February 12, 2007
Barber out, DePetro in at WPRO
TOWER SITE CALENDAR 2007 - SELLING OUT FAST!!!
*If you ever had any doubt that radio's a
fickle business - and that RHODE ISLAND is a particularly
insular place - just ask Dave Barber. A year ago, the talk host
left the Flint, Michigan market after more than a quarter of
a century there, bound for Providence to take over Steve Kass'
former 9-11:45 AM shift on WPRO (630).
of Wednesday, Barber's out of that shift, and out of WPRO, as
the station brings John DePetro back to Providence to take over
mid-mornings. DePetro made his name in Rhode Island across town
at WHJJ (920 Providence), before leaving in 2004 to do mid-mornings
at Boston's WRKO. That gig, of course, ended disastrously last
fall when the station fired DePetro after a series of anti-gay
slurs (not to mention weak ratings), and now DePetro's returning
to a less hostile market, where he'll presumably be a little
more careful with his choice of language.
What now for Barber? The Flint Journal, reporting that
WPRO had replaced Barber with a "Jerry DePetro," says
it's not clear whether the Rhode Island native will now return
to Michigan radio. (He was last heard at Flint's WWCK 1570 before
taking the job at WPRO.)
are changes coming on the TV dial in Providence, too: CBS is
selling CW affiliate WLWC (Channel 28) to Cerberus Capital Management,
as part of a $185 million deal that also sheds TV stations in
Austin, Salt Lake City and West Palm Beach from the CBS umbrella.
Whatever else happens to New Bedford-licensed WLWC, it'll need
a new master control: right now, it's operated from the WBZ-TV
studios in Boston, with only a sales office in Providence. (NERW
wouldn't be at all surprised to see WLWC end up back in an LMA
with one of the city's other commercial stations; back when the
station signed on a decade or so ago, it was operated by NBC
affiliate WJAR and even carried a WJAR-produced newscast for
There's jazz music on the Providence AM dial for the moment,
as WAKX (102.7 Narragansett Pier) is simulcasting for now on
WALE (990). No word yet on whether that's just a temporary deal,
or as permanent as anything on 990 can be.
You can have
your ad here! Click
for information on the most economical way to reach tens of thousands
of Northeast radio and TV people each week.
*Over at DePetro's former station in MASSACHUSETTS,
there's change in the air, too. Scott Allen Miller did his last
morning show at WRKO (680 Boston) on Friday, and he's now looking
for a new gig, even soliciting career advice from his audience.
Replacing him as of this morning, of course, is former state
House speaker Tom Finneran. With only some fill-in talk gigs
in his past, does the radio novice have what it takes to hold
an audience day in and day out in one of the toughest talk markets
in the country? We'll be listening...
WCVB (Channel 5) anchor Ed Harding has probably been getting
a bit more broadcast experience than anyone should have,
anchoring the station's 11 PM newscast and then returning a few
hours later for the 5 AM "Eye Opener" show, day in
and day out for the last few years. Now he's getting a well-deserved
break, moving off the Eye Opener to take over the 5 and 5:30
PM newscasts from Anthony Everett, as well as joining Natalie
Jacobson at 6. (NERW wonders when the other "Iron Man"
of NERW-land, Doug Emblidge of Rochester's WHAM-TV, will get
off an even more punishing schedule, in which he anchors the
5-9 AM newscast on WHAM and its sister CW outlet, then returns
for the 5-6 PM show.)
Everett, meanwhile, takes on full-time hosting duties at WCVB's
"Chronicle" magazine show. ("Chronicle" producer/videographer
Art Donahue has been hard at work for the last few weeks on an
upcoming show all about New England radio, including a visit
to NERW Central; we'll let you know when it's airing as soon
as we find out!)
from pirate land: Gary Toussaint of Mattapan never followed up
with the information he promised the FCC after being hit with
a $10,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for illegal operation
of "Choice FM" on 102.9 in Boston - and now that NAL
has turned into a forfeiture order. "Choice FM" remains
on the air, at last check, though its website offers the station
for sale (complete with "entertainment license," whatever
Meanwhile, the FCC's Enforcement Bureau didn't waste much
time catching up with another high-profile pirate. It seems agents
visited "Touch 106.1" back on January 11, more than
a week before the Globe article that put the station in
the spotlight, and ordered it off the air within ten days. It,
too, was still on the air at last check.
In Lowell, the Spinners (New York-Penn League affiliate of
the Red Sox) are moving stations next year, decamping from WCAP
(980) to crosstown WLLH (1400). No word yet on who'll call the
games this year on WLLH.
Heading west, Neal Mirsky's contract is up as PD of Saga's
WAQY (102.1 Springfield)/WLZX (99.3 Northampton), and the stations
are now looking for a replacement.
In the Berkshires, WBEC-FM (95.9 Pittsfield) segues from hot
AC to "bright AC," moving Mollie Blue from nights to
middays and installing John Tesh at night. ("Live 95.9"
also adds Jim Brickman's syndicated weekend show.)
*There's baseball news from NEW HAMPSHIRE
as well, where the Manchester-based Fisher Cats move from WTPL
(107.7 Hillsborough) to Clear Channel's WGIR (610 Manchester)
in a three-year deal that will also simulcast the games on WGIN
(930 Rochester) and WGIP (1540 Exeter), at least until sunset.
*The revolving door keeps spinning in CONNECTICUT,
where former WBLI/WPDH jock Reno is already on the way out at
Cox's WEZN-FM (99.9 Bridgeport) after just a few months. NERW
hears that Reno will spend the next month on the afternoon shift
at "Star 99.9" before departing the station, and that
current afternoon jock/production director Mike McGowan will
take over mornings, which will become even more music-intensive
than they already are. Also out in the transition is morning
producer Ben Churchill, who exited Friday.
*There's some high-profile revolving-door
action this week in NEW YORK, too, including big changes
at both of the hip-hop stations in Market #1.
At Emmis' WQHT (97.1), there's a smooth changing of the guard
in the PD chair, as John Dimick departs after three years to
become VP/programming and operations for Lincoln Financial Media
down in North Carolina. Replacing Dimick is his second-in-command,
as Ibrahim "Ebro" Darden moves up from APD/MD to PD
at "Hot 97."
at Clear Channel's "Power 105.1" (WWPR), Ed Lover moves
from afternoons to morning drive, filling out a cast that already
includes Egypt, Donnel Rawlings and Ashy.
There's a changing of the morning guard at SBS' WSKQ (97.9),
too, as Juan Carlos (formerly of WPAT-FM and Orlando's WNUE)
and Frankie Jay (from WXYX/WXLX in Puerto Rico) become the new
hosts of "El Vacilon de la Manana," replacing Luis
Jimenez, who'll return to New York radio next year on Univision's
CBS Radio's "Fresh FM" (WWFS 102.7) has a new midday
jock, as Heather Walters moves north from KHPT in Houston. Is
a new morning show next?
Heading upstate, Redeemer Broadcasting (WFSO 88.3 Olivebridge)
is adding a signal, as it buys translator W214AH (90.7 Jefferson
Heights/Catskill) from Christian Media Associates for $1.
Here in Rochester, Kelly McKay has exited mornings at Crawford's
WRCI (102.7 Webster), with production manager/midday guy Ben
Martin taking the shift for now, Peter Quartieri handling middays
and PD Mark Shuttleworth covering McKay's music director duties.
(And we wonder what listeners to Crawford's handful of secular
stations, like standards WLGZ in Rochester, are making of the
company's new mandate that inserts hourly religious messages
on all its stations?)
In Buffalo, Jim "Rosey" Rosenhaus is moving on after
11 seasons as play-by-play announcer for Bisons baseball. He's
heading west on I-90 to Cleveland, where he'll become the new
pregame host and broadcast producer for the last-place Indians.
(What - that's not the team's full name? And here we thought
there was finally something we Sox fans could agree with
those Yankee-lovers and Jays fans about...)
In Binghamton, former WLTB/WMXW jock Tejay Schwartz has landed
a new gig. He starts today as morning host at Equinox Broadcasting's
new WRRQ (106.7 Windsor), and he'll be doing imaging for the
company's other stations, WCDW in Binghamton and WMTT/WPHD in
Elmira, as well.
obituaries in Binghamton conclude our news from the Carousel
City this week: Bob Buchanan who died Wednesday (Feb. 7) at 73,
came to WNBF-TV (Channel 12) as a reporter in 1967, but soon
settled in as the station's weatherman. He remained a Channel
12 fixture as the station became WBNG-TV, and retired from the
station in 1998.
And Steve Miller, who died suddenly last Sunday at 54, started
his engineering career in radio at WCDL in Carbondale, PA and
WKSB/WRAK in Williamsport, PA before settling in at Binghamton's
WICZ-TV, where he spent 21 years as chief engineer. Miller was
also the treasurer of Binghamton's SBE Chapter 1.
*In PENNSYLVANIA, Pittsburgh morning
veteran Jim Quinn has added another station to his syndication
network. The "Quinn and Rose Show," on a 13-hour delay,
replaces Michael Savage in the 7-10 PM slot on WAEB (790 Allentown),
pushing Savage to tape delay at 10 PM.
Philadelphia talk veteran Irv Homer has parted ways with his
most recent broadcast home, suburban WBCB (1490 Levittown-Fairless
Greater Media's WPEN (950 Philadelphia) has completed its
daytime power upgrade, boosting its signal from its southwest
Philadelphia daytime site from 5 kW to 25 kW and giving the sports
station more punch to the east. WPEN moved its night signal out
to the WWDB (860) site a few years back, increasing post-sunset
power to 21 kW.
Speaking of Philly signals, CW affiliate WPSG (Channel 57)
should finally be back at full power after repairing antenna
damage that knocked it to low power around the holidays late
last year. NERW hears a helicopter was busy over the weekend
airlifting a new antenna to the top of WPSG's Roxborough tower.
In York, WSOX (96.1 Red Lion) morning co-host Bob Rudy is
out, leaving Dave Crockett in place on the renamed "Mad
Dog and Rudy" show.
In Pittsburgh, former WWSW morning co-host Cris Winter has
moved across town (or at least a few minutes across Green Tree),
becoming midday host at Renda's WSHH (99.7).
And in Erie, WFNN (1330) returns Don Imus to its morning drive,
a month after he was dropped in the shuffle that took 1330 from
sports to oldies.
NEW JERSEY, Terrie Carr takes over next week as the new
PD of "G-Rock Radio" (WHTG-FM 106.3 Eatontown/WBBO
106.5 Bass River Township). Carr was most recently with New York's
WAXQ and Sirius, but she spent six years before that as PD of
WDHA (105.5 Dover).
And former WCBS-FM jock Bob Shannon has a new weekend airshift:
he's now heard Saturdays 11-3 and Sundays noon-4 on "The
Breeze," WWZY (107.1 Long Branch)/WBHX (99.7 Tuckerton).
*There's yet another new station coming
on the air in CANADA's largest market, as Evanov begins
testing its new 50-watt signal on 103.9. The new station will
be called "Proud FM," and while it's boasting of being
North America's first gay radio station, that's not quite true
- there was a pair of AMs in Seattle a few years back, among
others. Mary Jo Eustace and Ken Kostick will be the new station's
morning hosts, with former CKFM producer "Bingo Bob"
on board as their producer.
In Cambridge, Ontario, CJDV (107.5 Dave FM) applies to boost
power from its current 2.5 kW to 20 kW DA (6.8 kW average ERP)/68.9
In northern Quebec, Radio-Canada is applying for a new relay
for its CHLM (90.7 Rouyn-Noranda), with 4.29 kW/54.5 m on 100.7
in La Sarre.
On TV, "Sun TV" (CKXT Toronto) is applying for two
new relays, one in London on analog channel 26/digital channel
19 and another in Ottawa on analog 54/DTV 62. And the CRTC has
approved a new digital cable channel in the Niagara region. "Niagara
News TV" will provide local news to an area that's long
been underserved in that respect.
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!)
February 6, 2006 -
- It was just a few hours after last week's NERW went up on
the site when the phone began ringing off the hook here at NERW
Central. "Quick! Turn on 1520! KB's dropping oldies at 3,"
was the message - and with that, western NEW YORK was launched
on that oddest of early 21st century radio battles: a liberal
- The impetus, of course, is today's "soft launch"
of a mixture of Air America and local talk on WHLD (1270 Niagara
Falls), under an LMA from Citadel. (The full program schedule
at WHLD, including Ray Marks' local morning show, will apparently
launch March 1.) And whether it's been in the works for months
(as Entercom claims), or whether it was hurriedly whipped together
in a matter of days, Entercom's reaction was to pull the plug
on the struggling oldies format at WWKB (1520 Buffalo) with no
more fanfare than an hour of "goodbye" tunes - and
then head right into the launch of "Buffalo's Left Channel."
- The lineup on the new 1520 begins with Jones' Bill Press
show in morning drive, followed by Lockport native Stephanie
Miller at 9. At noon, it's a local show (well, a show done by
ISDN from California exclusively for 1520) with Leslie Marshall,
who's familiar to Buffalo listeners from an earlier stint at
WGR and fill-in duty at Entercom's big talker, WBEN (930). Ed
Schultz is on at 3, followed by a Stephanie Miller repeat, WOR's
Lionel at 10, and WOR's Joey Reynolds (a holdover from the oldies
- The move came as a blow, of course, for fans of KB's oldies
format - but the outcry seemed to be far louder away from Buffalo,
where 1520's blowtorch of a night signal reached Washington and
Long Island and New England, than it was in Buffalo, where the
station's ratings never quite seemed to justify even the modest
effort being expended on local programming. The move leaves the
morning team of Danny Neaverth and Tom Donahue out of work, and
it puts an end to some of the greatest voice-tracking in history,
courtesy of Jackson Armstrong. KB midday jock Sandy Beach remains
with Entercom, of course, hosting the afternoon talk show on
WBEN, and PD Hank Dole still has his day job as well, programming
the company's WLKK (107.7 the Lake.)
- The week's other big story from NEW YORK was, of course,
Disney's long-delayed announcement that it's selling most of
its ABC Radio holdings to Citadel in a "reverse Morris trust"
arrangement valued at $2.7 billion. Disney will keep the Radio
Disney and ESPN Radio networks, as well as its O&O stations
affiliated with those networks (in this region, Radio Disney's
WMKI 1260 Boston, WDDZ 550 Pawtucket, WDZK 1550 Bloomfield CT,
WDDY 1460 Albany NY and WWJZ 640 Mount Holly NJ, ESPN's WEPN
1050 New York and WEAE 1250 Pittsburgh, and the LMA with the
New York Times for WQEW 1560 New York). It'll also keep the "ABC"
name, though it will license it to Citadel for a year (and will
license ABC News product to Citadel for ten years.) Citadel will
get the core ABC Radio stations, including WABC (770 New York)
and WPLJ (95.5 New York), and the watchword for now is "stability."
At least for now, it appears that little will change in terms
of management, programming - or, yes, call letters - at the station
- In MASSACHUSETTS, WILD (1090 Boston) has hired a new morning
talk host, returning Jimmy Myers to a regular shift for the first
time in too many years. Myers, whose resume includes stints at
WWZN, WEEI, WFXT, NECN and the old WBPS, handles the sign-on
to 10 AM shift at the Radio One urban talk station (with sign-on
finally getting back to 6 AM next month at the daytime-only facility.)
February 11, 2002 -
- Up in CANADA, listeners in Montreal will have to rearrange
their morning radio habits next week. As part of the restructuring
of its Montreal properties, Standard Radio flipped CHOM (97.7)
from modern rock to classic rock over the weekend. Next Monday,
Terry Dimonte, who was CHOM's morning host from 1984 until 1993,
will return to the FM side from sister station CJAD (800), bringing
with him co-host Ted Bird and his production staff. Ric Peterson,
who's been hosting CJAD's afternoon drive, will take the morning
shift on the AM side, with former CHOM morning host Andrew Carter
moving to Peterson's old afternoon gig on CJAD. (Carter's co-host,
Pete Marier, is off to Winnipeg and CFWM...)
- But wait, there's more: CHOM is also moving out of its longtime
Westmount home at 1310 Greene Street this coming weekend, joining
CJAD and CJFM (95.9) at 1411 Fort Street. (Former CHOM sister
station CKGM will stay put at Greene Street, we believe.)
- From MASSACHUSETTS comes word that public broadcasting behemoth
WGBH will soon be in a new home. We've reported several times
in the last few years that Harvard, which owns some of the buildings
in WGBH's Western Avenue complex, has been urging the station
to move so its property can be used for a Harvard Business School
expansion; now it appears that plans are being firmed up to move
the station a few blocks west to the Brighton Landing complex
that's already home to Entercom's Boston stations. The plan calls
for WGBH's offices to occupy much of an existing building on
the property, which is also home to the headquarters of New Balance.
The studios would go into a new building nearby on Market Street,
next to the parking garage across Guest Street.
- How big would this facility be? The office side would take
up six of the seven floors in the 180,000-square foot building,
while the studio building would fill another 130,000 square feet.
When this move is completed, tentatively by 2005, it would create
an impressive media axis along Market Street; in addition to
WGBH and Entercom, Infinity's radio operations are consolidating
in the former WSBK studios on Birmingham Parkway, just across
the street, while Infinity's WBZ TV/radio, WSBK and WBMX are
less than a mile away on Soldiers Field Road, next door to Pax's
- There's a format change, of sorts, in southeastern CONNECTICUT,
as WAXK (102.3 Stonington) drops the hard edge from its rock
format to become classic hits "XL102.3." We're hearing
there are still some current tunes in rotation at the New London-market
station, which is reportedly changing calls to WUXL.
- There's no Radio Disney yet in Albany; we hear Disney needed
a few extra days to get a satellite dish installed at the WGNA
(1460) transmitter site, so the country simulcast from WGNA-FM
(107.7) continues until Friday. We drove through Albany on Saturday
morning, just in time to hear the end of the standards show that
was the AM's only non-simulcast program. Host Bill Edwardsen
made a reference to the "Mickey Mouse station" that
was coming soon, then said he'd sign off and go down the hall
to tell the "hillbilly girl DJ" to turn the simulcast
back on - and thus ended that phase of AM 1460's existence! (We
noted, too, that the FM programming is emphasizing that "FM"
quite a bit this week...)
February 7, 1997-
can sponsor this new weekly feature! Click here for information!
- Welcome to the first issue of NERW
to come to you from our new home base in Rochester NY...and wouldn't
it just figure that nearly all the news this time is still from
New England? Onward...
- With just three days to spare, AM 1060
in Natick MA is back on the air. The erstwhile WBIV (and before
that, WTTP and WGTR), returned to the air Thursday morning with
a mighty 500 watts, daytime-only, non-directional, as contemporary
Christian WJLT, "J-Light 1060." Owner Alexander Langer
is using the WKOX (1200) facilities in Framingham for the station,
which would have lost its license on Sunday if it had not returned.
NERW's correspondents in the Boston area tell us WJLT may already
be breaking the rules by signing on a bit early in the morning...and
somehow, we're not surprised.
- Local ownership is rapidly becoming
a thing of the past in Waterbury, Connecticut. Both of the city's
FMs are now owned by conglomerates and operating from Hartford,
and long-dark WQQW (1590) will vanish from the FCC files next
week - and now WWCO (1240) has been sold. Buckley Broadcasting
is buying the station from the Johnson family for $550,000. Buckley
owns WDRC AM-FM in Hartford and WSNG in Torrington, and the company
says it plans to simulcast Brad Davis' morning show from WDRC(AM),
but has made no other programming plans. WATR (1320), which reportedly
had an interest in buying WWCO, is now the last local station
in Waterbury. Thanks to NERW Connecticut correspondent Bill Dillane
for that tidbit.
- Call it "CBS": The broadcasting
half of the Company Formerly Known as Westinghouse spent 30 grand
to hire a consulting firm to tell it what to call itself - and
the surprise answer was: "CBS." Not only that, but
the highly-paid consultants came to the remarkable conclusion
that the best logo for the new company was, you guessed it, the
eye that CBS has used for almost 40 years. So...mark down "CBS
Inc." as the corporate ownership on Boston's WBZ (1030),
WBOS (92.9; for sale), WOAZ (99.5), WZLX (100.7), WODS (103.3),
WBCN (104.1), and WBZ-TV (Channel 4).
*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.