November 12, 2007
Radiothon Unites Upper Valley Broadcasters
TOWER SITE CALENDAR 2008 - NOW AVAILABLE!!!
*It's always nice to see radio stations join
together to raise money for a good cause - but the impromptu
collaboration of an entire NEW HAMPSHIRE radio market
last week was truly something to behold.
told you last week that Pauline Loyd (aka "Polly Robbins"
of WWOD, WXLF, WNTK and several other Upper Valley stations)
was struggling in her fight against breast cancer, and even as
we were typing our news item, those stations were banding together
for a one-day radiothon to raise money in Pauline's name.
"Polly's Think Pink Radiothon" took over the airwaves
of pretty much the entire market - all the stations owned by
Koor Communications, Nassau Broadcasting, Great Eastern and Dartnouth's
WFRD/WDCR - for a 13-hour simulcast last Thursday based at a
phone bank at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth College.
It's a small market, but by the time the phones stopped ringing
and the simulcast ended Thursday night, the effort had raised
over $37,000. Nice work, and a tribute to the good work broadcasters
can do when they work together.
IT'S THE 2008 TOWER SITE CALENDAR!
Think the arrival of the new
phone book is an exciting time of year? (We do, actually, with
apologies to Steve Martin, but that's not the point.)
Here's a really exciting spot
on the calendar - in fact, it is the calendar. Yes, the
2008 Tower Site
Calendar is back from the printer and ready for shipping
all over the US and beyond.
This year's edition is a particularly
fine one, if we do say so ourselves. From the cover photo of
KAST in Astoria, Oregon to the back cover shot of the Blaw-Knox
diamond tower at WBNS in Columbus, this year's calendar features
14 all-new full-color shots of famous broadcast sites far and
wide. There's KROQ in Los Angeles, KFBK in Sacramento, WESX in
Salem, WGAN in Portland, Black Mountain in Vegas, Mount Spokane
in Spokane, and many (ok, several) more.
If you've been following our
adventures, you know that the 2006 and 2007 editions of the calendar
sold out. If you've been following postal rates and the cost
of printing, you know they've both gone up.
Even so, we still think this
year's edition is a bargain - just $18 with shipping and
Or better yet, beat our move
to mandatory subscriptions (also coming later this fall) and
get a free calendar with your $60 subscription to NERW for 2008.
(Remember, the proceeds from both the calendar and the subscriptions
help keep NERW right here on the web, as we head into our fourteenth
year of news and analysis.)
right here and you can be one of the first to have
your very own Tower Site Calendar 2008! (And thank you!)
NEW YORK news starts in Buffalo, where cutbacks at Entercom
claimed the jobs of the entire airstaff at WLKK (107.7 Wethersfield)
on Friday. PD Hank Dole remains in place, with automation running
on the air while part-timers are brought in to replace the former
"Lake Guides." Also out, we're told, is Brian B. Wilde,
music director/APD at WKSE (Kiss 98.5).
Across town at Regent's Rand Building headquarters, C.J. Lee
and Al Wood are out of their jobs at WJYE (96.1 Buffalo) and
WECK (93.7 Depew), respectively; Alexis Williams moves from the
morning news shift on WBLK to take over middays at WJYE, where
Cheryl Hagen joins the morning show. It's not clear who, if anyone,
will replace Wood on the late-night "Quiet Storm" shift
at WBLK. (And WJYE, meanwhile, is counting down to this Friday,
when it becomes the second all-Christmas station upstate...)
Down the Thruway in the Rochester market, Bob Savage has something
to celebrate: he just got the word from the FCC late last week
that it's dismissed a rival application for a new AM signal on
1220. The other application proposed a low-power signal licensed
to Greece, which already has a licensed service in the form of
noncommercial WGMC (90.1). Savage's proposal called for a new
2500-watt fulltime station licensed to Lakeville, Livingston
County, which has no other licensed service. The new signal,
for which Savage must now file a full application, will likely
end up with something more than 2500 watts, especially by day;
it will operate from the existing four-tower site of his WYSL
(1040 Avon), just off the Lakeville exit of I-390.
In the Albany market, WFLY (92.3 Troy) has replaced afternoon
jocks Rexx and Smitty with Marissa Lanchak, formerly a weekend
jock at the station. Lanchak also takes the music director reins
at Pamal's top 40 outlet.
downstate, veteran jock Max Kinkel, late of WNNJ (1360 Newton
NJ), has found a new gig: he's the new morning guy in the Catskills
at WVOS-FM (95.9 Liberty), which has flipped from country to
oldies. There's a new website, too, at wvosfm.com
- shame it doesn't work right in Firefox, which only seems to
display a bit of the station's logo!
In TV news, former WABC-TV (Channel 7) morning anchor Steve
Bartelstein is returning to the airwaves, ten months after he
was fired from his high-profile New York job for sleeping through
a newsbreak he was supposed to be anchoring. It turns out Bartelstein's
been fighting testicular cancer in the meantime, and he returns
to the air as weekend-morning anchor on WCBS-TV (Channel 2) sans
hair. Will he take a higher-profile role at the struggling CBS
station in the months to come?
Albany's WAMC (90.3) is growing again; the ever-expanding
public broadcaster is paying Susan Clinton $50,000 for the construction
permit for translator W271BF (102.1 Highland), which will give
it a slightly stronger signal in Poughkeepsie.
That's just the start of the expansion plans for WAMC - it
was also a big player in the recent application window for new
noncommercial FM channels around the region. We'll have a full
look at NERW-land applications in the window next week, once
we're deeper into the pile of more than 3600 applications filed.
(We can tell you right now that WAMC has its eyes on deeper expansion
into the Burlington, Vermont market, as well as Hartford, Connecticut.)
Another application we've already digested: Irondequoit High
School's WIRQ (104.7 Rochester) wants to come full-circle, returning
to the 90.9 frequency where it started way back in 1960. WIRQ
was displaced from 90.9 in the early eighties, when the FCC bumped
class D stations into the commercial part of the dial; since
then, it's been bumped again from 93.3 to 94.3 to its present
104.7 spot, where it's now threatened by EMF Broadcasting's WKDL
104.9 Brockport. WIRQ would keep its present 19-watt signal if
it moves; while the move would create a small interference zone
with WXXI-FM (91.5 Rochester), WIRQ notes that WXXI itself acknowledged
and accepted the interference back in 1974 when it signed on.
In Utica, Regent's WIBX (950) has shuffled its schedule, moving
"Sportstalk" from its previous evening timeslot to
the 3-5 PM slot, where it replaces Sean Hannity, who moves in
turn to Sportstalk's old 6-8 PM slot, after WIBX's 5 PM news
*"Wake up with Whoopi" is losing
big-market affiliates right and left - first Chicago's WLIT dropped
Whoopi Goldberg's New York-based show, and now in eastern PENNSYLVANIA,
Philadelphia's WISX (My 106.1) has pulled Goldberg off its schedule,
effective last Friday morning. She's being replaced by former
WISX afternoon jock Logan.
Over in the Lancaster market, Dennis Mitchell has departed
Clear Channel's WLAN-FM (96.9) for Hall's WROZ (101.3), apparently
to take the morning shift there. Jeff Hurley, APD/afternoon jock
at WLAN, takes Mitchell's PD post, but he's looking for someone
else to fill the morning slot Mitchell formerly occupied.
Out on the Ohio line,
WLLF (96.7 Mercer) is being spun off by Cumulus Media to a new
shell company called Stratus Media LLC. It's part of a 19-station
group (along with Youngstown clustermate WSOM 600 in Salem, Ohio)
that's being placed in the Stratus trust to avoid market-cap
issues as Cumulus works through a privatization bid.
While we're out that way, the other half of the "Majic"
Meadville/Franklin simulcast has new calls, as WOXX (99.3 Franklin)
becomes WHMJ. And a new CP in Sykesville (outside Du Bois) now
has calls: the new 95.9 there will be WZDB.
*It's been more than 20 years since RKO salvaged
the sale of its then-WOR-TV (Channel 9) by playing a political
game in which the station's license was moved across the river
from New York City to Secaucus, NEW JERSEY, but the ramifications
of that move are still being felt.
The station (now WWOR) has gone through several owners in
the interim, and its current licensee, Fox Television Stations,
came under fire from several activist groups (including the Rainbow/PUSH
Coalition) for failing to adequately serve the needs of New Jersey
viewers. So before the FCC will issue a license renewal (as it
almost inevitably will), it's scheduling a rare public hearing
on the issue.
The hearing will take place Nov. 28, from 4-6 PM, at the Rutgers
University Newark campus, and while we'd expect plenty of complaints
about WWOR's news coverage and the general lack of specific local
broadcast service to the millions of people who call northern
New Jersey home, we'd be surprised to see the FCC justify a non-renewal
of the WWOR license in an era in which other broadcasters are
held to almost nonexistent standards of community service. (We'd
be unsurprised, however, to find Fox making a few concessions
that will thwart its plans to consolidate the WWOR operation
into the Manhattan studios of its WNYW.)
Budget cuts have claimed the jobs of three jocks at Millennium's
Jersey Shore cluster: Brian Moore is out of afternoons at WOBM-FM
(92.7), with PD Steve Ardolina extending his midday shift, while
middayers Gina Crash at WCHR-FM (105.7) and Joann Cruise at WJLK-FM
(94.3 Asbury Park) are being replaced by voicetracking.
And as Salem Broadcasting pares back some of its payrolls,
we hear that veteran broadcaster Kevin Fennessy (former owner
of WAAT/WFBS in the Scranton area and PD of Rochester's WHAM)
is out as production director at WWDJ (970 Hackensack) and WMCA
(570 New York.)
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*There were lots of rumors in MASSACHUSETTS
about Howie Carr returning to the airwaves at Entercom's
WRKO (680 Boston), but the week ended as it began, with substitute
hosts filling the afternoon shift there, as well as the morning
shift at Greater Media's WTKK (96.9 Boston) that's looking less
and less likely to become Carr's new home.
Absent a Carr return to WRKO, the only excitement (if you
can call it that) left on the Hub's talk radio dial was at WWZN
(1510 Boston), which drifted further from its sports format last
week with the addition of several new leased-time talk shows,
including "Duke and the Doctor" at 9 AM and Roy Masters
in the evening. It appears Peter Davidson's Blackstrap Broadcasting
will take WWZN to full-time leased-time operation, leaving Sporting
News Radio to air only in unsold timeslots.
(And, yes, there was plenty of Bay State action in the noncommercial
filing window, too; we'll sort it all out for you in next week's
*One of CONNECTICUT's oldest TV stations
broke ground last week for its new studios. NBC's WVIT (Channel
30) has been in the same facility in West Hartford since it signed
on in 1953 as WKNB-TV; sometime in 2009, that building will be
demolished and the station will move across the parking lot to
the new facility where construction started on Monday.
Over in Danbury, Cumulus' WDBY (105.5 Patterson NY) has a
new PD and morning man. Terry Simmons moves east from WHBC-FM
(94.1 Canton OH), where he held the same positions.
Congratulations to Joe McMillan,
the former Boston jock most recently heard in mornings at WNSX
(97.7 Winter Harbor, MAINE) - he got married over the
weekend, and he's found some work doing imaging for Clear Channel's
WKSQ (94.5 Ellsworth), too, though he's still seeking that next
full-time gig, preferably somewhere in the Bangor area.
was a quiet week in eastern CANADA - one station left
the air for good (CHUC 1450 in Cobourg, Ontario, which gave way
to its FM sister on schedule at 5 PM Wednesday), while one station
was new to the airwaves.
Religious broadcaster UCB Canada, which already operates CKJJ
(102.3 Belleville), put its new signal, CKGW (89.3 Chatham-Kent),
on the air Nov. 3 at 11 AM.
The new signal had been testing on and off since April, while
UCB tried to raise the money it needed to get the station on
the air for real.
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!)
November 13, 2006 -
- After serving a two-day suspension over the summer for using
an anti-gay slur against a MASSACHUSETTS state official, WRKO
(680 Boston) mid-morning talk host John DePetro was probably
on thin ice at the Entercom station. On Thursday, another DePetro
remark sent him crashing through that ice, ending his career
at WRKO and getting his board operator, Jimmy Kiesling, fired
as well.What's the most stable radio station in the nation's
number one market, NEW YORK? You could make a pretty good case
for Clear Channel's "Lite," WLTW (106.7), where morning
man Bill Buchner had been in place for 17 years, midday jock
Valerie Smaldone for 22 years and night jock J.J. Kennedy for
- That longevity, however, was apparently no match for the
nationwide restructuring that's hitting Clear Channel markets
from coast to coast. Early last week, WLTW pulled Buchner and
Kennedy off the air. While PD Jim Ryan tried to paint the moves
in the best light possible, telling the New York Daily News that
Buchner's dismissal was "100% based on improving the product"
and unrelated to the nationwide Clear Channel shakeout, it's
hard to see the timing as coincidental. (For whatever it's worth,
Ryan says that while Buchner's numbers overall were good, the
station was weak in the morning hours before 8:00; he also tells
the News that Clear Channel considered putting Whoopi Goldberg's
new syndicated morning show on WLTW before placing it on sister
station WKTU over the summer.) Buchner's been replaced with a
team that includes his former co-host, Christine Nagy, along
with Karen Carson and weather from Nick Gregory. The new morning
show debuts today on WLTW. As for nights, it's widely rumored
that Delilah's syndicated show will make WLTW its New York home
soon, a rumor Ryan's not denying...stay tuned.
- Binghamton's not the sort of market you'd think of as a hotbed
for progressive talk, so it's no great surprise that Citadel
is pulling the plug on the format at WYOS (1360) after a year
and a half. The format never got much promotion at WYOS, which
has the city's worst AM signal (5000 watts days, just 500 watts
at night) and has long been a weak sister to the city's heritage
news-talk outlet, WNBF (1290). As of Monday, WYOS joins ESPN
Radio, becoming Binghamton's second all-sports station after
Clear Channel's WENE (1430 Endicott), which programs Fox Sports
- We can now set a date for the long-awaited format swap in
eastern MASSACHUSETTS: WCRB (102.5 Waltham) is now promoting
December 1 as the date when its classical music moves down the
dial - and 25 miles north - to what's now WKLB-FM (99.5 Lowell).
WCRB will keep its present Waltham studio and its airstaff when
it changes dial positions and owners, passing from Charles River
Broadcasting to Nassau. Meanwhile, WKLB is promoting a "big
change" on the air, but it's not yet directing its listeners
to its new, full-market spot at 102.5; those promos will presumably
appear a little closer to the day of the swap.
- When the Clear Channel axe landed in RHODE ISLAND, it took
with it most of the morning show at WSNE (93.3 Taunton MA), including
21-year veteran Joanie Edwardsen and her husband, Chuck Hinman,
who was the station's news director. We're hearing that the cuts
aren't finished at the Providence cluster just yet.
- Inner City Broadcasting is exiting radio ownership in eastern
PENNSYLVANIA. It's selling WHAT (1340 Philadelphia) to consultant
Tom Kelly's Marconi Broadcasting, for a price All Access reports
as $5 million. No word yet on what changes might be on the way
to WHAT's black-oriented talk format.
November 11, 2002 -
- In MASSACHUSETTS, Arthur Liu is adding to his Multicultural
Broadcasting holdings with a $1.8 million purchase of WSRO (1470
Marlborough) from Alexander Langer. WSRO isn't much of a signal
at the moment, operating under a long-running Special Temporary
Authority since the city of Marlborough took its old transmitter
site, but Liu isn't buying WSRO for its current signal. The purchase
price includes $150,000 to build out WSRO's construction permit
to change city of license to Watertown and transmitter site to
the Lexington facility of WAMG (1150), which you can see on the
October page of the 2002 Tower Site Calendar. When it's moved
and the purchase has closed, WSRO will join WLYN (1360 Lynn)
in Liu's Boston cluster.
- We've been remiss in mentioning the latest addition to the
schedule at Sporting News Radio's WWZN (1510 Boston); Mike Adams
has joined the station to do mornings, which means that 1510
is now running local all day long before joining Sporting News
in the evenings (when there's not a Celtics game, anyway.)
- It could just as easily fall under the Bay State heading
-- but the "new" station serving Fall River and New
Bedford is still licensed to RHODE ISLAND, as WKKB (100.3 Middletown).
The Citadel rocker, formerly Providence-based 80s outlet WZRI
("Z100") made its debut last Friday (Nov. 1), with
a schedule that includes Patriots football and voicetracking
(initally overnight and now middays) from "Brian the Pharmacist,"
late of the FNX network.
- NERW hears a few of the top brass at Clear Channel's MAINE
clusters received their walking papers last week; in Augusta,
GM Tim Gatz and GSM Brian Strack were dismissed, as was Bangor
GM Keryn Smith. We hear Clear Channel regional exec Jim Herron
will be running things up there for now...
- On to NEW YORK, then: there will be a new addition to the
skyline soon that should help the city's beleaguered TV broadcasters
restore a better signal to over-the-air viewers even in the event
of problems at their primary Empire State Building site. Four
Times Square, the "Condé Nast Building" on Broadway
between 41st and 42nd streets, is already home to auxiliary FM
transmitters for New York's Clear Channel and Spanish Broadcasting
System clusters, as well as public radio WNYC-FM (93.9). Now
the building's owner, The Durst Organization, plans to add another
200 or so feet to the mast atop 4 Times Square to provide auxiliary
transmitter space for New York's TV stations. (By the way, Durst
has hired one of the city's top broadcast engineers to supervise
its own broadcast-leasing operations: John Lyons, the former
chief engineer for Clear Channel's WAXQ in New York, now calls
Four Times Square home, which is only fitting, considering he
had a huge hand in designing the broadcast facility there!)
November 13, 1997-
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- The last major locally-owned radio station in Hartford is
being sold -- but WCCC AM/FM (1290/106.9) won't become yet another
outlet of the big group broadcasters. Sy Dressner's Greater Hartford
Communications Corp. has owned WCCC for 28 years, and now Dressner
says it's time to bring in some younger owners with fresh ideas.
Dressner turned down several offers from the big groups and turned
to Marlin Broadcasting, the family group that owns classical
WBOQ (104.9 Gloucester MA) and WTMI (93.1 Miami FL). It's not
Marlin's first time in the Hartford market; the company owned
WKSS (95.7) from 1980 until 1983.
- What's in store for the rock and roll format at WCCC? Marlin
says it's committed to keeping WCCC-FM rocking, and it's locked
into a three-year contract with Howard Stern in morning drive.
On the AM side, the West Hartford-licensed daytimer on 1290 could
end up with a new format when Marlin takes over in early 1998.
No purchase price has been announced.
- An historic VERMONT callsign is coming back to the airwaves.
WDOT, last heard on 1390 Burlington (now WKDR) and 96.1 Warren
(now WDEV-FM) a few years ago, has been picked as the new call
for 1070 in Plattsburgh NY, the station currently known as WZBZ
(and, ironically enough, the former WKDR before those calls moved
to 1390). The FCC erroneously listed this one as an FM call change
in its November 10th public notice...
- And speaking of calls, 100.3 in Middletown, RHODE ISLAND
is becoming WHKK to match its new "Hawk" classic rock
format. Still no sign of new calls for sports-talk WLKW (790
Providence), or the new "WLKW," still legally WPNW
- From NEW YORK this week, a new format and soon, new owners
for Glens Falls' WYLR (95.9). The station remains embroiled in
a license dispute, with Normandy Broadcasting appealing a 1992
FCC decision that awarded the WYLR license to competing applicant
Lawrence Bradt. In the meantime, the financially-troubled Normandy
had been LMA'ing WYLR out as a country station. That LMA has
ended, and now former Normandy executive David Covey and his
Entertronics company have taken over operations of WYLR. Covey
has been stunting with an AOR format on the station, but local
insiders say it's likely WYLR will end up competing with the
"K100" hot AC simulcast of WKBE (100.3 Warrensburg)
and WKLI (100.9 Albany). Covey plans to buy WYLR and sister station
WWSC (1450) as soon as the license issue is settled. Entertronics
already owns oldies WCKM (98.5 Lake George). As expected, the
107.1 trimulcast surrounding New York City has applied to boost
power. Here's how the Odyssey Broadcasting "Y107" stations
plan to grow: WWXY in Briarcliff Manor would jump from 890 watts
to 1.9 kW, WWVY in Hampton Bays, L.I. would double from 3 to
6 kW, and down in New Jersey, WWZY Long Branch would get a boost
from 2.3 to 4.7 kW, helping to fill in some of the dead zones
between the various Y107 transmitters.
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learn how you can help make continued publication possible. NERW
2007 by Scott Fybush.