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May 3, 2010

Corus Exits Quebec

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*Since being spun off from the Shaw media empire in 1999, Corus Entertainment has become one of the biggest broadcasters in CANADA. But despite heavy investments in Quebec, Corus was never quite able to make its operations in the second-largest province pay off - and last week the company announced that it's exiting Quebec, selling 11 stations to Cogeco Incorporated and putting a twelfth up for sale.

Cogeco will pay Corus C$80 million for its four-station Montreal cluster (sports-talk CKAC 730, English-language AC CFQR 92.5, rocker CKOI 96.9 and talker CHMP 98.5) along with nearby CIME (103.9 St. Jerome), as well as Quebec City's CFEL (102.1 Montmagny) and CFOM (102.9), Sherbrooke's CKOY (104.5) and CHLT (107.7), CJRC (104.7) in Gatineau-Ottawa and CHLN (106.9) in Trois-Rivieres.

Cogeco already owns five signals across the province: the "Rythme FM" network of CFGL (105.7 Montreal), CJEC (91.9 Quebec City), CFGE (93.7 Sherbrooke) and CJEB (100.1 Trois-Rivieres), along with CJFM (93.3 Quebec City). Its purchase of the Corus stations will put Cogeco over the two-FM-per-language ownership limits in Quebec City, Montreal and Sherbrooke, which means another round of station sales is likely.

Meanwhile, Corus is still seeking a buyer for CKRS (98.3 Saguenay) - and licking its financial wounds after its Quebec adventure, which involved nearly C$300 million in station purchases from the old Metromedia and Power Broadcasting groups back in 2000. (Some of those stations were outside Quebec and have remained with Corus; two of the big signals that came from Metromedia, Montreal's Info690 CINF and 940 CINW, were simply pulled off the air earlier this year when Corus declared them unprofitable. It's still not clear whether those licenses have been officially revoked, or whether they might yet be sold as part of Corus' exit from the province.)

MONDAY MORNING UPDATE: Corus' exit from Quebec radio turns out not even to be the big media deal of the week north of the border. On Monday morning, Shaw Communications, the media giant from which Corus was spun off back in 1999, announced that it's paying C$2 billion to buy the over-the-air and specialty cable holdings of Canwest Global Communications, including the Global television network. Much more next week...

*Is Joe Scarborough history on NEW YORK radio? The MSNBC "Morning Joe" host was off the air last week at WABC (770) and his other Citadel syndication outlets, but there were plenty of conflicting stories about his radio future. The official story from Citadel and Scarborough himself is that the show, which aired in the 10 AM-noon slot between Don Imus and Rush Limbaugh, is on a temporary hiatus while it's being "retooled" as a three-hour show. But behind the scenes, there are plenty of questions about that story - not least the question of what three-hour slot Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski could possibly occupy on a schedule that's pretty well locked down with syndicated offerings straight through to early evening. (And there's no way that Scarborough and Brzezinski could do an evening or late-night show while still hitting the MSNBC TV airwaves every morning at 6...)

For now, Mark Simone is filling in on the 10-noon shift at WABC.

(Meanwhile, as fans of "WABC Rewound" had pretty much come to expect after last year's web-only edition, there will be no Rewound on WABC at all this Memorial Day; instead, there will be an extended offering over at Allan Sniffen's Rewound Radio.)

One other New York City radio move: WKTU (103.5 Lake Success) has named a midday replacement for Diane Pryor, who left the station in January. Filling the slot is Wendy Wild, who'd been doing weekends at WKTU and sister station Z100.

On TV, Azteca America has a new affiliate in New York: it's now being seen on the 63.6 subchannel of WMBC-DT (licensed to Newton, NJ); the WMBC subchannel has replaced previous Azteca affiliate WNYN-LP (Channel 39) on DirecTV as well.

*Upstate, the pitched battle between Ithaca's two commercial radio contenders took another interesting turn last week when the FCC issued a $10,000 Notice of Apparent Liability to Saga Communications over irregularities in the operation of its translator W240CB (95.9).

The problems began in the fall of 2008, when Finger Lakes Radio Group moved WFLR-FM (95.9 Dundee) to 95.5 in Odessa, relaunching the station as top-40 WFIZ from an Ithaca translator site and displacing the Saga translator that had been W238AA (95.5), relaying WYXL (97.3). Saga filed to move the translator to 95.9, and somewhere along the way WFIZ complained to the FCC that the translator's antennas were not at the correct height on the tower. Finger Lakes asked the FCC to revoke the translator's license, but the Commission ruled last week that the discrepancy doesn't rise to the sort of character issue that would merit license revocation.

Meanwhile, Finger Lakes amended its complaint to raise a new issue, asking the FCC to examine the question of whether Saga violated local ownership caps by putting programming from WYXL's HD subchannels on two other translators in Ithaca. (In particular, Saga launched a top-40 format on 97.3-HD2 and W277BS 103.3 just days after WFIZ launched in the fall of 2008.)

The FCC didn't buy the argument; it says HD Radio operators are encouraged to offer separate programming on their subchannels, and that "there is no current prohibition on FM translator stations re-broadcasting the alternate program streams aired on the parent station’s digital transmissions. Accordingly, we find Finger Lakes’ argument meritless."

*The investment firm of WallerSutton is finally selling off the last of the radio assets it ended up with after the collapse of the Route 81 Radio group it funded. WS2K Radio, the licensee that took over the Route 81 stations in receivership, recently exited Wilkes-Barre/Scranton - and last week, it announced a sale of its Elmira/Corning stations. Route 81 paid Eolin Broadcasting $4.5 million for the stations back in 2003; no price has yet been announced for the latest deal, which puts the cluster in the hands of Vision Communications, which owns Corning Fox affiliate WYDC (Channel 48) and Rochester's My Network outlet, WBGT-LP (Channel 26).

Vision gets AM news-talk simulcast WENY (1230 Elmira)/WENI (1450 Corning), sports outlet WCBA (1350 Corning), AC "Magic" simulcast WENY-FM (92.7 Elmira)/WENI-FM (97.7 Big Flats) and oldies WGMM (98.7 Corning); the stations are already neighbors to WYDC, whose offices are just down Corning's Market Street from the radio cluster's storefront studios.

In Syracuse, Dan Austin is moving on. reports that the Citadel GM is leaving the cluster after two years (and a slew of recent format changes) to become director of sales for CBS Radio's Seattle stations. No replacement has been named yet.

The tiny hamlet of Glen Spey, in the hills of Sullivan County near the Delaware River, will be getting a new radio station soon. The Stephen Demchuk Foundation applied for 110 watts on 89.5 in Glen Spey during the FCC's noncommercial FM application window back in 2007. Last week, the FCC picked the Demchuk application as a "tentative selectee" in one of 26 groups of mutually-exclusive applications, choosing it over a Honesdale, PA application from Scranton's WVIA and a Port Jervis application from a Taiwanese community group.

*And there's an obituary this week from Buffalo: Pat Fagan, who anchored the news on WGR-TV (Channel 2, now WGRZ) in the fifties and sixties and hosted the station's "TV Dance Party," died April 24 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Fagan came to radio in the late forties when the newspaper where he worked, Lockport's Union Sun & Journal, put WUSJ (1340, now WLVL) on the air; he later worked at WEBR in Buffalo and did some acting on WBEN-TV (Channel 4, now WIVB) before moving to Erie in 1952 to become news director at WICU-TV (Channel 12). Fagan returned to Buffalo to help launch Channel 2 in 1954; in 1968, he moved to New York City to work on NBC Radio's "Monitor" and later at ABC News. Fagan later worked on Long Island's east end as news director and then as general manager of WWRJ (95.3 Southampton, now WHFM) before moving to Florida in 1981, where he continued to work in radio well into the nineties. Fagan was 83.


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*For the second time in just over a year, CBS Radio has reversed course, returning a local talk host to the New England airwaves after a high-profile dismissal. Last year it was Steve LeVeille at Boston's WBZ, and now Jim Vicevich is back in the late-morning talk chair at WTIC (1080) in Hartford, CONNECTICUT, just a month after the host and the station parted ways after they were unable to agree on a contract.

WTIC had been filling in with a variety of guest hosts in the 9-noon slot for the last few weeks (including former WCCC-FM jock Sebastian) before reaching a new deal with Vicevich. "Everything sort of came together in the last 48 hours," Vicevich wrote in a blog post last Sunday, hours before returning to the WTIC airwaves.

Down the road in the New London/Norwich market, John Fuller wants to boost power on one of his FM signals. He's applying to pump WBMW (106.5) up from its present 3.1 kW/450' to 12 kW/472' DA, moving it from its present transmitter site in Ledyard to the tower in North Stonington that's already home to sister station WWRX (107.7). To make the move possible, WBMW and WWRX would swap cities of license, with 106.5 becoming licensed to Pawcatuck and 107.7 to Ledyard. The upgrade from class A to B1 will give "Soft Rock 106.5" improved coverage into Westerly, Rhode Island - and a stronger signal on the coast along Long Island Sound as well.

*A NEW HAMPSHIRE low-power FM station is about to move down on the dial, and up in power. The Seacoast Arts and Cultural Alliance, which operates WSCA-LP (106.1 Portsmouth), applied back in 2007 for a full-power license in Dover on 89.5, where it ended up in a mutually-exclusive group with a Madbury application from the Granite State Educational Fellowship. Last week, the FCC awarded a tentative preference for the channel to the WSCA folks, contingent on the divestiture of the LPFM license.

*In last week's column, we told you about the impending sign-on of the new shared-time operation on 91.7 in Maynard, MASSACHUSETTS between a powered-up WAVM at Maynard High School and Boston's WUMB - and we mentioned that the WAVM power increase was made possible by the resolution to a three-way battle for the channel that also yielded a new, as yet unbuilt, construction permit for 91.7 in Lunenburg. Now that Lunenburg CP is changing hands from Bishop, California-based Living Proof to Fitchburg-based Horizon Christian Fellowship, which also owns WJWT (91.7) in Gardner and WFGL (960) in Fitchburg. The $150,000 sale (paid for in monthly installments over seven years) will also reset the clock on the Lunenburg construction permit, which was due to expire July 25 but can be extended an extra 18 months by the sale.


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*The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is always a controversial topic among broadcasters, but it was especially contentious last week in NEW JERSEY, when state officials apparently botched an Amber Alert activation Wednesday night, disrupting programming on many Garden State stations (and a few in adjacent parts of New York and Pennsylvania) for the better part of an hour.

The trouble started with an alert about a missing girl in Elizabeth, N.J. that was issued just after 7 PM with garbled audio and a missing end-of-message indication. Realizing that something had gone wrong, officials then issued the statewide alert again at 7:20 - and at 7:26, and 7:34, and 7:41, and 7:44, and 7:48, and at 8:05 PM, taking over not only radio programming but also TV stations and cable systems. New Jersey State Police officials say they're still trying to figure out what went wrong.

(The EAS system worked better in two other emergencies later in the week, when much of greater Boston was put under a boil-water advisory and then on Saturday night when an attempted bombing shut down New York's Times Square.)

*The fight to keep one of western PENNSYLVANIA's big public radio voices on the air is heating up. Pittsburgh Public Media, the management group at WDUQ (90.5 Pittsburgh) that hopes to buy the license from Duquesne University, says it will submit a second bid to the university after its first bid for the station was rejected. At issue is the value of the station, a number university officials have pegged in the $10 million range. In today's market, that figure is widely viewed as too high (especially in light of St. Joseph Missions' $9 million, three-station deal for the Sheridan Broadcasting stations in Pittsburgh last yeat), but Duquesne appears to believe that with multiple suitors for the station - and no immediate financial pressure to make a bargain-priced sale - that it can eventually get its price.

The Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters will hand out its Radio Broadcaster of the Year award tonight to Altoona's Dick DiAndrea, saluting the WFBG (1290) morning man at a dinner at the Hotel Hershey just a few days after he marked a half-century on the air.

DiAndrea started at WTRN (1340 Tyrone) on May 1, 1960, and in the five decades since he's worked at WFBG, WVAM (1430 Altoona), WALY-FM (103.9 Bellwood) and most recently back at WFBG, where he co-hosts with Charlie Weston.

The week's other Keystone State news also comes from Altoona, where DiAndrea's former WALY morning co-host Roger Corey is returning to the airwaves. This time, Corey's at WBRX (94.7 Cresson), hosting mornings on "Mix 94.7."

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!)

May 4, 2009 -

  • There are some weeks when it's enjoyable to write this column. This is not one of those weeks - and not just because the Official NERW Laptop suffered a massive operating-system meltdown Wednesday night, forcing your editor to spend most of Thursday and Friday rebuilding it from scratch. (Public service announcement: back up your data - and since you probably won't, burn yourself a Knoppix CD or DVD now so you have it around when you really need to recover the data you can't get at any other way.) No, this was an unpleasant week to write NERW because, yet again, we're leading off with two of the stories we like least: massive staffing cuts at a big broadcast group, and noisy headlines about a noisy talk host in the eye of a controversy over something he said on the air.
  • First, the job cuts: last week brought round two of Clear Channel's ongoing attempt to figure out which parts of its 850-station nationwide operation are worth the money its private-equity owners spent for the company. The first round back in January claimed about 1,850 jobs around the country, most of them in sales and promotions. At the time, certain alarmist bloggers warned that the company had bigger plans that involved centralizing most, if not all, of its programming. Those dire warnings still haven't come to pass, but last Thursday's job cuts, which involved at least 590 of the remaining Clear Channel staffers, did cut deep into the company's programming payroll - and in the process began to shed light on the company's new programming direction.
  • Last week's cuts (which were decided at a level far above local managers, from what we're hearing) were not spread evenly across the company, as will be evident in our market-by-market rundown later in this week's issue. Instead, it appears that Clear Channel attempted to analyze which of its stations - and even which dayparts within stations - were producing significant returns to the company's bottom line, and which were (at least on paper) bringing in too little to justify the payroll expense.
  • The result, as best we can make out from the patchwork of cuts across the region, is a new system of "haves" and "have-nots." Some of the "haves" are big-market giants like New York's Z100 and Q104, where star air talent will find themselves doing extra work voicing generic tracks under the company's "premium choice" program - and it's those generic tracks that will replace the local talent that was cut at second-tier stations like WSNE in Providence or WKGS in Rochester. Some of the "haves" are the largest stations in the company's medium markets, where cuts to local talent were minimal last week. But some of the other "haves," interestingly, are stations in smaller markets like Manchester and Poughkeepsie, where talent costs are apparently low enough to allow the company to keep at least some local presence alive and still make a profit.
  • Last week's cuts also reached into Clear Channel newsrooms, as the company continued its effort to centralize as much news programming as possible, and even into some markets' engineering departments, where some talented and long-serving engineers found themselves out of work. We'll have more thoughts on these cuts in the weeks to come, as we see whether it's possible for an anchor in Albany to credibly report the news from Worcester, or what happens when something breaks in a studio in Boston and the guy who built that studio is no longer in the building to fix it quickly.
  • We'll have as much information as we could round up about the Clear Channel cuts, market-by-market, throughout this week's column - but first, there's that other big noisy story coming from eastern MASSACHUSETTS to address. That would be WTKK (96.9 Boston) afternoon talk host Jay Severin - or is that "former WTKK talk host" Jay Severin?
  • The facts, as best we can ascertain them: Severin, predictably, used the flu headlines last week to bang away at a favorite topic, Mexican immigration. Equally predictably, Severin minced no words as he attempted to link the flu outbreak to illegal immigrants - followed, just as the usual script dictates, by protests and outrage from the usual quarters. Severin is no stranger to controversy, of course, and neither is WTKK itself, so the extent of the station's reaction was slightly surprising: it quickly pulled Severin off the air, calling his suspension "indefinite" and adding, rather pointedly, that the station "has not been using the remarks for which he has been suspended in on-air promos," apparently to counter Severin's claims that WTKK was doing just that.
  • So far, so normal - we've seen this basic scenario play out many times in the world of talk radio, with the length and permanency of the suspension depending largely on the offending talk host's ratings and revenue stream and the extent to which the station thinks it can reap publicity and improved ratings from the controversy. Where does Severin fit on that continuum? The rumor mill was churning hot and heavy over the weekend, with considerable speculation that WTKK owner Greater Media is less interested in milking the matter for publicity than in using the furor as an excuse to jettison Severin's hefty salary (reportedly as much as a million dollars a year) and stagnant ratings. Will Severin's local show give way to, say, a much less-expensive syndicated Sean Hannity? Stay tuned...
  • Clear Channel didn't have a lot of staff to cut in Boston, but it still lost some key people. At WXKS-FM (Kiss 108), Dierdre Dagata had been shuffled from middays to weekends to nights, but now she's gone from the station, with her 8 PM-12 AM shift now being handled via out-of-market voicetracking. (Ironically, the tracking comes from Kiss in Dallas and Jackson Blue, who'd been doing nights at WXKS-FM until last fall.) Behind the scenes, chief engineer Steve Riggs is out after nearly two decades with WXKS and WJMN. His experience with the station included several studio moves and rebuilds, including the recent relocations of WJMN from Waltham and WXKS from its longtime Medford home into a new cluster studio in Medford.
  • Progressive talk is returning to Boston's airwaves, thanks to a new leased-time deal with Blackstrap's WWZN (1510), where programmer Jeff Santos is already leasing mornings for his own talk show. Now Santos is taking much of the rest of the daytime hours as well, running Stephanie Miller at 10 AM, Ed Schultz at noon, Thom Hartmann at 3 PM and another local hour from 6-7 PM.

May 2, 2005 -

  • There's been plenty of speculation - present space included - that the big move of WBEC-FM (105.5) in western MASSACHUSETTS would lead to the sale of some of the last remaining assets of Bruce Danziger and Jeff Shapiro's Vox Media. That will indeed be the case, as Vox files to sell WBEC-FM to Jim Morrell's Pamal Broadcasting, which will take over operation of the station when it completes its move from Pittsfield to Easthampton, where it will serve Northampton, Amherst and Springfield.
  • Pamal already owns adult rock WRNX (100.9 Amherst) in the market, as well as WPNI (1430 Amherst), which is leased to public radio WFCR. It'll pay $7 million to add WBEC-FM to the group - and if we're reading the sales contract right, Pamal gets the WBEC-FM calls and the intellectual property that includes the "Live 105" nickname and top 40 format, which we'd expected to stay with Vox in the Berkshires on a different frequency. (Which it may yet do; there's little question that the remaining Vox stations in Pittsfield, Great Barrington and North Adams will be sold as well, as Shapiro and Danziger dissolve what's left of the company.)
  • That leaves one more station remaining in Vox: WNYQ-FM (105.7), which is moving from Queensbury, in the Glens Falls market, to Malta, in the Albany market, as part of the WBEC-FM move. Pamal has been LMA'ing WNYQ from Vox since last year, and the WBEC-FM filing reveals that Pamal has an option to buy WNYQ as well, though there will be market-concentration issues in Albany, where the company already has five FM stations and two AMs.
  • In MAINE, it's the end of the line for Mark Persky and WBLM (102.9 Portland) after 28 years together. The veteran morning man has been off the air at WBLM since February, when he disappeared from the "Captain and Mark" morning show, which still features PD "Captain" Herb Ivey along with former midday jock Celeste. Last week, the station announced it had parted ways with Persky; there's already plenty of noisy speculation that he's headed for Nassau's "Frank" WFNK (107.5 Lewiston), which has been eating away at WBLM's ratings. (NERW irony alert: When Persky joined WBLM way back, it was still operating on that very 107.5 signal...)
  • It's the end of an era in NEW YORK radio history: At 1:00 Saturday afternoon (April 30), WOR (710 New York) began broadcasting from its new home at 111 Broadway, closing the book on almost eight decades of radio from 1440 Broadway. Bob Gibson did the last newscast from 1440 at noon Saturday, followed at 1 PM by the first newscast from 111 with Dara Welles - and the word is that engineers Tom Ray and Kerry Richards had very little sleep over the weekend as they got everything in place at the new digs.

May 6, 2000 -

  • This week's column might better be called "Clear Channel Watch" for all the news Lowry Mays and company have generated in the region over the past few days -- not least of which is word of an impending purchase making waves in the Hudson Valley radio scene. It hasn't been officially announced by either company yet, but we're hearing that $24 million is the price Clear Channel will pay to add Straus Media Group's ten stations in the region. Included in the deal are:
  • * Standards WCKL (560) Catskill and news-talk WHUC (1230) Hudson
    * News-talk WKIP (1450) Poughkeepsie
    * News-talk WELV (1370) Ellenville
    * "Thunder Country" WTHK (93.5) Hudson and WTHN (99.3) Ellenville
    * Hot AC "Cat" WCTW (98.5) Catskill and WCTJ (96.1) Poughkeepsie
    * Soft AC "Q92" WRNQ (92.1) Poughkeepsie
    * Adult rock WRKW (92.9) Saugerties
  • The Straus stations fill in a gap between CC's existing clusters in Albany (including WPYX 106.5, which has a translator in the northern Hudson Valley), Utica, Binghamton, New York City, and Connecticut. If this deal comes to fruition, it will be the first time one of the big national groups has set foot in the Hudson Valley, and certainly the possibility of moving many of the stations' operations to the existing CC clusters nearby can't be ruled out. We'll keep watching this one for developments...
  • One that Clear Channel has confirmed: The company will pay $5 million to Cram Communications for that company's Syracuse-market WVOA (105.1 DeRuyter). WVOA currently programs religion, simulcast on WVOQ (103.9 Mexico) in Oswego County to the north, as well as on translators W243AB (96.5 Westvale) and W237AY (95.3 DeWitt) in the Syracuse area. Those stations, along with WVOA's sister AM station, WSIV (1540 East Syracuse) don't go to Clear Channel, which leads us to think that the WVOA format will continue on WVOQ and the translators.
  • Some of the week's other big news also happened in NEW YORK, including a confusing decision by the FCC on the addition of a new allocation on the FM dial way up north in Saranac Lake. The town's existing FM station, WSLK (106.3), had opposed Dana Puopolo's petition to add 107.1A to the table of allocations for Saranac Lake (which, oddly, has an allocation at 101.7A that has itself never been used since WSLK changed frequency some years back). Arguing that many frequencies were being added to the table on a speculative basis, without ever being applied for, WSLK tried to get the FCC to refuse to add the frequency...but to no avail. Another part of the decision substitutes 102.9A for 102.5A in Westport, thus meaning a frequency change for WCLX down the road.
  • From CONNECTICUT comes word that WFSB (Channel 3) in Hartford has inaugurated digital TV service. WFSB-DT operates from WFSB's transmitter site on Talcott Mountain in Avon, using channel 33.
  • While we're in the vicinity of Talcott Mountain, we're able to clear up some of the confusion that followed last week's report of the Entravision/WHCT deal. First off, it now looks as though Entravision is about to follow through on its purchase of Channel 18, in a complicated deal that will cost the company $26 million. Only $1 million will go to WHCT's current owner, the bankrupt Astroline firm that's been fighting to hang on to the license since 1984. The rest will go to two other companies that had been hoping to buy WHCT but were caught up in bankruptcy problems and in a lawsuit over minority-buyer preferences. That, amazingly, is the easy part. The rest of the proposed Entravision purchases in the region (including WNDS in Derry NH) don't look like they'll become reality. It seems the stations were recommended to Entravision as possible acquisitions by Barbara Laurence (who was the principal some years back in Cuchifritos Communications, the almost-buyer of Channel 43 in Bridgeport), but amidst a lawsuit between Laurence and Entravision, the chances of any of those stations actually being sold seems slim. Clear as mud?
  • In MAINE, J.J. Jeffrey's Atlantic Coast Broadcasting is adding to its station group with the purchase of Carter Broadcasting's three Maine stations. Jeffrey gets to add Portland's WLOB (1310) and Rumford's WLOB-FM (96.3) and WLLB (790) to his existing group, which includes sports "WJAB" WJAE (1440 Westbrook) and WJJB (900 Brunswick), CHR WRED (95.9 Saco), and adult AC WCLZ (95.5 Topsham). NERW knows Jeffrey must appreciate the irony of longtime competitors "WJAB" and WLOB finally uniting under one roof; those with shorter memories will at least recall that the Carter stations were to have been part of the failed sale to Catholic Family Radio last year. Expect a format change from religion when the deal closes...
  • The FCC's approval of the CBS/Viacom merger this week creates the first TV duopoly in Boston, as CBS's WBZ-TV (Channel 4) and Viacom's WSBK (Channel 38) join forces. Boston isn't one of the markets where the FCC is ordering divestitures; the cross-ownership cap now allows 2 TVs and up to 6 radios in the largest markets, and CBS's 1 AM and 4 FMs stay under the cap. Viacom is adding one more Massachusetts station, too: WLWC (Channel 28) in New Bedford is being transferred from LMA partner "C-28 FCC License Subsidiary Inc." to Viacom. (WLWC doesn't count against duopoly, of course, because it's a Providence-market station).

New England Radio Watch, May 4, 1995

  • 1550 WNTN in Newton (10kw-D) has added a new block of programming to its leased-time format. The "Asian American Broadcasting Network" is heard from 4:30 till 7:30 pm, and rebroadcast the following day from noon till 3. It's the first broadcasting venture of businesswoman Sarinna Chiang, and the first Chinese-language
    program on commercial radio in Boston. Chiang is already talking about branching out to other large markets. I want to know what happens this winter, when WNTN's signoff creeps back to around 4:30 pm!
  • WBZ's veteran morning news anchor, Gary LaPierre, will be in New York Friday morning (May 5), to sub for Paul Harvey on Harvey's morning and midday news and comment broadcasts. This will be a chance for the nation's largest radio audiences to hear what we've all known for years -- Gary's one of the best there is. We're all thrilled for Gary, and he's pretty excited himself.

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