December 21, 2009
KDKA's Fred Honsberger Dies
NERW's now on
Twitter - follow us @NERadioWatch for breaking news updates during
(Had enough of 2009 by now? We sure have - so this week's
issue will be our last regular NERW of the year. Unless something
huge breaks, in which case we'll post an update here, expect
us back with the next regular issue of NERW on January 4, 2010.
In the meantime, follow our Twitter feed for breaking news...and
check out our 2009 Year in Review, now available at the link
Click on the banner above
to visit's NERW's 15th annual Year in Review, brought to you
this year by these nice folks:
*We start with some sad news from western
PENNSYLVANIA, where KDKA (1020 Pittsburgh) lost one of
its signature voices last Tuesday morning.
Honsberger made a name for himself in the early seventies with
stints as news director at WKBO (1230 Harrisburg) and at WRSC/WQWK
in State College, and it didn't take him long to make it back
to his native Philadelphia, where he did news for KYW (1060).
He moved to sister station KDKA in 1979, just in time to cover
the Three Mile Island disaster, for which he won an Alfred I.
Honsberger became KDKA's news director in 1984, then moved
over to the talk side in 1989, most recently in the noon-3 PM
slot. For nearly a decade, he also hosted a TV talk show on the
PCNC cable channel, before a series of illnesses forced him to
give up that job.
In recent years, Honsberger had been doing his show from his
home in Monroeville, and it was there that he died on Tuesday,
at the age of 58.
Tributes to Honsberger quickly began pouring in, including
a page of memorials in the Post-Gazette (and a fine obituary
at PBRTV.com from our colleague Jason Togyer), and a memorial
service Sunday at the Salvation Army's Pittsburgh Temple.
From this end, we'd add one memory of Honsberger that hasn't
been mentioned much in the official obituaries: in the early
years of the Internet, Fred was one of the first big-name talk
hosts to experiment with the new medium; for a while, he was
a regular and enthusiastic participant in the rec.radio.broadcasting
newsgroup that also birthed the earliest version of this column
more than 15 years ago - and we join in sending our condolences
to Honsberger's family (including wife Christine and sons Kyle
and Kevin) and to the KDKA family.
*NEW JERSEY-based Press Communications
has lost the first round in its attempt to move new TV stations
into the Philadelphia and New York City markets. As we reported
back in June, Press bought two small TV stations out west
- KJWY (Channel 2) in Jackson, Wyoming and KVNV (Channel 3) in
Ely, Nevada, and then hoped to use an obscure clause in the FCC
rules to force the Commission to reallocate those stations to
Wilmington, Delaware and Middletown Township, N.J., respectively.
The clause in question
provided that any licensee that notified the FCC that it was
willing to accept reallocation to a VHF-less state would immediately
be granted a license for the moved operation, bypassing just
about every other provision of the Act except for spacing requirements,
and Press hoped that by notifying the FCC that it was "willing
to accept" a reallocation of KJWY and KVNV it could transform
those low-cost rural licenses into full-power DTV signals transmitting
from the Roxborough tower farm and Manhattan's 4 Times Square.
The FCC wasn't quite as enthusiastic about the idea. In a
it released last week, the Commission took a narrow view
of the meaning of "reallocate," interpreting the rule
to allow only mutually-exclusive moves of stations in nearby
states - like the one the law was originally intended to enable,
the 1986 shift of channel 9 from New York City to Secaucus, N.J.
Since it's possible to continue to operate channel 2, for
instance, in both Wyoming and Wilmington, the Commission concluded
that the proposed KJWY move didn't qualify as a "reallocation,"
and it denied the KJWY and KVNV applications.
What the FCC did do, though, was to honor what it interpreted
as the spirit of the rule by instead proposing to creating two
new VHF allocations for Delaware and New Jersey - channel 5 in
Seaford, Delaware, at the southern end of the state outside the
Philadelphia TV market, and channel 4 in Atlantic City, N.J.
This is by no means the end of this interesting story: since
the low-VHF spectrum in the mid-Atlantic region is now wide open,
it's highly likely that the FCC's proposals will be met with
counter-proposals to instead allocate VHF channels that would
be closer to the big audiences (and eventual cable must-carry)
in Philadelphia and New York City.
And given the ambiguity of the "reallocation" language,
not to mention the potential profit awaiting Press if it can
move KJWY and KVNV east, it's also highly likely that Press will
appeal the FCC's ruling, tying this whole proceeding up in court
for some time to come.
*The FCC continues to dig through the big pile of applications
it received when it opened a window for new noncommercial FM
stations back in 2007, and this week it named a few more "tentative
selectees" for contested frequencies. Three applicants wanted
89.1 in communities near Reading, and after analyzing the number
of listeners who'd receive either a first or second new noncommercial
signal from each applicant, the FCC awarded 89.1 to religious
broadcaster Four Rivers Community Broadcaster, which will license
its new "Word FM" outlet to Mohrsville, north of Reading.
To the east, Penn-Jersey Educational Radio Corporation won
out over three other applicants with its proposal for 160 watts
on 90.5 in Easton, which will presumably relay Penn Jersey's
community station, WDVR (89.7 Delaware Township NJ).
Out west, it's another CP for the mysterious St. Joseph Missions,
the Catholic broadcaster that owns the still-silent former WAMO/WAMO-FM/WPGR
in the Pittsburgh market. St. Joseph competed with three other
applicants (including "K-Love" parent EMF, Pittsburgh
Community Broadcasting Corp. and Appalachian Performing Arts
Institute) in an area north and east of Pittsburgh, and its application
for 91.7 in Ligonier won the FCC's "tentative preference."
*One more from the obituary file: Jim Keating, who programmed
WCAU-FM (98.1 Philadelphia) back in the eighties, then went on
to work in Washington, D.C. and Florida, died last Monday (Dec.
14) of brain cancer. Keating had most recently been market manager
in Fort Myers/Naples, Florida for Clear Channel; he had retired
from that job in 2005.
*Is there a post-Christmas format flip coming in
NEW JERSEY? We're hearing word that Greater Media's WJRZ
(100.1 Manahawkin) won't return to its classic hits/oldies format
after the holidays, instead becoming "Magic 100.1,"
a mirror of sister station WMGQ (Magic 98.3) over in New Brunswick.
Stay tuned to NERW's Twitter feed for updates on this one...
Over at Millennium's New Jersey 101.5 (WKXW Trenton), Judi
Franco is citing "family issues" as the reason for
her departure from the midday "Dennis and Judi" show
that she's been hosting for over a decade. Dennis Malloy is flying
solo for now on that shift.
THE 2010 CALENDAR
IS HERE - AND IT'S ON SALE!
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.
We're selling them at a pretty good pace
this year, which means a January sellout is likely.
(We've got special discounts for bulk orders,
too - they make great holiday gifts for your business colleagues
now at the fybush.com Store!
*As we reported in an update to last Monday's
NERW, an upstate NEW YORK AM tower collapsed during guy-replacement
work on Monday afternoon, killing one tower worker.
The 400' tower of WRCE (1490 Watkins Glen) was built in 1968,
when the station signed on as WGMF, a daytimer on 1500. (The
original frequency helps to explain the unusual height; WGMF
had to minimize high-angle radiation during critical hours toward
co-channel WTOP in Washington.)
OSHA is now investigating last Monday's incident, in which
climber Dirk Remington of Clyde, N.Y. was killed. Remington was
working for Owego-based Demand Communications, and was reportedly
about 50 feet up the tower when it began to topple.
WRCE has notified the FCC that it's off the air, and there's
no word yet about rebuilding plans for the Backyard Broadcasting
station, which was largely a relay of Elmira-based sister station
WPGI (100.9 Horseheads), though it broke away on weekends for
(And yes, there's the eerie coincidence that the tower, via
the photo above, is this month's Tower Site Calendar image.)
This week's development on the AM-on-FM translator front comes
from right here in Rochester, and it's a big one: Bob Savage
is paying Family Life Network $75,000 for the translator formerly
known as W220DE (91.9 Greece).
As we' ve already
reported here on NERW, that translator now holds a construction
permit to move from the west side of Rochester up to the centrally-located
Pinnacle Hill tower farm, where it will run 99 watts on 92.1
as W221CL - and we can now report that it will become "NewsTalk
92.1," relaying Bob's talk programming from WYSL (1040 Avon),
which puts a big daytime signal over Rochester but suffers at
night from adjacent-channel IBOC interference from WBZ (1030
Boston). The new translator signal is expected to be on the air
within the first couple of weeks of 2010, we're told.
There's a new callsign in Utica: WUTI is the new ID at the
AM 1150 facility long known as WRUN; it continues to broadcast
an automated music format that ranges from top-40 to classic
Down the road in Johnstown, we're hearing that long-silent
WIZR (930) is back on the air temporarily with a simulcast of
co-owned WYJB (95.5 Albany), keeping its license alive for another
year while Pamal continues to seek a buyer.
*Radio People on the Move: Nick Cannon's not a "Radio
Person," per se, but the actor, musician, host of "America's
Got Talent" and husband of singer Mariah Carey has been
picked as the new morning man at CBS Radio's "Now 92.3"
(WXRK) in New York. Cannon, who's will start on the 6-10 AM shift
January 19, becoming the first morning host on the station since
it flipped from K-Rock back in March. No supporting cast for
the show has been named yet.
Uptown at Citadel's WPLJ (95.5 New York), PD/morning veteran
Scott Shannon (a "Radio Person" if ever there was one!)
has a new title: he's now vice president of programming for the
now-bankrupt Citadel. The promotion won't change most of Shannon's
duties, since he'll continue to host the PLJ morning show and
program the station, as well as programming and hosting Citadel's
True Oldies Channel satellite service.
(And as for that Citadel bankruptcy: yes, it's a significant
story, of course, but more so for the national financial press
than for us here at NERW, where our focus is on the impact to
Citadel's local radio stations around the region. If all goes
according to plan in this "pre-packaged" bankruptcy,
there won't be much, if any, immediate impact on those stations,
most of which have already suffered severe staffing and budget
cutbacks on the way to this unfortunate milestone.)
Where Are They Now? John Paul, former PD at Buffalo's WYRK
(106.5), has a new gig with syndicator Dial Global, which just
named him Senior Director of Country Programmer. Paul, who was
more recently at KUPL in Portland, Oregon, will be based in Denver.
DO IT RIGHT PRODUCTIONS --
Visit our Web site, doitrightproductions.net,
to hear our three syndicated shows, Classic Clips, Country Roots
and Gospel Doings, produced by longtime country and bluegrass
lovers. We also provide demo and duplicating services. Contact
Roland (Bruce) Cutler, PO Box 351, Lyons, NY 14489; or [email protected]
You can have
your ad here, for just a few dollars a week! Click
for information on the most economical way to reach tens of thousands
of Northeast radio and TV people each week.
*There's probably no TV weatherman with a
bigger cult following in the region than NEW HAMPSHIRE's
Al Kaprielian, who's been the star personality on Channel 50
in Derry for more than a quarter of a century, sticking with
the small UHF station as it's transitioned from independent WNDS
to My Network affiliate WZMY and as the station has passed through
the hands of several owners.
Kaprielian's TV run is scheduled to come to an end New Year's
Eve as part of current owner Shooting Star's plan to end the
remaining local programming on "My New England TV,"
which will mean job losses for seven other WZMY employees in
addition to Kaprielian.
Kaprielian's fans, who saved his job once before when it was
threatened, have banded together again to try to keep the quirky
weatherman on the air; if nothing else, he'll keep his radio
gig across the state line at WCAP (980 Lowell MA).
Up north, three broadcasters - New Hampshire Public Radio,
Dennis Jackson's Foothills Public Radio and Bangor, Maine-based
Light of Life Ministries - all competed for 88.3, and when the
FCC crunched the numbers it found that Light of Life's application
for a new signal in Wakefield would bring the most new noncommercial
service to Lakes Region listeners.
But NHPR didn't come out empty-handed: it's been granted a
CP for a new signal on 91.9 in Littleton. And down south in Derry,
Fitchburg, Mass.-based Horizon Christian Fellowship has been
granted a new signal on 90.5.
*In MASSACHUSETTS, former WCRB (99.5
Lowell) GM Nancy Dieterich is back with the station in its new
WGBH-owned noncommercial form. She's been hired as director of
local radio sponorship for "99.5 All Classical."
*In western MAINE, Dick Gleason's WOXO (92.7
Norway) is reaching a bigger audience, now that it's signed on
its newly-upgraded signal from a site on Shaw's Ledge near Greenville,
about eight miles north of its old class A (2 kW/361') site in
From the new site, WOXO is a class C3 signal, with 5.2 kW/735',
reaching deeper into Lewiston/Auburn (and north towards Rumsford)
than it did before.
Another win for Bangor-based Light of Life Ministries: the
religious broadcaster beat out four competitors, including the
University of Maine, for a new signal at the bottom of the dial
in central Maine. The FCC determined that Light of Life's application
for 50 kW DA/128' on 88.1 in Bowdoin, south of Augusta, will
provide the most new service to the region.
*A shift change in RHODE ISLAND: at
Hall's WCTK (98.1 New Bedford/Providence), Jess Tyler is the
new morning co-host, with Loren Petisce moving from mornings
to Tyler's former midday shift at "Cat Country."
*And we leave snowy New England with two
bits of news from the vicinity of VERMONT, which (like
us here in western New York) largely escaped the wild winter
Across Lake Champlain in Au Sable, NY (near Plattsburgh),
silent WYME (97.9) has changed calls to WZXP, fueling speculation
that it'll be the new home of the "Musicheads" eclectic
AAA format that started at the old WEXP (105.1 Plattsburgh, now
WKOL) and was later heard at WCLX (102.9 Westport).
speaking of WCLX, its new programmer is ramping up the local
content. Chip Morgan's eclectic "Farm Fresh Radio"
now includes contributions from one of your editor's old colleagues.
Bill O'Neill, late of WCAP (980 Lowell), has been off the
air since his day job took him up to Vermont some years back
- but he's now toting a digital recorder as he travels the byways
of the Green Mountain State, collecting stories and sounds for
short pieces that he's now contributing to the Farm Fresh airwaves.
Nice to have you back on the air, old friend...
Edited by NERW's own Scott Fybush - on sale now as
an e-book or printed volume!
*The bizarre saga of a teenage FM pirate
and CANADA's broadcast regulators has come to a close,
at least for now.
14-year-old Jayhaed Saade made headlines in Ottawa when he
put a powerful signal on the air from the roof of the motel/strip
club (yes, really!) that his father, a former mayoral candidate,
owns. And for a while, the teen put up an assertive fight to
stay on the air, defying Industry Canada's demands that he pull
the plug on "Mix 91.9."
Whether it was the threat of a sizable fine or worse, something
appears to have changed Saade's mind last weekend. On the night
of Dec. 13, he shut down his transmitter (he's still webcasting),
and he posted a contrite letter on his website:
I wish to apologize to the Canadian Radio Television Commission
for broadcasting on radio waves 91.9 fm without proper permission
and license. At their request, I have voluntarily shut down and
will remain so until I can properly obtained their permission
I have disconnected my transmitter and excitor and have
put it into third party storage until I can legally operate again.
I have hired a broadcast consultant to work with me so that I
can get back on the air with the approval of the CRTC.
Even though I am 14 years old and have had a life long
passion a life calling as it were - to be in the radio
broadcast industry, I was in the wrong and should not have broadcasted
without proper legal permission from the CRTC our federal
government commission that regulates the radio / TV airwaves
for the benefit of all Canadians.
My passion for the industry led me from operating on the
internet since I was 7, to desiring to broadcast on the airwaves.
I wanted to continue to learn and experiment in this exciting
radio industry, but I have come to understand that I was in error
and wrong to operate without a proper license.
I sincerely apologize to all concern for my mistake and
hope that my youthful enthusiasm will explain and hopefully mitigate
somewhat this error.
I want to be a broadcaster amd wish to make it my lifelong
career. I will be dedicating myself in the years to come to learn
the industry so that I can become the best broadcaster possible.
Milkman UnLimited reports that Saade told webcast listeners
he's hoping to receive a low-power broadcast license "within
two weeks," a timeframe that seems awfully unlikely to anyone
who follows Canada's oft-Byzantine licensing process. Industry
Canada didn't comment on the claim in a statement to MMU.
*Out in the Maritimes, the CBC wants to add a fill-in Radio
One transmitter in Sackville, New Brunswick, on the Nova Scotia
border. Sackville listeners once received a massive signal from
the CBC, back in the days when CBA (1070) transmitted its 50
kW clear-channel voice from the Radio Canada International shortwave
complex right there in town. Even when the AM signal was relocated
north to Moncton in the sixties, CBA still blanketed Sackville
- but when the AM station was silenced and moved to FM (as CBAM
106.1), it was hard to receive in Sackville.
The CBC wants to add a 50 watt directional signal on 106.1
in Sackville to close that gap.
*And that's it for your regular NERW for 2009. Stay tuned
to this space later this week for our 2009 Year in Review -
and we'll be back January 4, 2010 with a whole new year of columns.
In the meantime, all of us here wish all of you a very merry
Christmas and a happy New Year - and we'll see you next decade!
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!)
December 22, 2008 -
- Public radio listeners in northern and eastern MAINE are
about to lose service, if MPBN (Maine Public Broadcasting Network)
follows through on its threat to close its transmitter sites
in Calais and Fort Kent to help balance a budget that's battered
by funding cuts and the overall economic malaise. In what it
says is an attempt to balance harsh financial realities with
the need to continue to produce local programming, MPBN announced
last week that it plans to cut $900,000 from its budget over
the remainder of this fiscal year, eliminating eight jobs (out
of a total employment of 86), signing off its TV network during
overnight hours - and taking WMEF (106.5 Fort Kent), WMED (89.7
Calais) and WMED-DT (Channel 10) in Calais silent until at least
the start of the next fiscal year on July 1.
- If the transmitters are shut down, MPBN will lose coverage
of some of the most remote parts of the state, the far north
and Down East areas that already live at a huge remove from the
state's centers of population, finance and government to the
south. Fort Kent listeners will still have a fringe signal from
MPBN's powerful Presque Isle transmitter, WMEM (106.1) - but
in Calais, two hours east of Bangor, the only access to MPBN
signals will be via streaming audio for radio and cable or satellite
for TV. (There's an impact on emergency communications, too,
since MPBN's radio network is the state's primary EAS backbone.)
- Predictably, the move has prompted an outcry from listeners
and viewers complaining that they're being sacrificed for the
benefit of southern Maine. And even more predictably, the state's
politicians quickly began weighing in. "We cant be
leaving out any part of Maine in terms of access to this source
of news, entertainment, and communications, governor John
Baldacci told the network's news department on Friday, promising
to try to find "a strategy" to save the service to
Calais and Fort Kent. (And leading NERW to wonder if that wasn't
part of MPBN's own strategy all along...)
- It was, at last, a quiet week in NEW YORK - which had to
come as a relief to those broadcasters who haven't been hit by
the layoff axe that's been swinging with abandon in recent months.
Indeed, the two on-air talents who left the Big Apple's radio
airwaves this week did so voluntarily: Ian Camfield is departing
the struggling "K-Rock" (WXRK 92.3) to return to his
native England and his old on-air home, Xfm in London; Chris
Carlin, meanwhile, is reportedly leaving sister station WFAN
(660) for a new on-air gig at the Mets' TV home, SNY.
- How about a good news story, for a change? We find one in
eastern MASSACHUSETTS, where two broadcasting veterans are unwrapping
the gift every radio person dreams of: their own radio station.
It's WNBP (1450 Newburyport), which is changing hands from Todd
Tanger's Westport Communications to a new company called Port
Broadcasting. It's headed by Carl Strube, who owned WJTO in Bath,
Maine (and worked at stations such as WLOB, WGAN and WJAB) before
moving into the music industry, and by veteran programmer Pete
Falconi, who most recently occupied the PD chair at WODS in Boston.
- Along with local businessman Robert Couture, Strube and Falconi
say they intend to continue WNBP's long tradition as a community
radio voice. Once the deal closes next year, they plan to move
WNBP's studios from Beverly, where it now shares space with Tanger's
WBOQ (104.9 Gloucester), back to Newburyport. (This is not the
first time WNBP has been in the hands of a former air talent,
by the way: Tanger bought the station in 2004 from Bob Fuller,
who was still in high school when he signed the station on back
in 1957, when it was a daytimer on 1470.)
- Rush Limbaugh is off the air in northwestern PENNSYLVANIA.
Connoisseur Communications talker WJET (1400 Erie) says the rights
fees being charged by syndicator Premiere were getting to be
too high, and faced with the choice between continuing to pay
for the Limbaugh show or keeping local staffers in place, WJET
chose the local staffers. Dennis Miller replaces Limbaugh in
the noon timeslot.
- Meanwhile in Pittsburgh, KDKA (1020) has revamped its schedule,
moving Fred Honsberger into the 12-3 PM slot that had been occupied
for the last year and a half by Kevin Miller. Miller's out as
part of the schedule changes, which expand the afternoon news
block to 3-6 PM, followed by the return of former KD host Mike
Pintek for the 6-10 PM slot, which knocks John Steigerwald off
the lineup at KDKA after a year or so.
December 20, 2004 -
- It's a long way from NERW-land, but we can't help but start
our update this week with a rather big news item from southern
CALIFORNIA, where the 760-foot tower of KFI (640 Los Angeles)
came crashing down Sunday morning after it was struck by a small
private plane. Both the pilot and the passenger of the Cessna
were killed, but amazingly enough, the tower didn't hit any of
the industrial buildings that surround its base, nor was anyone
on the ground killed by the impact.
- KFI was back on the air within about an hour, running 5 kW
(later boosted to 20 kW) into the auxiliary tower at the site
in La Mirada, on the Orange/Los Angeles county line adjacent
to I-5. We'll be following closely as this historic and important
station works to rebuild this facility, which has been on the
site since the thirties and has used this tower since 1947, when
it replaced an earlier flat-top antenna. (Ironically, the guy
wires on the tower had just been replaced this past spring.)
- Back to our home region we go, and we start in southwestern
PENNSYLVANIA, where WRRK (96.9 Braddock) is spending the holidays
in stunt mode, playing music test tapes (a la Syracuse's "Quick
108", circa 1996) and other out-of-format material. The
stunting will end January 5, the station says, and the word is
that a new format will replace "Channel 97"'s classic
rock at that point. (NERW notes: WRRK lost a lot of steam when
morning man Jim Quinn departed for the new WPGB 104.7 a year
ago, and it gained some unwanted competition when Infinity flipped
the former WBZZ to rock as WRKZ earlier this year. The rock market
is a crowded one indeed in Pittsburgh...)
- Over on the other side of the state, WYCR (98.5 Hanover)
closed the book on three decades of top 40 last week, flipping
to classic hits as "The Peak, 98.5." The station's
running jockless now, we hear, though it sounds as though at
least some of the 98YCR airstaff will stay with the family-owned
station when jocks return to the air early in 2005.
- In RHODE ISLAND, Citadel is paring its Providence cluster
a bit, spinning off WAKX (102.7 Narragansett Pier) and WKKB (100.3
Middletown) to Davidson Media Group, the Virginia-based owner
of WALE (990 Greenville), WXCT (990 Southington CT) and a chain
of mostly Spanish-speaking stations down south. WAKX has been
the southern half of the "Kix" simulcast with WWKX
(106.3 Woonsocket), which will keep its R&B/Howard Stern
format, while WKKB has been operated out of Citadel's New Bedford,
Mass. facility with classic rock and Stern. No word yet on what
Davidson plans to do with the two stations, for which it will
pay $7.5 million.
December 17, 1999 -
can sponsor this weekly feature! Click here for information!
- Springfield's NBC affiliate is getting a new owner. WWLP-TV
(Channel 22)'s owner, Benedek Broadcasting, is spinning the station
as part of its purchase of Chronicle Broadcasting's Nebraska
and Kansas properties (Chronicle flagship KRON-TV San Francisco
just set a record for the sale of a single TV station, over $800
million, earlier this month).
- Benedek is paying Chronicle $141 million for WOWT Omaha and
KAKE-TV Wichita, in a roundabout transaction through which the
stations are actually being sold to LIN Broadcasting. LIN will
then transfer them to Benedek, in exchange for WWLP (valued at
$123 million) plus $18 million cash.
- The deal works well for LIN, since it creates a natural connection
between WWLP and LIN's New Haven ABC affiliate, WTNH (Channel
8). WTNH engineering staffers will help WWLP with its move into
new studios in Chicopee next year, and news partnerships between
the two stations are expected as well.
- Conn River Broadcasting is growing in both Massachusetts
and VERMONT. Following its purchase of WHAI (98.3/1240) earlier
this month, we hear Conn River is also picking up Bob and Shirley
Wolf's WMXR (93.9 Woodstock) and WCFR-FM (93.5 Springfield),
which simulcast as "Magic." No purchase price just
- We've been hearing rumors about this one for a few weeks,
and now it's official: WENY-TV (Channel 36) in Elmira, NEW YORK
is being sold for $4.8 million. The buyer for the little ABC
affiliate is Kevin Lilly's Lilly Broadcasting LLC, based in Natick,
Mass. WENY-AM/FM (1230/92.7) aren't included in the transaction;
wonder if this means the TV station can finally move out of the
garage behind the radio stations in Horseheads (a landmark of
sorts, considering all the upstate New York TV people whose careers
have started there...) (2009 update: Nope - the radio stations
moved, and the TV stations are still in the garage!)
- Downstate, AAA Entertainment (formerly Back Bay Broadcasting)
crosses Long Island Sound to pick up WEHM (96.7 East Hampton)
and WBEA (104.7 Montauk). Those East End stations are now Webcasting,
albeit with the technically-flaky Webradio service...find them
at for WEHM's AAA format and for WBEA's hot AC format.
- Listeners in CANADA have two new all-news sources, with Tuesday's
launch of "Info 690" (CINF) and "940 News"
(CINW) in Montreal. The 690 night signal is a new showcase for
"Le Canal Nouvelles TVA", the French-language all-news
TV service of commercial TV network TVA. LCN audio will run overnights
beginning at 11, 10 on weekends, on CINF.
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
2009 by Scott Fybush.