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.
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
*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.
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,
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
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.
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?)
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
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2004 by Scott Fybush.