June 5, 2006
Whoopi Displaces KTU Morning Crew
*Some big changes are underway at
Clear Channel's big New York City cluster, most notably in mornings
at WKTU (103.5 Lake Success), which is pulling the plug on the
current Baltazar and Goumba Johnny morning show at the end of
July, in favor of Whoopi Goldberg's new syndicated offering.
Whoopi will have a new sidekick, too, as Paul "Cubby"
Bryant moves over from CC sister station WHTZ (100.3 Newark),
where he's now afternoon jock and music director, to join her
on the new morning show.
Baltazar and Goumba had been together on WKTU since 2002,
and Boston listeners might remember Baltazar from an earlier
stint in mornings on WJMN (94.5). (He's also worked at New York's
WQHT and Chicago's WBBM-FM.)
Another change at Z100: PD Tom Poleman (who's also CC's SVP/programming)
moves up to the operations manager position, with APD Sharon
Dastur, a 10 year veteran at Z, replacing him in the PD chair.
(As for the Whoopi show - she's yet to be picked up by any
other stations in NERW-land. And while we hate to be pessimistic,
it's safe to say the track record in New York of morning shows
led by non-radio entertainers hasn't been very good lately. Anyone
remember David Lee Roth?)
STILL HERE - BUT NOT FOR FREE:
If you're a fan of the
national radio message-board sites, you're probably feeling a
little disoriented lately by all the changes they're going through.
Here at NERW, we're now in our
twelfth year of regular, uninterrupted service to our readers,
and we're not going anywhere. Same address, same weekly columns,
same old design. (OK, perhaps a few things could use some freshening
And if we've learned anything
after all those years in the radio website business, it's this:
good things don't come for free. Or at least when
they do, they don't last forever. But thanks to our loyal subscribers
and our growing fleet of advertisers, we've built a solid community
here. We were here in 1994, we're here in 2006, and assuming
there's still a radio dial to cover, we have every intention
- with your support - of still being here in 2018. (I wish I
could say the same about my hairline.)
If you still haven't subscribed
yet for this year, do it right now at our Support
page - and enjoy another exciting year of NERW, guilt-
(and password-) free. And if you have become one of our
many subscribers, thank you!
(And about the whole message-board
shakeups: we've pretty well settled on the new radioinsight.com
as the friendly spot to talk about all things radio and TV with
a minimum of moderator interference and petty rivalry. Whatever
may be happening behind the scenes between radioinsight and the
new management at radio-info.com,
it doesn't look very professional to reflexively delete every
message that so much as hints at the existence of the other site,
as the anonymous moderators at radio-info are now doing. Sure,
we still read the boards there - but if you're looking for our
"insight" about the industry, you'll find us doing
most of our posting at radioinsight.com these days. Now, if either
board would just introduce a filter that would automatically
dump every post explaining why every market in America needs
a dance station...)
*Another New York morning team, XM/CBS Radio's Opie and Anthony,
are expanding their reach. CBS announced four new markets for
the duo last week, including Rochester, where they'll be heard
on delay at 3 PM on WZNE (94.1 Brighton). The move makes "The
Zone" more of a talk station, with O&A joining the Chicago-based
Rover morning show amidst the modern rock that's heard the rest
of the day. (Why not make WZNE a full-fledged "Free FM"
outlet? We suspect that may have something to do with the Rochester
cluster being one of the markets that CBS Radio is trying to
sell - and the latest rumor in that department has the
former regional management team of the old American Radio Systems
looking to pick up at least the Rochester and Buffalo clusters
One more note about O&A - they're not displacing the struggling
Rover show (which just lost its producer) in mornings on WZNE,
and we suspect the reason may have something to do with protecting
the franchise player at the cluster, WCMF (96.5) morning man
Brother Wease, who gave Gregg "Opie" Hughes his start
in the business.
What did Big Dan say? Yes, that was the S-word (and we don't
mean "Sirius") escaping from the legendary Dan Ingram's
lips on the "Rewound" talk show last Monday night on
WABC (770). It seems Ingram, who was being interviewed by phone,
was rather worked up discussing a lawsuit he'd filed against
someone using his name, and while the dump button caught his
first profanity, the delay hadn't caught up enough to keep his
followup "F-bomb" from going out, much to the surprise
of the Musicradio 77 fans who'd tuned in. (And you know what?
After almost half a century of bringing smiles to New York radio
listeners, we can forgive Big Dan one slip.)
It's the Callsign That Wouldn't Die: "WMJQ" has
been attached to several signals in upstate New York over the
last three decades, starting on 92.5 in Rochester (now WBEE-FM)
in the late seventies and eighties, then on 102.5 in Buffalo
(now "Star" WTSS) in the late eighties and early nineties,
and then on 105.5/104.9 Brockport until it became "K-Love"
WKUV a few months back. And now the calls are making an appearance
on the AM dial, on Bud Williamson's CP for a new 1330 in Ontario,
just east of Rochester.
Oswego's WRVO (89.9) will dedicate its new studio facility
- and turn on its new 50,000-watt HD Radio signal - at an open
house Saturday (June 10). NPR talk host Neal Conan ("Talk
of the Nation") will be on hand to officially open the new
digs, which replace "temporary" studios that were put
into operation 37 years ago. (The new studios have actually been
in use since January, but who wants to visit Oswego in January?)
Longtime Rochester viewers have fond memories of Al White,
the "Troubleshooter" consumer reporter on WOKR (Channel
13, now WHAM-TV) in the seventies and early eighties. White moved
to New York's Channel 9 (WWOR-TV Secaucus) in 1987, then ended
up in North Carolina after a big staff purge at WWOR a few years
later - and we're sorry to report that he died on May 9 in Charlotte,
North Carolina, at 68.
A veteran of the Buffalo TV scene is getting ready to scale
back his workload. After 32 years at WGRZ (Channel 2), Rich Kellman
tells the Buffalo News that he's ready to move into some
sort of part-time capacity at the station, to spend more time
with his family outside the region (including his mother, who's
now 100 years old.)
At the other end of the state, WCQL (95.9) has changed city
of license from Glens Falls to Queensbury and has moved its antenna
to the Prospect Mountain site recently vacated by WNYQ (105.7
Queensbury), about which we'll have more to say in just a paragraph
or two. The move, which brings WCQL up to the equivalent of 6
kW (380 watts/388'), improves the station's reach into the Lake
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*In NEW JERSEY, a Seton Hall University
audit uncovered what appears to be a long pattern of embezzlement
by former WSOU (89.5 South Orange) station manager Michael Collazo.
He was arrested Thursday and charged with money laundering and
theft by deception, which could lead to as much as 10-20 years
behind bars if he's convicted.
The university says Collazo, who ran WSOU from 1984-2004,
set up a shell company in 1991 called "Warren Sound Options
Unlimited," which spells out "W.S.O.U." Collazo
is accused of diverting $550,000 in underwriting revenue and
subcarrier lease payments from the station's own account to his
phony "W.S.O.U." account.
Collazo had been working as a flight attendant since he was
fired from Seton Hall two years ago, when problems with the station's
accounts began to surface. The university says its insurance
has repaid the missing money to the proper WSOU accounts.
Al Brooks has been named as the new news director for Press
Communications' seven-station cluster. Brooks also does morning
news for Press' "Breeze" trio on the Jersey Shore.
*VERMONT Public Radio is adding
to its network with the acquisition of WJAN (95.1 Sunderland)
from Pamal. The Albany-based broadcaster needs to shed WJAN,
which is technically in the Albany market, in order to complete
its purchase of now-silent WNYQ (105.7 Queensbury) and return
the station to the air from a new city of license of Malta and
a new transmitter site at the WNYT (Channel 13) tower on Bald
Hill, northeast of Albany. For VPR, the $625,000 deal will (we
suspect) bring the broadcaster's new classical network to southwestern
Vermont, complementing WBTN-FM (94.3 Bennington), which carries
VPR's main network. From its perch high atop Equinox Mountain,
WJAN (which now runs "Cat Country," simulcasting WJEN
94.5 Rutland) reaches well into eastern New York with its 96-watt
(We're wondering, too, whether Pamal will end up having to
shed WJEN or any other Rutland-market properties to avoid market-concentration
issues from its pending signal trade with Clear Channel, which
would give Pamal near-total control of the Rutland radio market.)
*In MASSACHUSETTS, Eddie Andelman
celebrated his 17th Hot Dog Safari Sunday at the Suffolk Downs
racetrack. This was Andelman's first year with Greater Media's
WTKK (96.9 Boston), and two other Greater Media signals - classic
hits WROR (105.7) and country WKLB (99.5) joined in the festivities,
which raise money for the Joey Fund for Cystic Fibrosis.
Andelman says this was another record-breaking year for the
event. 14 hot dog vendors, plus several sausage makers, served
their wares to long lines of hungry patrons while Andelman broadcast
his "Sports Huddle" show live over WTKK. (And your
editor didn't need to eat anything for dinner after gorging himself
on all those dogs...)
On the way to the Safari, we stopped off to visit several
stations in the Pioneer Valley - and we should note that WFCR
(88.5 Amherst) is building up its translator network in a big
way. The first link, W266AW North Adams (101.1), just signed
on a few weeks ago from the WUPE (100.1) tower above the Horseshoe
Curve east of North Adams, and it will be followed by a string
of signals stretching down through Berkshire County to improve
WFCR's coverage of the state's westernmost end.
We'll be heading back through the area next weekend,
too - your editor will be on hand Saturday night to mark the
55th birthday of WCAP (980 Lowell) with fellow alumni of the
station, which has launched so many careers over the years. The
reunion will be heard live as part of the "Saturday Night
Sock Hop" from 6-10 PM. If you're also a WCAP veteran, get
in touch with Gary Francis at 978-937-0772 for more information.
And while it's far too early to be thinking about next year's
hockey season (we're still mourning the end of the Sabres' run
at the Stanley Cup), the AHL Springfield Falcons have signed
a new broadcast deal with Clear Channel sports talker WNNZ (640
Westfield) that will move the team back to 640 after a year on
WMAS (1450 Springfield).
(Stay tuned for next week's NERW, wherein we'll finally get
around to the remainder of our 2006 baseball listings, covering
the NY-Penn League and the independent leagues.)
*In RHODE ISLAND, WPRO (630 Providence)
shuffles its schedule a bit, replacing Sean Hannity in the 7-10
PM slot with Jay Severin, who's nominally based up north in Boston
but who usually broadcasts from his home just to the south on
Long Island's East End. (Hannity fans in Providence have little
trouble hearing him live on flagship WABC, in any event.)
Down in Westerly, WKIV (88.1) applies to move from its present
site, on a telephone pole behind its former studios, to a communications
tower in North Stonington, Connecticut. It'll increase power
as well, going from 100 watts/12 meters to 1.2 kW/32 meters.
*CONNECTICUT Public Radio - aka "WNPR"
- has pulled the last of its weekday music programs off its schedule,
becoming a fulltime news-talk outlet. The latest changes at the
network (which includes WPKT 90.5 Meriden/Hartford, WNPR 89.1
Norwich, WEDW 88.5 Stamford and WRLI 91.3 Southampton NY) take
effect Monday, replacing morning music and the noon "Lunchtime
with Mozart" with a new 9-10 AM news/talk show called "Where
We Live," followed by WBUR's "On Point" and NPR's
"Fresh Air" and "Day to Day." Evening and
overnight music is replaced by rebroadcasts of daytime talk programs
and BBC World Service; some music remains on weekends with Metropolitan
Opera broadcasts, the "Sunday Spotlight" show and "Pipedreams."
Listeners in much of southern Connecticut will continue to
hear classical music on the WMNR (88.1 Monroe) and WSHU (91.1
Fairfield) networks, while some parts of northern Connecticut
can hear WFCR (88.5 Amherst MA) and the ever-shrinking classical
portion of the WGBH (89.7 Boston) schedule.
One other Nutmeg State move this week: Chris Kellogg moves
from KRAV in Tulsa to Cox's "Coast" WCTZ (96.7 Stamford)
for mornings and APD duties.
*In PENNSYLVANIA, JoJo Brooks, late
of WKSS (95.7) in Hartford, has landed as midday jock on WIOQ
(102.1) in Philadelphia.
CBS is getting ready to move out of the Independence Mall
East building that it inherited from Westinghouse along with
KYW (1060) and KYW-TV (Channel 3). The building, which was leased,
will be torn down next year and replaced by a Jewish history
museum. KYW radio, along with WYSP (94.1), will move next door
to two floors at 400 Market Street, while KYW-TV and WPSG (Channel
57) will relocate to a new facility at 1500 Spring Garden Street.
(NERW notes that CBS has been busy moving many of its heritage
stations - Chicago's WBBM/WBBM-FM recently vacated its historic,
albeit rundown, McClurg Court building, while KNX in Los Angeles
moved out of the old Columbia Square facility last year, much
to the dismay of broadcast historians everywhere.)
KYW had been in the building at Fifth and Market since 1973,
when the stations moved from the old KYW Building on Walnut Street.
And Porky Chedwick has resigned from WKFB (770 Jeannette),
the latest Pittsburgh-market station for the venerable Steel
City DJ. NERW hears Chedwick and WKFB jock Frankie Day, who bought
the time for Chedwick's show, weren't getting along well. Chedwick,
88, will still go through with plans for an August bus trip to
Cleveland for an appearance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
*In CANADA, Maritime Broadcasting
System is changing its plans for this summer's planned move of
CFCY (630 Charlottetown, PEI) to FM. CFCY had planned to build
its own tower, but it now tells the CRTC it will instead locate
on the big CBC tower that sits halfway between Charlottetown
and the Confederation Bridge. As a result, CFCY wants to use
100 kW/253 meters, instead of the original 73 kW facility the
CRTC approved for use on 95.1.
Rob Alexander is the new operations manager for MBS' three
stations (CFBC/CIOK/CJYC) in Saint John, N.B., coming east from
Alberta, where he was Newcap's regional PD.
Our May 22 issue reported that Evanov was testing the signal
of its new Halifax station, CKHZ (Z103.5) - and given our trust
in the source who reported hearing the tests, we were surprised,
to say the least, to read a few days later in the respected Milkman UnLimited
that Evanov denied it was doing any testing there. Milky's now
reporting that he's heard from several folks out in Nova Scotia
who were indeed hearing the tests, and that Evanov hasn't responded
to requests for clarification. (The moral here, we think? Don't
mess with the Milkman - or with NERW!)
In Montreal, CFQR (92.5) has flipped from "Q92"
to "Madonna 92," at least for the three weeks leading
up to Madonna's June 22 concert there, after which it will be
back to "Q."
In Ontario, CKOL (93.7 Campbellford) applies to add a relay
in Madoc, operating on 100.7 with 49 watts/32 meters. And CKSG
(93.3 Cobourg) wants to boost its power, going to 15 kW/226 meters,
still with a directional antenna limiting radiation across the
lake in the direction of Rochester's WFKL (93.3 Fairport).
the NERW Archives
(Yup, we've been doing this a long time now, and
so we're digging back into the vaults for a look at what NERW
was covering one, five and ten years ago this week, or thereabouts
- the column appeared on an erratic schedule in its earliest
years as "New England Radio Watch," and didn't go to
a regular weekly schedule until 1997. Thanks to LARadio.com
for the idea - and thanks to you, our readers, for the support
that's made all these years of NERW possible!)
June 6, 2005 -
- Fans of NEW YORK's WCBS-FM (101.1) have been bemoaning the
station's decline for years, from the removal of pre-Beatles
music from the playlist to the gradual retirement of legendary
jocks like Harry Harrison, Dan Ingram and Dan Daniel to last
year's ouster of longtime PD Joe McCoy. But it didn't make them
any less stunned when the station pulled the plug on oldies Friday
afternoon at 5 (with less than an hour's warning to most station
staff, reportedly) and flipped to "Jack FM," bringing
the "adult hits" format to the number-one market in
much the same way it's appeared everywhere: no DJs, no newscasters,
no commercials at first, just music and attitude-filled liners.
(The first song, for the record: the Beastie Boys' "Fight
For Your Right (To Party)," certainly the first time that
group's ever been heard at 101.1 on the dial.)
- Upstate, Media One closed on its $4.5 million deal to add
Vox's WKSN (1340 Jamestown), WHUG (101.9 Jamestown) and WQFX
(103.1 Russell PA) to its existing Jamestown duo of WJTN (1240)
and WWSE (93.3). The deal gives Jim Embrescia's company a near-lock
on the radio market there.
- The eyes of the radio community will be squarely on the NEW
JERSEY Palisades next Saturday (June 10), as the historic Armstrong
tower in Alpine hosts a commemoration of the 70th anniversary
of Major Armstrong's pioneering FM broadcasts. The broadcast,
which starts at noon, will include recordings of Armstrong's
broadcasts from the 1940s and early 50s, as well as the radio
documentary "Empire of the Air." It'll be heard on
experimental station WA2XMN, operating from the Armstrong tower
over a Phasitron transmitter lovingly hand-built by Philadelphia
engineer Steve Hemphill and transmitting at Armstrong's original
42.8 MHz frequency.
- MASSACHUSETTS is mourning a Red Sox broadcaster. J.P. Villaman
was the Sox' Spanish-language radio play-by-play man. He rolled
his car off a road in Wilmington early on the morning of May
30; he was 46.
June 4, 2001 -
- Five years after Cox threw it on the air as a format-flipping
stunt format, radio geeks are still talking about the one day
of "Quick 108" at Syracuse's WHEN-FM (107.9, now WWHT).
So it's not surprising to hear that the "just the hooks"
loop of music-testing tapes has returned to the central NEW YORK
airwaves. This time it's 50 miles down the Thruway in Utica,
and this time it's Clear Channel doing the "Quick"
thing, while it waits to announce a new format for WSKS (102.5
Rome). The station's old "Kiss" CHR format migrated
down (and up) the dial to the former "Wow FM," WOWZ
(97.9 Whitesboro) and WOWB (105.5 Little Falls) last week, and
the leading rumor now suggests the permanent format on 102.5
will be country, challenging Forever's market-leading WFRG-FM
(104.3 Utica). The only big question left is: when will the flip
finally happen? As of press time late Monday evening, WSKS is
still "Quick"... [Late update: WSKS switched to "K-Garth,"
a stunt format of all Garth Brooks music, Tuesday night.]
- Syracuse's WNSS (1260) is about to change formats again.
The erstwhile home of the now-defunct Comedy World network has
been simulcasting Citadel sister WLTI (105.9) for the last few
months; within the next 90 days, we're told, it will relaunch
as "ESPN Radio 1260," with Syracuse University football
and basketball as well as Buffalo Bills football in the fall,
challenging Clear Channel's WHEN (620) for the sports radio audience
in the Salt City.
- We move over to MASSACHUSETTS with a surprise group sale.
After spending the past few years assembling a ring of small
AM stations around Boston, Keating Willcox sold most of his Willow
Farm group this week. Ernie Anastos, who's built his own suburban
radio ring around Albany in the last few years (WQAR Stillwater,
WUAM Saratoga Springs, WVKZ Schenectady and WMVI Mechanicville),
is the buyer, and we've yet to hear a purchase price. The Big
Apple TV news anchor and his partners at Anastos Broadcast Group
end up with WPEP (1570 Taunton), WMSX (1410 Brockton), WGAW (1340
Gardner), WMVU (900 Nashua NH) and WNRI (1380 Woonsocket RI),
leaving Willcox back at square one with his very first property,
WNSH (1570 Beverly). The Willow Farm stations have been running
a mostly-satellite talk format, with a little local content at
each. Will Anastos plug in the standards "Moon" or
classic country "Sun" formats he's using in Albany?
We'll keep you posted...
New England Radio Watch, June 4, 1996
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- There was no NERW for the first two
weeks of June, 1996, while your editor was away on his honeymoon...
*Didn't find a Tower Site Calendar
2006 under the tree/menorah/Blaw-Knox diamond tower model
of your choice over the holidays? Our supply is running low,
but we have a few still available at special clearance
We've got to say,
we're especially proud of the way this year's calendar turned
out. Once again, we bring you more than a dozen images from the
fybush.com collection that have never seen print before, including
that nifty nighttime view of New York's WMCA that graces the
cover. You also get to see WSB, KTAR, Mount Wilson, CBV and many,
many more, plus all those fun dates in radio and TV history,
civil and religious holidays, a handy full-page 2007 calendar,
and the always-popular hole for hanging.
And we do it all with no increase in price, for the fourth
You can get one free with your 2006 subscription
to NERW at the $60 level, or order the calendar (plus other goodies)
at our brand new fybush.com
Store! We think you'll like this one - and as always,
we thank you for your support.
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
2006 by Scott Fybush.