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June 14, 2004

WBIX Sold (Again) - and a Clearance Sale on Tower Site Calendars

*It was a four-day week at the FCC (thanks to the shutdown of the federal government for Ronald Reagan's funeral on Friday, about which more in a minute), and a quiet week overall in the industry.

So we'll start this week's (brief) news report in MASSACHUSETTS, where WBIX (1060 Natick) is changing hands again, passing from Brad and Bonnie Bleidt (doing business as Langer Broadcasting, the WBIX licensee that they purchased from Alex Langer for $10 million last year) to Chris Egan, the son of EMC Corp. founder Richard Egan. No purchase price has been announced; Egan says he'll keep the business format.

Boston's WRKO (680) pulled the Rush Limbaugh show off its airwaves midway through Friday's broadcast, which consisted of Rush narrating the state funeral service for Ronald Reagan, after Limbaugh began commenting on how Bill Clinton appeared to be nodding off in the pews. WRKO listeners were abruptly switched to Fox News coverage of the funeral; Limbaugh will no doubt be back on the air today.

Up in the Merrimack Valley, WXRV (92.5 Haverhill) has named a new PD to replace Nicole Sandler, who quietly departed earlier this spring. "The River" picked Dana Marshall, who's been doing nights and MD duty, to take over PD tasks there.

And out west, Vox has flipped WUHN (1110 Pittsfield) from classic country to adult standards.

*Vox is selling yet another radio station - this time, the last bit of its cluster in Concord, NEW HAMPSHIRE. WTPL (107.7 Hillsborough) was left behind when Vox sold sister stations WOTX (102.3 Concord) and WJYY (105.5 Concord) to Nassau; now it's being transferred from Vox subsidiary Concord Broadcasting to Great Eastern Radio, owned by Vox principal Jeff Shapiro. Shapiro will pay his Vox partners $1.5 million for WTPL; we expect (though it's not clearly stated in the filings with the FCC) that WTPL will continue to be LMA'd back to Concord's WKXL (1450), which has been programming it for a while now.

*In MAINE, W257BI (99.3 Camden) gets a license to cover. It's a somewhat unusual translator, inasmuch as it's relaying an LPFM - WRFR-LP (93.3 Rockland), one of the first LPFMs in New England.

*A new LPFM in CONNECTICUT: WCSE-LP (100.1 Ledyard) signs on from the Calvary Church of Southern Connecticut.

*Pamal Broadcasting has closed on its $2.5 million purchase of Vox's cluster in Glens Falls, NEW YORK. Vox hands off WMML (1230 Glens Falls), WENU (1410 South Glens Falls), WENU-FM (101.7 Hudson Falls) and WFFG (107.1 Corinth) to Pamal; WNYQ (105.7 Queensbury) is not part of the deal, though other trades have reported otherwise; Vox is still working on moving it south to the Albany market.

A few new translator grants: SUNY Oswego gets W237BJ (95.3 Dryden), W238AT (95.5 Cortlandville) and W291BB (106.1 Boonville) to relay the public radio network based at WRVO (89.9 Oswego), while W216BR in Geneva, relaying WJYJ (90.5 Fredericksburg VA) by satellite, has moved from 91.1 down to 90.7 after complaints of interference with WCNY (91.3 Syracuse).

One new translator approved for filing: St. Lawrence University, for 107.9 in Glens Falls to relay the WSLU public radio network. (Wonder if WGNA in Albany, on first-adjacent 107.7, will object to the potential loss of its fringe listenership there?)

Downstate, WVOX (1460 New Rochelle) is getting some new talk hosts this summer: well-connected station owner William O'Shaughnessy is bringing Andrew Cuomo and Rick Lazio (the former Congressman who lost the Senate race to Hillary Clinton in 2000) on board to do political talk leading up to this fall's elections.

And we hear WCKL (560 Catskill) has signed back on the air as a simulcast of oldies WBPM (92.9 Saugerties).

*NEW JERSEY's "Free Beer and Hot Wings" morning show is moving west. Greg Daniels, Chris Michels and Eric Zane have relocated to WGRD (97.9) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, though they'll continue to feed the show back to WTHK (94.5 Trenton) and WCHR-FM (105.7 Manahawkin).

New on the low-power front: W273AO (102.5 Whiting), which will relay WYRS (90.7 Manahawkin) to an area just west of Toms River, and WLOM-LP (92.7 Ocean City), which will be run by Calvary Chapel of Ocean City. And the FCC has withdrawn its grant of W288BM (105.5 Atlantic Highlands), which was to have relayed WHTG-FM (106.3 Eatontown).

*In PENNSYLVANIA, Ross Brittain is the replacement for Don Cannon in morning drive at WOGL (98.1 Philadelphia). The veteran of Hartford's WKSS and New York's WHTZ (where he was Scott Shannon's Morning Zoo partner) also did some time in the City of Brotherly Love at the old "Z106," WZGO (106.1, now WJJZ) back in the eighties.

There's a new morning show on WPHI (103.9 Jenkintown), as PD Colby Colb steps in to replace Jonesy, who's no longer with the station. And Mike Missanelli is out of the morning show at WMMR (93.3 Philadelphia).

Kevin Fitzgerald's been granted a new translator: W237BI (95.3 Wilkes-Barre) will relay WPGP (88.3 Tafton), or so the application says. Over in Shamokin, Four Rivers Community Broadcasting's application for a 94.5 translator has been accepted for filing.

*There's a brand-new FM station in CANADA, as CIGR (104.5 Sherbrooke) signs on with French-language rock as "Generation Rock." It's running 1300 watts at 290 meters from the Radio-Canada tower at Fleurimonte, Quebec.

In Niagara Falls, Ontario, CFLZ (105.1) has been granted its power increase, going from 406 watts (as a class A) to 7200 watts directional (as a class B). That will give "the River" much more signal over Buffalo, and we wonder what it will mean to the pending application from WMJQ (105.5 Brockport) to move to 104.9. (That application was apparently not reported to Canada for consideration in the CFLZ proceeding, and WMJQ's pending application doesn't take the CFLZ upgrade into consideration, either.)

In Belleville, CJLX (92.3) at Loyalist College wants to boost its power: it's applied to move to 91.3 and increase from 50 watts to 3400 watts/164 meters. In nearby Peterborough, King's Kids Promotion Outreach Ministries has been granted 50 watts on 99.5 for a Christian music station, while Andy McNabb applies for a new signal just to the west in Kawartha Lakes (the amalgamated community once known as Lindsay), which would do 50,000 watts directional on 96.7 with a Christian music format. The CJLX and Kawartha Lakes applications will be considered at a CRTC hearing August 9.

In Toronto, Global's been granted a DTV facility to accompany CIII-TV-41 (Channel 41). The digital signal will operate on channel 65, with 3 kW from the CN Tower.

And out in New Brunswick, the CBC will sign off CBZ (970 Fredericton) for good on June 22. It's been supplanted by CBZF (99.5 Fredericton).

*Finally this week, we know it's already June - but perhaps a bargain price will convince you that you still need a 2004 calendar. After all, the 2004 Tower Site Calendar is more than just a bunch of boxes with dates in them - it's also a collection of some of the niftiest broadcast transmission facilities in North America.

Still on the way for later this year are WMT Cedar Rapids IA, WPTF Raleigh NC, WAJR Morgantown WV, the mighty 12-tower night site of 1190 in Dallas (KFXR, at least this week), Lookout Mountain in Denver (shown at left), CKLW in Windsor and WBT in Charlotte, not to mention lots of fun anniversary dates for stations large (Channel 9 in New York) and small (WFAR Farrell PA).

And as we get ready to put the 2005 edition of the calendar into production, we're offering a special deal to clear out our stock of 2004 calendars. For just $8 postpaid (New York orders add 66 cents sales tax for a total of $8.66), you can still own a 2004 Tower Site Calendar.

Maybe you need an extra for the office, or you've marked up your copy and you'd like a pristine one to stash away, or perhaps you've been meaning to get one as a gift for that special someone. Or perhaps you're just cheap (hey, this is radio, after all!) Doesn't matter; the point is, this is your best chance to get a 2004 Tower Site Calendar at a bargain price.

Order this week, and we'll even throw in a third calendar, free, if you order two. (That's $16 postpaid, $17.32 in New York State!)

We'll also throw in an extra calendar, free, for anyone who subscribes to NERW at the $60 level. Remember, your support is what keeps NERW coming to you week after week.

Now what more could you want? (A live jock at 3 AM, maybe?)

Order the 2004 Tower Site Calendar at our special clearance price of $8! (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 ($0.66 per calendar) for New York state calendar orders only, and send them along to 92 Bonnie Brae Avenue, Rochester NY 14618. (Sorry - we can't take orders by phone.)

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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 2004 by Scott Fybush.