November 1, 2010
KDKA Turns 90
UPDATE: Three NERW-land
stations tied for the title of "first all-Christmas flips"
when they kicked off November by going 24/7 holiday music: in
the Albany market, both Clear Channel's WTRY (98.3 Rotterdam)
and Townsquare's WBZZ (105.7 Malta, now "Santa 105.7")
made the flip Monday morning, as did Equity Communications' WEZW
(93.1 Wildwood Crest) on the Jersey shore. And as the countdown
on the "Santa 105.7" website
helpfully reminds us, it's still 53 days until Christmas...
(More Christmas? Why, yes: CNYRadio.com reports Galaxy's WZUN
(102.1) in Syracuse and WUMX (102.5) in Rome also made the flip
*Want to keep a room full of media historians busy
for hours? Just stick your head in the door, ask them, "Was
KDKA the first radio station?" and run.
But whether or not that November 2, 1920 election-night broadcast
by KDKA in Pittsburgh, PENNSYLVANIA in fact marked the
start of radio in the United States (and there's plenty of well-documented
evidence to suggest that everything KDKA did that night had been
done elsewhere, earlier), it unquestionably marked the breakthrough
of radio into the national consciousness - and thus radio's transition
from a curious hobby to a new mass medium.
The Westinghouse publicity machine that propelled KDKA into
the history books survives today under the station's current
CBS ownership, and so it should come as no surprise that the
station is marking tomorrow's 90th anniversary in style. In partnership
with the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh's Strip District,
KDKA hosted a weekend open house that featured appearances by
KDKA personalities, a slide show of the station's highlights
and a display of artifacts that included that transmitter shown
above, a 1930s-era replica (including some original parts) of
the transmitter used on that fateful night in 1920.
The celebration continues Tuesday with live broadcasts from
the Heinz center, featuring Marty Griffin, Robert Mangino and
Rob Pratt from 9 AM until noon and Pratte, Mike Pintek and Bill
Rehkopf from noon until 3 PM.
And while 90 is a somewhat awkward anniversary (one that will
be marked over the next year by a few other stations around the
region, including New York's WABC, ex-WJZ, and Boston's WBZ),
we're already starting to wonder what KDKA might have in store
when it hits its centennial just a decade from now...and whether
the KDKA of November 2020 will even still list "AM 1020"
alongside all the other outlets (KDKA.com streaming audio and
several HD-3 simulcasts) that are already part of today's KDKA
*A much newer Pittsburgh radio station is applying for a power
increase. WPKV (98.3 Duquesne), which is still owned by Keymarket
despite being operated as a "K-Love" outlet by EMF
Broadcasting, moved into the Steel City a few years ago as a
class A signal, running 1 kW/807' from a site in the North Hills.
Now WPKV is applying to boost that signal to 3.7 kW/807' from
the same location, which would significantly increase K-Love's
reach into the Pittsburgh suburbs. To make the A-to-B1 upgrade
possible, EMF will move its own WKEL (98.5 Confluence) away from
Pittsburgh, shifting the class A signal about 15 miles to the
east along the Maryland border, while Keymarket's sister company
Forever will accept short-spacing to its own WGYI (98.5 Oil City).
Up in Kittanning, Family-Life Media-Com will pay $150,000
to acquire WTYM (1380) from Vernal Enterprises after the death
of Vernal owner Larry Schrecongost; Family-Life has been operating
WTYM under an LMA since June.
In Lock Haven, there
are new calls at WSNU (92.1): it's now WSQV, a callsign used
back in the eighties along US 220 by the station that's now WVRT
(97.7 Mill Hall/Williamsport).
South of Williamsport, there's a new identity for the trio
of Susquehanna Valley FM stations that had been known as "BIG
Country Radio." As of midnight, WWBE (98.3 Mifflinburg),
WLGL (92.3 Riverside) and WYGL-FM (100.5 Elizabethville) are
now "Central PA's New B98.3," still playing country,
but with new imaging from voice guy John Willyard.
RJ Jordan says the station's schedule will be shifting soon,
too, as he takes on an airshift - and if you're thinking the
combination of RJ and a country station called "B"
sounds familiar, you're not imagining things: Jordan programmed
another successful country "B," Syracuse's B104.7 (WBBS),
for many years.
*In Philadelphia, Christmas tunes have arrived on the radio
dial - not on the analog side, at least not as of late Sunday
night, but on three HD2 subchannels. WPEN-FM (97.5 Burlington
NJ) resurrected the very same Christmas programming (imaging
and all) that it was running on 97.5-HD2 last year as "Now
FM," WNUW, and Greater Media is reportedly simulcasting
that relic of "Now FM" on the 95.7-HD2 of WBEN-FM.
Meanwhile, Jerry Lee's WBEB (101.1) has put Christmas music on
Radio People on the Move: Shila, who'd been a co-host of the
Danny Bonaduce morning show on WYSP (94.1), has moved across
town to WRDW (Wired 96.5) to co-host mornings with Chio.
*The FCC is out with another batch of "tentative preferences"
among competing applicants for noncommercial FM signals. KC Club,
Inc. (that's "Knights of Columbus," which means Catholic
radio) won out for 90.3 in Bellefonte, where it will run 2 kW;
in Erie, several applicants were rejected in favor of a new signal
across the state line in Geneva, Ohio.
*Plans are still coming together for next
weekend's commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Major Armstrong's
1935 introduction of FM radio - but here's what we do know so
far: starting at noon on Saturday (Nov. 6), the Major's old 42.8
megacycle frequency will light up once again from his tower in
Alpine, NEW JERSEY, as experimental station WA2XMN once
again takes to the airwaves.
The WA2XMN website at wa2xmn.ar88.net
is once again active, and Steve Hemphill tells NERW that QSLs
will be issued for reception of the broadcast. Programming will
include encores of the broadcast made in 2005 for the 70th anniversary
of FM, and Hemphill will run the afternoon's shows once again
later in the day. Stay tuned here and at our Twitter feed for
more updates as they become available!
*Calvary Chapel of Montclair was picked as the FCC's "tentative
preference" last week for a new 60-watt signal on 90.3 in
Taylortown, north of Dover in northwestern New Jersey.
*And we note the passing of the former president of the New
Jersey Association of Broadcasters. Philip H. Roberts died last
week after suffering a heart attack while vacationing in Canada.
Roberts retired from the NJBA in 2007 after more than a quarter
of a century with the group; he was 73 and had been suffering
from heart disease.
CALENDAR 2011 - IT'S 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...
We are offering "calendar bouquets"
of our old editions. It's a great way to buy a bunch of beautiful
tower pinups at once! For just $16, you can get the 2004, 2005,
2008 and 2009 calendars! (Special packaging available on request.)
now at the fybush.com Store!
*The big news this week out of MASSACHUSETTS
is all about Catholic radio, starting at 1060 on the dial
this morning at 8. That's when WQOM (1060 Natick) will return
to the airwaves as an all-Catholic outlet of Buffalo-based Holy
inaugural program on WQOM will be a live Mass from the Cathedral
of the Holy Cross, celebrated by Boston Archbishop Cardinal Seán
OMalley, and while the station is boasting "50,000
watts of power," it's still not clear whether construction
has been completed (or even begun) on the station's full daytime
facilities at the Ashland transmitter site, shared with WAMG
(890 Dedham), that it's been using for nighttime operation. In
its prior incarnation as WBIX, 1060 transmitted by day from the
old WKOX (1200) facility in Framingham, but WQOM didn't pick
up the lease on the studio/transmitter facilities there.
Over in Worcester, Catholic programming is coming to WNEB
(1230) as Blount Masscom sells the 1000-watt signal to a new
company called Emmanuel Communications. Emmanuel will pay $500,000
for WNEB, which presently does Spanish talk as "Radio Sol."
*On the web, CBS has combined some of its Boston properties
under one virtual roof: CBSBoston.com
brings together the online presences of WBZ (1030), "Sports
Hub" WBZ-FM (98.5), WBZ-TV (Channel 4) and WSBK (Channel
38), joining similarly united (and, if you ask us, similarly
generic) portals for CBS stations in New York, Philadelphia,
Chicago, LA and San Francisco.
Out west, there's a new FM antenna on Mount Greylock: after
spending some time at reduced power due to ice damage to its
old antenna, WAMC-FM (90.3 Albany) is tuning up a new five-bay
Shively, with a new HD Radio transmitter on the way next week
to boost its digital power; already, there are reports of significantly
improved WAMC reception all over western and central Massachusetts.
(And you can see pictures of the antenna-replacement project
at the WAMC Engineering page, here!)
*Jean Fairbanks is coming back to NEW
HAMPSHIRE after a few months away in Philadelphia. The former
WKNE (103.7 Keene) morning co-host starts today as morning news
anchor and news director at WKKN (101.9) across town.
*VERMONT Public Radio's application
for 89.1 in Middlebury won out over 23 other applicants (including
several other VPR proposals) in a monster of a mutually-exclusive
application pile-up that stretched from Vermont all the way to
Rome, New York. The new signal will be VPR's second full-power
FM in Middlebury, joining VPR Classical outlet WOXM (90.1), which
signed on earlier this year.
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*We start our Empire State coverage in western
NEW YORK, where "Slick Tom" Tiberi is back on
the air at WGRF (96.9), two years to the month after losing his
evening airshift on "97 Rock" to Citadel budget cuts.
Tiberi tells the Buffalo News he's being paid less now
than he made when he was dismissed in 2008 - but he's happy to
be back on the air at all, connecting with a fan base that stayed
with him during his absence through podcasts on Tiberi's website,
A call change nobody's likely to notice: Family Life Ministries
has flipped the calls at two as-yet-unbuilt signals: it will
now be WCOM on 89.3 in Silver Creek, south of Buffalo, and WCGM
on 91.7 in Belfast, in Allegany County.
*Radio People on the Move: WGY (810/103.1) morning host Don
Weeks will leave some big shoes to fill when he does his last
broadcast on Christmas Eve, but the Clear Channel talker is hoping
Uncle Don's audience will stay with the station as it puts another
familiar voice in the slot: Chuck Custer, WGY's longtime newsman,
will co-host mornings with Kelly Lynch, late of WNYT (Channel
Meanwhile, Jackie Donovan moves from Pamal's Albany Broadcasting
cluster (at WKLI 100.9) to mornings at Pamal's WFFG (107.1) in
Glens Falls, where she replaces Kate Sullivan, who's moving to
*In central New
York, there were some tense moments last Monday when things went
terribly wrong for a tower crew working on the tower behind the
Smith Hill studios of Utica's WKTV (Channel 2). Three workers
from Alpha Antenna Services were replacing the old W59AU (Channel
59) antenna at the top of the tower with a new antenna for W22DO-D,
the new digital translator for Syracuse's WCNY, when the antenna
buckled, sending the tower workers falling as much as 40 feet.
One worker suffered injuries to his face; two others suffered
minor injuries and one was back on the job a few days later,
reports CNYRadio.com. As for the broadcast services from
the tower, WCNY's radio outlet, WUNY (89.5), was off the air
for a few hours on Monday, as was WXUR (92.7 Herkimer), which
shares the tower. WKTV itself broadcasts from a tower in Middleville,
so its broadcast signal was never disrupted, though programming
switched to the automated CW feed (usually on 2.2) while the
building was evacuated during the incident. WCNY hopes to have
the new W22DO-D signal on the air within a couple of weeks.
Central New York's WRVO network has a new leader: SUNY Oswego
has named its assistant provost, Dr. Michael Ameigh, to replace
John Krauss as general manager of the WRVO stations. He's only
the third GM in the station's 41-year history.
Down the Hudson Valley, WGNY-FM (103.1 Newburgh) has new calls:
it quietly became WJGK last week. Even though it's never been
heard on the air before, that callsign (which stands for owner
Juergen G. Klebe) isn't really new to the valley: it resided
on two never-built construction permits Klebe obtained for stations
that would have operated at 1200 on the AM dial. Is it being
warehoused at 103.1 for use on Klebe's newly-granted CP for 98.9
in Rosendale - or will the Rosendale FM become WGNY-FM when it
*In New York City, WWRL (1600) is shifting its schedule as
veteran talk host Errol Louis departs for a new job as anchor
of NY1's "Inside City Hall." Mark Riley moves from
evenings to mornings to replace Louis, and that frees up the
6-8 PM slot for the return of syndicated talker Randi Rhodes,
effective next week.
*The end of an era in CANADA:
Andy Reid sends along word that the five towers of CKRU (980)
in Peterborough, Ontario were torn down last Monday (Oct. 25),
just over a year after the AM signal left the air, leaving Peterborough
an FM-only city.
The CKRU towers were the last remaining AM facility standing;
Peterborough's other AM, CKPT (1420), took its towers down as
soon as that station's move to FM was complete back in 2008.
*Up north in Renfrew, Ontario, My Broadcasting Corporation
is asking the CRTC for more power on CHMY (96.1). "My FM"
wants to boost its power from 1660 watts to 7.1 kW/128.5m, non-directional.
the NERW Archives
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.
November 2, 2009 -
- It was a roller-coaster of a week for fans of dance music
in NEW YORK City - but as of this morning, the saga of "Pulse
87" appears to have something of a happy ending.
- "Pulse," of course, is (or rather "was")
the high-profile not-quite-FM-broadcast-station that launched
in January 2008 on the audio carrier of low-power TV station
WNYZ-LP (Channel 6), broadcasting at 87.75 MHz from the top of
the Citicorp Center building in Queens. Despite the odd dial
position, a signal that was sometimes sketchy outside the five
boroughs and a near-complete lack of the usual billboards, bus
cards and other promotions that launch a new radio station, Pulse
87 built a rabidly loyal following and a respectable (if niche)
audience in nearly two years on the air. What Pulse couldn't
do, evidently, was to dig its owner, Mega Media, out of a financial
hole that the company was apparently in even before launching
Pulse. Much of the station's initial airstaff, including the
flagship morning team of Star and Buc Wild, disappeared early
on, and in recent weeks there was a nonstop drumbeat of rumors
suggesting that Mega was falling behind on payments to its creditors
- including WNYZ's licensee, Island Broadcasting, which was leasing
the 87.7 facility to Mega for "Pulse." Early last week,
the Pulse programming disappeared from 87.7 for nearly two days,
sparking a flurry of message-board rumors about the imminent
end of the format. And while that outage was apparently just
a failure of the Verizon fiber circuit from Pulse's Brooklyn
studios to the Queens transmitter, it did indeed presage the
end of Pulse, which came abruptly on Friday. At 12:15 PM, Mega
CEO Alex Shvarts took to the airwaves to announce that the station
would shut down at 5 PM, thanking everyone who'd been involved
in the project since its launch.
- At 5, Pulse said its farewells, leaving the air to the sounds
of the Beatles' "Back in the USSR." Was it a tip-off
to a return of the Russian pop format that had been heard on
WNYZ before the launch of Pulse? Or perhaps a nod to Shvarts'
own Russian heritage? The first theory was quickly dispelled
when listeners to 87.7 heard dance music continue on the frequency
after a few minutes of silence, albeit at a lower volume and
with just an hourly ID. (Meanwhile, Pulse itself kept putting
out music and liners on one of its streaming feeds well into
Friday night.) As Pulse fans gathered for a farewell party Saturday
night, their mourning was turning into celebration as word spread
that Long Island's JVC Broadcasting had signed a deal to take
over the lease of WNYZ, using the frequency starting Monday morning
as a New York City relay of its "Party 105." While
"Party" isn't a pure dance station, mixing hip-hop
in with the rhythmic tracks, it comes to 87.7 with well-known
leadership behind it, including JVC vice president/Party morning
man Vic Latino, a popular figure in New York's rhythmic music
community. "We are very excited to be broadcasting to the
number one market in the world," said JVC CEO John Carraciolo.
- The simulcast comes amidst several other changes for "Party
105": earlier in the week, it changed calls from WDRE to
WPTY-FM - and after a simulcast period, it will disappear from
one of the Long Island translators that was carrying its signal
west. W268AN (101.5 Plainview) will instead flip to a simulcast
of JVC's other Long Island signal, Spanish tropical "Fiesta"
WBON (98.5 Westhampton), which is already heard on another translator
at 96.9 in Manorville. The new "Pulse 87.7" simulcast
is expected to launch this morning at 6 with "Vic Latino's
- In the Hudson Valley, is that another format change on the
way to Clear Channel's oft-flipped 99.3 in Ellenville? After
just under three years as country WRWC, simulcasting WRWD (107.3
Highland) into the Catskills, it appears that the next step for
99.3 will be a simulcast of news-talk WKIP (1450 Poughkeepsie),
at least judging by the newstalk993.com website that showed up
last week. (As we go to press Sunday night, 99.3 is still relaying
- There's a format flip coming to NEW HAMPSHIRE's Lakes Region
on Wednesday, when classic rock "Hawk" is set to move
from WWHQ (101.5 Meredith) to WLKZ (104.9 Wolfeboro). There's
no word yet on what's in store for 104.9 as Nassau shuffles its
lineup in preparation for shedding several of its Lakes Region
and Concord signals.
October 31, 2005 -
- While it may strike terror into the souls of classical music
aficionados across Eastern New England, the news that Charles
River Broadcasting has put its station group up for sale is anything
but a Halloween prank.
- On Thursday, the company's board of directors agreed to hire
Media Services Group to explore the sale of some or all of its
five stations - classical outlets WCRB (102.5 Waltham), WFCC
(107.5 Chatham) and WCRI (95.9 Block Island RI), as well as rocker
WKPE (104.7 Orleans) and all-news WCNX (1180 Hope Valley RI).
The board also brought in veteran manager Herb McCord (former
head of the Granum group) to manage the stations while CEO Bill
Campbell is on medical leave; McCord was already a member of
the Charles River board.
- At least where WCRB is concerned, the move appeared at first
glance to contradict the wishes of Theodore Jones, the station's
founder. At the time of his death in 1991, it was widely reported
that he'd created a trust structure to ensure that WCRB would
remain classical for the next 99 years, leading many in the business
to believe that the station (with one of only a dozen or so truly
full-market Boston FM signals) would never go up for sale.
- Charles River, however, sees things differently. Company
officials say it's become impossible to operate as a small group
in the era of consolidation and clusters, and they tell the Boston
Globe that when Jones died, the trust he created stated that
it was his "wish" that WCRB remain classical - but
not a binding order. The board believes it can honor that wish
by mandating that anyone buying WCRB maintain the classical format
on an HD Radio subchannel, but leaving them free to program whatever
they'd like on the main channel.
- If that's the case (and we have no reason to believe otherwise),
it could put WCRB - and Boston - in the same boat as so many
other communities where commercial classical radio has either
disappeared completely in the last decade (Philadelphia, Miami,
Detroit) or has been relegated to a lower-power FM or even an
AM signal (Cleveland, Kansas City, San Diego, Albuquerque). Based
on the 100000watts.com/M Street database, we now list only 27
commercial classical stations in the U.S., including the three
Charles River owns. That list, in turn, includes a number of
stations owned by nonprofit organizations (KFUO-FM St. Louis,
KING-FM Seattle), by municipalities (WRR-FM Dallas) or by companies
as concerned with the PR value of the station as with profit
(the New York Times Co.'s WQXR-FM New York). Only three commercial
broadcast groups of any substantial size own commercial classical
outlets in large markets: Bonneville, with WGMS in Washington
and KDFC in San Francisco; Entercom, with KXTR(AM) in Kansas
City; and Saga, with WFMR in Milwaukee. (WFMR, which we visited
over the summer, has New England native Steve Murphy at the programming
helm and seems to be doing quite well for itself; WGMS and KDFC
are perennial ratings successes in their markets; KXTR is a shell
of what was once a thriving FM classical outlet, now relegated
to a mostly-automated expanded-band AM - ironically, using WCRB
programming for most of the day.)
- So who'd be in line to spend the likely $70-80 million -
perhaps even more - that the WCRB signal would fetch on the open
market? While Infinity and Greater Media are at their market
ownership limits already, two other big groups already in Boston
- Clear Channel and Entercom - still have room under the caps
to take on an additional FM signal. To that list, we'd also add
Radio One and Salem, both of which have footholds in the Boston
market and which have been acquisitive elsewhere.
- And we can't leave out Marlin Broadcasting, which has deep
Boston roots (in the person of principal Woody Tanger), deep
classical roots (it owned - then sold - classical FMs in Philadelphia,
Miami and Detroit, and it still owns classical webcaster beethoven.com
and WTMI 1290 in West Hartford, Connecticut), and which wasted
no time at week's end making it known that it's actively attempting
to buy the Charles River stations.
- Or - and this is purely speculative, we'd emphasize - could
some sort of nonprofit ownership coalesce to preserve WCRB's
format? The Boston Symphony Orchestra is already a part-owner
of Charles River. (Its counterpart in Seattle is a key player
in the nonprofit that owns KING-FM.) Then there's WGBH, which
continues to have a committment to classical music even as it
tries to balance other programming on its FM outlet. Was the
$4 million that 'GBH just spent on a new Cape Cod FM merely an
appetizer for something much bigger in Boston?
- What about the other Charles River outlets? Nassau's just
begun to make inroads on Cape Cod, and it's flush with cash (or
soon will be) from the sale of its Lehigh Valley cluster in Pennsylvania,
so it's not hard to imagine that two more big FMs would make
an appealing investment for the growing company. We're not even
going to try to speculate about the little signals in southern
Rhode Island, where anything could happen, and probably will.
- WCRB's only one big headline in eastern MASSACHUSETTS this
week, though. Up in Burlington, things got awfully quiet Thursday
at WWZN (1510 Boston), where Sporting News Radio abruptly pulled
the plug on the local programming it was originating at "1510
- At the end, that meant two shows for the struggling station:
"The Diehards" and Eddie Andelman's afternoon show.
The paid programming that was running on the weekends and some
evenings (including high school football) will continue, as will
three WWZN staffers, including Diehards Anthony Pepe and Jon
- A few moments of class marked the station's end: former GM
Mike Winn, who's now with "ESPN Boston" WAMG/WLLH,
was allowed to come back to WWZN for the last day there. And
Andelman, whose history on Boston radio goes back 36 years, will
get to do a farewell show Thursday (Nov. 3) from 2-4 PM.
- After that, it's anyone's guess - there's pretty credible
word that Sporting News Radio itself is struggling, raising questions
about whether even the network sports feed will continue on what's
now the number-three sports outlet in the market.
- There's still another format change to note in the Boston
market: no sooner did Radio One flip WILD (1090 Boston) to a
black gospel format than it announced the impending debut - sometime
in early 2006 - of a national talk network aimed at black listeners.
WILD will be an affiliate of the network, of course, which means
Boston listeners will get to hear the new Al Sharpton show from
1-4 PM, as well as "Two Live Stews" (a fast-growing
sports talk show from Atlanta) from 4 until sunset, a yet-to-be-named
national host from 10 AM-1 PM, and a yet-to-be-named local host
in the mornings. We'd bet the black gospel continues on weekends.
- Then there's Howard Stern, who took away whatever suspense
still surrounded the question of his replacement on Tuesday,
when he introduced David Lee Roth as his successor, starting
January 3, 2006, on most of his East Coast Infinity-owned affiliates.
- In Boston, that means Roth will replace Stern on WBCN (104.1),
but WBCN's rock format will continue for the rest of the day.
That's not going to be the case on several other Stern stations
- in particular, NEW YORK, where the end of the Stern show will
also mean the end of "K-Rock" at WXRK (92.3). Stern
has been a part of K-Rock since just a few months after it signed
on in 1985. After he signs off in December 16, the rock will
go as well - at least during the day - to replaced by the "Free
FM" brand of talk that Infinity's launching in other big
markets. So far, the only host confirmed for WXRK (besides Roth)
is comedian/magician Penn Jillette.
- The Roth show won't be heard in upstate New York. Instead,
WZNE (94.1 Brighton) will bring "Rover's Morning Glory"
to the Rochester market. Rover is the "nom de chien"
(thanks to Ohio Media Watch for that one!) of Shane French, who's
been doing mornings on WXTM in Cleveland. His show will now be
based at "Free FM" Midwest hub WCKG in Chicago, where
it will feed WXTM, WZNE and affiliates in Columbus, Cincinnati,
Detroit and Memphis.
- Back to Stern, then - and perhaps the biggest news, at least
in our region, comes from eastern PENNSYLVANIA, where the end
of the Stern show Tuesday was followed with the launch of "94.1
Free FM" on WYSP (94.1 Philadelphia).
- The new format had clearly been in the works for a while,
since it launched with a relatively comprehensive schedule. The
most notable addition is market veteran Paul Barsky, who resurfaces
as the 10 AM-3 PM host (with former sidekick Vinnie the Crumb
alongside him again.) Kidd Chris, already on WYSP, remains in
afternoon drive. After 7 at night, the station will still be
a rocker, with Couzin Ed moving to 7-10 PM and Matt and Huggy
- WYSP also brings a familiar Infinity face back to the market:
Tom Bigby, who moved from WIP to KRLD in Dallas last year, returns
as OM of "94.1 Free FM." Gil Edwards moves up from
APD to PD.
- The rock will live on - albeit jockless - at WYSP.com; we'd
sort of expect it to show up as an HD Radio multicast eventually,
- At the other end of the state, we've heard that Infinity
was all set to flip WRKZ (93.7 Pittsburgh) to "Jack"
- after all, the station was created out of the ashes of the
old B94 specifically to carry Stern last year - but instead,
it's sticking with "K-Rock" on the frequency, at least
for now. David Lee Roth will be the morning man there, as well
as at WYSP.
- In CONNECTICUT, Marlin's WCCC (106.9 Hartford) apparently
isn't impressed with the Roth offering. They're bringing some
fellow named "Lance Christian" to the airwaves - and
if that name sounds unfamiliar, perhaps you might recognize his
alter ego, "Sebastian," as a fixture at WCCC and other
Hartford stations in the 30 years since "Lance Christian"
was last heard on WPOP. (And that's it for our Stern coverage
this week - we promise!)
October 30, 2000 -
- A former MASSACHUSETTS broadcaster is making some awfully
loud noises against Clear Channel as his U.S. Senate campaign
in Florida heads for the finish line.
- Here at NERW Central, we were paying only a little attention
to the charges independent candidate Andy Martin was making about
Clear Channel's contests. If you haven't been reading the national
trades all week, they boil down to this: not only is Clear Channel
trying to pass off national contests as local ones, but the company
is also rigging those contests to favor certain markets. Florida's
attorney general already reached a settlement with Clear Channel
on the former allegation, of course, but Martin claims the company
isn't running the required disclaimers as promised. Clear Channel,
of course, denies the allegations. But in doing so, the company
mentioned in passing that "Andy Martin" is also known
- That's a name we do recognize: Martin-Trigona bought WHET
(1330 Waltham) in the late 1970s and flipped it to country as
WDLW, the calls it would use for more than a decade (and which
calls supposedly refer to the initials of an ex-girlfriend of
Martin-Trigona's!) By whichever name you call him, it seems Martin-Trigona
has had a colorful career since selling WDLW in the early 80s,
including real estate deals and politics in Illinois, and several
run-ins with the Florida court system for filing frivolous lawsuits
- Martin's official campaign website makes no mention of WDLW
or of the "-Trigona" part of the name, but it certainly
appears that we have an interesting answer to at least one Boston
radio "where are they now" question.
- Not much else happening this week in the Bay State -- unless
you count WMKI (1260 Boston)'s application to move its towers
20 miles out in the ocean off Martha's Vineyard! No, it's not
April Fool's Day yet, but it was apparently typo time somewhere
at the FCC as the station applied to go non-directional during
daytime hours. The "42 degrees" in WMKI's day coordinates
appeared in the application as "41" instead (and were
dutifully repeated as such in M Street and elsewhere), which
would put the ND tower somewhere way out in the Atlantic. We
trust that the ND operation will actually take place from the
current site on Riverside Drive in Milton, thanks...
- The big news in the Big Apple this week was the death of
Frankie Crocker at age 63. Crocker spent almost two decades as
program director and afternoon jock at WBLS (107.5), in two separate
stints at the station. His resume also included stops at WWRL
and WMCA, and most recently at WRKS. Crocker died last Saturday
(10/21) in Miami.
New England Radio Watch, November 2, 1995
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2010 by Scott Fybush.