now WEGQ 93.7 Scotia) from Starview Media and WENU (then WBZA), WENU-FM and WNYQ (105.7 Queensbury) from Bradmark. Vox sold off WZZM to Galaxy once it had moved it south to the Albany market, and a move to Albany is also in store for the one remaining station in Vox's Glens Falls arsenal. In fact, the application to move WNYQ south was also filed this week - it'll be licensed to Malta, in southern Saratoga County, and will run 4800 watts at 112 meters from the same tower just north of Schenectady that's already home to WDCD (96.7 Clifton Park), WKKF (102.3 Ballston Spa) and WABT (104.5 Mechanicville). (With a big cluster already in place in Albany, including the maximum of five FM signals and WROW 590, there's no way Pamal could add the relocated WNYQ to its stable, which explains its absence from the deal.)

Meanwhile up in Glens Falls, Pamal will add its four new purchases to its existing station in the region, modern AC WKBE (100.3 Warrensburg) - and the whole market will be down to just two players, Pamal and Entertronics (WWSC 1450 Glens Falls, WCQL 95.9 Queensbury and WCKM 98.5 Lake George).

And before we leave Albany behind, we hear listeners there will begin hearing announcements today promoting a frequency swap to take place next week: on March 1, the religious programming now heard on WDCD (96.7 Clifton Park) will move to 1540 Albany, while the WPTR calls and oldies "Legends" format will move from 1540 to 96.7. This will be the second go-round for WDCD on 1540; Crawford Broadcasting simulcast its religious programming on the AM side for several years before launching "Legends" there.

In Syracuse, WSYR (570) has a new news director to replace Bill Carey, who's now at crosstown competitors News 10 Now and WFBL (1390). Dave Bullard comes to WSYR from the "Fulton Daily News" website and its companion sites serving Oswego and Baldwinsville; he'll remain involved in those sites and their reporters will begin contributing material to WSYR.

Here in Rochester, we mourn the passing of Bill Klein, the entertainment reporter who spent 38 years entertaining the region, first on WVOR (100.5) and later on WHAM (1180), where he was a fixture on the morning show.

"The Klein" was particularly well loved for his annual Oscars party, which several years ago outgrew its original home at the George Eastman House and now takes over an entire movie theater every year.

Klein collapsed before an appearance at the University of Rochester Wednesday morning (Jan. 18); he was only 60. His Oscar party will go on as scheduled next Sunday, with proceeds (as always) benefiting WHAM's "Heart of Gold Childrens' Foundation."

Another voice disappeared from WHAM as well last week, albeit with far less impact on the community. Joe Pagliarulo, who'd been doing the 11 AM-2 PM talk shift formerly occupied by Bob Lonsberry, told listeners at the end of Friday's show that it was his last for now. "Joe Pags," who's also the weeknight anchor for WRGB (Channel 6) and weekend talk host for WGY (810) in Schenectady, had been doing the show mostly via an ISDN hookup from Albany. WHAM's not saying who the talk slot's next occupant will be...stay tuned later today on NERW for the latest.

(Tuesday update: Former WRKO/WPHT talker Jeff Katz is doing the shift this week from right here in Rochester; meanwhile, WHAM's Jeff Howlett checks in to let us know that Pags will, in fact, be back next Monday. Still no permanent host for the slot; WHAM's Web site lists Pagliarulo as a "part-time fill in talker.")

How slow was the broadcasting beat downstate? So slow that the Daily News ended up leading its radio column on Saturday with none other than the Tower Site Calendar 2004. (Not that we mind...thanks, David Hinckley!) There was this, at least - the Jets have re-signed with WABC (770) and WEPN (1050) to carry their games next season.

*Things were hopping in central PENNSYLVANIA last week, at least, as Harrisburg listeners said goodbye to "Cat Country" WCAT-FM (106.7 Hershey) - and, after several long days of a loop of "Pop Goes the Weasel", said hello to something called "Cool Pop" under the calls WCPP.

What's a "Cool Pop"? Like "Jack" up in Canada - or the late "Blink" in New York, for that matter - it's hard to pin down to a traditional format label. We've heard it described as everything from hot AC to top 40/pop, and it sounds to us (based on the playlists we've seen) like a cross between the two, apparently with a healthy Blink-like dose of celebrity news and gossip to be mixed in. The only air talent on board so far are former Cat morning team Michelle Cruz and Dennis Mitchell ("Michelle and Mitchell"); at the helm of programming is Claudine DeLorenzo, who's been promoted from PD of sister stations WQXA-FM and WRKZ to director of programming for the entire Citadel/Harrisburg cluster.

(Down the hall at "Red" country 102.3, those WRKZ calls have changed to WCAT-FM. And former WCAT-FM 106.7 PD Sam McGuire is now APD/MD and afternoon jock at WCAT-FM 102.3)

One more WCAT-FM note: former 106.7 overnight host/music director Gwyneth "Dandalion" Seese has filed an age discrimination lawsuit against Citadel. Seese, a 23-year veteran of the station, was 64 when she lost her job there in June 2002.

Over in St. Mary's, Dennis Heindl's WDDH (97.5) is sold to Michael Stapleford's Magnum Broadcasting; no word on whether any changes are planned to the country format at "The Hound."

In Pittsburgh, Sal Patitucci's "Radio Italia" has a new home: it's now heard weekdays at 5 PM and Sundays at 1 PM on WKFB (770 Jeannette) after many years at WEDO (810 McKeesport).

And in the State College market, WGMR (101.1 Tyrone) has moved from modern rock to top 40, still calling itself "the Revolution."

*One DELAWARE note: WAMS (1260 Newark) has changed calls again - this time to WNWK. We hear it's been running a satellite soft AC format.

*One NEW JERSEY note, too: Darrin Smith has resigned as PD of WHTG-FM (106.3 Eatontown); he'll stick around into next month as a replacement is found.

*More bad news for VERMONT's best-known unlicensed broadcaster: Vermont's U.S. attorney has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the FCC to shut down Radio Free Brattleboro (107.9) and to seize the 10-watt station's equipment. RFB responded with a filing asking the federal courts to prevent the FCC from shutting down the station until it can have its case heard in the courtroom.

(Tuesday update: the folks at RFB point out that their filing asking for an injunction was filed February 13, four days before the U.S. Attorney's office asked the court for a cease-and-desist order against the station; also, no warrant of seizure has been issued against RFB. Stay tuned...)

*In NEW HAMPSHIRE, a legal LPFM is about to hit the airwaves. February 29 is the target sign-on date for WCNH-LP (94.7 Concord), which will program classical music for the Granite State's capital city under the leadership of Harry Kozlowski, former PD at WJYY/WNHI across town. (Speaking of those stations, we can now put a price tag on Vox's sale to Nassau - it'll get $9 million for WJYY, WNHI and WOTX.)

*MAINE is getting a New England Cable News bureau, thanks to the purchase of WMTW-TV (Channel 8) by NECN co-owner Hearst Argyle. The bureau at WMTW's downtown Portland studio will be staffed by reporter Kevin Kelley (formerly of crosstown WCSH) and photojournalist Dave Brosemer, who comes to Portland from NECN headquarters in Needham, Mass.

*MASSACHUSETTS listeners welcomed a familiar voice back to the airwaves last week. David Brudnoy's still not up to the task of talking for three hours nightly, but he appeared for an hour of his usual WBZ (1030) shift last week to let listeners know that he's regaining his strength and is back in the classroom at Boston University. Brudnoy's been off the air at 'BZ since late September.

Another Bay State talk voice has resurfaced: former WBUR "Connection" host Christopher Lydon was filling in last week on Minnesota Public Radio's "Midmorning," and he's rumored to be in the running as the new permanent show host.

*Is there any broadcast engineer in southern New England who hasn't known for years about toxic waste issues at the transmitter site of RHODE ISLAND's most powerful AM station? Probably not - at least judging by the number of them who asked us if we were glowing after visiting the site years ago - but that didn't stop the current operators of WALE (990 Greenville) from claiming to have been taken by surprise by environmental issues at the six tower Burrillville site. The Providence Journal reports that Cumbre Communications has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy to avoid closing on its $2.35 million deal to buy WALE from North American Broadcasting, itself in bankruptcy. Cumbre officials tell the paper that North American concealed the environmental problems at the site, including a $15,000 fine a decade ago for improper storage of hazardous waste.

Under a settlement deal, North American will set aside $400,000 of the money it's still owed by Cumbre to be used for cleanup costs at the property. And who's now in control of Cumbre? The company's former president and CEO, Jaime Aguayo, has sold his 79 percent interest in the company to Peter Arpin, whose ADD Media also owns nearby WARL (1320 Attleboro MA).

(Cumbre is also still claiming that it plans to change the call letters of 990 to WMAX, which will still come as a surprise to the Michigan station that has those calls and presumably has no intention of giving them up.)

One more problem for North American: the FCC last week upheld a $4,000 fine against its remaining station, KFNX (1100 Cave Creek AZ), for failing to power down from 50 kW to 1 kW at sunset.

Elsewhere in the Ocean State, we've been remiss in failing to note a big power increase application: WADK (1540 Newport) wants to add two more towers to its existing site north of town, using the three-tower array to run 20,000 watts at night. It would need all that power just to overcome the huge signal WPTR in Albany puts into New England, and it still wouldn't cover much beyond Newport after dark. (WADK would stay at 1000 watts, non-directional, by day.)

*Tim Martz is taking aim at CANADA again. Now that he's boosted the power on WRCD (101.5 Canton NY), the border broadcaster is promoting "The Fox" all over Ottawa, including a new Web site at This isn't the first time Martz has taken a Web snipe at a Canadian rival; his WYUL (94.7 Chateaugay NY) launched "" to target Montreal's CJFM (95.9) - only to have CJFM owner Standard Radio buy a 25% interest in Martz' radio group. Standard has a reason to take on Ottawa's Rogers-owned CHEZ (106.1), too; in addition to its interest in WRCD, it owns Ottawa rock rival CKQB (106.9).

CHCQ (100.1 Belleville) dropped its "Q100 Quinte Country" identity - and its entire airstaff - last week. It's now "Cool 100," still playing country but without jocks for now. Down the road in Cobourg, Don Martin is retiring after 29 years in local radio, 10 of them at CHUC (1450), to join the Northumberland United Way.

Over in Peterborough, Kings Kids amends its application for a new 50-watt contemporary Christian station to specify 99.5 instead of 88.7 MHz.

In Quebec, a CRTC hearing on the license renewal of Genex's CHOI (98.1) brought out politicians and listeners - and plenty of strong opinions about the freewheeling modern rock/shock talk station.

Quebec City mayor Jean-Paul L'Allier asked the CRTC to silence the station and its outspoken morning team of Jeff Fillion and Andre Arthur, who have been vocal critics of the mayor and of police, calling for a more intensive investigation into a teen prostitution ring that reportedly counted powerful politicians as clients. Meanwhile, fans of the station crowded the hearing room to show their support for the morning show - and the station's owner says he was assaulted by one of the station's critics during a break in the hearing.

A correction from last week: we're reminded that while no Quebec broadcaster carries Conan O'Brien's late night talk show, it's still widely available there: satellite subscribers can see the show on other local Canadian stations, it's carried on a national cable network, and of course it can be seen on NBC via WPTZ (Channel 5) down in Plattsburgh, NY.

And we'll close by saluting a true local broadcaster: Wayne Harrett not only does the excellent "On the Air in Atlantic Canada" site, he's also the volunteer operator behind CFEP, "94.7 Seaside FM" in Halifax - and when a huge winter storm battered the area, he sprung into duty, making his way to the station and pulling a 7 AM to 9:15 PM airshift, keeping the area informed despite heavy snow and power outages.

*That's it for another week...except for our usual housekeeping notes. First, a reminder that while we don't ask you for a password to read NERW, this isn't a free product, either. Many of you have already sent in subscription payments for 2004, and to all of you we say "thank you." If you haven't, what are you waiting for? Your contribution - of any amount - makes it possible for us to keep NERW, now in its tenth year, coming to you week after week after week...and if you sign up at the $60 level, you even get a free 2004 Tower Site Calendar. For all the details - and easy credit card/PayPal payment links - just click here.

If you haven't seen it yet, don't miss our roundup of all the news that was fit to remember from last year... Click here for our 2003 Year in Review package!

*And if you still haven't ordered one, we still have plenty of 2004 Tower Site Calendars still available for your enjoyment!

Just as in past years, the calendar features a dozen spiffy 8.5-by-11 inch full-color images of tower sites from across the nation - everything from Washington's WTEM to New York's WCBS/WFAN (shown at left) to Los Angeles' KHJ to WCTM in Eaton, Ohio.

Other featured sites include Cedar Hill in Dallas, Lookout Mountain above Denver, CKLW Windsor, WELI New Haven, WPTF Raleigh NC, WBT Charlotte NC, WAJR Morgantown WV, WMT Cedar Rapids IA and the mighty 12 towers of KFXR (the old KLIF 1190) in Dallas.

Unlike last year, this year's calendar features heavier paper (no more curling!) and will be shipped shrink-wrapped on a cardboard backing to make sure it arrives in pristine condition.

All orders received by February 21 have now been shipped, so if you've already ordered, you should be enjoying your calendar any day now. (And if you ordered before January 10 and haven't received your calendar yet, please let us know!)

If you haven't ordered yet, what are you waiting for? It's too late for Christmas gift-giving - but perhaps you still need a calendar for 2004...or maybe you didn't find one under the tree, despite all those hints you dropped.

So order now and help support NERW and Tower Site of the Week. Better yet, place your subscription for 2004 at the $60 level by using the handy buttons below, and you'll get your 2004 Tower Site Calendar absolutely FREE. What more could you want? (Local news on the weekends, maybe?)

Order the 2004 Tower Site Calendar at $16 each (US and Canada only - e-mail us for overseas ordering information.)
...or subscribe to NERW at the $60 level and get a FREE 2004 Tower Site Calendar

Don't want to order by credit card? You know the drill by now - make those checks payable to "Scott Fybush," be sure to include sales tax ($1.32 per calendar) for New York state calendar orders, and send them along to 92 Bonnie Brae Avenue, Rochester NY 14618. (Sorry - we can't take orders by phone.)

Thanks for your support!

NorthEast Radio Watch is made possible by the generous contributions of our regular readers. If you enjoy NERW, please click here to learn how you can help make continued publication possible. NERW is copyright 2003 by Scott Fybush.