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November 16, 2009

NYC Gets A New Translator

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*Quick - when was the last time a brand-new FM signal appeared on the airwaves of NEW YORK City? We're not talking suburban rimshot signals here, nor does the WNYZ-LP "Franken-FM" channel 6/87.7 operation quite count. And by that measure, it would seem that the 1985 debut of 8-watt WHCR (90.3) up in Harlem marked the last time a new (licensed) FM signal signed on from within the five boroughs.

A quarter-century later, that's about to change: last week, the FCC quietly approved one of the tens of thousands of applications it received back in 2003 for new FM translators. That window produced plenty of requests for new signals in the Big Apple, most of them ungrantable - but it also included an application from River Vale Media Foundation for a 19-watt signal on 107.1, licensed to Brooklyn but aiming most of its highly-directional signal northwest over the Brooklyn Bridge into the heart of Manhattan.

When the application was filed, it drew opposition from Clear Channel, which operates WLTW (106.7) just two channels down the dial. Under the translator rules, though, such second-adjacent operation is acceptable, if the translator is up high enough so that no listeners on the ground would receive predicted interference. (It gets even more technical from there; suffice it to say, it's an issue of ratios, and the River Vale application, which calls for antennas mounted off the side of a 300' tall apartment building near the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, meets those FCC regulations.)

The grant of the construction permit on 107.1 (complete with call letters W296BT) is just the start of what promises to be an interesting saga, of course, as we find out what River Vale (controlled by one Jae H. Chung) has in store for its new signal. The application filed back in 2003 called for 107.1 to relay Sound of Life's WLJP (89.3 Monroe), but that was just a placeholder. There's not much we can tell from River Vale's other holdings; Chung has some 30 other applications for other translators in and near New York City still lingering ungranted from the 2003 window, and one other licensed translator, W247AW (97.3 Poughkeepsie), which is apparently repeating WGNY-FM (103.1 Newburgh).

It's a pretty good bet that W296BT will become the most valuable translator in America once it's built, assuming River Vale wants to sell - especially now that the FCC allows AM stations to relay their signals on FM. Will Chung find a buyer? We'll be watching this one closely...

*The week's other big news from the big city was the Thursday induction of six new members into the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Longtime New York morning man Harry Harrison and CBS newsman Charles Osgood made up the city contingent, and from upstate the inductees included Albany's Don Weeks (WGY), Syracuse's Rick Gary (now of WZUN/WUMX after long runs at WYYY and WSYR-TV), Rochester's Brother Wease (WFXF) and Buffalo's Marie Rice (formerly of WIVB-TV). Congratulations to all!

Next week's big news from the big city seems likely to be the long-rumored deal between GE and Comcast to transfer control of NBC to the cable giant. There's not much at this point that we can add to the speculation running rampant across the trades and the business press - while Comcast is clearly interested mainly in NBC's cable networks, it's still far from clear what becomes of NBC's broadcast holdings. In NERW-land, those consist of NBC O&Os WNBC (Channel 4) in New York, WCAU (Channel 10) in Comcast's home base of Philadelphia and WVIT (Channel 30) in Connecticut, which NBC tried to sell last year, but which failed to attract a buyer - as well as Telemundo outlets WNJU (Channel 47) in New York and WNEU (Channel 60) in the Boston market. While deregulation did away with the longstanding FCC rules that barred cross-ownership between cable systems and broadcast stations in a market, it's far from clear that the Justice Department's antitrust hawks would look kindly on such overlaps, especially in areas such as Philadelphia and Boston where Comcast is the dominant cable operator. As for the details of what a Comcast/NBC merger might look like operationally, it appears to us to be so speculative at this point that we'll leave it to the message-board crowd to discuss. (If nothing else, GE shedding NBC might finally put to rest that long-running rumor that claims GE hoped to re-enter radio after unloading NBC's radio assets two decades ago...)

Out on Long Island, another obstacle to the impending sale of Long Island University's WLIU (88.3 Southampton) has been cleared away with the signing of a consent decree that settles allegations that WLIU and sister station WCWP (88.1 Brookville) ran afoul of the FCC's underwriting rules for noncommercial stations. Under the agreement, LIU will make a "voluntary" contribution of $24,000 to the feds, and the investigation into the violations will be dropped, allowing the sale to Peconic Public Broadcasting to move ahead.

Albany now has an all-Christmas outlet, and it's no surprise: Clear Channel flipped WTRY-FM (98.3 Rotterdam) last week, as it's done for quite a few years now.

In other news from the Capital District, talker WGDJ (1300 Rensselaer) has applied for a license to cover its power increase, jumping from 5 kW day and night to 10 kW days, 8 kW nights. And its talk competitor, Pamal's WROW (590 Albany), has signed on with Kansas-based Virtual News Center to produce "local" news reports. Are they ready to handle "Schaghticoke," "Schoharie" and "Watervliet"?

We're still almost two weeks out from Thanksgiving, but Syracuse now has two all-Christmas stations, with Clear Channel's WYYY (94.5 Syracuse) following the early lead of crosstown WZUN (102.1 Phoenix). Buffalo's WTSS (102.5) and WJYE (96.1) joined the parade this morning as well, as did WVOR (102.3 Canandaigua) here in the Rochester market.

Calvary Chapel of the Finger Lakes, licensee of WZXV (99.7 Palmyra), is shuffling some of its Finger Lakes translators: W281AT (104.1) is moving from Watkins Glen to Ithaca, and W274AG (102.7 Penn Yan) is on its way south to Dundee, where it will move to 102.1.

Speaking of the Finger Lakes, there's a real-life "Pirate Radio" connection to the Finger Lakes Radio Group. Co-owner Alan Bishop is a fully-licensed broadcaster in Geneva, Canandaigua, Auburn, Dundee, Ithaca and Dunkirk these days...but back in 1985, he spent several months rocking the North Sea as one of the jocks on Dutch-owned pirate "Laser 558," working under the airname "Craig Novak." (Bishop talked about his pirate days with your editor on WXXI's "Mixed Media" last week - you can hear the podcast here, with apologies for some audio glitches at our end!)

And since there's another local "Pirate Radio" connection - one of the movie's stars, Philip Seymour Hoffman, hails from Rochester - how could we not offer at least a brief review of the movie? If you're looking for a documentary about Radio Caroline, Radio London, Radio 390 and all the other pirates who fought the British authorities and rocked the British Isles in the mid-sixties, this isn't it; the movie glosses over much of the political intrigue and glamorizes the often-brutal conditions out at sea. (Sunny weather off the coast of Britain at Christmastime? Unlikely.) The film also takes considerable chronological liberties with both equipment and music, not to mention RF safety.

But don't let that keep you out of the theater for this one: if you're in the mood for what amounts to "WKRP on the high seas," with a side helping of "DJs Gone Wild," not to mention lots of classic rock, "Pirate Radio" doesn't disappoint. And in its spot-on depictions of the passion with which British listeners greeted the arrival of rock radio (or the movie's fictional "Radio Rock"), "Pirate Radio" serves as a valuable reminder of the relationship that radio had - and can still have - with its listeners, when it's done right.

In Niagara County, Lockport Community Television is moving forward with its construction permit for WLNF (90.5 Rapids). It's working with the Rapids Fire Company to get zoning approval for a 100-foot self-supporting tower behind the fire hall on Plank Road, which would be shared by the fire department and the radio station. WLNF would run 250 watts from the top of the tower, carrying simulcasts of LCTV programming and eventually adding radio-only programs.

We didn't offer a "Hockey on the Radio" feature when the season started this fall because so much remained stable on the dials across the region this year - of the NHL teams in NERW-land, only the Boston Bruins moved flagships, and then only from WBZ (1030) to WBZ-FM (98.5) - but a visit to Buffalo's HSBC Arena last week to watch the Sabres' farm club, the Portland (Maine) Pirates, take on the Rochester Amerks reminded us of one interesting development: the Pirates' new play-by-play announcer this year is Mark Jeanneret, son of veteran Sabres announcer Rick Jeanneret. (Not much change on the AHL radio landscape this year, either - we'd already noted the Lowell Devils' move to WWZN 1510, and the Pirates have a mini-network based at Portland's WLOB-FM 95.5/WLOB 1310. There's also one team move in NERW-land - the former Philadelphia Phantoms are now the Adirondack Phantoms, based in Glens Falls and heard on WNYQ 101.7.)

Where Are They Now? Reggie Jordan, who served as GM of Citadel's Syracuse cluster in 2001-02, is the new VP/market manager for New Northwest Broadcasters' cluster in Yakima, Washington.

Melissa Long, who honed her news chops in upstate New York (most notably at Rochester's WROC-TV) before making a big jump to CNN in Atlanta, is out of work - her anchor job at CNN.com went away late last week when CNN shut down the separate news production it was doing for its website.

And Paul Lyle, former general manager of the Route 81 stations in Corning and Elmira, is facing some big legal problems in Kansas, where he was fired from American Radio Investments earlier this year. Lyle is facing felony theft charges for embezzling more than $87,000 while serving as chief financial officer of the radio group. The Joplin Globe reports that Lyle says he stole the money to buy scratch-off lottery tickets - and that he won $96,000 in a second-chance drawing that was taking place at the Kansas state fair while Lyle was in court for a preliminary hearing. Lyle pleaded guilty on Thursday and agreed to use his winnings to pay restitution to American Radio Investments; he'll be sentenced November 30.

THE 2010 CALENDAR IS HERE!

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.

Our individually-numbered, hand-signed limited first edition is now sold out - but 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...

Order now at the fybush.com Store!

*Burlington's WCAX-TV (Channel 3) eulogized former chief engineer Ted Teffner as a "towering figure" in VERMONT broadcasting after his sudden death last week, and it's hard to argue with that description. Until his retirement not long ago, Teffner was the guiding force behind the massive reconstruction project that transformed WCAX's 1950s-vintage transmitter site atop Mount Mansfield into a 21st-century DTV site shared by most of Burlington's TV broadcasters (and several FMs, too), and it's hard to think of anyone more universally admired in the state's engineering community.

Teffner had recently retired to Florida, where he died Thursday at age 69. Funeral arrangements are not yet complete.

*There's not much new to report from the format shuffle that's underway in central NEW HAMPSHIRE, where WWHQ (101.5 Meredith) continues to run a repeating loop directing listeners up the dial to WLKZ (104.9 Wolfeboro) to find the "Hawk" classic rock format. Meanwhile, WNNH (99.1 Henniker) continues to simulcast soon-to-be-ex-sister station WJYY (105.5 Concord), and WWHK (102.3 Concord) was silent at last report. As always, stay tuned...

Congratulations to Mike Pomp of WTSN (1270 Dover) - he was named Broadcaster of the Year at the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters' annual dinner Thursday. Radio Station of the Year honors went to WCNL (1010 Newport), and Manchester's WMUR-TV (Channel 9) was TV Station of the Year. (You can see the full list of winners here.)

*Christmas came quickly to eastern MASSACHUSETTS Friday afternoon - well, Christmas music, anyway. In the closely-watched battle to be first with the holiday tunes, WODS (103.3 Boston) kicked things off a few minutes after noon, followed 20 minutes later by WROR (105.7 Framingham) - and fans of the oldies (er, "classic hits") will have to look elsewhere for their music on the Boston airwaves until after Christmas day. (For those keeping track, this year's start came a week later than last year's November 6 flips at both stations.)

The December 1 relaunch of WCRB (99.5 Lowell) as a noncommercial classical signal owned by WGBH remains on track, now that the FCC has approved the $14 million sale. There's still no word yet from WGBH about its new schedule on 89.7, expected to be all news and talk during the day, with jazz remaining in place later in the evening.

On TV, WHDH-TV turned off its channel 7 digital transmitter for good around 10:00 Friday morning, ending a rocky DTV transition that found the NBC affiliate moving from analog 7/digital 42 to digital 7, then firing up the digital 42 transmitter again just days after the June analog shutoff as complaints piled up from viewers having trouble with the VHF digital signal. After five months of digital operation (under STA) on both channels 7 and 42, WHDH secured FCC permission to move its permanent digital facility to 42. For a few days last week, the channel 7 digital signal carried a slate reminding viewers to rescan to receive the UHF signal before the VHF signal went dark. The next steps, we hear, will be the purchase of a new UHF transmitter to replace the decade-old model WHDH had been using on 42 - and the shipping of the channel 7 digital transmitter down to Sunbeam sister station WSVN in Miami, which has been having more success with VHF digital over Florida's flat terrain.

And we're sorry to report the death of Stanley Miastkowski, WA1UMV, who was on the air at WHMP in Northampton in the seventies before getting into technical journalism. Over the last few decades, he worked for 73 magazine, Byte magazine and PC World, as well as hosting several TV shows about computers. Miastkowski died Nov. 3 in Peterborough, N.H.; he was 58.

*In CONNECTICUT, Kristin Okesson is the new VP/GM of Cox Radio's four stations in Stamford and Norwalk (WFOX, WCTZ and WSTC/WNLK). She's a familiar face in the region, having worked in Danbury and across the state line in Westchester as a market manager for Cumulus.

*And in RHODE ISLAND, add WWLI (105.1 Providence) to the all-Christmas parade, effective Sunday night/Monday morning at midnight.

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*Our PENNSYLVANIA news starts on the TV side up in Scranton, where Local TV's WNEP (Channel 16) is rearranging the programming on its "WNEP2" DTV subchannel. 16.2 is now carrying classic TV shows from Retro TV, albeit in a box surrounded by the weather forecasts and local event listings that were already being seen on WNEP2.

Starting in January, WNEP2 will also be the new home of the 10 PM edition of WNEP's "Newswatch 16." The 10 o'clock newscast had been airing on Fox affiliate WOLF-TV (Channel 56) under a long-running contract, but WOLF-TV is shifting that contract to the other local newsroom in town, Nexstar's WBRE-TV (Channel 28), which will begin producing a 10 PM newscast for Fox 56 with its existing 11 PM crew. When the new show starts January 1, it will run a full hour, rather than the half-hour show that WNEP had been producing for WOLF-TV.

There's good news from Allentown, where Clear Channel engineers put up a replacement tower last week at WAEB (790), getting the station back to normal after one of its five towers was toppled, apparently by vandals, over Labor Day weekend. Police still don't have any leads on the vandalism.

In Philadelphia, Ken Johnson is the new director of urban programming for Clear Channel's WUSL (98.9) and WDAS-FM (105.3), moving north from Citadel in Dallas to take that newly-created position.

And speaking of moving north, Joey Brooks is leaving Clear Channel's WIOQ (102.1) after many years as APD/music director/afternoon jock - starting December 1, he'll be doing afternoons at CHUM-FM (104.5) in Toronto.

There are two new stations coming to the low end of the dial in north central Pennsylvania: Invisible Allies Ministries (owner of several "Rev FM" Christian rock signals in State College and vicinity) already has call letters - WRQV - for its new 2400-watt/771' DA signal on 88.1 in Ridgway, with a transmitter site south of St. Mary's; meanwhile, Gospel Tabernacle was granted 300 watts/636' for its new station on 88.5 in Coudersport.

And in Chambersburg, add WIKZ (95.1) to the all-Christmas list...

*As NEW JERSEY recovers from the battering its coast took from that big storm late last week, there's good news for classical listeners in Monmouth County: now that its off-air receiver has been tweaked, W244AS (96.7 Oakhurst) is once again relaying New York's WQXR, rather than the WXNY Spanish-language programming that took over WQXR's former 96.3 facility when the classical music moved up the dial to 105.9 a month ago.

Edited by NERW's own Scott Fybush - on sale now as an e-book or printed volume!

*Country music has once again vanished from the airwaves in CANADA's biggest market. On Friday afternoon at 3, Corus abruptly pulled the plug on "Country 95.3" (CING-FM), the Hamilton-licensed signal that was also supplying the much larger Toronto market next door with its Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw fix.

After seven years of country, 95.3 is now playing classic hits, calling itself simply "The New 95.3" - and while it helps to fill the gap left behind when CHUM (1050) flipped from oldies to a CP24 TV simulcast earlier this year, the move leaves country fans seeking out some rimshot signals for their format. From the east side of the Greater Toronto Area, there's CJKX (95.9 Ajax), "96KX," with a signal that reaches much of the city and its eastern and northern suburbs (and even across the lake here in Rochester when the winds are blowing the right way); for listeners in 95.3's hometown of Hamilton, there's at least a rimshot signal from CIKZ (106.7) over in Kitchener-Waterloo.

So far, there's no word from Corus about an airstaff for "The New 95.3."

Down at the far end of the 401, meanwhile, this morning marks the official launch of a new country station serving not only Windsor but much of the Detroit metro area right across the river. CJWF (95.9) signs on "for real" at 8:00 with officials from owner Blackburn Radio cutting a ribbon at the studios. The airstaff includes morning hosts Mitch O'Connor and Melanie Deveau, middayer Houida Kassem (late of London's CFPL-TV/A Channel) and Reg Winters in afternoon drive.

In Waterloo, CKMS (100.3) went silent over the weekend after losing its main source of funding. "100.3 SoundFM" is the student station at the University of Waterloo, and in a referendum there students voted against a $2.50-per-term fee to support the station. The CKMS board of directors says it will have more to report about the situation this week; in the meantime, it's changed the locks on the station doors. (Monday afternoon update: CKMS returned to the air Sunday with BBC World Service programming; board members say the station can remain on the air until at least early December while they seek other options to keep it alive.)

And there's just one other piece of news from north of the border this week: Toronto's CHTO (1690) has been granted a daytime power increase from 1000 to 3000 watts; the move is expected to improve reception of the station's Greek programming in Mississauga and Brampton.

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

November 17, 2008 -

  • To the strains of Billy Joel's "It's Still Rock & Roll to Me" and a new tune, "The Wease is Back," one of western NEW YORK's best-known radio talents returned to the airwaves Saturday night, testing the waters of a new studio ahead of the real launch this morning. That would be Rochester's Brother Wease, of course, whose contract dispute with his former station, Entercom's WCMF (96.5), made headlines both here and in the mainstream media a year ago. Wease ended up departing WCMF after a quarter of a century, leaving his former sidekicks behind to start their own morning show - and as of today, after waiting out a non-compete in his WCMF contract, he's over at Clear Channel's rival classic rocker, WFXF (95.1 Honeoye Falls).
  • In a radio environment where talent costs are often among the first things to be cut by managers trying to make sense of a plummeting economic picture, "The Fox" is hoping its investment in Wease and a new crew of sidekicks, as well as in the contract to carry Bills football, will pay off in ratings and revenues for a station that's had relatively low visibility in town in its five years on the air. There was nothing low-visibility about WFXF this morning, however - from a bottom-of-the-front page "Welcome back, Wease" ad in the Democrat and Chronicle (paid for by sponsor Salvatore's Pizza, which is advertising a "$9.51 Welcome back, Wease" special) to rolling billboards on the streets of downtown Rochester to the TV crews that jammed into the packed studio at Midtown Plaza, it was hard to miss Wease's return.
  • While Clear Channel tests the value of a high-profile committment local programming with Wease, other big broadcasters continue to cut back. In New York City, CBS Radio cut at least four more jobs last week, including Jeff Mazzei, the WCBS-FM (101.1) assistant program director who'd more or less single-handedly kept the oldies format alive on the station's HD2 signal between the 2005 flip to "Jack FM" and the 2007 return to oldies on the main channel. Mazzei, a 23-year veteran of CBS-FM (and of WNBC/WYNY before that), had been voicetracking overnights and the Sunday night countdown show. Also out at CBS in New York are a receptionist at WXRK, a sales assistant at WFAN and at least one veteran engineer.
  • Meanwhile in Buffalo, longtime WJYE (96.1) afternoon jock Bob "the Godfather" Galli exited last week.
  • The return of veteran MASSACHUSETTS sportscaster Bob Lobel to the radio airwaves turned out to be temporary indeed. When Lobel came on board as morning co-host on CBS Radio's WODS (103.3) on September 22, station officials hinted that the longtime WBZ-TV personality might be appearing in only a "guest" role - and that's turned out to be the case. Chris Zito, who recently departed Worcester's WXLO, joined the WODS staff on Wednesday, working alongside Karen Blake from 6-9 AM weekdays. Zito's arrival is hardly a surprise; in Worcester, he worked with Jay Beau Jones, who's now PD at WODS.
  • With Zito's return, however, came staffing cuts at WODS and its sister CBS Radio stations: at WZLX (100.7), longtime overnight jock "Reverend Al" Cole, is out. News anchor/morning sidekick June Knight is gone at WODS, replaced by updates "from the WBZ newsroom." But the WBZ (1030) newsroom is a few staffers smaller than usual, too: Bob McMahon, a 16-year 'BZ veteran (and before that a veteran of Utica and Syracuse radio and of the old WEEI), is out, as are sports guy Alan Segel, who'd been there more than 20 years, and producer Scot Cooper, who was coming up on two decades there.

November 15, 2004 -

  • It was supposed to have been a week of celebration for WBIX (1060 Natick), as the eastern MASSACHUSETTS business-talk station celebrated its new 24-hour status with a gala party at the Boston Harbor Hotel. That was Wednesday night. By Sunday morning, the station's future was in doubt, with owner Brad Bleidt under federal investigation for having allegedly stolen money from clients of his financial-management firm to cover the tens of millions of dollars being spent to build WBIX's night signal and to keep the upstart station afloat.
  • The revelations came in a tape Bleidt sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission before he apparently tried to kill himself, just hours after the party on Wednesday. The Boston Herald reports that the transcript of the tape quotes Bleidt as saying, "The money's gone. I stole it. I used (it) to buy a radio station, believe it or not, um, which is stupid,'' and "I'm literally a psychopath, I must be. I'm a monster. An absolute monster.''
  • Bleidt is reportedly hospitalized as he recovers from the suicide attempt, and his personal assets, as well as the assets of his company, Allocation Plus Asset Management, have been frozen by court order while the SEC pursues its investigation. The revelations come at a time of transition for WBIX. As best we can piece it together, Bleidt (and his wife, Bonnie, who's also WBIX's morning host) still hasn't closed on the sale of his interest in the station. Purchaser Chris Egan (son of Richard Egan, founder of EMC Corp.) has been operating the station for the last few months, and it will be interesting to see whether his outright purchase of the station can still go through. Adding to the complications, we understand that Bleidt still owed the station's previous owner (in its WMEX incarnation), Alex Langer, for most of the $13.5 million purchase price. Can WBIX survive? We'll be watching this one closely - and of course, following the story of Brad Bleidt carefully. Stay tuned...
  • A veteran Rochester voice is expanding his reach to the west. WCMF (96.5 Rochester) morning man Brother Wease will soon be heard on Infinity sister station WBUF (92.9 Buffalo), doing a 10:30 AM to 1 PM shift that will be partly original for Buffalo and partly a "best-of" the Rochester morning show. This isn't Wease's first attempt to expand his show beyond its home base - he was heard on weekends on New York's WNEW (102.7) during its talk era - but this one may turn out to be longer-lasting, especially when you consider that WBUF will be losing its current morning host, Howard Stern, in just a year's time, if not sooner.
  • The final shoes have dropped in that southern NEW JERSEY format shuffle, as Press Communications began programming its "Breeze" soft AC format on WKOE (106.3 Ocean City) midweek last week, with the simulcast of Millennium's "New Jersey 101.5" (WKXW-FM 101.5 Trenton) moving to WIXM (97.3 Millville). The new "Breeze" at 106.3 completes a Jersey Shore-blanketing trimulcast with WWZY (107.1 Long Branch) and WBHX (99.7 Beach Haven), and there's already a rumor swirling that Press will swap formats between WWZY and modern rock "G106-3" WHTG-FM (106.3 Eatontown) to put Breeze on both of the 106.3 signals it now controls.

November 14, 1999 -

  • In MAINE, a judge has ruled against Saga Communications in its attempt to silence former WMGX morning host Lori Voornas. Saga tried to get a temporary restraining order to prevent Voornas from sending letters to advertisers on Citadel letterhead promising a new morning show for an unnamed Citadel station, but the judge declined to issue such an order, saying it's not clear Voornas violated the terms of her non-compete by writing the letters. The non-compete is up February 28; NERW expects to hear a well-rested Voornas on one of the former Fuller-Jeffrey stations in the Citadel group (WCLZ? WCYY?) on Leap Day.
  • The big news in MASSACHUSETTS is Sunday night's format change at WARE (1250 Ware), as Mega Broadcasting and Spanish programming take over from the oldies. PD/morning voice Gary James and newsguy J.P. Ellery said their farewells on Friday (11/12); expect the legendary calls to go as well, leaving WACO-FM in Waco, Texas as the only station in the U.S. whose calls are exactly the same as the city of license. (NERW is not interested in hearing from sticklers who would argue that the city of license for that station should thus be "Wacofm, Texas"!) 2009 update - The calls stayed, and the oldies returned a few years later!

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