January 29, 2007
FCC Window Brings Big Changes
TOWER SITE CALENDAR 2007 - SELLING OUT FAST!!!
*Outside the engineering
trade press, it's received almost no attention - and even in
the engineering trades, it didn't get the attention it deserved.
But the FCC rule changes that took effect last week certainly
had the attention of consulting engineers all over the country,
and they have the potential to lead to some dramatic station
moves here in the northeast.
The new rules streamline the process by which AM and FM stations
change their communities of license, frequency and class. For
AM signals, any change of community was once considered a "major
change," requiring a filing window that, in recent times,
came only once every three or four years. For FM stations, changing
communities was done through a cumbersome two-step process that
began by filing a petition to alter the Table of Allotments,
and only then was followed up with an application to move the
Now that's all changed, and most of those moves can be filed
as a simple one-step application, without waiting for a window.
The first batch of applications began to emerge from the FCC
last week, and we here at NERW spent the better part of our weekend
sifting through them.
The biggest beneficiary of the new rules, interestingly, is
the small community of Keene, NEW HAMPSHIRE, which could
get two new FM signals, including one moving down the Connecticut
River from the VERMONT side, plus a significant upgrade
to a Massachusetts-based rimshot signal.
The two new Keene
FMs would come from the Clear Channel Upper Valley-based cluster
that Jeff Shapiro's Great Eastern group is buying. Clear Channel
filed (just before the sale itself was filed) to move WTSM (93.5
Springfield VT) to Swanzey NH, making it a class A signal with
2.3 kW/521' from West Hill in Keene - and to move WVRR (101.7
Newport NH) south to Westminster VT, relocating it to 101.9,
where it would be a class A signal with 1.1 kW/774' DA from the
WEKW-TV tower north of Keene.
WTSM would have some company up on West Hill, too - Saga has
applied to move WSNI (97.7 Winchendon MA) to Swanzey NH as well,
moving it to the West Hill tower that's already home to Saga's
WINQ (98.7 Winchester NH), where it would run 1.8 kW/613', with
a signal identical to WINQ's.
And there are two more moves being proposed up north: the
new 98.7 in Stratford NH applies to move to "Bretton Woods
NH," which is basically the Mount Washington Hotel - but
which would allow the transmitter to go all the way up to the
top of Mount Washington itself, with 40 watts/3138', horizontal
only, DA, sharing the site of WPKQ (103.7) atop the mountain.
Meanwhile, Barry Lunderville applies to move his new 93.7 Groveton
NH south to Lunenburg VT, where it would be a class A signal
with 800 watts/915' DA, covering Littleton quite nicely.
There were more applications filed all across NERW-land, and
we'll get to them in our state-by-state reports as this week's
issue (our tenth anniversary as "North East RadioWatch,"
by the way) continues...
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*The founder and longtime station adviser
to high school station WAVM (91.7) in Maynard, MASSACHUSETTS,
died last week, just as his trial on child rape and indecent
assault charges was getting underway.
Joseph Magno spent all day last Monday in court as attorneys
held a pre-trial hearing in the case, then died at his home in
Hudson that night, apparently of a heart attack. Magno had been
under house arrest there since last March.
Magno, 66, had been in poor health for the last year or so,
since the charges against him became public. A jury was to have
been seated for the trial later in the week; the charges will
now be dismissed once a formal death certificate is filed with
Before Magno made headlines on those charges, he was a prominent
figure for his tireless work to keep WAVM on the air in the face
of threats to its survival from several religious broadcasters.
The station eventually worked out a settlement that will allow
it to boost its power to 500 watts, an upgrade that should take
place in the spring.
wants to move WRZE (96.3 Nantucket) to the Cape Cod mainland.
It's applied under the new FM rules to change "The Rose"
from a Nantucket-licensed class B signal to a Dennis-licensed
class B1, running 25 kW/297' from the WCOD (106.1 Hyannis) tower
on Hokum Rock Road in Dennis.
Out west, schedule changes at WFCR (88.5 Amherst) include
the cancellation of "Valley Folk," an institution at
the public station for several decades, hosted for the last 22
years by Susan Forbes Hansen. She's still being heard on Sunday
nights on WHUS (91.7) in Storrs, Connecticut.
*In NEW YORK, the new FM change rules
brought with them several applications for station moves and
On Long Island, WEHM (92.9 Southampton) applies to move west
to Manorville, where it would run 3.1 kW/462' with a directional
antenna from the same tower currently used by WBZB (98.5 Westhampton)
and WDRE (105.3 Calverton-Roanoke), losing some of its existing
coverage in the Hamptons in exchange for more of central Suffolk
County, almost as far west as Coram and Patchogue.
In the Adirondacks, little Old Forge already lost one of its
two FM allotments to Watertown when Randy Michaels' RadioActive
moved 92.5A to Black River last year. Now the other unbuilt Old
Forge signal hopes to move to Watertown, too, as Live Air applies
to take WZNY (94.1A) out of Old Forge and reallocate it as 94.1C3
in Calcium, running 12.5 kW/328' from a Time Warner tower on
State Street Hill in Watertown.
Michaels wasn't idle
during the rule change: he's applying to move his new construction
permit for a class C2 facility on 97.9 in Dannemora to Keeseville,
much closer to Plattsburgh. RadioActive's 107.1A CP in Saranac
Lake would move to Dannemora - and that's not the only move in
the area, as Saranac Lake Radio's WYZY (106.3 Saranac Lake) would
change city of license to Saranac, about 30 miles to the northeast,
moving to the Lyon Mountain tower of WCFE-TV (Channel 57) and
becoming a 1500 watt/2296' C2 signal booming over Plattsburgh
What happened in mid-mornings on Air America's New York outlet,
WWRL (1600), last week? The network offering, Sam Seder, was
missing without explanation on Wednesday, replaced by the syndicated
Stephanie Miller show. Seder was back on Thursday, citing "technical
problems," but word is there were actually contractual disputes
between Air America and WWRL that silenced his show in New York
for the day.
After several years of operating from a low-power temporary
antenna site, WUAM (900 Saratoga Springs) applies to change city
of license to the Albany suburb of Watervliet. If its move is
approved, it will run 400 watts by day, 75 watts by night as
a diplex on the tower of WAMC (1400 Albany).
In Watertown, Cindy Miller takes over from Chili Walker in
the PD chair at rocker WOTT (100.7 Henderson). Miller comes to
the frozen north from Fort Wayne, Indiana, where she was PD at
WBYR (98.9 Van Wert OH).
The slow evolution of Buffalo's WHTT-FM (104.1) from oldies
to classic hits continues. First there was the schedule shuffle
earlier this month that brought Val Townsend across the hall
from modern rock WEDG (103.3) to do the 2-4 PM shift; now there's
a subtle change in imaging, with the station ID'ing as "Mix
104.1 WHTT," at least some of the time.
On TV, veteran New York meteorologist Storm Field is out of
a job, having been dismissed from WWOR-TV (Channel 9) just after
Wednesday's 10 PM newscast. Audrey Puente, formerly of WCBS-TV,
replaces Field at "My 9."
One more New York note: Clear Channel's consolidation of RCS
Sound Software into Prophet Systems brought with it some personnel
changes. The merged company is now headquartered at RCS' White
Plains home office under RCS president/CEO Philippe Generali,
but several veteran RCS staffers are out, including longtime
marketing guy (and former Connecticut jock) Tom Zarecki. Prophet's
office in Ogallala, Nebraska remains open as well, and it's interesting
to note that the company's president of technology, Chip Jellison,
is himself a former New England radio guy, having worked as "Chip
Davis" on the programming side at New Hampshire's WQSO and
several other stations.
*A NEW JERSEY noncommercial signal
is off the air for the moment. WDDM (89.3 Hazlet) had been LMA'd
by Domestic Church Media Foundation, running Catholic programming.
The foundation says it was in negotiations to buy WDDM from licensee
"WVRM, Inc.," but after having second thoughts about
selling, WVRM pulled the plug on the LMA, silencing the station.
The Catholic programming remains available via a webcast at www.893fm.org, for now.
Multicultural Broadcasting wants to move WNSW (1430 Newark)
closer to Manhattan. It's applying to move the station from its
present site in Union to the four-tower WPAT (930 Paterson) array
in Clifton, where it would run 10 kW days and 7 kW nights.
And our deepest
condolences to veteran Press Communications engineer George Kowal
on the untimely passing of his son, Michael Kowal, who died Thursday
at age 25. Michael Kowal had become active in engineering in
his own right, working for Metro and Shadow Traffic, and had
recently attended the SBE Ennes Workshop in Boston and the SBE
RF Seminar in New York. He's survived by his parents, his fiancee,
and his six-month-old son, Erik Augustus.
*In northeast PENNSYLVANIA, sports
radio is back on the AM dial. Responding to Connoisseur's flip
of sports WFNN (1330 Erie) to oldies WFGO a couple of weeks ago,
Citadel's flipping WRIE (1260 Erie) from standards to sports
today as "ESPN Radio 1260 the Score." WRIE will also
carry the Jim Rome show in middays.
Former WFNN talk hosts Captain Dan and Allan Carpenter have
resurfaced; our friends over at PBRTV.com
report that Captain Dan is joining WJET (1400) PD Jeff Johns
and Mike Boremann for a new morning show on WJET, replacing Don
Imus. Carpenter, meanwhile, takes over mornings at "Bob
FM" WXBB (94.7 Erie).
Speaking of sports on the radio, the new Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Yankees take over right where the old Red Barons left off last
fall (their last game was a playoff loss to the Rochester Red
Wings, and your editor was among the soggy crowd) - the team
has signed a five-year deal to put its games on Bold Gold's "Game"
quadcast, WICK (1400 Scranton), WYCK (1340 Plains), WPSN (1590
Honesdale) and WFBS (1280 Berwick). Kent Westling, who did play-by-play
for the Barons, will be back for the Yankees.
Down the road in Easton, Maranatha Broadcasting (owner of
WFMZ-TV 69) is selling its lone radio property in the market.
Maranatha bought WEST (1400 Easton) when it sold the old WFMZ-FM
(100.7 Allentown, now WLEV) a decade ago. Now that station is
going to Lehigh Valley Broadcasting Association, which already
owns WHOL (1600 Allentown). Lehigh Valley, owned by Matthew Braccilli,
will pay $1.125 million for WEST. Braccilli tells the local papers
that he intends to keep WEST live and local (it presently runs
an AC/full-service format) and will definitely keep the station's
popular Italian show.
The FCC wrapped up its latest FM auction last week, and one
Pennsylvania FM channel was included. EMF Broadcasting (the "K-Love"
folks) gets 98.5A in Meyersdale, near Altoona, for a bid of $376,000.
In Pittsburgh, they're mourning Art Pallan, who joined the
airstaff at WWSW in the early forties, moved to KDKA (1020) in
1956, and took over from Rege Cordic in morning drive there in
1965. "Your Pal" Pallan was in turn replaced in mornings
by Jack Bogut in 1968, but he remained at KDKA until his retirement
in 1985; he died last Monday (Jan. 22) in Florida, at age 83.
The FCC has signed off on the long-pending frequency swap
between Renda's WPTT (1360 McKeesport) and religious WAVL (910
Apollo). Construction permits were recently granted to move WPTT
to 910 and a new city of license, Mount Lebanon, with 7 kW daytime,
while WAVL will move to 1360 with 6700 watts day, 700 watts at
night. (Expect an application for night power for WPTT on 910
The new FM rules brought with them two interrelated Pennsylvania
applications, one of which would move a station across state
lines from Maryland. Bob Stevens' Broadcast Communications, Inc.
wants to move WANB-FM (103.1 Waynesburg) to Mount Pleasant, PA,
upgrading from class A to B1 with 4.8 kW/754' from a tower site
in Uniontown and throwing a fringe signal as far north as downtown
Pittsburgh. To make the move possible, sister station WROG (102.9
Cumberland MD) applies to move to Chambersburg, PA, where it
would become a class A facility on 102.9 with 350 watts/1351'.
in State College, Steve "Hitman" Hilton drops the nickname
and moves from WGMR (101.1 Tyrone) to the new WBHV (94.5 State
College) for weekends; also joining WBHV is Mak McKeehan, for
And in Scranton, we can finally put some punctuation on our
ongoing coverage of the move of WBZU (910, ex-WGBI) from its
longtime Davis Street tower site to the rooftop tower of WEJL
(630 Scranton): the Davis Street tower came down last week, with
the aid of a big crane. Thanks to Entercom CE Lamar Smith for
sharing the pictures!
*In Bridgeport, CONNECTICUT, WEBE
(107.9 Westport) has pulled Elizabeth Yates' local
"Love Notes" show from nights, replacing her with the
syndicated John Tesh. (Yates came to WEBE a couple of years ago
from crosstown WEZN-FM, Star 99.9, which now carries Delilah
And is the end of progressive talk coming at Clear Channel's
WAVZ (1300 New Haven) sometime this week? We're hearing that
sports talk will be the new format there, any day now.
RHODE ISLAND, WBRU (95.5 Providence) applies to move off
its current transmitter site in East Providence, shared with
WHJY (94.1) and WPMZ (1110).
The Brown Broadcasting Service station would move to the WPRO-FM
(92.3) tower on Neutaconkanut Hill in Johnston, replacing the
current WSBE-TV (Channel 36) antenna at the top of the tower
when that station ceases its analog operations. WBRU currently
runs 18.5 kW/456', less than class B maximum, because it would
need to install a separate directional antenna to increase power
from the East Providence site, and the tower can only support
the non-directional antenna into which WBRU and WHJY are diplexed.
From the Johnston site, WBRU is applying for 32 kW/613', the
class B maximum, with a directional antenna protecting short-spaced
WZID (95.7 Manchester NH) from further interference. (WBRU has
longstanding mutual agreements for short-spacing to WHRB in Cambridge
MA and WKSS in Hartford CT, and its short-spacings to WYJB in
Albany and WSRS in Worcester are grandfathered.)
*A big fine for a MAINE college radio
station: the FCC hits Bowdoin's WBOR (91.1 Brunswick) with $11,500
in proposed fines. It seems WBOR misunderstood the Commission's
filing deadlines for license renewal, and ended up filing its
renewal application two months late. That merited a $1,500 fine;
the rest came from checking "no" on the question that
asked whether all the paperwork had gone into WBOR's public file
on time. For want of a few issues lists that undoubtedly would
have been looked at by nobody, the FCC's assessing another $10,000
On the TV side, Portland Fox affiliate WPFO (Channel 23) will
soon have a 10 PM newscast. Sinclair's CBS station, WGME-TV (Channel
13), will produce the broadcast for WPFO, competing with the
10 PM show on CW affiliate WPXT (Channel 51) produced by WCSH
(Channel 6). Kiley Bennett will add 10 PM anchoring duties to
her 5, 5:30 and 11 PM anchor gig on WGME. The new newscast will
debut Feb. 5. (And, yes, we'd love to hear from any NERW readers
up that way who could send a tape or DVD of the show our way...)
*The top story from CANADA this week
is an obituary: John Majhor died last Tuesday, ending a career
that included 11 years on the air at Toronto's CHUM (1050), a
pioneering role as one of North America's first VJs on "Video
Singles" on CFMT-TV and "Toronto Rocks" on CITY-TV,
and later work in Los Angeles, New Mexico and South Carolina,
as well as a return to Toronto in the early nineties at CJEZ,
CFRB and CITY. Over the last few months, Majhor made his fight
with brain cancer public. It progressed quickly, and he succumbed
at his home in Minnesota at the far-too-young age of 53.
In the Maritimes, CJNI (News 95.7) Halifax morning host Andrew
Krystal is off the air for now, after being charged with disobeying
a police order to stay away from alcohol. Krystal was arrested
last month for allegedly assaulting a Halifax woman. Officials
at the Rogers news-talk network (which also includes signals
in Moncton and Saint John, NB) will meet with Krystal this week
to discuss his future.
A CRTC public hearing on March 26 will include several applicants
for new signals in Sudbury, Ontario. Joco Communications wants
to put a variety hits format on 94.5, with 1350 watts/168 m;
William Wrightsell wants 94.5 for an oldies/standards format,
with 1500 watts/108 m; Newcap wants a CHR station on 101.1 with
50 kW/121 m; Connelly Communications wants 101.1 for hot AC with
66 kW/127 m; Larche Communications wants 91.7 for a 50 kW/121
m country station; and Haliburton Broadcasting wants 88.5 for
"new easy listening," with 50 kW/145 m.
The CRTC is also summoning CJRN 710 Inc. to appear in person
at the hearing, in connection with its renewal application for
CKEY (101.1 Fort Erie). The CRTC says it's still concerned that
"Wild 101," which has already been hit with a short-term
license renewal, isn't broadcasting enough material that's local
to Fort Erie.
And the Commission has approved a new low-power religious
station in Quebec City. The Association dÉglises
baptistes reformées du Québec (AÉBRQ) will
operate on 96.9, with 13 watts.
The Blue Jays have a new color commentator in the booth for
their 2007 season. Alan Ashby, a member of the first two Jays
teams in 1977-78, will replace Warren Sawkiw in that role on
CJCL (Fan 590) and its network. (16 days until pitchers and catchers
report for spring training...)
Ontario, CHUC (1450) gets a reprieve. It was scheduled to shut
down November 11, 2006, but technical problems with the new CHUC-FM
on 107.9 (intermodulation products causing aviation-band interference)
led Pineridge Broadcasting to ask for a one-year extension. As
we reported last week, CHUC has applied for a power increase
on the FM, which it expects will solve the problems; in the meantime,
the CRTC says it can keep the AM signal on the air until November
Up in Collingwood, Ontario, CKCB-FM (95.1) applies for a big
power increase, going from 400 watts to 10 kW DA/290 meters (average
ERP 4 kW).
*And with a big fat issue of NERW this week - and a weekend
spent digging through the literally hundreds of complex FCC applications
produced by the new rules - we're postponing Part Two of our
Mini-Rant until next week's issue. We'll have that - and some
of your responses - in seven days. See you then!
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!)
January 30, 2006 -
- We'll start the week's news in MASSACHUSETTS, where EMF Broadcasting,
the California-based religious broadcaster that's also one of
the fastest-growing groups in the industry, is poised to buy
WSMU (91.1 North Dartmouth) from UMass Dartmouth. The $700,000
deal won't mean the end of WSMU, though. The university's been
sitting on a construction permit for a more powerful signal on
89.3 from the same location. That signal (which now has the calls
WUMD) will sign on with the WSMU calls when EMF takes over 91.1
for its satellite-delivered "K-Love" contemporary Christian
format, already heard in the region on WKMY (91.1 Winchendon)
and WKIV (88.1 Westerly RI).
- Today's launch of Radio One's new urban talk network includes
WILD (1090 Boston), which drops its short-lived "Praise"
black gospel format (now relegated to weekends) to pick up a
national program lineup that includes Al Sharpton and the "Two
Live Stews" sports show from Atlanta's WQXI. WILD will eventually
have a permanent local morning show; for now, various guest hosts
will handle that shift.
- Salem's WTTT (1150 Boston) is - as we'd reported a few weeks
ago - adding Paul Harvey to its schedule beginning February 6,
returning the dean of radio commentators to the Boston airwaves
after WBZ (1030) pulled his show at the end of 2005. Harvey's
"News and Comment" broadcasts will be heard at 9, 10
and 11:45 AM, with his "Rest of the Story" at 6 PM.
WTTT is also picking up Sean Hannity for live carriage from 3-6
PM, displacing Michael Medved to 9 PM and knocking Laura Schlessinger
to sister station WROL (950). (Hannity had been carried at midnight
- The week's biggest news from NEW YORK doesn't involve a single
radio station. It's about RCS, the White Plains-based software
company whose "Selector" music scheduling software
dominates the industry - and which last week announced that it
was being sold to Clear Channel, whose holdings also include
software maker Prophet Systems, whose automation products compete
with RCS' "Master Control." No management or staff
changes are expected at RCS, where president Philippe Generali
will remain on board. Inside Radio reports Clear Channel may
have paid more than $50 million for RCS, whose other product
lines include the Media Monitors subsidiary that tracks radio
and print ad placement around the country.
January 30, 2002 -
- t may have been "The Best of Everything," but the
music format that aired for the past year or so on WDRC (1360)
in Hartford and three other Buckley Broadcasting AMs in CONNECTICUT
has been replaced by talk, effective today (Jan. 28). Replacing
the adult contemporary format, which ranged in vintage from big-band
standards to more recent tunes, is a talk lineup that includes
current WDRC morning host Brad Davis, followed by Joy Browne
and the Dolans. We hear the stations, which also include WSNG
(610 Torrington), WWCO (1240 Waterbury) and WMMW (1470 Meriden),
will add the Bill O'Reilly syndicated afternoon talk show when
it launches later in the spring.
- We'll detour next to CANADA to report the sad news of Peter
Gzowski's death last Thursday (Jan. 24), a result of the chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema that followed a lifetime
of smoking. Gzowski first came to attention in the late sixties
as the youngest editor ever named at Maclean's magazine, but
his broadcast career began in 1971, when he joined CBC Radio
as host of a new nationwide show called "This Country in
the Morning." He left CBC Radio a few years later for an
ill-fated stint on CBC-TV as the uncomfortable host of "90
Minutes Live," then returned to writing before rejoining
CBC Radio in 1982 to host "Morningside." It was in
that role, from the fall of 1982 until the show ended in 1997,
that Gzowski became the unofficial voice of Canada, conducting
tens of thousand of interviews with everyone from prime ministers
to the most average of Canadians. A typical "Morningside"
show was as likely to include a call for favorite pie recipes
as an interview with a political leader or literary luminary.
Gzowski's commitment to documenting the quirks and distinctions
of Canadian society came through in the contests the show ran,
including one for the best completion of the phrase "As
Canadian as..." (The eventual winner: "As Canadian
as possible, under the circumstances.")
- Gzowski never left the world of print, either, compiling
several volumes of Morningside Papers and several other Canadian
best-sellers, most recently A Peter Gzowski Reader, a compilation
of his columns for the Globe and Mail and other recent articles.
Gzowski had also returned to TV after the end of "Morningside,"
hosting occasional specials for CBC television and radio. He
was 67 years old, and was survived by his ex-wife, five children
and his longtime companion, Gillian Howard.
- Back to the states we'll go, with some morning show developments
in MAINE. The Bangor Daily News reports some folks in town aren't
happy about the change a few weeks ago that ousted local morning
hosts Charles Horne and Lee Jonason from talker WVOM (103.9 Howland)
in favor of "Maine in the Morning" with former WKCG
(101.3 Augusta) morning team Mike Violette and Eric Leimbach.
The new show comes from Augusta, and is being heard over the
"Voice of Maine" talk network Clear Channel created
at WVOM, WHQO (107.9 Skowhegan) and WCME (96.7 Boothbay Harbor).
- We'll start our NEW YORK news with a new station on the air
in the Rochester area. WBJA (102.1 Albion) signed on sometime
last week (it was first reported to us on Tuesday), carrying
Calvary Satellite Network programming with a signal that's far
better than we'd expected from a low stick class A some 35 miles
west of Rochester, co-channel with a high-power signal from Toronto's
CN Tower. Yet WBJA is coming in just fine here at NERW Central,
complete with legal IDs claiming service to "Niagara,"
which does seem a bit unlikely to us, especially with a null
in their directional antenna out that way. We'll check the signal
out in more detail when next we head to Toronto next month...
January 26, 1997-
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- Welcome to the first edition of "NorthEast
Radio Watcher." If this looks and sounds familiar to you,
it should. NorthEast Radio Watcher (aka NERW) is the successor
to "New England Radio Watcher" (coincidentally enough,
also aka NERW), which for the last few years has attempted to
chronicle the ups and downs of broadcasting in the six New England
states and vicinity. The new NERW will maintain that mission
-- but in keeping with our relocation to a new home base in Rochester
NY, we'll also be including news and notes from across upstate
New York. No need to panic; with any luck, the only thing you'll
notice will be somewhat infrequent posts for the next six weeks
or so as we relocate.
- And with that, on with the all-new,
completely-changed, same-as-it-ever-was NERW:
- Just in the nick of time: As the FCC
clock ticks ever closer to February 9, one Massachusetts station
has been saved from extinction. WCEG (1530) in Middleboro MA
has returned to the air from a transmitter site in North Middleboro,
running one kilowatt daytime-only with programming from the Massachusetts
Radio Reading Service. WCEG started out in the early 90s as a
nifty little local music station, but with a tiny signal in a
sparsely- populated area, it failed to catch on. Brockton's WMSX
(1410) bought the station a few years back, simulcasting it with
WMSX for a time, and running Portuguese-language programming
for a while as well. WCEG had been dark for several years, and
was in danger of losing its license when Steve Callahan took
it over with the radio-reading format, which NERW thinks is a
clever way to provide a public service while simultaneously keeping
- WCEG's return leaves just a handful
of dark stations facing extinction next month. Here's the roll
call: WTOX (1450) and WHMX (105.7) way up in Lincoln ME are being
purchased by Bangor Baptist Church -- except that the application
to transfer WTOX has somehow been dismissed. NERW speculates
that WHMX may return simulcasting the church's WHCF (88.5 Bangor).
WRPT (1050) Peterborough NH has an application pending to change
frequency and city of license, becoming 650 kHz in Ashland MA.
The same owner has been granted permission to return dark WBIV
(1060) Natick MA to the air as a daytimer from the WKOX site
in Framingham MA, but with two weeks to go, there's still no
sign of WBIV. WHWB (970) Rutland VT has been dark for years and
shows no sign of returning. WQQW (1590) Waterbury CT will expire
quietly, allowing its new owners to expand the pattern and power
of their WWRL (1600) in New York City. And amazingly enough,
NERW knows of not a single licensed station in upstate New York
that is presently dark! We'll update the list again as February
- From the radio-with-pix front (noted
in the milliseconds between Patriots-related programming): Another
nifty independent station is about to bite the dust in the Boston
market. WNDS (Channel 50) in Derry NH is being sold to the new
Global Shopping Network, and by mid-March, it's slated to become
the fifth Boston-area UHF station running either home shopping
or infomercials. Meantime, Boston's WCVB (Channel 5) is kicking
off its 25th anniversary celebration with on-air promos, and
celebrating the 15th anniversary of its evening magazine show
"Chronicle." And over in upstate New York, Syracuse's
WSTM (Channel 3) has hired Don Lark as its main weekday anchor.
Lark was known for many years as the main anchor on WFSB (Channel
3) in Hartford CT. Back on the air after being dark for many
years is Channel 26 in Jamestown NY, now with a new transmitter
site closer to Buffalo and with the religious programming and
WNYB-TV calls that used to be on Channel 49 in Buffalo, which
is now WB affiliate WNYO-TV.
- A few station sales to report: Bob
Bittner Broadcasting is adding a third New England station, WJTO
(730) in Bath ME. Bob tells us he plans to keep most of WJTO's
talk programming, along with some of the beautiful music heard
on his WJIB (740) Cambridge-Boston and WNEB (1230) Worcester
MA. Between 730 and 740, Bob's stations will cover most of the
Atlantic coast from Cape Cod to Maine during the day.
*It's here! As seen in the St.
Paul Pioneer Press, the Chicago
Sun-Times, and soon on WCVB's "Chronicle,"
Tower Site Calendar 2007 is not only now shipping - it's
close to a sellout! If you're waiting for the 2007 edition to
go on clearance sale, don't keep waiting - the word from the
shipping department is that fewer than 200 copies remain, and
we expect to sell them all in the next month or two.
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 Fybush.com
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
2007 by Scott Fybush.