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November 2, 2009

Pulse Fades Out - Now It's A Party

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*It was a roller-coaster of a week for fans of dance music in NEW YORK City - but as of this morning, the saga of "Pulse 87" appears to have something of a happy ending.

"Pulse," of course, is (or rather "was") the high-profile not-quite-FM-broadcast-station that launched in January 2008 on the audio carrier of low-power TV station WNYZ-LP (Channel 6), broadcasting at 87.75 MHz from the top of the Citicorp Center building in Queens. Despite the odd dial position, a signal that was sometimes sketchy outside the five boroughs and a near-complete lack of the usual billboards, bus cards and other promotions that launch a new radio station, Pulse 87 built a rabidly loyal following and a respectable (if niche) audience in nearly two years on the air.

What Pulse couldn't do, evidently, was to dig its owner, Mega Media, out of a financial hole that the company was apparently in even before launching Pulse. Much of the station's initial airstaff, including the flagship morning team of Star and Buc Wild, disappeared early on, and in recent weeks there was a nonstop drumbeat of rumors suggesting that Mega was falling behind on payments to its creditors - including WNYZ's licensee, Island Broadcasting, which was leasing the 87.7 facility to Mega for "Pulse."

Early last week, the Pulse programming disappeared from 87.7 for nearly two days, sparking a flurry of message-board rumors about the imminent end of the format. And while that outage was apparently just a failure of the Verizon fiber circuit from Pulse's Brooklyn studios to the Queens transmitter, it did indeed presage the end of Pulse, which came abruptly on Friday. At 12:15 PM, Mega CEO Alex Shvarts took to the airwaves to announce that the station would shut down at 5 PM, thanking everyone who'd been involved in the project since its launch.

At 5, Pulse said its farewells, leaving the air to the sounds of the Beatles' "Back in the USSR." Was it a tip-off to a return of the Russian pop format that had been heard on WNYZ before the launch of Pulse? Or perhaps a nod to Shvarts' own Russian heritage? The first theory was quickly dispelled when listeners to 87.7 heard dance music continue on the frequency after a few minutes of silence, albeit at a lower volume and with just an hourly ID. (Meanwhile, Pulse itself kept putting out music and liners on one of its streaming feeds well into Friday night.)

As Pulse fans gathered for a farewell party Saturday night, their mourning was turning into celebration as word spread that Long Island's JVC Broadcasting had signed a deal to take over the lease of WNYZ, using the frequency starting Monday morning as a New York City relay of its "Party 105."

While "Party" isn't a pure dance station, mixing hip-hop in with the rhythmic tracks, it comes to 87.7 with well-known leadership behind it, including JVC vice president/Party morning man Vic Latino, a popular figure in New York's rhythmic music community.

"We are very excited to be broadcasting to the number one market in the world," said JVC CEO John Carraciolo.

The simulcast comes amidst several other changes for "Party 105": earlier in the week, it changed calls from WDRE to WPTY-FM - and after a simulcast period, it will disappear from one of the Long Island translators that was carrying its signal west. W268AN (101.5 Plainview) will instead flip to a simulcast of JVC's other Long Island signal, Spanish tropical "Fiesta" WBON (98.5 Westhampton), which is already heard on another translator at 96.9 in Manorville.

The new "Pulse 87.7" simulcast is expected to launch this morning at 6 with "Vic Latino's Neighborhood."

*While JVC uses an LPTV to extend the reach of its signal, CBS Radio is betting on HD Radio subchannels to bring some of its programming to new markets. The practice started out west, where CBS was quietly relaying Inland Empire country signal KFRG (95.1 San Bernardino CA) into Los Angeles for a few months via KLSX 97.1-HD2. That relay went unnoticed, but when CBS moved the "K-Frog" relay to KTWV 94.7-HD3, it drew the ire of independent station owner Saul Levine, who cried foul in a complaint to the FCC alleging that the relay violates translator rules and puts CBS over the market ownership cap.

In the meantime, CBS is pressing ahead with more relays, including plans to take the programming of its New York City sports behemoth, WFAN (660), into three markets in Florida that are brimming with expatriate New Yorkers. WFAN is already being heard in Orlando via WOCL 105.9-HD3, and will soon appear as well on WLLD 94.1-HD3 in Tampa and WEAT-FM 104.3-HD3 in West Palm Beach as well. The "Net Gnomes" at report that CBS has registered "" and its counterparts in Florida - and they've picked out a registration of "" as well, suggesting that CBS may be contemplating importing its "world famous" Los Angeles modern rocker to New York in the future.

(And since the question keeps coming up - no, it's unlikely that the WFAN feed that makes it to Florida will include Mets baseball or the station's other big-ticket play-by-play offerings.)

On Long Island, WKJY (98.3 Hempstead)'s new morning man, Steve Harper, has a familiar partner joining him beginning today. Maria Garcia worked with Harper at WBLI (106.1) for nearly a decade, and now she's half of the "K-JOY Morning Show with Steve and Maria."

Where Are They Now?: Ed Salamon, who steered the old WHN (1050) to success as a country station during his stint as PD there from 1975-1981, is stepping down from his latest post as executive director of Country Radio Broadcasters. Salamon's resume also includes PD duties at the old WEEP (1080) in Pittsburgh and a long run at the helm of Westwood One before joining CRB in 2002.

In the Hudson Valley, is that another format change on the way to Clear Channel's oft-flipped 99.3 in Ellenville? After just under three years as country WRWC, simulcasting WRWD (107.3 Highland) into the Catskills, it appears that the next step for 99.3 will be a simulcast of news-talk WKIP (1450 Poughkeepsie), at least judging by the website that showed up last week. (As we go to press Sunday night, 99.3 is still relaying WRWD.)

In Buffalo, there's a change at the top of public broadcaster WBFO (88.7): GM Carole Smith Petro is moving to a new post at the University of Buffalo, the station's licensee. After seven years at the helm of WBFO, Petro is becoming UB's associate vice president for economic engagement. Inbound as interim GM is a familiar figure in public radio in the northeast: Mark Vogelzang, former president of Vermont Public Radio, will take over at WBFO tomorrow.

Two bits of TV news: Rochester's NBC affiliate, WHEC-TV (Channel 10), is losing its news director, as Mike Goldrick departs after three years to take the same position at Pittsburgh's NBC outlet, WPXI-TV (Channel 11), where he fills an empty chair that's been occupied by GM Ray Carter for the last few months. Those with long memories may note that Goldrick is at least the second WHEC news director to head to the Steel City; Bob Longo made that move two decades ago and found great success as the longtime ND at WTAE-TV (Channel 4).

Up north, Plattsburgh's WPTZ-TV (Channel 5) has added the syndicated "ThisTV" programming on its 5.2 subchannel, bringing a roster of vintage movies to viewers in the North Country and adjoining parts of Vermont and Quebec.

And we remember Bill Chadwick, who parlayed a Hall of Fame career as an NHL referee into fourteen seasons behind the mike as a color commentator for New York Rangers radio and TV broadcasts, on radio from 1967-1972 and then on TV through 1981. Chadwick died Oct. 24 in Cutchogue, N.Y., aged 94.


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*CBS Radio is extending the reach of a MASSACHUSETTS signal via HD subchannels as well - Boston's "Sports Hub," WBZ-FM (98.5), is now being heard in Hartford, CONNECTICUT on WTIC-FM 96.5-HD3, albeit without the Patriots play-by-play that's a big part of the WBZ-FM format.

There's an overnight change on 98.5 as well - instead of Sporting News Radio, WBZ-FM is now a Fox Sports Radio affiliate, returning JT The Brick to Boston's overnight airwaves after a short absence occasioned by WEEI (850)'s flip from Fox Sports to ESPN Radio.

Up in the Merrimack Valley, silent WLLH (1400 Lowell and Lawrence) returned to the air late last week, ending several weeks of silence since the shutdown of the old "ESPN 890" simulcast with WAMG (890 Dedham), which remains off the air. For now, WLLH is running Spanish tropical music with "Mega" IDs, possibly left over from a previous incarnation (under past owner Mega Communications) as "Mega 890 & 1400" - but we hear the station will eventually be doing local programming under the same management as Providence, RHODE ISLAND's WPMZ (1110).

There's a new chapter in the ongoing migrations of translator W236BX, which we've been tracking on its long trail from Cape Ann to the Fitchburg area. Last Tuesday, W236BX applied for and was granted (yes, same-day service!) a move from 95.1 to 94.9, taking the translator west of Pepperell, just a few miles north of Fitchburg, where it's expected to relay WPKZ (1280, ex-WEIM). How many more hops until it reaches its destination?

Speaking of translators, Amherst's WFCR (88.5) has moved its Pittsfield signal up the dial. The former W230AU (93.9) is now W291CH, operating on 106.1.

*There's more translator news from the Nutmeg State: W248AB (97.5 Bolton) has flipped from a relay of WILI-FM (98.3 Willimantic) to a relay of the HD2 channel of new owner Red Wolf Broadcasting's WMRQ (104.1 Waterbury). Last week, that meant Christmas music on 97.5 - but now it appears to be a Spanish tropical format.

What's that on TV in southwestern Connecticut? It's a relay of Chinese programming from Multicultural Broadcasting's KCNS (Channel 38) in San Francisco, now reaching Fairfield County and vicinity on the 43-2 subchannel of sister station WSAH in Bridgeport.

*There's a format flip coming to NEW HAMPSHIRE's Lakes Region on Wednesday, when classic rock "Hawk" is set to move from WWHQ (101.5 Meredith) to WLKZ (104.9 Wolfeboro). There's no word yet on what's in store for 104.9 as Nassau shuffles its lineup in preparation for shedding several of its Lakes Region and Concord signals.

*In MAINE, there's a change of co-hosts in the morning at WHMX (105.7 Lincoln), as APD/music director Morgan Smith moves from afternoons to mornngs to replace Jolie Littlefield. PD Tim Collins remains in place as the other half of the WHMX morning show.


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*It's not looking good for baseball fans in PENNSYLVANIA as we write the column Sunday night - but you can't fault Phillies flagship station WPHT (1210 Philadelphia) for insufficient enthusiasm heading into the World Series.

Before the start of the Series, WPHT sent out a press release announcing that it was "painting its radio transmission tower red and white" in honor of the team's colors - and while it's true, of course, that the 426-foot tall tower (actually located across the Delaware River in Moorestown, NEW JERSEY) was already painted, "The Big Talker" really did hang a "Phillies Radio" banner about halfway up the tower, just in time for the start of the Series.

Out west, Friend-of-NERW Clarke Ingram reports that satellite-fed classic hits has replaced much of the local programming at WLSW (103.9 Scottdale), though the morning show and afternoon jock Jeff Gerard remain in place at the former "Music Power 104."

And there's a call change up the road in Greensburg, where WGSM (107.1) has become WHJB, restoring that venerable callsign to the market, where it disappeared from its longtime home on 620 AM (now WKHB Irwin) a decade ago. Those with very long memories will recall that 107.1 and 620 were once sister stations, and indeed 107.1 was once WHJB-FM, back in the sixties and early seventies.

*Christmas music has come to the Jersey shore, where the holiday tunes started playing last week on WEZW (93.1 Wildwood Crest), which splits from its longtime simulcast with Atlantic City-market WTTH (96.1 Margate).

Up in Sussex County, we're hearing that Clear Channel cutbacks have claimed the job of Dick Taylor, who'd been market manager for the cluster there that includes WNNJ (103.7) and WSUS (102.3). Taylor also serves as first vice chairman of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association; he'd been at this job for a little over two years.

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*In CANADA, the CRTC has approved a major signal improvement for Montreal's Caribbean station, CJWI (1610). It's been running 1000 watts from a rooftop site northwest of downtown Montreal, but owner CPAM Radio Union has long complained of a weak signal over much of the area's Haitian community, as well as co-channel interference from CHHA in Toronto. Now CJWI holds a permit to move down the dial to 1410, where it will run 10 kW directional from the towers of CJMS (1040), south of Montreal. The move brings ethnic radio back to the 1410 frequency, the longtime home of the city's original multilingual station CFMB before it moved to 1280 a decade ago.

Over in Sherbrooke, Astral wants to boost power on CIMO-FM-1 (106.9), its low-power relay of "NRJ FM" CIMO (106.1) that fills in holes in the main signal's coverage from Mont Orford. CIMO-FM-1 now runs 22 watts, non-directional, but its application calls for 200 watts DA (89 watts average ERP), raising the antenna from 95 to 165.3 meters in the process.

Just south of Sherbrooke, in the community of Coaticook not far from the Vermont border, there's a new community FM signal on the way. Radio coopérative de Coaticook, Coop de solidarité, "Radio Coaticook" for short, will operate the new signal at 96.7, running 2.4 kW directional (1.25 kW average ERP) at 213.1 meters above average terrain.

Up north of Ottawa, CFOR-FM (99.3 Maniwaki) is applying for a 50-watt relay on 98.3 to boost its signal into nearby Mont-Laurier, Quebec. Comments on that application are due December 1.

The official launch of the new CJWF (95.9 Windsor) is getting closer. Last week, the station unveiled its airstaff, which will include the morning team of Mitch O'Connor and Melanie Deveau, Houida Kassem in middays, Reg Winters in afternoons and Casey Clarke at night. The station - which will apparently be known as "The Wolf," from what we hear - also announced a kick-off concert for December 11 starring Johnny Reid.

(And we're hearing that the CJWF signal, from a tower in Windsor shared with powerful CIMX 88.7 and CIDR 93.9, is getting into Detroit and its suburbs quite nicely...)

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, 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 for the idea - and thanks to you, our readers, for the support that's made all these years of NERW possible!)

November 3, 2008 -

  • It was supposed to be a joyous week in upstate NEW YORK - the debut of the airstaff at Ithaca's new top-40 station, Finger Lakes Radio Group's WFIZ (95.5 Odessa). In the course of just a few months, PD/morning man Tommy Frank had arrived from Indiana, assembled a crew that included morning co-host Heather B., assistant PD/night guy Justin Wright and the syndicated Ryan Seacrest in afternoons. On Wednesday, "Z95.5" closed out its inaugural 10,000-song commercial-free stunt with the debut of Frank's morning show, followed later in the day by Wright's on-air debut.
  • And then the joy gave way to tragedy: early Thursday morning, Frank was found dead in his apartment, felled by a heart attack at the age of 42 (or possibly 43, if the dates shown on WFIZ's website tribute are correct), leaving behind a young son. The Bangor native (whose real name was Thomas Foley) had a long list of call letters on his resume: morning co-host ("Frank & Stein") at WRFY in Reading, then PD at the short-lived WSKS in Scranton, WAYV in Atlantic City, WWHT in Syracuse, WKRQ Cincinnati, WAZY Lafayette, Indiana, WJFX Fort Wayne, WNDV South Bend and WTBT/WGER in Saginaw before returning to the northeast a few months ago.
  • In the wake of Frank's sudden death, WFIZ GM Frank Lischak has named Wright to serve as PD and morning co-host, which means the station is once again looking for an APD/night jock.
  • Most of our PENNSYLVANIA news comes from Philadelphia - and not just from Citizens Bank Park, home of the world champion Phillies (with hearty congratulations to legendary Phils broadcaster Harry Kalas, who finally got to call a Series win live after almost four decades with the team; while he was the Phillies announcer for their last - and only other - championship back in 1980, the broadcast deals back then didn't allow local announcers to call the Series, even on the teams' flagship stations.)
  • At Greater Media's Philadelphia cluster, WNUW (97.5 Burlington NJ) has a new PD and - temporarily - a new format. Don Gosselin moves down the hall from WBEN-FM (95.7 Philadelphia) to take the PD reins at "Now 97.5," which flipped to all-Christmas music late last week before usuall all-Christmas stalwart WBEB (B101) could beat it to the punch. Gosselin's move opened up a PD vacancy at Ben-FM, which was promptly filled by Jules Riley. The former operations manager at Citadel's Scranton cluster returns to the Keystone State from St. Louis and the PD chair at WARH and the now-defunct WMVN.
  • Just one story from CANADA this week, but it's a pretty big one: as CHUM (1050) and CHUM-FM (104.5) prepare to move out of their longtime studio home at 1331 Yonge Street, they're opening the doors to the public one last time in a couple of weeks. The farewell CHUM open house will take place Saturday, November 15, from noon-4 PM, including tours of the building and the CHUM Museum within - and Milkman UnLimited reports there will be a "special CHUM souvenir" available to visitors with a donation to the CP24 CHUM Christmas Wish charity.
  • The 1331 Yonge Street site, which has been home to CHUM since 1959, has been sold to a developer, and the stations are moving downtown to 250 Richmond Street West over the next few months. The landmark neon sign is already gone from Yonge Street - it was dismantled in early September so it can be refurbished before being installed at the new studios on Richmond.

November 1, 2004 -

  • It was quite a week in MASSACHUSETTS, wasn't it? As the whole world knows by now, the Red Sox blew all that "curse" stuff right out of the water with their sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals and their first Series win in 86 years - and that was more than enough excuse for us to point the ol' NERW-mobile eastward late last week to check out the scene in Boston for ourselves (and to show official NERW baby Ariel the biggest parade she'll probably ever see in her lifetime!)
  • We knew even before leaving home that we'd hear a lot of special Sox material on the airwaves; the special IDs were running on WBZ (1030 Boston) within an hour or two of the win, for instance. But it was still nice to cross the state line (where those "Home of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots" signs need some company now) and hear a Sox celebration song playing on WSBS (860 Great Barrington). And we rolled quite a bit of tape on the Boston morning shows on Friday, all of which seemed to have their own song parodies, montages of game audio, and so on.
  • The TV dial was just as much fun, with nightly Sox specials on WBZ-TV (Channel 4) and sister station WSBK (Channel 38), and lots of coverage on the other news stations as well.
  • And what of the broadcast coverage of the largest parade in Boston history on Saturday morning? The city's TV stations were all over it, in a most cooperative manner, pooling feeds from key camera locations along the route - including live shots (apparently sent back over some sort of streaming wireless connection) from several of the duck boats carrying Sox players and officials. All the usual suspects were in on the coverage - WBZ-TV (simulcast on WSBK for the benefit of outlying viewers in the New England hinterlands and beyond), WCVB (Channel 5), WHDH-TV (Channel 7, with the added bonus of having its studio right along the parade route at Government Center), WFXT (Channel 25), New England Cable News, NESN and Fox Sports New England. About the only disappointment was the rainy, foggy weather that kept helicopters grounded - but there were still aerial shots from a few good high rooftops along the way. By the time we made it away from the parade route and over to a TV set, WB affiliate WLVI (Channel 56) was out of parade coverage (if it carried the parade at all) and into...ABC sports? Yup - the college football game scheduled for WCVB ended up over at channel 56 when it was bumped by parade coverage, probably the first time ABC had been seen on channel 56 since its long, long, long-ago days as WTAO-TV in the fifties. (One more coverage note: Fox's WFXT tried to get permission from Major League Baseball to rerun the historic Game 4 of the World Series on Sunday afternoon, but was turned down.)
  • Radio was out in force as well, with WEEI (850), WZLX (100.7) and WBCN (104.1) all distributing signs along the parade route. WBZ brought weekday anchor Gary LaPierre in ("I'm Gary LaPierre...and yes, I'm working on Saturday") to anchor its coverage, and we heard coverage from the parade route interspersed with the call-ins on WEEI, too.
  • There was other news in the Bay State, too, though not much: up in Gloucester, the FCC approved two translator applications, granting W243CD (96.5) to Radio Assist Ministry and W279BQ (103.7) to Edgewater Broadcasting. Both companies are headed by Clark Parrish and based in Twin Falls, Idaho, also home to Calvary Satellite Radio, and they both filed for thousands of translators in the last filing window, apparently with the intent of selling the construction permits to other religious broadcasters. W243CD's application proposed to relay WMSJ (89.3 Freeport ME) over the air, while W279BQ proposes the even more incredible feat of an over-the-air pickup of WYFP (91.9 Harpswell ME); we'd expect those to change at some point, especially if the FCC approves (as groups like Radio Assist, Edgewater and Calvary devoutly hope it will) a plan to allow translators in the commercial part of the FM band to be fed by satellite. (Five years later: W243CD is the same facility that has migrated down the dial to become W236BX, en route to Fitchburg.)
  • Some changes in the overnight sound of NEW YORK radio: Steve Malzberg has departed the late-night hours of WABC (770 New York) after 23 years at the station. As of this morning (Nov. 1), he's the new morning man on WWRL (1600 New York), working alongside Karen Hunter and trading the huge signal of WABC for more civilized hours on the more limited reach of WWRL. Over at WABC, program director Phil Boyce plugs in the syndicated "Coast to Coast AM" with George Noory, at least for now.
  • The listeners spoke, and now the southern tip of NEW JERSEY has its standards station back. After just a couple of days of simulcasting an oldies format with WMID (1340 Atlantic City), WCMC (1230 Wildwood) returned to adult standards last Tuesday (Oct. 26), in no small part because of the outspoken listeners who staged a rally outside the station's Wildwood studios.
  • WPST (97.5 Trenton) is on the move, at least in one sense. Nassau Broadcasting's flagship FM station won FCC permission last week to move its class B allocation to Burlington, which puts it in the Philadelphia market now. The move doesn't include a change of transmitter site - yet - but as a grandfathered pre-1964 allocation that's surrounded by other grandfathered pre-1964 allocations, it should be possible for WPST to put a city-grade signal over its new city of license from a transmitter site right in the heart of Philadelphia if it so chooses. (There's no protection of third-adjacent signals between pre-1964 allocations like WPST and Philly's WOGL on 98.1, you see...)

October 29, 1999 -

  • The last full week of October brought two big pieces of radio news in the Northeast, both thanks to the folks out in Las Vegas at Citadel. The group wasn't even in the region three years ago, but thanks to its April 1997 purchase of Tele-Media (yielding Providence), the November 1998 buy of Wicks (and its big Binghamton cluster, about which more in a moment), and the $63 million springtime buyout of Fuller-Jeffrey in Maine and New Hampshire, the company has become a medium-sized regional player.
  • Now it's poised to become a major group in our region, with Thursday's announcement of the $190 million sale of Broadcasting Partners Holdings to Citadel. Eight of the 11 markets in which Broadcasting Partners operated are in the region, using three different group names.
  • We return to NEW YORK for the other Citadel headline of the week, a deal that will shuffle one of the most stable radio lineups in the region. Forty years ago, Binghamton's AM dial consisted of four stations: WINR at 680, WNBF at 1290, WKOP at 1360, and WENE at 1430 in Endicott. Today, it still does (even though 1360 and 1430 briefly dropped their heritage calls in the 1980s -- who remembers WRSG, WBNK, and WMRV-AM?). In a few weeks, it won't.
  • Grab your scorecards, because it plays out like this: Citadel, which is already at its ownership limits with the 2 AM/3 FM group it bought from Wicks, is buying the 680 frequency -- but not the WINR calls or nostalgia format -- from Titus Broadcasting. WNBF's news and talk format will move down the dial from 1290 to 680, with a simulcast lasting several months. Since Citadel then has to spin something, Titus ends up with the 1360 frequency (generally considered the worst AM facility in the market), which is where WINR's calls and format will end up. And once the 1290/680 simulcast is over, 1290 will pick up the WKOP calls and *that* nostalgia format, now heard on 1360.
  • Why do it? With just 500 watts, the WKOP night signal is a tough catch in growing areas like Vestal and Endicott, while the same 500 watts on the better 680 frequency (and with a more useful DA pattern) do much more at night. The recent daytime power boost at WINR (from a very directional kilowatt to a looser 5kw pattern) has helped immensely as well. What's harder to fathom is moving the established WNBF programming from that 1290 signal, which is quite respectable day and night, down to the at best marginally-better 680. Confused yet? Now imagine being a Binghamton radio listener! NERW will be making the drive to Binghamton to hear it all go down; more details are certain to follow. (Ten years later: The swap ended up being cancelled, and WINR and WNBF stayed put on their familiar frequencies.)
  • Tele-Media is making all the news in NEW HAMPSHIRE, adding not only WKNE (1290/103.7) Keene, as we told you last week, but also picking up WHOB (106.3 Nashua) from Mario DeCarlo, who put the station back on the air in 1987 after WOTW-FM lost its license for the frequency. DeCarlo says at age 77, it was time to sell, but he says the hot AC format is likely to remain in place. Tele-Media entered New Hampshire a few weeks ago by purchasing WNNH (99.1 Henniker), which received FCC approval this week for its tower move from Pat's Peak to Gould Hill in Contoocook.
  • Over to VERMONT we go, and another Tele-Media acquisition: the company also gets WKNE's sister stations in Brattleboro, WKVT AM-FM (1490/92.7), from Richard Lightfoot. Meantime up in Saint Albans, WWSR (1420) is on its new tower just east of the old one (as of October 15), and now John Kimel is getting ready to take down the 1941-vintage 210-foot self-supporting tower behind the WWSR studios. Anyone in need of a tower is invited to call John at WWSR for more information. (Hmmmmm...wouldn't THAT look nice in the backyard of the new NERW Central?)
  • Up in CANADA this week, the CRTC weighed in on the new FM allocation in London, Ontario, awarding it to Toronto's CHUM Group, which until now has had no radio presence in the market (it owns CFPL-TV and has a nearby relay of Toronto's CITY-TV). Losing out in the fight for 102.3 were Affinity Broadcasting, CKSL (1410) in London, and CKOT (1510) in nearby Tillsonburg, which thus gets to remain Canada's last daytimer. Still to come from the CRTC are rulings on new FM channels in Hamilton, Belleville, and Kingston. (And for those who think living in a fantasy world is just an FCC thing, check out the CRTC decisions on the last remaining FMs in Victoria, British Columbia, where the CBC appears to be seriously trying to add not one but two French-language services to a market that has essentially no Francophone population. Incroyable!)

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