October 5, 2009
Jim Nettleton, RIP
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*One of the best-loved radio voices in eastern
PENNSYLVANIA has died.
Jim Nettleton began his broadcast career in Pottstown, then got
his big breaks in Connecticut - in Waterbury, New Haven (WAVZ),
and most of all in Hartford, where he did afternoons at WDRC
in the mid-sixties. He quickly moved south to Philadelphia's
WFIL (560), where he was the "Boss Jock" holding down
afternoon drive during one of the decade's most prominent top-40
radio wars, which pitted WFIL against "Wibbage," WIBG
Nettleton moved on to overnights at New York's WABC in 1969,
but he continued to be heard in Philadelphia via voicetracks
for WCAU-FM (98.1). In 1971, WABC dismissed Nettleton due to
the perceived conflict with his work for CBS-owned WCAU-FM, at
which point Nettleton went across tow to WPIX-FM.
Later in the seventies, Nettleton programmed WCAU-FM and WUSL
(98.9, in its "US-1" era before flipping to R&B),
then returned for a short stint at WFIL before moving to Tampa's
WDAE in 1983.
The nineties found Nettleton back home in Philadelphia, working
afternoons on WOGL (98.1) and later on WPEN (950), as well as
voice-tracking for Maryland's WARX and most recently for the
revived WIBG-FM (94.3 Avalon) at the Jersey shore.
Nettleton was diagnosed with cancer in early September, and
word of his serious illness was making the rounds of the Philadelphia
radio community early last week. He died Sunday, at age 69.
*On the other end of the Keystone State, Pittsburghers will
learn more later today about an ambitious effort to restore an
urban station to their market in the wake of the sale and silencing
of WAMO-FM (106.7), WAMO (860) and WPGR (1510) to a Catholic
broadcast group that has yet to return those signals to the air.
Eddie Edwards, who built WPTT (Channel 22, now WPMY) into
one of the nation's biggest African-American-owned stations before
selling it, buying it back, and then LMA'ing it to Sinclair and
again selling it, was an outspoken opponent of the WAMO sale
- and he's planned a 4 PM news conference today to announce that
he's acquired a radio station that will flip to urban programming.
Is Edwards buying one of the former Sheridan stations from St.
Joseph Missions - perhaps WAMO(AM)? That seems more likely than
a big-ticket purchase of an FM signal, especially since those
signals are all in the hands of cluster owners (Steel City, Renda,
CBS and Clear Channel) that we'd think would be unlikely to part
with an individual station. We'll have an update here and on
our Twitter feed (@NERadioWatch) as we learn more...
*There's big news from two spots on the Pittsburgh TV dial
as well: at WQED Multimedia, parent of public broadcaster WQED-TV
(Channel 13)/WQED-FM (89.3), president/CEO George Miles announced
last week that he's retiring at the end of the next fiscal year
in September 2010. Miles' contract was due to run through 2011,
but he's passing the torch early to Deborah Acklin, who was promoted
from WQED GM to chief operating officer.
Meanwhile at Cox's WPXI-TV (Channel 11), news director Corrie
Harding made an abrupt departure on Tuesday, ending a four-year
run at the NBC affiliate. With no assistant news director at
WPXI (Melissa Knollinger left that post earlier in September),
GM Ray Carter will run the newsroom while a replacement is named.
more bit of Steel City news: the long-promised "Penguins
Radio" launched last week on the HD2 channel of Clear Channel's
WXDX (105.9), just in time for the new hockey season.
The lineup on 105.9-HD2 includes a daily talk show hosted
by Steve Mears and an hour of Pens talk in the early afternoon
with WXDX afternoon host Mark Madden. (Oddly, there's no mention
of "Penguins Radio" to be found anywhere on WXDX's
Just north of Da Burgh, there are calls now for the new 88.1
signal licensed to Aquinas Academy of Pittsburgh: it will be
WWOM, calls we last remember from their long history in Albany
on what's now WKLI-FM 100.9.
In the Scranton market, we can now attach a price tag to Bold
Gold Media Group's purchase of the remainder of the WS2K (former
Route 81 Radio) cluster. Bold Gold is paying just $500,000 for
WLNP (94.3 Carbondale), which is doing AC as "Lite 94.3",
and for WCDL (1440 Carbondale) and WNAK (730 Nanticoke), which
simulcast a standards format.
Citadel is combining management at its Harrisburg and Allentown
clusters, eliminating the Allentown GM and senior business manager
posts that had been held by John Fraunfelter and Shelly Langen-Bartholomew,
respectively. Those jobs will be handled from Harrisburg, where
market manager Bob Adams assumes responsibility for WLEV and
WCTO in the Allentown market as well.
THE 2010 CALENDAR
The brand-new Tower Site Calendar 2010 is
now shipping, complete with more than a dozen full-color images
of sites from Deer Point in Boise to KYPA in Los Angeles to Mount
Mansfield in Vermont.
Just three of our individually-numbered,
hand-signed limited first edition are still in stock- and of
course your purchase of any version of the calendar helps support
the continued production of NERW and Tower Site of the Week.
And we still have a very small quantity
of earlier calendars available, too, if you missed some...
now at the fybush.com Store!
*Thursday night will bring one of the biggest
transitions in years to the NEW YORK CITY radio dial,
and we now know more about what's in store for classical WQXR
in its new home as a noncommercial signal at 105.9 on the dial.
to earlier reports, it turns out that new owner WNYC will hire
several on-air staffers from QXR's current incarnation at 96.3.
Morning host Jeff Spurgeon, afternoon host Elliott Forrest and
evening host Midge Woolsey will make the move over to the WNYC
studios for daytime shifts on the new 105.9 signal (with current
WQXR midday host Annie Bergen conspicuously absent), while WNYC's
own classical hosts, Terrance McKnight and David Garland, will
handle WQXR's evening shifts. WNYC has also hired announcer Naomi
Lewin from WGUC in Cincinnati.
As for the music on the new WQXR, the Times reports
that WNYC has adopted a mission statement for the new service
that calls for a relatively mainstream classical playlist: "There
may indeed be times when the more radical and unfamiliar pieces
work, but we will not favor them over the work that speaks directly
to the needs of uplift, beauty and contemplation.
For the more esoteric material sometimes heard on the classical
portion of the present WNYC-FM (93.9) broadcast day, there will
be a new streaming audio service called "Q2." It's
not yet clear whether Q2 will show up as an HD Radio subchannel
on either WNYC-FM or the new WQXR - or for that matter whether
WQXR will appear as a subchannel on the bigger WNYC-FM signal.
The new WQXR on 105.9 will include some syndicated public
radio classical programming not currently heard in New York,
such as "Performance Today" and "From the Top"
- but it won't include some of the religious programming heard
on the current WQXR, including several Sunday morning church
services. The Friday-evening synagogue broadcast now heard on
WQXR will continue for several weeks on 105.9 while it transitions
to a yet-to-be-announced new home.
As for WNYC-FM, it released its full new
schedule late last week. Portions of its existing music schedule
will remain in place - "Soundcheck" at 2 PM weekdays
and "New Sounds" weeknights at 11. McKnight's 7-11
PM classical block moves to the new WQXR, replaced by a repeat
hour of "All Things Considered" at 7, "On Point"
at 8, a repeat of "Tell Me More" (heard at 2 PM on
WNYC 820 AM) at 9 and a repeat of "Soundcheck" at 10.
And the "Overnight Music" that now runs from midnight
until 5 AM on 93.9 will give way to a midnight repeat of the
Leonard Lopate show, followed by three hours of BBC World Service.
(This, of course, raises the question - as yet unanswered
- of what becomes of AM 820, which will now offer only a few
hours a day of programming that's not duplicated on 93.9. Indeed,
the two signals will now simulcast for a full 12 hours a day
*While the new WQXR is finding its footing at the WNYC studios
on Varick Street, the CBS Radio studios a few blocks away on
Hudson Street will get a new occupant on Friday. That's when
WFAN (660) says farewell to its longtime home in the Kaufman
Astoria Studios in Queens - a move which we believe will leave
Queens without any radio studios for the first time since the
very earliest days of radio. WFAN's move will also mark the completion
of the first phase of the Hudson Street construction, though
there's a space reserved for future use by the last remaining
CBS Radio signal in New York, WCBS (880), which may move downtown
Out on Long Island, there's a new morning man on Barnstable's
WKJY (98.3 Hempstead) - though Steve Harper is a familiar voice
to island listeners, having spent a quarter-century on WBLI and
more recently out on the East End at WBEA and WEHM. On "K-JOY,"
Harper replaces Jim and Kim, who are now being heard in New York
City on WWFS (Fresh 102.7).
(And speaking of WBEA and WEHM, they're in a new studio home
at 760 Montauk Highway in Watermill.)
Moving upstate, "DC" is out as afternoon jock/music
director at Clear Channel's WPKF (96.1 Kiss FM) in Poughkeepsie.
In Utica, CNYRadio.com reports the impending return of morning
jock Gary Spears to "Kiss FM" (WSKS 97.9 Whitesboro/WSKU
105.5 Little Falls), seven months after he departed that shift.
In the meantime, PD Shaun Andrews is on the air (live and/or
VT'ed) from 6 AM-1 PM, followed by S-Dot from 1-7 PM and the
syndicated Jackson Blue show at 7.
We'll be out that
way on Wednesday for the big SBE 22 Broadcast and Technology
Expo, which doubles this year as the SBE's national meeting.
(Did we mention that central New York's own Vinny Lopez will
be sworn in as SBE national president at the meeting?)
As usual, it's being held at the Turning Stone casino resort
- and as usual, all the details are right here at sbe22expo.org.
Registration is free, and there will even be live webcasts available
of some of the sessions, in case you can't make it to scenic
central New York. (Oh, and as usual, we'll have 2010
Tower Site Calendars available on-site, too!)
UPDATE: We were
remiss in not mentioning the other big convention in the Empire
State this week - the Audio Engineering Society holds its 127th
convention beginning Friday at New York City's Javits Convention
Center, complete with an extensive broadcast engineering program
that includes both cutting-edge topics such as digital broadcasting
and streaming and a historical session looking back at RCA's
broadcast legacy. Check out all the details at AESBroadcast.com...
Meanwhile on the Binghamton TV dial, it was 1959 all over
again on Saturday night at public station WSKG-TV (Channel 46),
which marked the 50th anniversary of the debut of The Twilight
Zone by staging a live-to-air studio production of
two episodes, "Walking Distance" and "Mirror Image".
TZ creator Rod Serling was from Binghamton, of course,
and both episodes are said to be based on Binghamton locales.
The broadcast was part of a weekend-long celebration of all things
TZ and Serling in Binghamton.
(And an item that seems to have fallen into the Twilight Zone,
since we keep neglecting to mention it: Binghamton's ABC affiliate,
WIVT-DT, finally signed off its low-power signal on channel 4
last month, moving to higher power on its former analog channel,
*We close our New York section by noting the passing of John
Rivas, better known as "Mr. Magic," who was instrumental
in bringing rap music to the New York City FM dial in the genre's
earliest days, first on the old WHBI (105.9) and then, starting
in 1982, during weekend overnights on WBLS (107.5). He was later
heard on WQHT (Hot 97.1) "Mr. Magic" died Friday of
a heart attack.
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*Even as Don Imus launches his new Fox Business
Network TV simulcast this morning, he's losing most of his morning-drive
airtime on his biggest MASSACHUSETTS affiliate, as Greater
Media's WTKK (96.9 Boston) shuffles its schedule to give its
local personalities more drive-time exposure.
The new schedule, which takes effect today, pushes Imus back
to 5-7 AM (and that first hour is, we believe, only a "best
of" from the previous day), followed by Jim Braude and Margery
Eagan, previously heard at noon, in a new 7-10 AM slot, up against
Tom Finneran's local morning talk show on WRKO. Michael Graham
moves from 9 to 10 AM, and adds an extra two hours from noon-2,
Jay Severin shifts an hour earlier to the 2-6 PM slot, and Michele
McPhee gets a 6 PM start instead of 7 PM.
*There's a change in the hockey radio lineup as the season
gets underway - not the Bruins' move from WBZ (1030) to WBZ-FM
(98.5), which we've already written about, but down at the minor-league
level, where the Lowell Devils move from their longtime home
on WCAP (980 Lowell) to WWZN (1510 Boston), which is nearly impossible
to hear at night in Lowell.
And speaking of WCAP, the station lost one of its longest-serving
employees last month. Pauline Yates came to the station back
in 1958 to work as a secretary, but she quickly rose through
the ranks to become the station manager. For much of her 40-year
career at WCAP, Yates was the key third player in the management
ranks, right alongside co-owners Ike and Maurice Cohen - and
for many of us who worked at WCAP, it's probably fair to say
that we saw much more of Pauline on a daily basis than we did
of the Cohens.
Yates was involved in all aspects of operating WCAP, frequently
providing the newsroom with important tips about city events
and even helping to cover breaking stories on occasion.
She retired in 1998, and most of her last decade was spent
in a declining battle with Alzheimer's disease. She died Sept.
19 at the D'Youville Senior Center in Lowell, at the age of 84,
survived by two sons and a daughter - and by many broadcasters
who learned the ropes from her at WCAP over the decades.
The week's other major obituary spans the
border between Massachusetts and NEW HAMPSHIRE, since
Alan Dary was an important part of the broadcast scene in both
states. Dary's career began in Florida in 1946, continued at
WBRY (1590 Waterbury) in his native Connecticut - and then brought
him to Boston's WORL (950) in 1951, where he was one of the city's
early star DJs with a show called the "Dary-Go-Round."
In 1956, Dary joined
WBZ (1030) when the station dropped NBC network programming for
a local top-40 format. He worked late nights and then middays
at WBZ until 1961, when he returned to WORL, later moving to
WHDH (850) in 1963 (with a brief detour to Rochester's WHAM)
and to WMEX (1510) in 1974.
After a brief stint at WHET (1330) in Waltham, Dary moved
to the Granite State in 1977, working at WGIR (610) and WKBR
(1250) in Manchester for many years, with some time back in Boston
at WXKS (1430) during that station's "Music of Your Life"
era in the eighties.
Dary's son, Alan I. Dary, went into the business as well,
working as general manager at WKBR and hiring his father for
middays in 1987.
Dary died of kidney failure on Friday (Oct. 2); he was 89.
*In other news from up north, New Hampshire Public Radio cut
four staffers last week, blaming a drop in corporate underwriting
for the layoffs of business reporter David Darman and three other
*Across the line in VERMONT, Vermont
Public Radio engineers were busy last week atop the state's highest
point, Mount Mansfield, moving the transmitter of flagship outlet
WVPS (107.9 Burlington) to a new home in the new TV transmitter
building on the mountaintop. Since its debut in 1980, WVPS had
housed its transmitter just uphill in the Vermont Public Television
building; the new location will allow WVPS to share its antenna
with commercial station WEZF (92.9 Burlington), which has to
leave its current home on the old WVNY-TV tower on the mountain,
which is to be removed. Yes, that is snow on the mountain...it's
October in northern Vermont, after all...
(And did we mention that the new Mount Mansfield towers are
featured prominently in the 2010 Tower
Site Calendar? Just checking...)
Edited by NERW's own Scott Fybush - on sale now as
an e-book or printed volume!
*In CANADA, CFRB (1010 Toronto) -
or, as it's now known, simply "Newstalk 1010" - launched
its new lineup Friday, moving John Moore to mornings, which displaces
Bill Carroll to the 9 AM slot. Jim Richards moves to 1 PM from
afternoons, where John Tory will now hold forth from 4-7 PM with
At the corporate level, CFRB parent Astral Media is rearranging
its leadership in several markets. Bob Harris, who's been VP
and programming/operations manager at Astral's CJAD/CJFM/CHOM
in Montreal, is relocating to Hamilton to become VP/general manager
of CHAM/CKOC/CKLH in January, reports Milkman
UnLimited. Luc Tremblay, who'd been VP/GM of the Montreal
stations, moves to Astral's Quebec corporate office, while Martin
Spalding, the stations' assistant VP for sales and marketing,
takes over as VP/GM next month.
And when Harris moves to southern Ontario, one of his air
talents will follow: Kim Rossi will move from mornings on Montreal's
CHOM (97.7) to mornings on CHTZ (97.7 St. Catharines) in January.
north, the end of the line for AM radio in Sudbury, Ontario came
without fanfare last Wednesday afternoon around 5, when Newcap
turned off the transmitter at CIGM (790) after eight decades.
The AM station had been simulcasting its new FM replacement,
"Hot 93.5" (CIGM-FM), for the last few weeks.
The new station launched its jock lineup in late September,
bringing Matt Sampaio from sister station CHNO-FM (Big Daddy
103.9) and Sherri K. from CHTN-FM (Ocean 100.3) in Prince Edward
Island together in the "Morning Hot Tub." They're followed
by Ryan Seacrest in middays (yes, even in Sudbury, Ontario) -
and he's followed by Grant Kellett, late of CIHT (Hot 89.9) in
Ottawa in afternoons and Jess Stevens, formerly of PEI's CKQK
(105.5), at night.
One more AM signal quietly faded into oblivion last week:
CKRU (980 Peterborough) ran out of its 90-day simulcast period
with CKRU-FM (100.5), leaving the air after more than 60 years
- and leaving Peterborough, too, without AM radio.
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, ten and - where available - fifteen years
ago this week, or thereabouts. Note that 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!)
October 6, 2008 -
- It was one tough week for the nation's economy, and the effects
of the sagging markets are being felt all over the radio dial
- but nowhere more so, this week, than in eastern PENNSYLVANIA.
In Chester County, just west of Philadelphia, almost six decades
of local radio at WCOJ (1420 Coatesville) came to a sudden end
Tuesday night when the station went silent, a victim of the collapse
of the Route 81 Radio cluster that once counted WCOJ as its flagship.
- As we understand it, former WCOJ owner Lloyd Roach used the
station as his investment when he formed the Route 81 group with
two venture capital firms, only to end up losing that investment
several years later during a complex legal dispute with his former
partners. Then came a money crunch in July that found one of
the venture capital firms, Waller Sutton, taking over operations
of the Route 81 cluster after a foreclosure sale. (In the meantime,
the company had downsized, selling off its stations in Utica,
N.Y. and parts of its Scranton/Wilkes-Barre cluster.)
- On Tuesday, Route 81 manager Ira Rosenblatt called a 3 PM
staff meeting at WCOJ, telling staffers the station had been
sold, the locks were being changed, and WCOJ would be off the
air at the end of the day, leaving local talk host Robert Henson
and about a dozen other employees out of work. WCOJ's new owner?
Catholic broadcaster Holy Spirit Radio Foundation, which will
return the station to the air Tuesday as a simulcast of its Bucks
County signal, WISP (1570 Doylestown), with no local content.
- While the loss of WCOJ's local programming is indeed unfortunate,
it was far from a total surprise; Waller Sutton has made no secret
of its intent to liquidate its Route 81 investment since foreclosing
on the stations, and almost from the beginning, the Route 81
stations had been plagued with financial problems. So it was
somewhat more worrisome as news spread late last week about financial
tremors at one of the region's larger radio groups.
- Nassau Broadcasting Partners, which used the easy capital
of the boom years to build up a cluster of 38 small- and medium-market
stations spread from Maine to Maryland, told the FCC it can't
close its $22 million purchase of Reading-market WFKB (107.5
Boyertown) on schedule. "Due to certain dislocations in
the credit markets," WFKB's seller, Lancaster-based WDAC
Radio Company told the Commission, Nassau has been unable to
come up with financing to close the deal, and the purchase agreement
between the two companies "has been terminated."
- For now, Nassau continues to LMA WFKB, which flipped from
religious WBYN to classic hits "Frank" back in October
2005, when the LMA began. (The WBYN calls and format now reside
on another Nassau signal, the former WYNS Lehighton on AM 1160.)
But the LMA ends November 30, and while WDAC Radio and Nassau
have asked the FCC to extend its approval of the sale through
December in case a new sale agreement can be struck, WDAC notes
that it retains the right to assign the 107.5 license to "a
third party" if it can strike a separate deal before the
sale approval expires December 22. And the potential loss of
WFKB may not be the biggest worry at Nassau, we're hearing. Will
the credit crunch bring even bigger shakeups at the Princeton,
N.J.-based group? Stay tuned...
- In Pittsburgh, veteran Pirates play-by-play man Lanny Frattare
is leaving the team after 33 years in the broadcast booth. Frattare,
a native of Rochester and a graduate of Ithaca College, began
his broadcast career here in western New York (most notably at
the old WROC 1280), then joined the Pirates farm system in 1974
as the announcer for the now-defunct Charleston (West Virginia)
Charlies. Frattare moved up to the majors in 1976, replacing
Milo Hamilton as lead radio broadcaster in 1980. In the last
few seasons, the Pirates have been grooming Greg Brown to replace
Frattare, and he'll take over as lead play-by-play announcer
on flagship WPGB (104.7) and the Bucs' extensive network next
- The retransmission-consent fight between LIN Broadcasting
and Time Warner Cable is taking place all over the country, but
in our region the effects are being felt particularly strongly
in western NEW YORK, where LIN's CBS affiliate, WIVB (Channel
4) and its CW sister station, WNLO (Channel 23), disappeared
from Time Warner's systems last week, effectively taking the
stations off the air for more than two-thirds of their potential
viewers in the Buffalo TV market. As is traditional by now in
these disputes, each side staked out its position in newspaper
and radio ads and websites, with Time Warner arguing that it
shouldn't have to pay extra (and pass those costs along to customers)
for programming WIVB and WNLO send out at no charge to over-the-air
viewers, while LIN argued that its programming helped Time Warner
attract viewers and should be worth a few dollars per customer
per year. (With 330,000 Time Warner customers in the market,
that could represent some decent additional revenue to LIN if
a deal could be reached.)
- We spent some time last week down in Ithaca, where we arrived
just in time for a CHR format war, 2008-style.
- NERW readers already know about WFIZ (95.5 Odessa), the class
A station that Finger Lakes Radio Group moved into the market
from Dundee, where it was WFLR-FM (95.9). And even though its
studios in the South Hill Business Center across from Ithaca
College were still being drywalled when we poked our head in,
"Z 95.5" was on the air with what it's billing as 10,000
commercial-free songs. (Jock-free, too, while GM Frank Lischak
and new PD Tommy Frank work on hiring an airstaff.)
- We told you last week, too, that WFIZ's arrival represents
the first real competition in many years for Saga's dominant
Ithaca cluster - and the fierce competitors over on Hanshaw Road
wasted no time welcoming "Z" to the market. Last week,
they followed the precedent set by Cumulus' innovative use of
an FM translator to relay an HD2 subchannel in Harrisburg, flipping
translator W276AO (103.3 Ithaca, recently moved from 103.1) from
a simulcast of WNYY (1470) to a simulcast of the new HD2 subchannel
of Saga's WIII (99.9 Cortland) (Actually, WYXL 97.3 Ithaca).
And what's running on that new HD2 subchannel and its new analog
translator? Why, CHR, of course - aimed straight down the barrels
of WFIZ. Saga's new entry is called "Hits 103.3," and
it's launching jockless with a promised 103 days of commercial-free
- How does this battle shape up? Pretty evenly, we think -
while WFIZ wins on signal, the compact Ithaca market doesn't
really require a big signal to make an impact. Will "Hits
103" remain a jukebox, or will Saga add an airstaff? That
- and the imposing cluster (two AM news-talkers, AC "Lite"
WYXL, classic rock "I-100" WIII and country "Q"
WQNY) that Saga can sell alongside "Hits" - could make
all the difference.
October 4, 2004 -
- There are legends, and then there are Legends. Scott Muni
was a capital-L, bold-face Legend, and his death Tuesday night
(Sept. 28) leaves NEW YORK radio a much poorer place.
- Muni, born Donald Allen Munoz in Wichita, came to New York
from WAKR in Akron in 1959 to become one of the "Good Guys"
at WMCA (570). The next year, he moved to WABC (770), where he
worked evenings right through the station's glory days, the start
of Beatlemania. It would be the start of a long relationship
for Muni. In 1966, Muni took a bold step, relocating to the radio
hinterlands of the FM dial, where he joined the initial airstaff
at WOR-FM (98.7), the city's pioneering progressive rock station.
Muni thrived on the freeform programming at WOR-FM, which gave
him the freedom he'd never had in the tight confines of WABC's
top-40 format, and his gravelly voice became inseparable from
rock radio in New York.
- Muni moved to WNEW-FM (102.7) in 1968, and quickly became
an iconic part of the station "Where Rock Lives." It
was Muni who helped New Yorkers through their grief when John
Lennon was killed, and every show he ever did after that featured
at least one Beatles or Lennon tune. When WNEW's rock era came
to a close, Muni moved over to WAXQ (104.3) in 1998, where he
was heard during the noon hour each day - at least until this
past January, when he suffered a stroke. Muni's family and friends
kept the extent of his illness quiet, and so it came as a shock
to most when the news came of his death. Scott Muni was 74.
- In other news from the Empire State this week, Ernie Anastos
is moving up the TV dial in New York City. He'll be released
from his contract at WCBS-TV (Channel 2) later this year to go
over to Fox's WNYW (Channel 5), where he'll replace Len Cannon
at the anchor desk at 5, 6 and 10.
- The news in New England is all about Air America this week
- and we'll start in MASSACHUSETTS, where Clear Channel made
the rumors come true, flipping WXKS (1430 Everett) and WKOX (1200
Framingham) to a progressive (liberal, if you prefer) talk lineup
that includes Air America's Randi Rhodes and Al Franken and Jones'
Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller. The new format replaces standards
on WXKS (where we hear some tears were shed as morning man Bill
Wightman said farewell to his audience last week) and Spanish
religion on WKOX.
- Speaking of WKOX, or at least of one of its towermates, WBIX
(1060 Natick) finally began using its nighttime broadcast authority
last week. WBIX continues to operate by day with 40 kW from the
WKOX facility in Framingham, but now it's on the way to 2500
watts of night power from the WAMG (890 Dedham) site in Ashland.
For the moment, it's running significantly less than 2500 watts
as it tunes up its signal and attempts to avoid interfering with
KYW (1060 Philadelphia) and Boston's own WBZ; those with long
memories may recall that WBIX's ancestor on 1060, WGTR, operated
under special temporary authority from the Ashland site for decades
while it tried - and failed - to get the array working well enough
to get a license to cover.
October 2, 1999 -
- [There was no NERW this week, as we were in the process
of moving to a new NERW Central.]
September 30, 1994 -
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- WCGY (93.7 Lawrence) is making a very slow evolution, apparently
to an adult-
progressive "Generation X" type format, in competition
with WFNX. To recap: Live programming ended at midnight, Monday
night/Tuesday morning, with "Carry That Weight" by
the Beatles. Dead air followed for 90 minutes, then half an hour
or so of new sister station WBMX-98.5 simulcast, with the IDs
clumsily potted down :-) Then more dead air for 4 hours, then
an automated format kicking in at 6 am. The automation has run
the show since then...and the music mix seems to be slowly moving
from the straight ahead classics/current AOR mix of the "old"
WCGY to a more progressive format. The only IDs have been "93
(beep) 7 WCGY", although one legal I heard followed that
with "Is there anyone listening out there?" There's
still a spot load, and they're even promoting a (live?!?!?) remote
tomorrow at a new McDonalds!
Interesting to see where this is headed...perhaps this is all
a ruse, and there's a real new format under wraps waiting to
be sprung on us all?
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2009 by Scott Fybush.