August 9, 2004
A Day of Memories at Syracuse's WOLF
*Plenty of top-40 stations around the country
have held reunions of former staffers, but we think it's a pretty
good bet that few have been as well attended as Saturday's homecoming
at WOLF (1490) in Syracuse, NEW YORK.
not every 1000-watt graveyarder AM signal (250 watts, back in
the day!) that draws back staffers from as far back as the day
the station signed on in 1940 (like former sports director Red
Parton, seen at right in the photo at left) - and it's certainly
not every small AM station that draws back staffers who worked
for just a few months in the summer of 1978 (like CBS Radio News
correspondent Peter King, in the yellow shirt, who came all the
way from his home base in Orlando, Florida for the reunion.)
But then, not every little station like WOLF has historical
caretakers like Bob Mitchell and Lee Goodman, whose wolf1490.net
site chronicles the history of WOLF from the beginning all the
way to its current incarnation as part of a four-station Radio
Disney simulcast in Central New York. Bob and Lee were planning
this reunion for months, and it showed, not only in the former
staffers who packed the little WOLF building on Saturday morning
but also in the huge collection of WOLF photos, T-shirts, surveys,
banners and whatnot that covered the walls of the restaurant
where the reunion luncheon was held.
for that matter, do many stations this size have an alumni roster
that includes names like Dick Clark (who worked at WOLF while
he was a student at Syracuse University), Marv Albert, CBS network
announcer Wendell "Windy" Craig, Chicago legend Fred
Winston, Detroit morning legend Dick Purtan, Boston radio legend
Dale Dorman, WCBS-FM afternoon guy Bob Shannon (who was still
Don Bombard in his WOLF days), and the list goes on and on.
Clark sent recorded greetings, and many other former WOLF'ers
showed up in person - not just Craig and Bombard but also some
other names familiar around NERW-land, like WBZ (1030 Boston)
anchor Bob McMahon (who was at WOLF in 1972-73), WWSW (94.5 Pittsburgh)
afternoon jock Mike Frazer and Clancy-Mance Communications owner
Dave Mance. And plenty of ex-WOLF staffers who stuck around the
Syracuse market showed up as well, including WSTM (Channel 3)
sports anchor Joe Zone, WYYY (94.5) morning team Rick Gary and
PD Kathy Rowe and WBBS (B104.7) morning guy Ron Bee. (We've still
just scratched the surface of the guest list!)
Rick and Ron co-hosted the three-hour reunion show on WOLF,
and we should point out here that the show was made possible
by current WOLF owner Craig Fox, who graciously opened up the
station's building on West Kirkpatrick Street ("it hasn't
changed a bit," commented many attendees) and its airwaves
for the event.
A good time was had by all - and we suspect there will soon
be lots of new pictures and stories at wolf1490.net, too!
*Downstate, the big news was Opie and Anthony's Thursday announcement
that they'll be returning to the airwaves via satellite radio,
XM to be exact. XM subscribers will have to fork over an extra
$1.99 a month for access to the new O&A morning show, and
we have no doubt that they'll find a willing niche audience.
In Albany, WRGB (Channel 6) anchor and WGY (810 Schenectady)
weekend host Joe Pagliarulo has a new weekday afternoon gig -
he'll be doing the 2-4 PM shift on the Michigan Talk Radio Network,
presumably by ISDN. (Joe knows Michigan well from his days at
WEYI, WLAJ and WWMT there.) What of his regular 11-2 fill-in
duties at Rochester's WHAM (1180)? We're waiting to hear...
Rochester's jazz station is now operating at its full power.
WGMC (90.1 Greece) has actually been running at 7500 watts since
it powered up last winter - but it received its license to cover
last week for the full (directional) 15 kW in its construction
permit. (Here at NERW Central, it still suffers from intermod
noise from the nearby Pinnacle Hill tower site, alas.)
A former WGMC'er, Tom Pethic, is back on the air - he'll bring
his "Artistry in Jazz" show to WLGZ (990 Rochester)
from 10-noon on Saturdays, beginning next weekend.
We're hearing at least one live jock on WFXF (95.1 Honeoye
Falls), with Joe Riley doing afternoons at Clear Channel's classic
rock "Fox." Riley's also heard on Saturday nights on
sister station WVOR (100.5 Rochester). (No, we don't expect a
correction to the local paper's wildly inaccurate report a few
weeks back that neither Fox nor its sister station WNVE would
use live jocks...)
On the LPTV beat, Craig Fox (yup, of WOLF fame) flipped two
of his outlets upstate to home shopping last week. WBXO-LP (36
Rochester) is now WHSH-CA, with HSN in place of MTV2; W51BA (51
Syracuse) is now WHSU-CA, with America's Store.
On the translator front: new CPs were granted this week to
W267AT (101.3 Sherburne, where EMF will relay WKVU 100.7 Utica)
and to Clear Channel for W290BB (105.9 Warwick, relaying WSUS
102.3 Franklin NJ), W231BI (94.1 Utica, relaying WUCL 93.5 Remsen),
W248AN (97.5 Little Falls, relaying WOUR 96.9 Utica), W274AT
(102.7 Little Falls, relaying WUMX 102.5 Rome) and W257BU (99.3
Hudson, relaying WRVE 99.5 Schenectady). Again, we suspect many
of these are simply "blocker" applications and are
unlikely to be built...
And we close our Empire State report by remembering Bob Murphy,
the veteran New York Mets announcer who died Tuesday (August
3) in Florida. Not only did Murphy call the Mets on radio and
TV from their start in 1962, he also called Red Sox games with
Curt Gowdy on WHDH from 1954 until 1959. Murphy was 79.
big news in VERMONT is the impending final concert
of the band Phish, who will call it quits next weekend at the
Coventry Festival at the Newport State Airport in Coventry. Previous
Phish events have included low-power radio stations, but this
time the band's going full-power. Phish will lease out WMOO (92.1
Derby Center) for the weekend, replacing the usual hot AC programming
with "Bunny Radio," nonstop live broadcasts from the
festival stage and traffic information for arriving Phish-heads.
(You bet we'd like to hear airchecks...)
Across the state, Steve Silberberg's WXAL (93.7 Addison) applies
to move across Lake Champlain to a tower site near Westport,
New York, where it will run 21kW at 354' and be a neighbor to
WCLX (102.9 Westport). (Irony time: the station began as an allottment
to Hague, New York, before a clever reallocation moved it across
the lake to Addison in the first place.)
*A NEW HAMPSHIRE correction from
last week: WSNH (900 Nashua) is broadcasting the oldies of WMEX
(106.5 Farmington), yes, but not as a simulcast - yet. That'll
come within a few weeks, we're told.
An interesting consulting
assignment for two New Hampshire Public Radio managers: GM Mark
Handley and PD Michael Arnold are spending this week in Ukraine,
helping the former Soviet republic set up its own public radio
*A quiet week in MASSACHUSETTS - but
news is on the way, we're told. WBIX (1060 Natick) is done building
out its new nighttime facilities at the WAMG (890 Dedham) site
in Ashland, and we hear the business-talk station hopes to be
operating under program test authority by the end of the month.
Two new translators: W275AS (102.9 Greenfield) will relay
WYRY (104.9 Hinsdale NH), while W228BS (93.5 Pittsfield) will
relay WHYN-FM (93.1 Springfield).
*A very belated PENNSYLVANIA obituary:
we just noted this week that the FCC transferred WKOK (1070 Sunbury),
WQKX (94.1 Sunbury) and WEGH (107.3 Northumberland) to the estate
of Roger Haddon, Sr., and lo and behold, we find that Haddon
died back on April 1. The 77-year-old lawyer was the son of Harry
Haddon, who was one of WKOK's founders way back in the early
thirties; the station remains under Haddon family ownership.
On the translator front: new grants this week include W300BI
(107.9 Granville Township, relaying WCHX 105.5 Lewistown), W277BH
(103.3 Minersville, relaying WKSB 102.7 Williamsport), W273BA
(102.5 York, relaying WHKF 99.3 Harrisburg), W244BV (96.7 Erie,
relaying WREO 97.1 Ashtabula OH) and W243BQ (96.5 Glendower,
relaying WRFY 102.5 Reading.)
A new DTV signal is on the air: we're told WHTM-DT (Channel
10) is now broadcasting in Harrisburg, where it's rather short-spaced
to WCAU in Philadelphia and WTAJ in Altoona.
*One NEW JERSEY translator grant:
W275AT (102.9 Four Corners) will relay WSUS (102.3 Franklin).
*FM listeners in CANADA's biggest
city heard a new signal testing last week: the CBC was running
French-language programming on 98.7 from Toronto's First Canadian
Place (the "Bank of Montreal building"), testing out
the frequency on Industry Canada's behalf as that agency looks
for still more new frequencies to utilize on that already-crowded
dial. Rumor has it that the CBC would like to move CJBC (860)'s
French programming to FM one of these days...
DTV news: Rogers has been granted DTV permits for its two
Toronto stations - CFMT ("Omni.1") will run 15 kW on
channel 64, while CJMT ("Omni.2") will run 15 kW on
Milkman UnLimited reports that CHMY (96.1 Renfrew ON)
is now on the air for real, as "My 96.1." Also on the
air for real now is CJTN-FM (107.1 Quinte West ON), which is
simulcasting CJTN (1270) and will replace the AM for good in
a few months.
In Quebec, supporters
of the embattled CHOI (98.1 Quebec City) will board buses Tuesday
to demonstrate on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, calling on the federal
government to reverse the CRTC's revocation of the station's
license. How many buses? Word is that the station sold out 35
buses (at $9.81 a seat) in a day.
In Sherbrooke, Cogeco's "Rhythme FM" is now on the
air at CFGE (93.7); it'll eventually have a relay, CFGE-1, from
Mont Orford on 98.1.
And out in Moncton, New Brunswick, CKOE (100.9) applies to
move to 107.3 and move its antenna up from 8 to 25 meters.
*Finally, we know it's now August
- 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? Perhaps a 2005 calendar, chock-full
of pretty pictures of stations like WBBR, KXNT, WDEL and WDEV?
Just hang tight for a few weeks - next year's edition will be
available for ordering soon, and we'll be shipping by early September
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
Thanks for your support!
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2004 by Scott Fybush.