Recent Issues:

April 28, 2008

April 21, 2008

April 14, 2008

April 7, 2008

2007 In Review - The New Place to Talk Radio

Your message here - contact to reach thousands of NERW readers every week!

May 5, 2008

The Sales Market Heats Up


*More than two years after CBS Radio put its Rochester cluster up for sale, the last of the stations in the group have finally found new owners. On Thursday, Entercom, which bought the CBS cluster but had to spin three signals to stay under the ownership cap, announced that it's reached a deal with Oklahoma's Stephens Media Group to buy AC "Warm" WRMM (101.3 Rochester), adult hits "Fickle" WFKL (93.3 Fairport) and modern rock "Zone" WZNE (94.1 Brighton). Purchase price is a reported $13.25 million, which NERW notes is about half of the number we heard being floated for the stations when they first went up for sale, a sign of the seismic downward shift in station sale prices in recent months.

At the direction of the FCC and the Justice Department last November, Entercom put those three stations (WRMM and WZNE from the original CBS cluster and WFKL from Entercom's own cluster) into a "hold-separate" arrangement known as the Rochester Radio Group. Under the terms of the FCC/Justice deal, the stations were to go into a trust if no buyer was found after six months, and the trust documents were filed April 17. (It's not immediately clear whether the stations will still be transferred to trustee David Pearlman and then to Stephens, or if the FCC will allow Entercom to sell them directly to Stephens.)

While the lawyers do their thing, Stephens wasted no time taking over operation of the stations under a JSA. Cluster manager Mike Ninnie stays in place as Stephens' market manager, and all three stations' formats remain in place for now, too. Citing budget considerations, Stephens let at least three employees go, though - WRMM morning co-host Dee Alexander, Fickle newsman Bob Kirk and at least one behind-the-scenes staffer.

Entercom's Mike Doyle tells the Democrat and Chronicle that Alexander remains an Entercom employee, albeit without a station for now; Kirk is on the beach and looking for new work.

The changes at WRMM leave veteran morning man Tony Infantino without his longtime partner (the "Tony and Dee" show came together on the former WVOR in 1988, and the 1994 WRMM talent raid that brought the pair over to Warm 101 is widely viewed as having brought about WVOR's downfall.)

On the air by himself Friday morning, Infantino acknowledged that it had been a difficult few days at the Rochester Radio Group studios (where we hear morale has been low in recent months as the status of the stations has remained uncertain), and he noted that Alexander's dismissal is only the latest in a series of talent shakeups in Rochester radio in recent months.

Rochester becomes Stephens' biggest market, and the most expensive piece thus far of the Oklahoma company's move into upstate New York. Last fall, Stephens bought Regent's Watertown stations and Tim Martz's cluster up in the North Country, and thus far there have been few changes at those stations. Back home in Oklahoma, Stephens is best known for its network of contemporary Christian stations around Tulsa, based at KXOJ-FM (100.9 Sapulpa OK); it also owns several sports-talk stations in the Tulsa market.

Can a modern rocker like WZNE - one with a provocative morning jock, Cleveland's Rover, no less - be a good fit with the rest of Stephens' growing radio empire? Will the group's cost-cutting efforts include a move from the former CBS studios at the HSBC Plaza office tower, where much of the space now sits empty and the lease is up in a few months? (And could that space be a natural fit for Clear Channel's cluster, whose current Midtown Plaza home is soon to be demolished? NERW notes that the HSBC space includes the former WCMF Brother Wease studio, now vacant but with furniture intact, and we're sure Wease would relish the opportunity to move back into his old space when he returns to the air on Clear Channel's WFXF later this year...)

And perhaps the biggest question - can a small operator like Stephens compete with the bigger clusters and much deeper pockets of Entercom and Clear Channel? At least from where we sit, cutting popular local personalities like Alexander and Kirk just to make budget doesn't look like a good sign, but we'll be watching with great interest to see what Stephens' plans are for its new stations.


Still haven't ordered your 2008 Tower Site Calendar? You do realize that it's, don't you? We're already down to the last 40 or so calendars, and they're going fast. The 2006 and 2007 editions of the calendar sold out, and this one will do so as well, possibly as soon as this month.

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.

The calendar is just $18 with shipping and handling included - or better yet, beat our move to mandatory subscriptions later this year 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.)

So click right here and you can be sure to have your very own Tower Site Calendar 2008! (And thank you!)

The 2008 Tower Site Calendar is dedicated to the memory of Robert Eiselen (1934-2007), whose digital imaging skills made even a bunch of pictures of radio towers look almost like art. His contributions were essential to the calendar's evolution from 2003 to the current edition, and he will be missed dearly.

*After the success of its first syndicated evening offering, the "Your Time with Kim Iverson" show that began airing on many of its AC stations (including Buffalo's WTSS 102.5) a few months ago, Entercom is trying out a syndicated evening show on its country stations, including Rochester's WBEE-FM (92.5) and Scranton's "Froggy" WGGY (101.3 Scranton)/WGGI (95.9 Benton).

"2nd Shift with Alan Kabel" launched last Monday night on those and five other Entercom country stations nationwide. Megan Carter had been holding down the 7-midnight shift on WBEE that Kabel's show now occupies; she's down the hall at WPXY (97.9) doing middays now.

There's a morning show vacancy in Binghamton, where Kristie is departing WHWK (98.1) to move to Florida with her family. That leaves the "Glenn and Kristie" morning show with just Glenn for now, until PD Don Brake can find a new co-host.

*The big news from New York City was the official announcement that John R. Gambling will indeed be returning to the station he and his family called home from 1925 until 2000. The new "John Gambling Show" debuts this morning on WOR (710), where it will be heard from 5:30-9 AM on weekdays. Joe Bartlett stays on to do a 5-5:30 morning news block, then serve as Gambling's co-host and news anchor for the rest of the show. Bartlett's former co-host, Donna Hanover, remains with the station as arts critic and fill-in host, and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who'd been appearing weekly with Gambling over at WABC until Citadel let Gambling go, will make a regular Friday-morning appearance on the new WOR show.

Another veteran of both WOR and WABC is celebrating a rare anniversary next week. Bob Grant will mark his 60th anniversary in radio May 14. His long career took him from the Chicago suburbs to Los Angeles, then to New York in 1970, where he spent seven years as a pioneering talker on WMCA. After several years at WOR, then at WWDB in Philadelphia, Grant returned to New York in 1984 for a 12-year stint in afternoon drive at WABC, then went to WOR after a high-profile firing from WABC in 1996. He's been back at WABC since last year, in the 8-10 PM shift.

Speaking of veterans, Ted David became the youngest newscaster ever heard on WABC back in 1967, when the then-18-year-old ABC page talked his way into a job with PD Rick Sklar while many of the regular staffers were out on strike. David went on to college radio on Long Island (WCWP), full-time work at several stations including WPIX-FM, then eight years with ABC Radio News before becoming part of the inaugural anchor team at the new CNBC cable network in 1989. Now David is about to retire from CNBC, where he's spent the last few years as senior anchor of CNBC Business Radio. He says he's not getting out of the business entirely; he'll continue to do some anchoring on News 12 Long Island, and he's been talking "with several NY and national radio and TV outlets" about work.

Clear Channel's new cluster studio for all of its New York City FMs is about to get its final tenant. We're hearing that May 9 is the scheduled move-in date for WLTW (106.7), the last of the five FMs to move from its old studios (at 1133 Avenue of the Americas, in this case) to the new digs at 32 Avenue of the Americas. And how often is a radio station facility featured in the New York Times? The new Clear Channel studios were the star of Sunday's "Square Feet" column in the paper.

WRXP (101.9 New York) has named a second air personality. Brian Phillips, who'll be known simply as "Phillips" on the evening shift at RXP, was last heard as half of the "Brian and Jen Show" in morning drive at "G-Rock Radio" (WHTG-FM 106.3/WBBO 106.5) on the Jersey Shore, where he was also assistant PD.

Out on Long Island, WIN Radio Broadcasting Corp. has been granted a renewal of its license for WNYH (740 Huntington), over two objections to the renewal filed with the FCC. Rob Jeantet (aka Rob Jontay, who once provided programming to the station) alleged that the station failed to maintain a proper main studio or EAS equipment, that it failed to provide him with programming logs, and that it "abandon[ed its] English language/music based format … to play a solely Korean language religious service for the entire Sunday broadcast day." Ralph Amitrano charged that WNYH was serving the public interest of Flushing, Queens, rather than its city of license of Huntington; he also claimed that the station had been off the air much of the past eight years, and that it was operating over-power at night. WIN rebutted all the claims, noting that WNYH has been operating below its licensed power under an STA by day, and has been off the air entirely at night. The company said it's installed working EAS equipment and maintains a proper studio, noted that foreign-language programming is completely legal, and it points out that there's no legal requirement for program logs to be maintained or made available to the public.

A public broadcasting pioneer has died. After founding KQED in San Francisco and serving as that station's leader for 15 years, James Day came to New York in 1969 as president of the newly-merged National Educational Television; when the network merged with WNDT (Channel 13) the following year, Day became president of that station (now WNET) as well, serving until 1973. Day was also host of the public TV interview show "Day at Night," and a professor of rfadio and television at Brooklyn College/CUNY. He died April 24 of respiratory failure, at the age of 89.

*There's a station sale at the top of our PENNSYLVANIA news, too: Cary Simpson's Allegheny Mountain Network is selling its biggest signal, WGMR (101.1 Tyrone), to Forever Broadcasting, already the dominant player in the region.

Forever will pay $2.5 million over ten years for the station in a deal that includes a noncompete for that ten-year period, as well as translators W267AC (101.3 Altoona) and W264BB (100.7 Lewistown).

And that's not the only sale in Happy Valley this week - in order to stay under the ownership cap of six stations in the State College market, Forever is selling a station, too, as Nick Galli's 2510 Licenses pays $1.2 million for "Froggy" country WSGY (98.7 Pleasant Gap), which has been simulcasting Forever's WFGY (98.1 Altoona).

That will leave Forever with WGMR, classic rock WBUS (93.7 Boalsburg), rock WQWK (103.1 State College), adult hits WMAJ-FM (99.5 Centre Hall), news/talk WRSC (1390 State College) and sports WMAJ (1450 State College). The only commercial competition in town will be 2510's three stations - WOWY (97.1 University Park), WBHV (94.5 State College) and WSGY - and the three-station Magnum cluster of WBLF (970 Bellefonte), WPHB (1260 Philipsburg) and WJOW (105.9 Philipsburg).

What will Forever do with WGMR, which has shifted formats over the years through several variants of rock, and is now top 40 "G101"? Rumors of a format change are rampant, and it's hard not to note that if Forever decides to hang on to the "Froggy" format from WSGY, the big class B WGMR signal would create a seamless web of big "Froggy" signals across west central Pennsylvania, including WFGY in Altoona and WFGI (95.5) in Johnstown.

We should note as well that Forever's move of the WNTJ news-talk format and calls to WPRR (1490 Johnstown) involves an LMA; the FCC has yet to approve the sale of WPRR back to Forever from 2510, with several other Johnstown-area broadcasters objecting to the deal. There are new calls for WNTJ's former home at 850 on the dial - it's now WKGE - and we'd expect to see a filing to change WPRR's calls to WNTJ on 1490 any moment now.

All week long last week, the 850 signal was broadcasting a repeating loop directing WNTJ listeners up the dial; over the weekend, it flipped to a simulcast of talker WWGE (1400 Loretto), which is apparently leasing time from 850's new owner, Birach, to expand the signal of its "Edge" talk programming into the Johnstown market.

(Here's an only-in-NERW historical note - the 850/1400 simulcast brings both stations' histories full-circle, in a sense: the 1400 frequency became available for use in Loretto in the early sixties after WJAC in Johnstown moved from its original home on 1400 to the 850 facility that's now WKGE.)

*In other Keystone State news, KDKA (1020 Pittsburgh) has hired a new news anchor from upstate New York. Matt Delsignore comes to KD from WGY (810 Schenectady); before that, he'd worked at WSYR in Syracuse and WTNY in Watertown. He's part of an expansion of news at KDKA that will find him reporting for the station's afternoon drive news blocks and anchoring new local newscasts at 7, 8, 9 and 10 PM.

Speaking of KDKA, "Radio's Best Friend," video producer Art Vuolo, has acquired a pallet of bricks that he says are the last remnants of KDKA's original home at Building K of Westinghouse's East Pittsburgh works, which was demolished last year - and he's now selling the bricks, complete with commemorative plaques and certificates signed by several former KDKA personalities, via his website at (NERW notes that KDKA itself sold slices of its old tower in the mid-nineties, with proceeds benefiting the local children's hospital; and we'd note with some pride that our own collection of radio relics includes an even rarer KDKA-related brick, personally salvaged a few years back from the demolition of the Conrad Garage that was the birthplace of KDKA's predecessor, 8XK.)

In York, Cumulus finally debuted ESPN Radio on WGLD (1440 Manchester Township) over the weekend; former ESPN affiliate WOYK (1350 York) flips to Sporting News Radio.

We'll do the full New York-Penn League baseball-on-the-radio lineup when that short-season A league begins play in mid-June (go Muckdogs!), but there's one affiliation change to report: the Williamsport Crosscutters get their first full-season pickup in team history. WLYC (1050) will broadcast all the games, with Todd Bartley handling play-by-play.

*Another long-delayed station sale suddenly became a reality late last week, as Clear Channel exited MAINE with an $11 million sale of its Bangor and Augusta/Waterville clusters to Blueberry Broadcasting, a new company whose principals are Louis Vitali, late of Mariner Broadcasting (which owned Maine's "W-Bach" stations and still owns WCCC in Hartford) and Bruce Biette, a former Maine broadcaster who's been involved with Convergent Broadcasting down south.

We'd been hearing rumors about this deal for several months, as it apparently became stalled in the drama surrounding Clear Channel's attempts to go private and to sell many of its smaller clusters. At one point, the Maine stations were included in the list of signals being transferred to GoodRadio.TV, a sale that was never consummated.

Now the signals are going into Blueberry's hands - 17 of them, in all. In Bangor, the company gets talker WABI (910 Bangor), AC WKSQ (94.5 Ellsworth), top 40 WWBX (97.1 Bangor), country WLKE (99.1 Bar Harbor), modern rock WFZX (101.7 Searsport), oldies WGUY (102.1 Dexter), talk WVOM (103.9 Howland) and country WBFB (104.7 Brewer), but due to ownership caps, it will have to spin off two of those signals, WFZX and WGUY.

In Augusta and vicinity, the Blueberry cluster will include the sports trimulcast of WFAU (1280 Gardiner), WRKD (1450 Rockland) and WIGY (97.5 Madison), as well as talk WCME (96.7 Boothbay Harbor), AC WKCG (101.3 Augusta), classic hits WQSS (102.5 Camden), country WMCM (103.3 Rockland), oldies WABK-FM (104.3 Gardiner) and big-signalled rocker WTOS (105.1 Skowhegan).

In both markets, Blueberry enters with dominant market positions; in Bangor, the primary competitors are Cumulus (with a 4 FM/1 AM cluster) and Stephen King's Zone Corp. (with 2 FMs and 1 AM); in central Maine, it's Citadel's 2 AM/2 FM cluster and Mountain Wireless, with 1 AM and 2 FMs, that are the big competitors.

*Steve Silberberg has added a new simulcast for his AAA WXRV (92.5 Andover) in north central MASSACHUSETTS. "The River" is already heard on WLKC (105.7 Campton NH), and now it's expanded west down Route 2 to the former WNYN (99.9 Athol), which drops its satellite-delivered classic rock format and its calls to become WXRG, a straight simulcast of 92.5. The WXRG calls come from Silberberg's 99.1 in Whitefield, NEW HAMPSHIRE, which now takes the WNYN calls.

WTKK (96.9 Boston) is tweaking its weekend lineup. The talk station is adding a new local show from 11 AM-1 PM on Saturdays, hosted by Joe Ligotti (aka "The Guy from Boston" from WFXT's morning show and Fox News Channel) and Lawrence "Huggy" Bergman, late of WYSP (94.1 Philadelphia)'s "Matt and Huggy Show."

And out west, there's word that morning news anchor Tom Jay (Jaworski) is retiring later this month after a remarkable 42 years at WSBS (860 Great Barrington).

*Almost six months after Clear Channel launched "Radio 104-One" (WURH 104.1 Waterbury) in CONNECTICUT, the rock station finally has a PD. She's Becky Pohotsky, who's been the station's APD/MD and de facto PD for most of its existence. And she's hired an assistant - Michael Czarnecki comes aboard from WBCN in Boston.

*In CANADA, there's a new signal on the air in Hawkesbury, Ontario. Evanov launched CKHK (107.7 the Jewel) last week with an easy listening/soft AC format similar to its Jewel stations in Toronto (CKDX 88.5) and Ottawa (CJWL 98.5).

Canada is much stricter than the US when it comes to granting relay transmitters for stations hoping to extend their coverage. Just ask CFRM (100.7 Little Current ON), which has been turned down in its bid to add a new transmitter in Sudbury, 100 km or so east of its home base on Manitoulin Island. Despite CFRM's argument that many Sudbury residents have vacation homes on Manitoulin, the CRTC ruled that CFRM's programming would not be of sufficient interest to merit the extra signal.

In "cottage country" north of Toronto, Muskoka-Parry Sound Broadcasting is applying for a big power increase at CFBK (105.5 Huntsville); the station would jump from 5 kW to 43.4 kW/147 m.

In Montreal, Radio Moyen Orient's CHOU (1450) has been granted a doubling of its power, from 1000 to 2000 watts, which should give it a somewhat better signal in downtown Montreal and the South Shore. Down Autoroute 40 in Vaudreuil-Dorion, Yves Sauve has been granted the use of 100.1 (with 550 watts) for the new station he was granted last year. Sauve had applied for 106.3, but that frequency instead went to a new signal in Montreal; Radio-Canada objected to the use of 100.1, on a third-adjacent channel to its CBFX (100.7 Montreal), but that objection was denied as well.

And we're sorry to report the death Friday (May 2) of Marc (Webber) Chambers, who started his broadcast career in western Canada, but came east to work at CKGM in Montreal, CJOJ in Belleville and CHUM in Toronto. Chambers was most recently heard as the evening jock on CHUM. He had been battling cancer, and was just 52.

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!)

May 7, 2007 -

  • *Clear Channel Radio is getting closer to its goal of selling off 448 stations in its smaller markets - including all of its holdings in the state of MAINE, which are among the stations being sold to a new company called "Goodradio.TV," headed by former ion TV (ex-Pax) president Dean Goodman.
  • We know, as this week's NERW comes to you late Sunday night, that Goodradio will end up with about 180 of those 448 stations, and that Clear Channel has found buyers for another 182 stations, and we expect to find out for certain which of those stations go where before the week is out. In the meantime, though, the news of Goodradio's Maine plans leaked early - and we now know that our original speculation that Clear Channel would exit Maine completely proved to be correct.
  • There's been no official announcement yet of the fate of Clear Channel's remaining stations in VERMONT, but whoever ends up with them will get some new formats at two of the signals.
  • In Randolph, WTSJ (1320) had been simulcasting WTSL (1400 Hanover NH), which Clear Channel has already sold - so now it's switching originating stations to CC's "Zone" simulcast from Burlington, already heard on WXZO (96.7 Willsboro NY) and WEAV (960 Plattsburgh NY). Much of the syndicated programming already heard on WTSJ was on "The Zone" anyway, so Randolph-area listeners to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity won't experience any disruption. In the Burlington market, Clear Channel pulled the plug on "Kiss" top 40 at WVTK (92.1 Port Henry NY), replacing it with oldies from ABC's True Oldies Channel, the service programmed by Scott Shannon. No local jocks here, and we wouldn't expect to hear any until after the station and its Burlington sisters are sold, if even then.
  • There was a tower collapse in CONNECTICUT during the big storm there last month: the 188-foot tower of WYBC (1340 New Haven) succumbed to the storm's high winds late on the night of April 14, toppling into the swamp where it sits. (It took several days for the weather to calm down sufficiently for the tower's remains to even be found in the swamp, we're told.) WYBC quickly returned to the air with a longwire antenna. The collapse was blamed on a guy-wire anchor that had corroded to "the thickness of a pencil," says engineer Clif Mills, and a replacement tower will soon be erected at the same site.
  • The big news from NEW YORK last week continued to be the fallout from the Don Imus affair, including Imus' reported $120 million lawsuit against his former employer, CBS Radio. At WFAN (660), this week's guest hosts in the former Imus slot include John and Pat McEnroe through Wednesday, then Geraldo Rivera later in the week, with no indication of any permanent replacement. Over at sister station WFNY-FM (92.3 Free FM), midmorning hosts JV & Elvis are still suspended as well, with the "best-of" shows that aired last week giving way to guest hosts this week, including Cabbie and Larry Wachs.
  • The start of May brought a format swap at two Nassau stations on the PENNSYLVANIA/NEW JERSEY line. Classic hits WSBG (93.5 Stroudsburg PA) lost morning man Gary Smith to the Imus fallout a few weeks back, and on Thursday, the station vanished completely when Nassau moved soft AC "Lite" down the dial from its former home at WWYY (107.1 Belvidere NJ). The new "Lite 93.5" is running jockless for the moment, as is the new format on 107.1 - classic rock "107.1 the Bone," complete with the syndicated "Free Beer and Hot Wings" morning show.

May 5, 2003 -

  • *It's not as though the state capital of NEW YORK doesn't have enough FM signals - between the 80-90 drop-ins of recent years and a slew of move-ins from the surrounding countryside, the Albany market now encompasses some 21 commercial FMs. But if a proposal now before the FCC is accepted, there will soon be a 22nd: the station that's now WNYQ (105.7 Queensbury), an hour north of Albany in the Glens Falls market.
  • Vox Radio is asking the FCC to change WNYQ's allocation from 105.7B1 in Queensbury (where WNYQ now runs 1570 watts at 1273 feet above average terrain) to 105.7A in Malta, a town of about 2000 people along I-87 near the Saratoga-Schenectady county line, well within the Albany radio market. Since the move would leave Queensbury without "first local service" (never mind that it can easily pick up nearly a dozen local Glens Falls stations, not to mention most of Albany), Vox would then change the allocation of WCQL (95.9 Glens Falls) to Queensbury - and just for good measure, create a new "first" service on 105.9A at Indian Lake, where routes 28 and 30 meet high in the Adirondacks between North Creek and Blue Mountain Lake.
  • This isn't the first such move in the Glens Falls area; in fact, it was just a couple of years ago that WHTR moved from 93.5 Corinth to 93.7 Scotia (just outside Schenectady), sending WFFG (107.1) from Hudson Falls to Corinth to compensate. And it wasn't all that long ago, for that matter, that Saratoga Springs' 102.3 moved south to Ballston Spa to become the Albany-market station that's now "Kiss" WKKF. And the allocations beat goes on...
  • The former "Jukebox Radio" translators, W232AL (94.3 Pomona NY) and W276AQ (103.1 Fort Lee NJ) are getting a new life: owner Gerry Turro has filed to sell them to "Bridgelight Corp.", the company that bought WPDQ (89.7 Freehold Township NJ) last year and turned it into a religious station. W232AL has been silent since the Jukebox feed from WJUX (99.7 Monticello) ended; W276AQ has been relaying WKHL (96.7 Stamford CT), except when the atmosphere has offered up other signals instead...and as we post this from our downstate "alternate" base Sunday night, both translators are on the air with WKHL's audio. (And we checked WJUX on the way down; it's still running infomercials mixed with occasional bits of oldies - and still ID'ing and promoting itself as though it's being heard in New Jersey...)
  • A format change in western PENNSYLVANIA started off the month of May - so far west, in fact, that it's really the Youngstown, Ohio market. We never really understood why WLLF (96.7 Mercer) was running smooth jazz to begin with, but now we can stop wondering - Cumulus pulled that format last Thursday and replaced it with oldies as "Oldies 96.7." The oldies, in turn, came off sister station WWIZ (103.9 Mercer), which stunted with construction noises before flipping to rock as "Rock 104."
  • And the big news from CANADA is the retirement of the legendary Moses Znaimer from his post as president of CHUM Television. Znaimer was one of the founders of CITY-TV (originally channel 79, now channel 57) in Toronto in 1972, breaking the staid mold of most TV to create a multicultural, interactive, high-energy TV station that really seemed to be, as its slogan claimed, "Everywhere." (Any time you see a TV anchor or host moving around a working newsroom instead of sitting behind a desk, that's Znaimer you should be thanking.) Znaimer will remain in charge of a group of educational TV channels partially owned by CHUM, and he'll continue working on his "MZTV" television museum...and it's safe to say we haven't heard the last of him any time yet. (2008 update - Znaimer's now in radio, running classical CFMZ-FM and standards CHWO in Toronto.)

May 7, 1998-

  • The FCC has shut down a CONNECTICUT pirate station for a third time. Agents visited La Nueva Radio Musical's latest location, on Saltonstall Avenue in New Haven, on Wednesday afternoon to pull the plug on the unlicensed 104.5 MHz operation. The station's operators tell the New Haven Register they hope to be back on in a few days, and they say they're disappointed that Congresswoman Rosa De Lauro hasn't been more responsive to the petition they presented to her office at a rally last month.
  • Two Hartford-area pirates remain on the air undisturbed, meanwhile. Praise 105.3 continues its gospel programming, which NERW first heard on the air back in 1996, and a Spanish-language station on 97.1 is still being widely heard as well.
  • The New Britain Rock Cats have added Hartford's WPOP (1410) to their broadcast network. Down the coast in the New London area, 1510 remains off the air, while its sister FM station in East Lyme has technically changed calls from WNLC-FM to WNLC(FM). And Groton's WSUB (980) and WQGN (105.5) have moved studios; they're now in new digs at 7 Governor Winthrop Blvd. in New London.
  • From the call-letter desk: Entercom's WBBF (950) in Rochester has applied to ditch the calls it's held since 1953 and become WEZO, another heritage set of Rochester calls. The WBBF calls will move to what's now WKLX (98.9), which is already going by "99-BBF" on the air. The new 96.1 in Norwood has been assigned the sequential calls WAZV. A handful of new LPTV calls: W34BT Watertown, which is supposed to sign on soon, becomes WBQZ-LP. Craig Fox's "The Box" LPTVs in Rochester and Syracuse switch from W15AL and W35AQ to WBXO-LP and WOBX-LP, respectively. W56CV in Niles becomes WTVU-LP. And we hear the soon-to-be PaxNet station in Syracuse will be WSPX, instead of WAUP, when it hits the airwaves.
  • The Sound of Life folks have turned on their latest station in the Hudson Valley. WHVP (91.1) in Hudson took to the airwaves this week. Meantime, the North Country may have lost an AM station. We hear the "FSR Network" is no longer IDing WIGS (1230 Gouverneur) along with WGIX (95.3 Gouverneur) and WSLB (1400 Ogdensburg).

You can sponsor this weekly feature! Click here for information!

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 2008 by Scott Fybush.