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October 11, 2010

Islanders Play on College Radio

*The NEW YORK Islanders came within days of starting the NHL regular season with no radio voice, but when the puck dropped, the Isles were once again on the air - via college radio.

For the last two seasons, the Islanders split their schedule between two Long Island stations, WMJC (94.3 Smithtown) at night and WHLI (1100 Hempstead) by day, but that deal didn't get renewed for this year, leaving the team seeking a new home. There's no all-sports station on Long Island (save for WLIR out on the East End, a relay of New York's WEPN), and the island's music stations were loath to disrupt their formats for hockey.

Enter Hofstra University's WRHU (88.7 Hempstead), which brought the Islanders a fairly potent Nassau County signal (plus streaming audio, thanks to the NHL's relatively liberal streaming policy) and a broadcasting program full of students eager to assist in broadcasts while learning the ropes of sports radio. Isles broadcaster Chris King will produce the radio broadcasts and provide play-by-play.

(We'll hit the rest of the NHL lineup at the end of this week's column.)

*Elsewhere in the Empire State, the week's news was all about Radio People on the Move, and especially in the Hudson Valley. Jack Hammer and Andre Kane are gone from mornings at Pamal's WBPM (92.9 Saugerties), and while Kane's still on the Pamal payroll, Hammer's moving across town next week to take over mornings at Cumulus' "Wolf," WKXP (94.3 Kingston)/WZAD (97.3 Wurtsboro), where he takes over from Eric Hopkins, who's now down the hall at WRRV/WRRB doing middays. (Meanwhile, J.J. Carter - aka "Skywalker" in afternoons on WSPK - shifts from tracking middays to live mornings on WBPM while they look for a permanent replacement for the now-defunct "Jack and Andre Morning Show.")

Speaking of Pamal, its regional VP of programming is moving on. Kevin Callahan's heading west to become PD at KSON (97.3) in San Diego.

Out on Long Island, the troubled transition of WLIU (88.3 East Hampton) from Long Island University to Peconic Public Broadcasting will come with an additional price: $5,000 "voluntary payments" from both LIU and PPB to the U.S. Treasury as part of a consent decree in an investigation into allegations of improper transfer of control of the station. The FCC says it had received complaints that LIU transferred complete control of WLIU to Peconic long before the FCC approved the sale of the station; under the consent decree, both LIU and PPB will establish compliance programs and file regular reports to the FCC for the next three years.

In Syracuse, WNTQ (93.1) night guy Mike Cauchon is reportedly heading east for a new gig in Portland, Maine - and that means operations manager Tom Mitchell is looking for a new night jock. Cauchon had been with 93Q twice, working weekends from 1999-2001 and nights for the last three years. Got what it takes for nights in the Salt City, Mondays through Saturdays? Get with Tom at [email protected]

In Ithaca, "Anthony from the Deli" is the new night jock at WFIZ (95.5 Odessa), moving north from WAPE in Jacksonville (and before that, weekends on Long Island's WBLI). He replaces Mikey V, who left Z95.5 for Radio Now in Indianapolis a few weeks back.

St. Bonaventure University's WSBU (88.3), another of the stations whose licenses were cancelled last week by the FCC, is also off the air as it sorts out the situation. A notice on the WSBU website says that "due to a possible mix-up on the part of the F.C.C., notification about the renewal was never received by the station," which is still webcasting while it works out a return to the airwaves.

And we send our best wishes to Albany radio veteran Joe Condon, who's recuperating after being hospitalized last week.

TOWER SITE CALENDAR 2011 - JUST ABOUT HERE!

The production process was a little more complex than usual for Tower Site Calendar 2011, but at long last we're shipping the tenth installment in what's become an annual radio tradition.

The new calendar is now back from the printer, complete with more than a dozen exciting new images including that nifty cover shot of Mount Beacon, N.Y.

And if you order now, you'll have the 2010 calendar in your hands long before the holiday rush!

But wait - there's more! We now have a small supply of the new FM Atlas, 21st edition, as well as a limited supply of Tower Site Calendar 2010 as well - plus the signed, limited-edition version of the 2011 calendar and much more in the fybush.com store!

(We've got special discounts for bulk orders, too - they make great gifts for your business colleagues or friends...)

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*In eastern MASSACHUSETTS, there's a new morning host at WGBH (89.7 Boston), where Bob Seay moves north from Providence's WRNI, where he's been hosting "Morning Edition" since 2006. Seay's long career in New England radio has also included stops on Cape Cod at WOCB, WVLC/WLOM, 17 years as news director at WQRC and nine years as station manager of WOMR. More recently, he was with Boston's WBUR before joining WRNI in 2006. At WGBH, Seay will host the morning block that includes both "Morning Edition" and "The Takeaway."

The FCC is hitting two Boston-area pirates with higher fines than usual: it says Lloyd Morris and Robert Brown are repeat offenders with their operation on 99.7. "Datz Hits" has prompted numerous complaints to the Commission from listeners trying to hear classical WCRB on 99.5, one notch down the dial. Morris and Brown allegedly admitted to operating the pirate after an October 2009 visit to the site at 61 Ormond Street in Mattapan; it was on the air again when the FCC stopped by in February, prompting the $15,000 notices of apparent liability the FCC issued against each operator last week - and it's reportedly still on the air even now.

Where are they now? Former WVNE (760 Leicester) chief engineer Steve Tuzeneu is moving east again; he'd been out in Colorado Springs with the Way-FM group, but he's now in Washington, D.C., working for Salem's WAVA (780/105.1) and WWRC (1260).

*In MAINE, Dan Priestly is shuffling some of his unbuilt construction permits around Bangor. WGUY (1230 Newport) changed calls to WDME last week - but don't expect to hear those calls on the air, because Priestly has also applied to move another unbuilt CP closer to Bangor. The WGUY calls now reside on the CP for 1240 in Ellsworth, which now has a pending application to move to 1230 in Veazie, where it would be diplexed with Priestly's WWNZ (1400 Veazie), while the Newport CP would be cancelled.

(An interesting irony here: it wouldn't even be possible to put a new 1230 in the Bangor market if the original WGUY hadn't gone away. It was on 1250, and later on 1200 before going dark two decades ago.)

*The VERMONT Association of Broadcasters has named two more inductees to its hall of fame: WDEV (550 Waterbury) afternoon host Jack Donovan, who's been with the station since 1972 and Mark Brady, former owner of WFAD (1490) and WCVM (100.9, now WWFY) in Middlebury, will be inducted at a banquet November 20 at the Burlington Hilton. The VAB will also honor WCAX-TV (Channel 3) chief photographer Jim Oliver and WPTZ (Channel 5) meteorologist Tom Messner with distinguished service awards.

Speaking of WPTZ, one of its anchors is making a big move: evening anchor Gus Rosendale will leave the station at the end of November to take an anchor job at a much bigger channel 5, KSTP-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Rosendale started at WPTZ in 2000, left to go to Pittsburgh's WTAE in 2005, and returned to WPTZ as 5, 6 and 11 PM anchor in 2008.

*The next-to-last of CONNECTICUT's TV news operations that was still doing news in standard-definition has gone HD. New Haven's WTNH (Channel 8) flipped the switch last week, leaving only CBS affiliate WFSB (Channel 3) broadcasting its news in SD. Speaking of WFSB, Mike Hydeck, who left the morning anchor chair there last month, has a new job in a bigger market: he starts next week as morning co-anchor at Washington's WUSA-TV (Channel 9).

On the radio dial in Hartford, WQTQ (89.9) is silent for now as it awaits resolution of its license-renewal issues; as we told you last week, the FCC cancelled its license and those of several other stations, including WPRX (1120 Bristol), for apparent failure to submit renewal applications in 2005. WPRX remains on the air at last check.

For fans of Bob Radil's Friday-night oldies show, it has a new home. After being displaced from WNHU (88.7 West Haven), Bob has landed on Allan Sniffen's Rewound Radio stream, where he's now broadcasting live on Friday nights, beginning at 6.

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*In western PENNSYLVANIA, morning man Jim Merkel is gone from Clear Channel's 3WS (WWSW-FM 94.5), and without any kind of farewell - he just disappeared from the website and the airwaves last week, as did morning-show producer Theresa Colaizzi. Merkel had been with 3WS even before it was 3WS, joining then-WPEZ in the late seventies and doing nights in the early days of 3WS before moving to mornings in 1988. No replacements have been named.

In addition to this week's "Hockey on the Radio," there's a bit of baseball news, too: CBS Radio's WPHT (1210 Philadelphia) has signed the Phillies for an additional year, quashing (for now) rumors of a bid by Greater Media's "Fanatic" WPEN-FM (97.5) for the broadcast rights. In addition to its big 50,000-watt AM signal, WPHT is now also being heard on the HD3 channel of sister station WOGL (98.1).

*Is Rogers planning a format flip in CANADA's capital? There's certainly something going on at CIWW (Oldies 1310) in Ottawa, where "Brother Bob" Derro is gone from the morning shift after nearly a decade there. The buzz in the market suggests something big will happen at 1310 on Tuesday, after the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday - and perhaps that CIWW will re-emerge as "1310 News," patterned after Rogers' successful "680 News" (CFTR) in Toronto and "1130 News" (CKWX) in Vancouver.

In St. Catharines, CHSC (1220) is now history. A federal appeals court declined to hear an appeal from owner Pellpropco, Inc. to the CRTC's decision to revoke the station's license after a long history of violations - and that meant the end of a stay that had prevented the CRTC from enforcing its order that CHSC shut down at the end of August. In the end, CHSC faded away quietly, apparently signing off sometime late on Sept. 30 or early Oct. 1; its "Radio Uno" Italian-language programming continues, at least for now, on the web.

In Toronto, there's a new afternoon jock at "Virgin Radio 999," as "Special Ed" moves from CJCH (101.3 the Bounce) in Halifax to CKFM.

And speaking of Halifax, Evanov's new "Live 105.1" (CKHY) is asking the CRTC to allow it to change transmitter sites, moving from 45 kW/224.5m DA to 100 kW/185.1m, non-directional.

*We close this week with the first part of our annual look at where to find Hockey on the Radio, and aside from the Islanders' new home, there's not much change from last year.

The Montreal Canadiens are the big draw keeping CKAC (730) alive as a French-language all-sports signal and the last major Francophone AM outlet in Montreal; just up the dial, they're a big part of the continued dominance of CJAD (800) in the Anglophone market.

The Ottawa Senators continue on CFGO (Team 1200) in English and on CJRC (104.7) in French; there's also a small network of English affiliates stretching out to Pembroke, Cornwall, Kingston (on US-licensed WLYK 102.7) and Perth.

The Toronto Maple Leafs keep listeners tuned in to CFMJ (AM 640) and a half-dozen or so stations on the Leafs Radio Network across southern Ontario; CHML (900 Hamilton) brings the games to a fairly wide listening area on the U.S. side of the border.

The Buffalo Sabres and WGR (550) remain partnered, with Sabres games also airing on a half-dozen other stations upstate.

The Pittsburgh Penguins' deal with Clear Channel continues as the team moves to its new arena; games air on WXDX (105.9) and WBGG (970) in the Steel City and an extensive network of two dozen stations around the region, plus the full-time Pens signal on WXDX's HD2 channel.

The Philadelphia Flyers remain on WIP (610), the New Jersey Devils on WFAN (660) and the New York Rangers on WEPN (1050), none of them with much by way of networks that we can tell.

And the Boston Bruins enter their second season on WBZ-FM (98.5), with "The Sports Hub" feeding the 10-station network stretching from Maine to western Massachusetts.

Next week, we'll list the AHL radio outlets!

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.

October 12, 2009 -

  • More than 65 years of radio ownership by the New York Times came to an end just after 8 o'clock Thursday night, as WQXR-FM (96.3 New York) signed off from its Union Square studios, handing its powerful class B signal to Univision Radio's WCAA (105.9 Newark NJ) and its intellectual property to public broadcaster WNYC, which also acquired the class B1 105.9 facility from Univision. Seconds later, 105.9 came to life again as the new WQXR, now a noncommercial classical station operating from WNYC's Varick Street studios, starting a new era of classical radio in New York City.
  • Behind the scenes, there was plenty of drama in the final days before the transition, on both the engineering and programming fronts.
  • On the programming side, it appears that WNYC's plans for its new acquisition came together at the last minute - especially when it came to the decisions on which of the "old" WQXR's airstaff would be hired by WNYC for the "new" WQXR. It was only in the last hour of Times operation of WQXR, as staffers made their on-air farewells, that listeners learned that midday host Annie Bergen would be heard on weekends on 105.9. And even as the Times was saying farewell to WQXR with an audio montage of station IDs going back to the earliest days of W2XR experimental operation in the 1930s, Univision was readying some big changes for its $33.5 million acquisition of the 96.3 spot on the dial. While initial reports had suggested that the "La Kalle" format long heard on 105.9 would be making a smooth transition down the dial to 96.3, it now appears that Univision is instead launching a new station identity on its new frequency.
  • "La Kalle" vanished from the airwaves around 5:00 on Thursday afternoon, leaving the last three hours of WCAA operation on 105.9 to be filled by a repeating loop advising listeners that "this number has changed" - and when the loop ended, a few seconds after it was moved to 96.3, listeners heard several dance tunes that were very much unlike "La Kalle." Even after the usual Spanish-language musical fare returned, it was running jockless, with repeated announcements to "mark your calendar with an X for October 15." What's more, the RDS display on 96.3 began showing "X 96" on Friday morning, strengthening speculation that a new format was on the way, along with new calls. On Thursday, Univision filed a request for "WXNY-FM" for 96.3, meaning those "WCAA New York" legal IDs now running will soon be collectors' items.
  • On the HD Radio front, the new WQXR programming showed up on the HD-2 subchannel of the more powerful WNYC-FM (93.9) signal, replacing the more esoteric classical fare that's now being offered as "Q2" on 105.9-HD2.
  • On the technical side, even the New Yorker noticed the flurry of activity surrounding the signal swap; a "Talk of the Town" item in the October 12 issue visited WNYC engineering director Jim Stagnitto as he worked on moving the 105.9 transmitter from Univision's 81st-floor room at the Empire State building to WNYC-FM's 79th-floor room. The new WQXR.org website also offered video of Stagnitto turning on the 105.9 signal on Thursday night - but that was just the conclusion of a longer, more complex transition process that took several days of nearly nonstop work by Stagnitto and WNYC chief technology officer Steve Shultis, as well as Univision's Richard Ross and corporate engineer Mark Stennett, who came up from Texas to assist in the move. While they were relocating 105.9's main transmitter downstairs to the WNYC room, and while WNYC was preparing WQXR's new studios on Varick Street, WCAA remained on the air in its final days on 105.9 from an auxiliary transmitter a few blocks away at Four Times Square. It was that Four Times Square transmitter that remained on the air with the "move to 96.3" loop Thursday afternoon - and by Friday, preparations were underway to move that auxiliary transmitter out of Univision's room upstairs to WNYC-FM's own auxiliary room at Four Times Square. Once that move is complete, Univision will move the 96.3 auxiliary transmitter from West Orange, N.J. to Four Times Square, adding 96.3 to the combiner system there.
  • WQXR wasn't the only New York station making a big move in the last few days: Friday was the last day for CBS Radio's WFAN (660) at its longtime studio home deep in the bowels of the Kaufman Astoria studio complex in Astoria, Queens, several floors below the "Sesame Street" studios. WFAN's move out of Kaufman Astoria came 22 years almost to the day after the pioneering all-sports format signed on from that space, though it was on 1050 AM back then. (Indeed, the studios even predate WFAN on 1050, having been built in 1986 for what was then WHN and sister FM station WAPP 103.5.) We hear the Astoria space will remain in CBS Radio's hands, to be used as an emergency backup studio should the new space in lower Manhattan that WFAN now shares with four other CBS stations become unusable.
  • Out on Long Island's East End, Long Island University has picked a buyer for its public radio station - and to nobody's great surprise, it's the local group called Peconic Public Broadcasting, led by the current management of WLIU (88.3 Southampton) and WCWP (88.1 Brookville). Peconic's bid, said to be in the $2 million range, reportedly beat out at least two other offers, which were apparently from rival public broadcasting groups, not religious broadcasters, as had originally been reported. The next steps for Peconic will be both challenging and speedy: the group has to turn its celebrity endorsements from names such as Alec Baldwin and Jann Wenner into hard financial committments from listeners - and it has just a few months to get WLIU's studios off the former Long Island University campus in Southampton (now part of SUNY Stony Brook) and into new space in Wainscott.
  • Greater Media jumped on the FM sports bandwagon in eastern PENNSYLVANIA Friday afternoon, with a surprise format change that pulled the plug on AC "Now 97.5" (WNUW Burlington NJ) before that format had even reached its first anniversary on the air. In its place, as of 5 o'clock Friday, is the Philadelphia market's first all-sports FM signal, "97.5 the Fanatic," picking up the programming that's been struggling to find an audience on Greater Media's lone Philly AM signal, WPEN (950), which has long been an also-ran against CBS Radio's sports behemoth, WIP (610). The new "Revolution" lineup includes ESPN's "Mike and Mike" in morning drive, followed by a yet-to-be-named local show from 10-noon (ESPN's Steven A. Smith and Dan Schwartzman will be guest-hosting the shift this week), Harry Mayes and Vai Sikahema from noon-2, the flagship Mike Missanelli show from 2-7, a series of specialty shows at night, and ESPN's programming filling out the schedule.

October 10, 2005 -

  • NEW YORK - It's been a banner year for the memory of Major Edwin Howard Armstrong, the legendary inventor of the superheterodyne receiver and of FM radio. On the heels of the successful commemoration of his life at the Alpine tower site in June, the Audio Engineering Society hosted a panel discussion on the Major last night at its convention here, with your editor having the distinct honor of serving as moderator. The discussion ranged widely across Armstrong's long career and his legacy, with the added bonus of personal recollections from Brecht of his imposing great-uncle and of the long and fascinating life that his great-aunt Marion Armstrong led after the Major's death. Thanks to Houck and Katzdorn, attendees were also able to view many Armstrong artifacts, including original logbooks from Alpine and the breadboard modulator from the early Empire State Building experiments. Hemphill's experimental low-band FM station at Alpine, WA2XMN (42.8 mc/s), was on the air much of the day with archival audio and music, with Bob Bartola volunteering to play master control operator for the broadcast. The panel discussion will be rebroadcast over WA2XMN in the weeks to come, and it will be available on the web as well...stay tuned for details!
  • Elsewhere in the Empire State, it looks like Alan Chartock's WAMC public radio empire will soon add another link. WAMC filed an application back in 1998 for a new station on 90.3 in Remsen, but it was mutually exclusive with another application for 90.3 in Utica from Souls Harbor Pentecostal Church. The FCC took seven years to deal with its backlog of applications from that 1998 window, but last week it ruled that the WAMC application is entitled to a "tentative preference" for the construction permit, since it will provide new noncommercial service to more listeners. If no objections are received in the next 30 days, WAMC will get the construction permit - and Chartock will have a Utica-market FM to add to its recent purchase of WRUN (1150 Utica).
  • There's good news for WKOX (1200 Framingham) in its long fight to move to Newton and boost its power. The city's board of aldermen rejected a building permit for WKOX's move last year, but the Clear Channel station (along with WRCA 1330, which also hopes to move to the site, and WUNR 1600, which wants to replace its two-tower array at the Oak Hill site with five towers shared with WRCA and WKOX) appealed to the state's Land Court and won. The city of Newton holds a public hearing tomorrow on the application, after which it's required to issue the building permit within 14 days. An appeal is, of course, already underway.
  • WGBH (89.7 Boston) morning host Ron Della Chiesa is leaving his part-time gig as host of the station's "Classics in the Morning." The 35-year WGBH veteran will remain with the station as the announcer for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the host of the Sunday "Jazz Songbook" program; he'll be replaced in mornings by Cathy Fuller, who already hosts the show on Mondays and Fridays. (Della Chiesa's weekend shows on WPLM in Plymouth, including the long-running "Music America," will continue as well.)
  • In Scranton, former WWDL/WICK-WYCK owner Doug Lane was sentenced last Tuesday for sexually abusing minors and possessing child pornography. Lane, who's 61, will serve at least 14 and possibly up to 30 years in prison. The stations are now being operated by Bold Gold Media Group, which is awaiting FCC approval of a deal under which it will purchase the stations, with the proceeds going to victims-assistance programs.
  • And there's late word just in to NERW that Toronto Blue Jays announcer Tom Cheek, who called the team's first game in 1977 and didn't miss a game for the next 27 years, died Sunday at age 66. Cheek had been recuperating in Florida after surgery for a brain tumor. We'll have more on his legacy next week.

October 9, 2000 -

  • Six months after announcing its $185 million purchase of Aurora's cluster of nine stations in suburban New York City and Connecticut (NERW, 3/31/00), Nassau Broadcasting received a letter from Aurora this week saying the deal is off. A withdrawn IPO stalled Nassau's attempts to finance the purchase, and while the company announced a few weeks ago that it would attempt to find private financing, Aurora says the previously-agreed deadline for closing the sale has passed. Aurora gets to keep Nassau's $7 million deposit, and Nassau officials are telling industry newsletters that they'll try to find a way to revive the deal somehow. The stations involved: WICC/WEBE in Bridgeport, WRKI/WINE/WPUT/WAXB in the Danbury market, and WFAS AM-FM/WFAF in Westchester.
  • Meanwhile, Nassau announced a change in another pending sale. While the company still plans to add WEEX (1230) and WODE (99.9) in Easton, PA to its cluster, it's reworking the way in which Clear Channel will spin off the two stations. Instead of Nassau paying $30 million cash, it will pay $12 million and give Clear Channel four stations in northwestern New Jersey: WNNJ (1360 Newton), WNNJ-FM (103.7 Newton), WSUS (102.3 Franklin), and WHCY (106.3 Blairstown). Nassau also LMAs its WTSX (96.7) and dark WDLC (1490) in Port Jervis NY to Clear Channel, with an option for Clear Channel to buy the stations.
  • # Around New England...CONNECTICUT's WLAD (800 Danbury) is looking for a new news director, as Lisa Romanello moves on up to anchor work at New York's WOR (710). Over in Hartford, WTIC-FM (96.5) adds the syndicated "Loveline" at night. Former RHODE ISLAND PD Bill Weston lands in Richmond, Virginia as PD of WKLR (96.5 Fort Lee). Who's the Daniel Priestly who applied for three new AMs in MAINE? Our ears up there point out that he's the former owner of WGUY-FM (102.1 Dexter).
  • A quiet week in NEW YORK, too, although one former New England name popped up: Bill George, who programmed Boston's WSJZ and WSSH, as well as the Citadel Providence cluster, is coming back east after a stint as PD of KUCD in Honolulu. George will move to Long Island later this month as director of operations and programming at Barnstable's cluster (WBZO, WKJY, WMJC, WGSM/WHLI).

New England Radio Watch, October 12, 1995

  • Providence's "WHIM Country" has moved off its longtime 1110 frequency for the second time. Regular observers of the radio scene in the Ocean State (and I'm sure I'll find one eventually) will remember that the country format and "Whim" slogan disappeared from WHIM-1110 East Providence in 1992, when that station became all-news WWRX, "1110 CNN." "Whim" took up temporary residence at Pawtucket's
    WICE (550), but when 1110 CNN folded, the country format and WHIM calls returned to 1110. Now they're gone again, this time to 1450, the former WKRI in West Warwick. WKRI had been standards during the week, and Spanish on the weekends. The Spanish has moved to 1110, which will be known as WPMZ once the call change goes through. 1110 will be sold to Video Mundo Broadcasting; 1450 to Providence Broadcasting Co., which I believe is the same Philip Urso-owned group that also owned 1110. The 1450 signal does not have great coverage into Providence, and I wonder how well WHIM will be able to compete there.
  • Very very longtime observers of the Providence radio scene will recall that WHIM was the only country station in Rhode Island for years -- until 1989, when WMYS 98.1, a 50kw FM in nearby Fall River, Massachusetts went country as WCTK. WHIM once had an FM on 94.1, the present-day WHJY. The 1110 transmitter is still at the studio location of WHJY-FM and its current sister AM, 920 WHJJ.
  • Newport RI could have a new classical signal soon. An application is pending at the FCC for a new 55-watt translator there on 96.5, for WCRB 102.5 Waltham-Boston. Classical music is in short supply in Newport, since it's very much in the fringes of WCRB, and even the 100kw signal of Boston's WGBH 89.7 is spotty in areas.
  • New Hampshire could have much more classical music on the radio within a few years. New Hampshire Public Radio wants to expand to a second network. Currently, they operate WEVO 89.1 in Concord, with satellite stations WEVN 90.7 Keene and WEVH 91.3 Hanover, along with WEVO translators in Nashua and Dover. Now they're getting ready to apply to the FCC for a new FM to serve the Concord-Manchester-Nashua area, to be the flagship of a news-and-information service, allowing WEVO to become an all-classical outlet. There's not much FM space left, although since the 88.3 CP in Nashua was deleted last year, NHPR might
    make a bid for that channel. Southern New Hampshire already gets good signals from Boston's WGBH 89.7 and WBUR 90.9, the Seacoast is served by Maine Public Radio's WMEA 90.1 Portland, and Vermont Public Radio's WVPR 89.5 Windsor covers much of the western part of New Hampshire...so the new service would really be a third or fourth service for most listeners. NHPR is also trying to improve its WEVO service to northern New Hampshire, with an application for 102.3 in Lancaster NH. That channel was once home to the now-defunct WLGW-FM. At
    least one other competing application has also been filed.
  • Wickford, Rhode Island's little WKFD-1370 has been dark since 1990...but the M Street Journal reports it will be back on the air in November. The 500/160 watt station was destroyed by a fire, and when I was last by their old site on Updike Ave.
    in Wickford, the tower was gone and the building was heavily damaged (there was also a nasty-looking wasps' nest there, so I didn't inspect too carefully.) I don't know whether they'll return to the old site, or find a new one.
  • Not quite New England, but you'd never know it to listen after dark: WPTR in Albany, the 50kw signal on 1540, is about to get rid of its historic calls, the only ones the station has ever had. Crawford Broadcasting has closed on its purchase of the station from Albany Broadcasting (WROW-590/WFLY-92.3/WYJB-95.5), and the new calls will be WDCD. Crawford has a history of trashing historic calls...they killed off the WFBL calls in Syracuse in 1993, turning the 1390 signal there into WDCW. The WFBL calls dated back to 1922. Thankfully, they found a home on the former WSEN(AM) 1050. Perhaps someone in Albany is already planning to resurrect the WPTR calls. One can hope... (2010 update: Crawford eventually resurrected the WPTR calls on FM in Albany, and the WFBL calls came back to Syracuse when 1390 changed ownership again a few years later.)

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