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November 20, 2006

Dark Days All Around


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*It's a big issue this week, full of news that we'd, frankly, much rather not be reporting. Before we get to our usual state-by-state roundup, we'll bring you up to speed on the week's three huge stories: the axing of the entire WRKO news department in Boston, the impending sale of Clear Channel (and spinoffs of many of its divisions in the region), and the latest in the ongoing cuts at Clear Channel's stations around the area.

First, the bad news about WRKO news: on Thursday afternoon, the seven staffers who made up the Entercom talk station's newsroom were called into the offices of station management and informed, one by one, that WRKO was moving in a different direction, replacing its local news staff with reports from Metro Networks and increasing the amount of Fox News Radio content being used on the air.

The moment must have felt like deja vu for several of the WRKO staffers: back in 1995, previous owner American Radio Systems dismissed most of the entire news staff, including news director Rod Fritz, and contracted with Metro to provide newscasts. At the time, Metro hired some of the WRKO news talent (including Fritz and Pat Carroll, now at WCBS in New York), and WRKO kept a handful of its own newspeople, including veteran anchor Listo Fisher.

This time, it's total - Fritz and Fisher are both out of work, as are Paul Tuthill (who joined WRKO from Worcester's WTAG when WRKO reversed course in 1999 and rebuilt its newsroom), Mary Blake, Sharon Smith, Marga Bessette and Deb Daigle.

WRKO says it's a cost-cutting measure, "primarily based on our mission to build upon the core identity of WRKO-AM." The station's statement continues: "It is a talk station, and we need to put all of our resources into improving our talk format." (We'd note the big bill coming due for WRKO's expensive new Red Sox deal, too.)

On Friday, Fisher told the Boston Herald that he "find(s) it difficult to conceive of [...] doing a talk show without the news component," adding that he expected the cuts to come at some point. Fisher had been with WRKO for nearly 20 years, after a stint across town at WBZ. (Fritz was at WBZ for a while too, as well as stints at WROR, WMJX, WMEX and WHDH.)

What happens now? WRKO is apparently hoping a new roster of talk hosts (filling the mid-morning shift formerly home to John DePetro, as well as a possible new morning show) can somehow talk about the news without having anyone in-house actually reporting the news. Will listeners buy it - or will they head down the dial to WBZ and WBUR, the last two Boston radio stations with actual news reporters still on the streets?

*Clear Channel sale: The big national trade publications are already covering this story's national implications in far more detail than we can, so we'll limit ourselves to the regional implications of the spinoffs that Clear Channel announced Thursday at the same time it revealed its plan to go private in a buyout valued at more than $26 billion.

Clear Channel says it will make the spins regardless of whether the privatization takes place, divesting itself of 448 radio stations in many of its sub-100 markets, as well as its entire Clear Channel Television division. Here's how it will all play out in NERW-land, beginning with the radio clusters being jettisoned:

Bangor ME - WABI 910 (talk), WKSQ 94.5 Ellsworth (AC), WWBX 97.1 (top 40), WFZX 101.7 Searsport (classic rock), WGUY 102.1 Dexter (oldies), WVOM 103.9 Howland (talk), WBFB 104.7 Brewer (country)

Augusta-Waterville ME - WFAU 1280 Gardiner (sports), WIGY 97.5 Madison (sports), WKCG 101.3 Augusta (soft AC), WQSS 102.5 Camden (classic hits), WMCM 103.3 Rockland (country), WABK-FM 104.3 Gardiner (oldies), WTOS 105.1 Skowhegan (rock)

Upper Valley (VT/NH) - WTSL 1400 Lebanon NH (talk), WGXL 92.3 Lebanon NH (hot AC), WTSM 93.5 Springfield VT (talk), WMXR 93.9 (rock), WXXK 100.5 Lebanon NH (country), WVRR 101.7 Newport NH (rock)

Burlington VT-Plattsburgh NY - WEAV 960 Plattsburgh NY (talk), WVTK 92.1 Port Henry NY (top 40), WEZF 92.9 Burlington (AC), WXZO 96.7 Willsboro NY (talk), WCPV 101.3 Essex NY (classic rock)

Utica NY - WIXT 1230 Little Falls/WRNY 1350 Rome/WADR 1480 Remsen/WUTQ 1550 (sports), WOKR 93.5 Remsen (classic hits), WOUR 96.9 (rock), WSKS 97.9 Whitesboro/WSKU 105.5 Little Falls (top 40), WUMX 102.5 Rome (hot AC)

Binghamton NY - WINR 680 (standards), WENE 1430 Endicott (sports), WKGB 92.5 Conklin (rock), WMXW 103.3 Vestal (ac), WMRV 105.7 Endicott (top 40), WBBI 107.5 Endwell (classic rock)

Poughkeepsie NY - WHUC 1230 Hudson (standards), WRWD 1370 Ellenville (country), WKIP 1450 (standards), WRNQ 92.1 (soft AC), WBWZ 93.3 New Paltz (hot AC), WZCR 93.5 Hudson (oldies), WPKF 96.1 (top 40), WCTW 98.5 Catskill (soft AC), WFKP 99.3 Ellenville (soft AC), WRWD-FM 107.3 Highland (country)

Reading PA - WKAP 1340 (black gospel), WRFY 102.5 (hot AC)

Williamsport PA - WRKK 1200 Hughesville/WRAK 1400 (talk), WBLJ 95.3 Shamokin/WBYL 95.5 Salladasburg (country), WVRT 97.7 Jersey Shore/WVRZ 99.7 Mount Carmel (top 40), WKSB 102.7 (AC)

Lancaster PA - WLAN 1390 (standards), WLAN-FM 96.9 (top 40)

In many of these markets, Clear Channel won't be able to transfer its entire cluster to a single owner, since they're grandfathered above the present ownership limits, so we can expect that at least some of these clusters will split off to multiple owners. We should also note that there are several markets in the region smaller than market 100 that aren't on the cutting block, generally thanks to their proximity to much larger Clear Channel clusters - so Manchester/Portsmouth, New Haven, Springfield, northwest New Jersey and Allentown are all safe, at least at the moment.

Beyond that, there's only speculation, at least for now - and we'll keep you informed as there's more definite news about new owners and new futures for these stations.

Clear Channel's divestiture of its television division includes the seven-station cluster in upstate New York that's made up of Fox affiliate WXXA (Channel 23) in Albany and the four ABC affiliates Clear Channel bought from Ackerley a few years ago - WSYR-TV (Channel 9) in Syracuse, WHAM-TV (Channel 13) in Rochester, WWTI (Channel 50) in Watertown and WIVT (Channel 34) in Binghamton, as well as NBC affiliates WBGT-CA (Channel 20) in Binghamton and WETM-TV (Channel 18) in Elmira. Here, too, any speculation about future owners and other changes is pure conjecture, except to note that whatever happens, any synergies that Clear Channel was exploiting between WHAM-TV (formerly WOKR) and WSYR-TV (formerly WIXT) and its radio clusters in those markets will be history once the sales close.

*Clear Channel cutbacks: Whether or not you believe the official story that Bill Buchner's exit from WLTW (106.7 New York) was unrelated to the large-scale Clear Channel cutbacks, there's no disputing that the axe swung in earnest at the company's New York cluster last week. At WKTU (103.5 Lake Success), imaging guru Harry Legg is out. So are 11-year 'KTU veteran Charlie Burger, who was doing overnights, and Lil' Cee, who was doing late nights. Unrelated (apparently) to the cutbacks, night jock Vic Latino exits as well, replaced by Jagger (from WKCI 101.3 in the New Haven market.)

WAXQ (104.3) cut part-timer Pat St. John and full-time night jock Mark Coppola, moving overnight jock Carol Miller to the 8 PM-1 AM shift. Yes, that means that the overnight shifts on two more stations in market number one are now voicetracked.

In Springfield, the cuts all but eviscerated the news department at WHYN (560) last week, sending news director/afternoon anchor Bill Erickson packing after 31 years with the station. Also out is morning news anchor Denise Vozella, who was on her second stint with WHYN. With Erickson and Vozella gone, WHYN is down to a single newsperson, John Baibak - and the people of Springfield and Hampden County are all the poorer for the lack of a full-fledged radio news department in town.

There were newsroom cuts in Albany, too, including veteran WGY newsman Jim Gagliardi, who'd been with the station for 12 years and in the market for nearly 40, as well as WGY weekend talk host/public service director Laurie Reilly, and WGY news anchor Dave Lucas. Also out, apparently, is WPYX (106.5) PD Steve Haner - and as we go to press Sunday night, we note that the web page for WPYX's "Wakin' Up with the Wolf" show has mysteriously gone missing from the station's site, too.

At Clear Channel in Syracuse, the cuts include WYYY (94.5) morning man Rick Gary, WBBS (104.7 Fulton) APD/afternoon jock Skip Clark, WHEN (620) afternoon sportscaster Brent Axe and DJ Maestro, who did nights on WWHT (Hot 107.9). Kathy Rowe is now solo in mornings on Y94, while Rich Lauber is now doing afternoons on B104.7.

And in addition to the Providence cuts (at WSNE) that we told you about in last week's NERW, WHJY (94.1) loses assistant PD/production director Doug Palmieri, and the cluster loses marketing director Michele Maker.

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In other news this week...

*In MASSACHUSETTS, Charles River Broadcasting officially closed on its sale of WCRB (102.5 Waltham) on Wednesday, handing the keys off to Greater Media, which promptly closed on its deal to swap WCRB's intellectual property and the signal of WKLB (99.5 Lowell) to Nassau. The move of WCRB's classical format to 99.5 (and WKLB's country to 102.5) won't take place until December 1.

Boston Radio Watch reports that four WCRB staffers won't make the move: mid-day announcer Don Spencer, creative services director/announcer Rob Schuller, continuity manager/announcer Larry King and listener services director Roberta Siegel.

Radio People on the Move: Greater Media's WBOS (92.9 Brookline) has a new PD, and he comes from right in house on Morrissey Boulevard, in the person of music director David Ginsburg. Out west, Courtney Quinn moves up from assistant PD/music director to PD at Saga's WLZX (99.3 Northampton MA), while on Cape Cod, Chris Mitchell exits as PD at Nassau's "Frank" (WFRQ 93.5 Harwich Port/WFQR 101.1 Mashpee).

*In addition to all the cutbacks at Clear Channel NEW YORK, there's at least one new name on the schedule. As long-rumored (and not quite denied), WLTW will add Delilah to its lineup in evenings, beginning tonight. PD Jim Ryan says WLTW will get a custom version of Delilah's syndicated show, with material designed specifically for the New York audience.

At Clear Channel's Binghamton cluster, there's a new morning show, as the syndicated "Wake up with Whoopi" arrives at WMXW (103.3 Vestal). There's also a new antenna for WMRV (105.7 Endicott), just installed atop that station's tower over the weekend.

Veteran DJ Don DeRosa is exiting radio ownership: he's selling WAMF (1300 Fulton) to Craig Fox's Cram Communications. Cram pays just $8,500 for the station, which it was already operating (as a Radio Disney simulcast with WOLF 1490 Syracuse) under an LMA.

Some good news out of Clear Channel Rochester? This week, yes - there's now a morning show at WDVI (100.5 the Drive), with Michael Gately taking that shift effective today. Gately goes way back with the cluster, having been with WDVI's prior incarnation as "Mix 100.5" WVOR, and at the old WMAX (now WKGS, "Kiss 106.7") before that.

A few TV People on the Move: Rochester's WHEC (Channel 10) has a new news director, as Mike Goldrick makes the cross-country journey from KOMO-TV in Seattle, where he's executive producer. (He's no relation to Mike Gouldrick, meteorologist for crosstown R News and its sister Time Warner cable news channels.) Two new hires at Buffalo's WGRZ (Channel 2): Kevin O'Neill, famed as the "Why Guy" morning reporter on crosstown WIVB, has jumped stations, joining the "Daybreak" team at WGRZ, albeit without his old nickname, which stays behind at Channel 4. And Jessica Weinstein moves west from WHEC to become a reporter at WGRZ.

And following up on an item in last week's NERW, just hours after the issue went to press, Clear Channel's WHAM-TV (Channel 13) announced that it was indeed acquiring Rochester's cable-only CW affiliate (the former "WRWB") from Time Warner. By Monday night, the rebranded "CW-WHAM" was on the air as a subchannel of WHAM-DT (Channel 59), though it ended up being blacked out briefly on cable as the master control was transferred to WHAM. The new "CW-WHAM" is carrying the first hour of WHAM-TV's morning news, from 5-6 AM, before the syndicated "Daily Buzz" morning show; WHAM-TV officials promise more local programming to come.

Who's doing all-Christmas in the Empire State so far? WLTW (106.7 New York) made the flip last week, as did sister station WALK-FM (97.5 Patchogue) out on Long Island. In Syracuse, WZUN (102.1 Phoenix) made the jump on November 1, it turns out. Up north, WVLF (96.1 Norwood) is broadcasting holiday tunes across the border into eastern Ontario. In Rochester, it's WRMM (101.3) and WVOR (102.3 Canandaigua) making the holiday flip, and down the road in Buffalo, WJYE (96.1) and WTSS (102.5) both flipped.

*The big news from eastern PENNSYLVANIA was the debut of the reborn WJJZ (97.5 Burlington NJ) Friday evening at 6, following two days during which the former WTHK was simulcasting its new Greater Media sister station, classic rock WMGK (102.9 Philadelphia). The new WJJZ signed on with PD Michael Tozzi playing Grover Washington, Jr.'s "Keep the Dream Alive," followed by several hours with Tozzi live at the board. He'll take the 3-7 PM slot beginning this week, followed by Dave Koz's syndicated show. No morning or evening show has been named yet. Music director Margo Marano will voicetrack overnights.

Over at CBS Radio's "Free FM" (WYSP 94.1 Philadelphia), Scotty and Alex have been hired as the new 7-11 PM hosts. They move over from mornings at WJSE (102.7 Petersburg NJ) in the Atlantic City market.

Philly's WBEB (101.1) leads the parade of all-Christmas stations in the Keystone State this week, joining the crowd a few days earlier than it had intended to. (Blame the competition from WJBR 99.5 in nearby Wilmington, which flipped even earlier). Also all-Christmas: WWSW (94.5) and WSHH (99.7) in Pittsburgh, and WFEZ (103.1) in the Scranton market.

*One bit of CONNECTICUT news this week: WFSB (Channel 3) assistant news director Dana Luby replaces Gary Brown as the station's new news director.

*A newly-granted RHODE ISLAND construction permit is being sold. Radio 786 Inc. just received the CP for a new signal on 1370 in Charlestown at the end of October, and now Astro Tele-Communications is paying $91,000 for the right to build out the signal, which will shoot 2500 watts by day and 5000 watts by night out to sea from three towers off US 1 in southern Rhode Island. Astro owns WADK (1540 Newport) and WJZS (99.3 Block Island); at least as authorized in its current CP, the new 1370 will not serve Newport with a listenable signal day or night.

Christmas music in the Ocean State? You bet - WSNE (93.3 Taunton MA) and WWLI (105.1 Providence) have both made the flip. And WSNE gets a new morning show in the deal, too, moving Tad Lemire from part-time duties to the weekday wakeup slot vacated by the cutbacks that removed Joan Edwardsen from that job. (Lemire had done mornings at Hall's WCTK before joining WSNE.)

*Need to park a defunct Philadelphia callsign? The place to do it, apparently, is in the VERMONT-NEW HAMPSHIRE-Massachusetts tri-state region. That's where Nassau is warehousing the WTHK calls for now - on what was formerly WVAY (100.7 Wilmington VT), which simulcasts WEXP (101.5 Brandon) from the Rutland area. And it's where Saga has grabbed the WSNI calls that had two long runs on Philadelphia's 104.5 before that facility went Spanish over the summer. The new WSNI is the former WOQL (97.7 Winchendon MA), which is still playing oldies for Keene listeners.

Another bit of callsign news comes from way up north in Berlin, where Barry Lunderville's new construction permit on 1490 takes the WRTN calls recently jettisoned by what's now WVIP (93.5 New Rochelle NY).

More from the ho-ho-ho brigade: mark down WKSQ (94.5 Ellsworth ME), WKCG (101.3 Augusta ME) and WEZF (92.9 Burlington VT) as going all-Christmas for the duration of the season.

*In CANADA, it's the end of the line for what we believe is the last English-language AM station in Quebec outside of Montreal. Corus has notified the CRTC that it intends to discontinue operation of CKTS (900 Sherbrooke), which relays news-talk CJAD (800 Montreal). Broadcaster magazine reports that CKTS signed off on Sunday, 14 years after it began simulcasting CJAD. (The two stations are no longer co-owned; CJAD is a Standard station.)

Corus tells the CRTC that the CKTS directional array needs "major work," and that Standard declined to cover those costs, so it's turning the station off for good. While the frequency now becomes available for reuse in the market, Sherbrooke is rapidly becoming an all-FM market. The last remaining French-language AM, CHLT (630), has applied to move to FM, and the 50 kW signal of CJRS (1510) has been dark for more than a decade as well.

As for CJAD's remaining listeners in the Anglophone towns of the Estrie region near Sherbrooke, Corus notes that the CJAD signal remains available via the Bell ExpressVu satellite service.

From 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 for the idea - and thanks to you, our readers, for the support that's made all these years of NERW possible!)

November 21, 2005 -

  • It was a busy week for CANADA's regulators, as they denied a closely-watched TV application and announced hearings on several radio applications, including three in the nation's biggest market. The denied application was TV Niagara's, for a new independent station that would have broadcast on channel 22 from a site near St. Catharines, Ontario, from which it would have served not only Niagara Region itself but also the rest of the "Golden Horseshoe" around the western end of Lake Ontario, including Toronto. In turning down TVN's application, the CRTC said it was concerned that the company hadn't budgeted enough to pay the costs of operating a TV station with the ambitious schedule it proposed, including some 36 hours a week of local news and prime-time movies. In particular, the CRTC cited the experience of the former Toronto One (now SUN-TV), which debuted with similar ambitions a few years back and ran into devastating financial problems that eventually led owner Craig Media to be sold. NERW suspects we haven't heard the last of the TV Niagara folks, though; they've already told the CRTC that they believe they can run a more economical operation than Toronto One did, and they have a compelling case to make for the relatively underserved nature of Niagara, in the shadows of the much larger Toronto/Hamilton and Buffalo markets.
  • That was just one piece of a busy week at the CRTC, though. It approved the move of CKDO (1350 Oshawa) to 1580, which will allow the oldies outlet to go from 10 kW day/5 kW night (with a fairly tight directional pattern) to 10 kW fulltime on a Canadian clear channel. (1580 was long occupied by CBJ in Chicoutimi, Quebec, and was later applied for by CHUC Cobourg, which instead is moving to FM.)
  • Moving stateside, NEW YORK got Christmas music in earnest this week - both in the west, where Buffalo's WJYE (96.1) and WTSS (102.5) made the flip, and in the city, where WLTW (106.7 New York) made its earliest flip yet.
  • WLTW also lost one of its longest-running voices, as the station parted ways with Steven E. Roy, who was there at the beginning, in 1984, and who'd become an afternoon fixture at "Lite." There's no word yet on a permanent replacement, or on Roy's next destination.
  • In NEW JERSEY, mornings are a little less local at WBUD (1260 Trenton), as the Millennium Radio Group station sheds the services of news guys John Weber and Ed Salvas. WBUD says it plans to continue its "Mercer News Morning" block, but we're hearing that Weber and Salvas won't be replaced, and that the future for WBUD is more satellite and less local (even the local voicetracking that the station's been running.)
  • In MASSACHUSETTS, Michael Graham's settling in as the new afternoon talker on WTKK (96.9 Boston), filling the slot last occupied by Jay Severin, whose future whereabouts on the Boston dial remain up in the air. Graham's last two gigs didn't end well - he was driven out of WMAL, Washington earlier this year after controversial remarks about Muslims, and he was fired from WBT, Charlotte a few years earlier after some tasteless remarks about the Columbine shootings. Will he fare any better in Boston - or is that sort of high-profile controversy exactly what WTKK is banking on?

November 19, 2001 -

  • After two years of building an 18-station group in the suburban areas north of New York City, Aurora Communications is cashing out. Cumulus Broadcasting announced today (Nov. 19) that it will pay $230 million in cash, stock and debt assumption to add the Aurora stations to its more than 200 outlets nationwide.
  • Here's what Cumulus gets for its money: Westchester County cluster WFAS (1230 White Plains), WFAS-FM (103.9 White Plains) and WFAF (106.3 Mount Kisco), doing standards on the AM and AC on the simulcast FMs. (Aurora paid $20 million for these three in April 1999). A Hudson Valley cluster that includes sports-talk WEOK (1390 Poughkeepsie) and WALL (1340 Middletown), modern rock WRRV (92.7 Middletown) and WRRB (96.9 Arlington), oldies WCZX (97.7 Hyde Park) and WZAD (97.3 Wurtsboro), rock WPDH (101.5 Poughkeepsie) and WPDA (106.1 Jeffersonville) and full-service WKNY (1490 Kingston), acquired from the Dyson family's Crystal group in May for $53 million. A cluster in the Danbury, Connecticut market that includes rocker WRKI (95.1 Brookfield), standards simulcast WINE (940 Brookfield) and WPUT (1510 Brewster NY) and oldies WAXB (105.5 Putnam NY), acquired in July 1999 for $11.5 million. AC WEBE (107.9 Westport) and full-service WICC (600 Bridgeport) in southern Connecticut, acquired in April 1999 for $66 million.
  • If we've done our math right, that makes for a tidy $79.5 million profit over two years or so, which is pretty good work for Aurora head Frank Osborn. No word yet, of course, on what changes Cumulus might have in store for these stations; until now, the only holdings Cumulus has had in NERW-land were its stations in Bangor, Maine (and the fringe of its Youngstown, Ohio cluster).
  • The other big news out of NEW YORK this week was the continuing management shakeout at Clear Channel. A reported two dozen staffers in Clear Channel's New York City cluster lost their jobs this week, including WHTZ (100.3) operations manager Kid Kelly, one of Z100's most prominent voices. Other shufflings at the cluster include the departures of WTJM (105.1) assistant PD Andy West and sales manager Robin Sloan. Market Manager Andy Rosen adds the GM title at WTJM to his duties, while Scott Elberg shifts to the GM role at WHTZ and WKTU (103.5).
  • Across town, former WOR Radio Network head Rich Wood has found a new position as senior VP at Talk America, which has just been sold to erstwhile long-distance carrier IDT. Wood will work out of Talk America's new headquarters at IDT's base in Newark, N.J.
  • Over in VERMONT, WBTN (1370 Bennington) is about to get its second owner in as many years. Robert Howe, who bought the station from Vermont Public Radio last year, will donate WBTN to Southern Vermont College in Bennington. WBTN has struggled since longtime owner Belva Keyworth sold it and sister WBTN-FM (94.3) to VPR in 1999. The public broadcaster was under political pressure to sell the AM side to maintain local commercial service to Bennington, but Howe was never able to make a success of the little station, which runs 1000 watts by day and just 87 watts at night. The college says WBTN will stay commercial, with students heavily involved in its operation. WBTN's two remaining employees will stay with the station under college ownership, we hear.

New England Radio Watch, November 19, 1996

  • More than a year after his "MusicAmerica" show was pulled from the airwaves at Boston's WGBH (89.7), Ron Della Chiesa is reviving the program, which presented the best of America's popular standards for nearly two decades. In a cooperative arrangement with Kelley Communications, "Music America" will return to the air in January on smooth jazz outlet WPLM (1390/99.1) in Plymouth, MA. Kelley will lease time on Saturday nights for the broadcast, and WGBH has agreed to allow Della Chiesa to appear on another station (he still does weekday air work on 'GBH). The disappearance of "MusicAmerica" prompted a storm of protest against WGBH, with several hundred members asking the station to refund their money, and many of them putting in the money into the "Save MusicAmerica Trust." Reaction from the MusicAmerica partisans has been mixed thus far; they're not pleased that the show will be heard only once a week, and there's concern about WPLM's weak signal north and west of Boston.
  • Buckley Broadcasting is adding a third Connecticut station to its portfolio, paying $425,000 for WSNG (610) in Torrington. Buckley already owns standards WDRC (1360) and oldies WDRC-FM (102.9) in Hartford, and nobody's likely to be surprised if the currently dark 610 signal is used to simulcast one of those into northwestern Connecticut.
  • A silent station in southeastern Massachusetts has been sold. WCEG (1530) in Middleborough has been off the air for several years, and now Metro South Broadcasting (which also owns WMSX [1410] in Brockton) is selling WCEG to Steven J. Callahan.
  • Speaking of WVAY, thanks to NERW southern Vermont correspondent Doug Bassett for passing along a newspaper article discussing a feud between WVAY and Manchester VT rocker WEQX. The article was a bit fuzzy on the details, but it seems WVAY may have had an unlicensed translator at the Mount Equinox transmitter site of WEQX. This may explain the IDs NERW has heard from time to time on WVAY, referring to "100.7 and 100.1 FM," although there's never been a licensed WVAY translator on 100.1.

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*It's here! As seen in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Omaha World-Herald and the Chicago Sun-Times, Tower Site Calendar 2007 is now shipping!

This year's edition features what we think are the finest tower images yet - from the cover image of WCCO Minneapolis all the way to the back-cover centerfold of WBZ in Boston, and from KGO San Francisco to KOIL Omaha to Philadelphia's famed Roxborough tower farm, captured in a dramatic dusk shot with the lights all aglow.

This sixth annual edition once again contains plenty of historic dates from radio and television history in the Northeast and beyond, and as always, it comes to you shrink-wrapped and shipped first class mail for safe arrival.

You can even get your 2007 calendar free with your new or renewal subscription to NERW at the $60 level.

Visit the Store and place your order today - and be among the first to get the Tower Site Calendar 2007!

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 is copyright 2006 by Scott Fybush.