August 16, 2004
Remembering Chuck Leonard
*NEW YORK's WABC (770) holds an outsize
place in the hearts of a lot of radio people in the northeast
- and in large part, that's because of the jocks who dominated
its airwaves (and thus the top 40 world) during its Musicradio
heyday. This week, one of those All-Americans lost his fight
with lung cancer, as Chuck Leonard died on Thursday (August 12).
broadcast career began in Baltimore, where he was heard on WEBB
(1360) from 1963 until 1965, when he moved to New York's WWRL
(1600). Within just a few months, Leonard was heard by WABC's
Dan Ingram, who persuaded station management to bring him over
to do nights, which he did from 1965 until 1979.
As the Musicradio era came to a close, Leonard moved on to
FM, working at WXLO/WRKS and WBLS. In the mid-nineties, he was
heard spinning standards on WQEW (1560) and oldies on Jukebox
Radio (WJUX 99.7 Monticello/W276AQ Fort Lee NJ), and he'd recently
been working at Sirius Satellite Radio, on the Swing Street and
Soul Review channels.
Leonard is survived by his wife, Pamela Horrell Leonard, and
daughters Diana Leonard and Kyra Johnson. He was 67.
*Meanwhile, back on today's radio scene, WNEW (102.7) lost
its operations manager last week, as Infinity moved Smokey Rivers
down to Dallas and the PD chair at KVIL (103.7). Rivers came
in last year when WNEW was being relaunched as "Mix,"
with the apparent goal of turning the station into an AC challenger
to Clear Channel's WLTW (106.7) - but now Mix has morphed into
more of a rhythmic station under the programming leadership of
Frankie Blue, which left Rivers' role undefined.
Out on Long Island, K Communications files to sell WGSM (740
Huntington) and W27CB Huntington to Lee Shubert's Atmar Properties.
No word yet on what becomes of K's Korean programming - or of
WGSM's pending application to move way west across the Hudson
to New Jersey.
upstate, WHEC-TV (Channel 10) in Rochester is losing the anchor
who's been at the helm of its 6 PM newscast since way back in
1976. Gabe Dalmath has been taking a less prominent role at the
station in the last few years, having been moved off the 11 PM
show and on to the 5:30 AM broadcast in 2001 (not, as the local
rag would have it, 1991) - and all that free time in the middle
of the day enabled him to start a second career developing business
for a local mortgage broker. Dalmath will move from the 6 PM
news to the 5 PM news at the end of next week, and he'll leave
the station completely at the end of this year, with Brian Martin
replacing him at 6.
Across town, WROC-TV (Channel 8) has a new news director,
as Lee Eldridge moves north from WNCT-TV (Channel 9) in Greenville,
N.C. to replace the ousted Bob Kirk. Over at WROC (950 Rochester),
morning host Allan Harris is rearranging his show beginning today,
replacing the 8-9 AM hour of "WROC News Now" with a
call-in talk show called "First Talk with Allan Harris."
In Binghamton, WCDW (100.5 Conklin) applies, at last, to change
city of license to Susquehanna PA, thus completing the swap that
started a few years ago when WKGB (92.5 Susquehanna) upgraded
its facilities, moving off the tower east of Binghamton that
it shared with WCDW. That move required WKGB to swap cities of
license with WCDW, a move that will finally come to pass pretty
soon. (WCDW's facilities don't actually move.)
Just over the state line, the new 93.3A allocation at Susquehanna
PA is now reserved for noncommercial use, as is 107.5A at Liberty
A few new translator grants: W229AR (93.7 Waverly) to Dan
Peltz, to relay WLVY (94.3 Elmira) and W262BE (100.3 Alfred)
to Family Life Ministries.
*A central PENNSYLVANIA AM station
wants to move up the dial a notch. WIOO (1000 Carlisle) is applying
to add two more towers to its array (and relocate its existing
single tower), increase day power from 1000 to 5000 watts, add
minimal post-sunset power - and move to 1010.
Its application asks the FCC to investigate WCST (1010 Berkeley
Springs WV), which WIOO says has been off the air for years,
a circumstance that's supposed to be reported to the FCC and
that's supposed to result in WCST's license being deleted. (NERW
notes that WCST was silent when we were in the vicinity in the
summer of 2001...)
It also may face static from Radio One's WOLB (1010 Baltimore),
which WIOO accuses of trying to "warehouse" the contours
of its now-defunct 1000-watt operation. Stay tuned...
In Pittsburgh, Rush Limbaugh is heading for the FM dial. Clear
Channel's pulling the talker (whose show is owned by CC subsidiary
Premiere) over to its WPGB (104.7 Pittsburgh) beginning Nov.
15; that'll leave a hole in the KDKA (1020 Pittsburgh) midday
schedule that will be filled by Bill O'Reilly (noon-2) and an
extra hour of Fred Honsberger (2-3). (And our best wishes to
Honz, by the way, as he recovers from gastric bypass surgery.
He's been on the air from his home for the last week.)
Two new PDs in the Steel City: Greg Gillispie comes home (after
a career that started at WDVE and took him to McVay Media, Burkhart
and Federated Media) to program WWSW (94.5) and WBGG (970), while
Ryan Mill gets promoted from APD/music director to PD at WRKZ
Philadelphia, independent WGTW (Channel 48), licensed to Burlington,
NEW JERSEY, is changing hands. Dorothy Brunson, who put
the station back on the air in the late eighties after the former
WKBS went dark, is selling WGTW to TBN, which will no doubt begin
running its 24-hour religious programming on the powerful signal.
TBN will pay Brunson $7 million and assume up to $41 million
in debts on the station.
New translator grants in the Keystone State: W243BR (96.5
York) to Hope Christian Church of Marlton, which will feed it
the signal of WVBV (90.5 Medford Lakes NJ) via a translator daisy-chain;
W229AQ (93.7 Mansfield) and W245AV (96.9 North East) to Family
And speaking of North East, WEYZ (1530 North East) is reportedly
now simulcasting WMCE (88.5 Erie) from Mercyhurst College; no
word yet on whether this is just an LMA to get the oft-silent
station back on the air or a sale on the way.
*In RHODE ISLAND, WCNX (1180 Hope
Valley) is returning to the air with CNN Headline News audio,
as "Newsradio 1180."
Gois, who already owns WSPR (1270 Springfield) and WACM (1490
West Springfield), is increasing his MASSACHUSETTS reach
with the purchase of WORC (1310 Worcester) from Chowder Broadcast
Group. We'd be surprised if the deal doesn't mean an end to WORC's
talk programming (and - yes! - its Yankees broadcasts) and the
start of full-time Spanish-language programming there. (WORC
already leases time for weekend Spanish broadcasts.)
Sorry to report the death on Friday (Aug. 13) of Vinnie Peruzzi,
known to listeners of WQSX (93.7 Lawrence) as "Disco Vinnie."
Peruzzi's career began in the disco days of WBOS (92.9 Brookline)
and included stints at WNTN (1550 Newton), WZOU (94.5 Boston)
and WXKS-FM (107.9 Medford). Peruzzi was just 51.
*CANADA's capital was the scene of
a huge turnout in support of CHOI (98.1 Quebec City) Tuesday,
as the station brought more than 30 buses full of listeners to
demonstrate on Parliament Hill against CHOI's impending license
Meanwhile, back home in Quebec, one of the province's TV pioneers
has died. Jean Pouliot helped put CFCM (Channel 4) in Quebec
City on the air in the fifties, then founded the TVA network
in 1971, left to buy CFCF radio, TV and CF Cable in Montreal
- and used those stations to launch the Tele Quatre-Saisons (TQS)
network in 1985. (TQS flagship station CFJP in Montreal gets
its call letters from Pouliot's initials, as a matter of fact.)
Pouliot died August 8; he was 81.
In Ottawa, John Rodenburg moves down the hall from CFGO (Team
1200) to CKKL (Bob 93.9), where he'll be the morning host beginning
August 23. Meanwhile over at the Rogers stations, CISS (Kiss
105.3) grabs the entire morning show from Newcap's CIHT (Hot
89.9), beginning at the end of the month.
And in Toronto, Gord Stellick moves from afternoons to mornings
at CJCL (Fan 590) to replace Pat Marsden; Chuck Swirsky heads
into the afternoon slot there.
*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.