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July 4, 2005
Pop Goes "Cool Pop" in Harrisburg
Happy Fourth of July - and, to
our Canadian readers - a belated Happy Canada Day! A quick look
at what's making news this holiday-shortened week...and our thanks
for your support during our Early Summer Subscription Drive!
(Didn't subscribe last week? It's never too late - click here.)
*Citadel never got much respect for its attempt
to do a pop-oriented top 40 in central PENNSYLVANIA, and
last week the company pulled the plug on "Cool Pop"
at WCPP (106.7 Hershey), replacing it on Thursday with soft AC
as "Mix 106.7."
That wasn't the only change Citadel made in the Harrisburg
area; the company also announced that it's selling WQXA (1250
York) to Wilkins Communications Network, which runs a chain of
10 religious stations that includes WWNL (1080 Pittsburgh). The
$250,000 sale has already brought an end to WQXA's "Real
Country" programming, with Wilkins taking over via a time
brokerage agreement last Friday.
Over in the State College market, WGMR (101.1 Tyrone) dropped
its "Revolution" moniker in favor of "G101,"
completing its transition from modern rock to top 40.
In Pittsburgh, Ron Atkins replaces George Cook as PD of WAMO-FM
(106.7 Beaver Falls), WPGR (1510 Monroeville) and WAMO (860 Millvale)/WJJJ
(107.1 Greensburg), returning to the post he held a few years
And we join the Keystone State engineering community in remembering
Jeff "Bix" Bixby, who died June 25 at age 61. Bixby
was known for his work with complex AM antenna systems, including
KDKA in Pittsburgh and WINS in New York. He had most recently
been running his own engineering firm, BixTech LLC of Lykens,
Pennsylvania, and had just been awarded the Pennsylvania Association
of Broadcasters' "Broadcast Tube" plaque for his contributions
to the industry.
*An obituary this week, as well, for a veteran
NEW JERSEY overnight jock: Willie Twyman was an early
part of "New Jersey 101.5" on WKXW (101.5 Trenton)
with his "Third Shift" show; he died June 25, at the
far-too-early age of 45.
(There's a nice tribute to Twyman from Perry Michael Simon
of All Access right
here; from Perry's blog, we also learn that consultant Walter
Sabo, who crafted the "New Jersey 101.5" format, is
a daddy again, having welcomed Meredith Grace Sabo to the world
on Friday. Congratulations!)
*There was one format change last week in
NEW YORK, and it came in response to the impending demise
of AP's All News Radio format. WDNB (102.1 Jeffersonville), which
had been using the AP service to bring news radio to the Catskills,
flipped to country as "Thunder 102."
(What of the Empire State's other All News Radio affiliate?
WYSL 1040 in Avon is adding CNN Headline News service when the
AP's fulltime format goes dark July 15.)
While we're in the Finger Lakes, we note that WWLF (1340 Auburn),
the Radio Disney simulcast of Syracuse's WOLF (1490), was off
the air for a few days after a storm damaged its site. We're
told things are now back to normal over there.
*Don't sound the death knell yet for WSMN
(1590) in Nashua, NEW HAMPSHIRE. The station signed off
in January after losing its studio and tower site just off Route
3 - but now the license has been purchased, for a reported $250,000,
by Tom Monaghan's Absolute Broadcasting, which also owns WSNH
(900 Nashua). Monaghan says he'll have the station back up and
running from a temporary transmitter site by the end of August;
NERW wonders whether a replacement for WSMN's three-tower directional
array could ever be built in what's now a very pricey and NIMBY-prone
part of New England...
*Two VERMONT TV translators are off
the air, apparently for good, after losing their lease for tower
space on Equinox Mountain above Manchester. W69AD relayed WCAX
(Channel 3) from Burlington, while W36AX relayed Vermont Public
TV's WETK (Channel 33); both used a tower site owned by the Carthusian
monks, who declined to renew the lease for the site. WCAX tells
the Bennington Banner that it has no replacement site,
while VPT says the translator was apparently serving only four
member households at the end.
*PDs on the move in MASSACHUSETTS:
Radio and Records reports that WAAF (107.3 Westborough)
PD Keith Hastings resigned Friday, ending a three-year stint
at the Entercom active rocker. (His resignation will take effect
Meanwhile, the Boston Globe reports that Jerry
McKenna is departing Entercom's WMKK (93.7 Lawrence) to take
the PD chair at Infinity's "Mix" WBMX (98.5 Boston).
Up on Great Blue
Hill, the word is that Radio One's WBOT (97.7 Brockton) has moved
in with its new facilities. Instead of the former 2.7 kW/492'
facility in Abington, "Hot 97-7" is now reaching more
of Boston with 2 kW/568' from a directional antenna atop the
hill in Milton. (We hope to have pictures soon!)
And up on the North Shore, WBOQ (104.9 Gloucester) announced
that it's joining the Red Sox network after the All-Star break,
bringing a strong FM signal to an area that's sometimes iffy
for flagship WEEI (850 Boston) after dark.
*In southeastern CONNECTICUT, WSUB
(980 Groton) has completed handing off its news-talk format to
WXLM (102.3 Stonington), and we're told the AM side has now flipped
to Spanish hits as "Magia 980."
*One bit of news from CANADA, amidst
the Canada Day celebrations up there: the CBC has won permission
to move Radio Two relay CBL-FM-1 in Huntsville, Ontario from
104.7 to 106.9. CFBK (105.5 Huntsville) had complained of interference
from the CBC signal; the station says it's still worried that
70 kW on 106.9 will impair reception of its own signal, though
its request to the CRTC to reduce Radio Two's power was denied.
*Our special clearance pricing continues
for fans of the Tower Site Calendar 2005. We're well aware
that many of the calendar's fans buy it for the pictures, not
the actual calendar pages...but that doesn't change the fact
that by this time of the year, we're not exactly shipping 'em
out the door at a breakneck pace, and Mrs. NERW would very much
like a corner of her living room back.
So while she rediscovers the floor beneath those boxes of
calendars and we begin to line up the images for Tower Site Calendar
2006, you get the very first crack at our Calendar
Clearance Deal for 2005.
Here's how it works:
instead of our list price of $16 for this fabulous, full-color,
glossy calendar, you can now pick one up for just $8,
postpaid. ($8.64 to New York State addresses.) Better yet, if
you order two calendars at this special clearance price, we'll
throw in a third for free - $16 for THREE calendars, with nine
exciting months of 2005 yet to go. (That's $17.28 in NYS.)
Maybe you've already hung your original 2005 calendar on the
wall, and you're thinking it would be nice to have another copy
to stick away in pristine condition. Maybe you really want to
frame that spectacular September page right now - but you still
need a calendar later this year. Maybe you just want to help
Mrs. NERW clean out the living room and give happy NERW baby
Ariel more space to practice walking.
Whatever your motive, now's your big chance, because while
there are still 2005 calendars left, there may not be any in
a few weeks. (Remember, the 2002 and 2003 editions were total
sellouts, and I've had to turn away several of you who were hoping
to add these now-rare calendars to your collections.)
And we've got two more great deals for you, too. We still
have a few 2004 calendars left, and while they're getting rare,
Mrs. NERW wants them gone - so they're yours, in pristine condition,
for just $5 postpaid. (Buy two and the third is free!) Or order
the 2004 and 2005 calendars together for just $10, postpaid.
(What a deal!)
(New York orders pay $5.40 for the 2004 calendar, $10.80 for
the 2004 and 2005 together.)
And as always, the calendar's free with your $60 or higher
subscription to NorthEast Radio Watch/fybush.com. In fact, as
part of our Early Summer Subscription Drive, you can be among
the first to reserve your free 2006 Tower Site Calendar with
your $60 subscription - and we'll even send you a 2005 as well,
if you ask. Remember, we count on your subscription dollars to
keep NERW coming each and every Monday morning!
You can use PayPal, below, or send your check or money order,
payable to Scott Fybush, to 92 Bonnie Brae Avenue, Rochester
NY 14618. (Please note that the prices below are valid for U.S.
and Canadian orders only; please e-mail for information about
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 (8.%) 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.)
Thanks for your support!
NorthEast Radio Watch is made possible by the generous
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learn how you can help make continued publication possible. NERW
2005 by Scott Fybush.