Recent Issues:

August 1, 2011

July 25, 2011

July 18, 2011

July 11, 2011

2010 In Review

Movie Ticket Radio!

Your message here - contact fybush.com to reach thousands of NERW readers every week!

August 8, 2011

Cuomo Signs NY State Pirate Radio Ban

Stay tuned to our Twitter and Facebook feeds for breaking-news updates as they happen!

*NEW YORK is now the largest state with its own state law banning pirate radio.

It's been a month and a half since state lawmakers passed a bill that echoes similar laws in New Jersey and Florida making unlicensed radio operation a state-level crime, and while members of the New York State Broadcasters Association were hoping to see Governor Andrew Cuomo sign the bill into law at their June convention near Lake George, they're pleased to see it signed, period.

Unlike other state laws that make unlicensed broadcasting a felony, New York's version makes a first-time conviction for pirate radio only a class A misdemeanor, though it also provides for confiscation and destruction of the equipment used by pirate operators. Those penalties still promise to be a somewhat stronger deterrent than the typical FCC sanction of a $10,000 forfeiture order, a sum that's rarely paid by pirate operators who often aren't even US citizens.

As in Florida and New Jersey, the idea behind the law is to give local law enforcement a greater incentive to help beleaguered broadcasters fight an onslaught of pirates that has so far proved to be beyond the capacity of a budget-strapped FCC Enforcement Division to control.

Even with the new law in place, the challenge of quelling New York City's pirate operators is a huge one: many of the illegal stations come and go on a regular basis from transmitter sites that are well hidden in the city's forest of high-rise buildings, making it hard sometimes even to pin down a pirate's transmitter location, never mind catching the broadcaster in the act before the signal is moved to another site. And unlike Florida, where the state's Department of Law Enforcement has become an aggressive partner with legitimate broadcasters in hunting down and arresting pirates, law enforcement in New York City and vicinity is largely the purview of local police departments, many of which already have their own hands full with other serious crimes.

We'll be watching closely, of course, as the new law takes effect in November.

*The rest of our Empire State news also focuses on New York City, at 395 Hudson Street, no less - but while Merlin's WEMP (101.9 New York) kept chugging away with its "FM New" not-quite-a-format-yet, the news last week was being made down the hall at one of the remaining Emmis stations, WRKS (98.7 Kiss FM), where there's a new program director. Jill Strada is out after two years, and in to replace her is Jay Dixon, who'd been production/public service director at Kiss in the 1990s. Dixon went on to program top-rated WBHK in Birmingham and then WALR-FM in Atlanta for Cox, and now he returns to New York while Strada heads south to program WPOW-FM in Miami.

(And as for WEMP, it's pretty clear there is indeed an all-news format coming, sooner or later: Tom Benson's Media Confidential site just posted some sneak pictures of the newsroom and studio as staffers get busy doing dry runs for the new programming...)

*It was a very, very quiet week upstate; the biggest news came from sleepy Canandaigua, where the Finger Lakes Radio Group pulled the plug on the oldies at WCGR (1550) and the FM translator at 104.5 that's where most of its audience now listens. Last Monday, WCGR flipped to a simulcast of the company's latest acquisition, country WFLK (101.7 Geneva), which is now imaging as "K-101.7 and 104.5." The move also ends the simulcast on WCGR of the morning show from Geneva's WGVA (1240).

Down in Allegany County, Family Life Network's as-yet-unbuilt WNAE-FM (91.7) changes calls to WCGH; the WNAE-FM calls came along for the ride when Family Life bought another nearby signal that's being moved into Erie.

On TV, David Baer is the new news director at Albany's Fox affiliate, WXXA (Channel 23). Baer was most recently news director at WGGB and sister station "Fox 6" down the road in Springfield, Massachusetts; in Albany, he replaces Gary LaPlante, who's now assistant news director at Boston's WFXT.

In Buffalo, it's (sadly) no surprise at all to hear that Granite's WKBW-TV (Channel 7) is the latest station in town to send its master control functions to an out-of-town hub. Competitors LIN (WIVB/WNLO) and Gannett (WGRZ) have long maintained their own master-control hubs, but Granite is outsourcing: it will turn to Atlanta-based Encompass to run WKBW's master control starting in September, and that will mean 10 jobs being cut in Buffalo.

*In the days before Radio-Locator and 100000Watts.com and FCCInfo and all the rest of our modern on-line station listings, there was only one serious place to get a comprehensive directory of what was what on the FM dial. Beginning with its first edition in 1971, Bruce Elving's FM Atlas was a constant companion to DXers and to many broadcasters as well. Even as on-line information sources proliferated in the 21st century, Elving continued to update his listings in the annual directory and the monthly FMedia! newsletter, keeping track of details that sometimes escaped other directories. (Many is the station that received a postcard query from Dr. Elving's Minnesota home, inquiring whether it was operating in $tereo or running any subcarriers.)

So it was a blow to the DX hobby, and to the FM radio industry, to learn of Dr. Elving's death in late July, of a heart attack suffered while he was in southern California for cancer treatment.

Bruce Elving had a NERW-land connection as well: a Syracuse University graduate, he was one of several applicants vying for the 100.9 frequency when it was added to the Syracuse-area dial in the early 1970s, and he returned on occasion to Syracuse for reunion visits.

He was also a longtime friend of this column and your editor, frequently quoting NERW items in FMedia! and supplying information we used in NERW as well - and we had the pleasure of visiting him at his "Publishing Estate" outside of Duluth during our 2005 Big Trip.

Elving is survived by his wife, Carol, and three daughters - and by 21 editions of the FM Atlas, the most recent one published just last year (and still available, in limited quantities, at our Fybush.com store...); a memorial service is being held in Minnesota today.

Bruce Elving was 76.

*At CONNECTICUT-based Buckley Radio, the succession plan is now in place for the late Rick Buckley following the shock of his death at age 74 a week ago. Buckley's longtime right-hand man, Joe Bilotta, quickly moved up from chief operating officer to replace Buckley as president and CEO of the company. Private services for Buckley are being held this week, and there will be a public memorial service in early September.

TOWER SITE CALENDAR 2012...IT'S COMING!

A decade ago, it was just a goofy idea: "Hey, you should put some of those tower pictures into a calendar!"

But when Tower Site Calendar 2002 appeared, it was a hit - and ten years later, the fun still hasn't stopped.

And now it's that moment at least some of you have been waiting for: the grand unveiling of our latest edition, Tower Site Calendar 2012, seen for the very first time right here!

As befits a tenth-anniversary edition, this one's special: in addition to all the great tower photos and historic dates you've come to expect from our calendars, the new 2012 edition is our first-ever themed calendar, paying special homage to the many stations that began broadcasting during radio's first big boom year of 1922.

The 2012 edition brings something else that's new to the Tower Site Calendar: the option of a spiral-bound edition that will hang flatter on your wall.

We're putting the finishing touches on availability and pricing, and starting next week we'll have the new calendar ready for pre-ordering at the Fybush.com store.

(We're also on the verge of an exciting new announcement about some big changes to the fybush.com site itself...so stay tuned!)

And in the meantime, we still want to clear out our remaining stock of the 2011 calendars so we can make room for the new 2012 calendar, already in production. Only a small handful of 2011 calendars remain in stock, and you can get what's left of the very limited remaining supply for just $8 postpaid. (That's a $10 discount from the original list price of $18!)

Tower Site Calendar 2011 features more than a dozen great images of radio and TV broadcast facilities all over the country (and even beyond - this year's edition takes us to Mexico!)

Thrill to a night shot of KFI's new tower! Check out the WAEB Allentown array just after it lost a tower - or enjoy the history at venerable sites like those of KID in Idaho Falls, WCAP in Lowell, KTKT in Tucson and Rochester's Pinnacle Hill.

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

Order now at the fybush.com Store!

*There's now high-definition local TV news in NEW HAMPSHIRE, and it comes, unsurprisingly enough, from Hearst's WMUR (Channel 9) in Manchester. The dominant ABC affiliate spent much of July rebuilding its set for HD, and local HD news debuted last week.

On the LPFM front, Concord's WCNH is now less than a month away from completing its move from 94.7 (now WNHN-LP) to a new full-power license on 91.5 in Bow. Once the classical format moves to the slightly more powerful 91.5 signal, the 94.7 signal will transfer to a group called "NH News, Views and Blues," chaired by former state representative Gordon Allen. The new WNHN will start out with nonstop blues and will eventually add local talk as well.

*WMUR's sister station in MASSACHUSETTS, WCVB-TV (Channel 5), was once the staid player on the Boston news scene, so it was something of an eye-opener last week when WCVB hired Michele McPhee as a reporter. McPhee made a name for herself as an outspoken Boston Herald columnist and parlayed that into a talk radio career, first at WTKK (96.9) and now at WRKO (680), where she's heard from 1-3 PM weekdays.

Out at the state's western edge, WKGT-LP (98.9 North Adams) is soon to be displaced by a new full-power signal there, but it's found a new home: licensee Gospel Train Ministry is applying to move the station to 107.1.

*And we note with sadness the passing of one of the busiest engineers in the region. Ken Jones had a hand in the construction and maintenance of plenty of broadcast facilities in western Massachusetts and Connecticut. While he'd most recently been working as a contract engineer, Jones had been in management with Clear Channel, at one point serving as a regional engineering manager for the company. He'd also worked for WGGB-TV and for Vox Communications.

Jones was 71 when he died last Wednesday, apparently of complications from what was supposed to have been routine surgery. In addition to his wife, Delores, Jones is survived by his son, Jamieson, who's also a broadcast engineer. Funeral services will be held tomorrow in Springfield.

*There's a new format on the air at what had been PENNSYLVANIA's last smooth-jazz signal: after pulling the plug a week ago on "Smooth Jazz 92.7," WSJW (92.7 Starview) relaunched last Monday with classic rock as "92.7 KZF," with new calls WKZF. The Hall-owned station enters a fairly crowded rock market in the Harrisburg/York area.

One of those other rock-based outlets has parted ways with its founding programmer. Chris Tyler was instrumental in transforming the former WHP-FM (97.3 Harrisburg) into "The River," WRVV, almost two decades ago - but he suddenly disappeared from the Clear Channel station's morning-drive slot last week amidst cutbacks that also claimed several on-air traffic reporters in the region.

*Duquesne University's sale of WDUQ (90.5 Pittsburgh) took another step forward last week when the FCC denied the objections filed by several listeners and groups upset about the public broadcaster's transfer to the new Essential Public Media group, and especially about the end of most of the jazz programming that long defined WDUQ. "Although the commission recognizes that WDUQ's program has attracted a devoted listenership," the decision said, "it is well-settled policy that the commission does not scrutinize or regulate programming, nor does it take potential changes in programming formats into consideration in reviewing assignment applications."

That is, indeed, longstanding FCC policy - and with the sale of the WDUQ license now having received Commission approval, the deal is expected to close within the next few weeks, bringing with it new calls for the station.

*In Philadelphia, WHAT (1340) has been silent for a week and counting now; its standards format, hampered by a weak signal, never caught on - and now the station is rumored to be heading for a Spanish-language format whenever it returns to the air.

*Dorothy Brunson is being remembered most prominently for her radio ownership in Baltimore, where she was one of several owners who made WEBB (1360, now WVIE 1370) a force in the black community. But Brunson, who died July 31 at 72, owned TV in Philadelphia as well, and it's believed that when she put WGTW (Channel 48) back on the air in 1986, she became the first black woman to own a TV station.

Brunson's radio career began in New York City in the early 1960s, when she worked in the business offices at WWRL, eventually becoming the station's assistant general manager before leaving in 1969 to become general manager of WLIB and WBLS, a post she held for almost a decade until departing for Baltimore.

In Philadelphia, Brunson acquired the facilities of the defunct WKBS-TV after Field Communications shut the station down in the early 1980s; she sold the station to TBN in 2004 for $7 million cash and the assumption of $41 million in debt.

  • EQUIPMENT WANTED

FM GEAR NEEDED -- Seeking two-bay low-power FM antennas (Jampro, PSI, Dielectric or others) at 96.5. Also looking for 1 kW FM transmitter, tube type OK. We pay shipping. Contact Allen, dba Alleo, [email protected] or 770-300-9287 (8 AM-9 PM).

You can have your ad here, for just a few dollars a week! Click here for information on the most economical way to reach tens of thousands of Northeast radio and TV people each week.

*It turns out that Cogeco and Quebec's provincial transport ministry aren't the only parties interested in returning two of CANADA's handful of AM clear channels to the air.

As NERW readers know, Cogeco and the transport ministry were poised to put the former CINF (690) and CINW (940) back on the air to serve as French- and English-language all-traffic signals to assist drivers navigating through Montreal construction traffic.

But while the ministry announced the impending launch of the stations as a fait accompli in a press release earlier this summer, the regulatory reality was a bit more complex: while Cogeco had acquired the former CINF/CINW transmitter facility in Kahnawake as part of its purchase of Corus' Quebec operations, the licenses for the two 50,000-watt AM signals had been surrendered to the CRTC back in 2009. And while Cogeco had hoped to restore the licenses quickly and quietly through a "non-appearance proceeding" at the CRTC, other broadcasters intervened - and that means those two AM channels now go up as part of a call for competing applications, which are due August 29.

*In Toronto, Fitzroy Gordon has calls now for his new signal at 98.7: he's using his own initials on the station, which will be CKFG. (There's precedent for that: the station that's now CHKT on 1430 started out as CKFH, named for founder Foster Hewitt.)

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.

One Year Ago: August 9, 2010 -

  • Eastern MASSACHUSETTS is already a pretty busy place for public radio. Regular NERW readers are well-acquainted with the format war that's now underway as big guns WBUR-FM (90.9 Boston) and WGBH (89.7 Boston) vie for listeners for their competing news-talk programming. But over on the music side, Boston's number-three public radio station is embarking on a big-time capital campaign designed to stake out a more prominent position in the region's noncommercial radio hierarchy.
  • WUMB-FM (91.9 Boston) will kick off a five-year, $7 million capital campaign at a gala fundraiser on the UMass Boston campus Wednesday night, featuring a catered dinner and performances by Judy Collins and Tom Rush. What's the money for? WUMB says the campaign "will fund new studio and offices for WUMB, provide a place for musicians to play on air in front of a live audience, improve the station's studio equipment, improve and expand the station's broadcast signals, create additional Internet streams, take advantage of new technologies, digitize the station's archive collection, acquire and digitize additional music archives, make the archives available to the community for enjoyment and research, create music education spaces for children, teens and adults, fund paid internships for UMass Boston students and, support the WUMB Endowment." The station (and its satellite signals on the North Shore, in Worcester and on the Cape) has already been through some big transformations in recent years, moving from its roots in acoustic folk music to a broader-based AAA format. And it's about to add a new signal: WUMG (91.7 Stow) just got its call letters assigned, and will soon be on the air as a share-time operation with WAVM (91.7 Maynard) at Maynard High School, bring at least a part-time WUMB signal to an area northwest of Boston.
  • In western NEW YORK, Buffalo's "Totally Gospel" group has ended its lease of Citadel's WHLD (1270 Niagara Falls) after four years of programming that signal with black gospel music. WHLD is carrying an automated standards format for now - and the Totally Gospel folks, who'd been programming WHLD from the historic Churchill Tabernacle building at 1420 Main Street that was the original home of WKBW-TV, have taken their programming to streaming-only for now. Their ultimate goal, at least according to a new page on their website, is to secure an FM frequency in western New York for the format.
  • Ithaca's ESPN affiliate is getting new owners, but Todd and Tina Mallinson are familiar faces at WPIE (1160 Trumansburg), where Todd has been the PD for a while now. The Mallinsons are doing business as "Taughannock Media, LLC" as they buy the station from Pembrook Pines, Inc. for $150,000. There's already a JSA in place between Taughannock and Pembrook Pines.
  • In northwestern PENNSYLVANIA, WNAE-FM (102.7 Clarendon) hasn't officially changed hands yet, but buyer Family Life Radio has already filed its application to relocate the class A station to Wattsburg, along the New York-Pennsylvania border on the fringe of the Erie market. The station's new facilities would be 3.5 kW/433' from a new tower right on the state line, just far enough from Erie to be fully spaced from WQHZ (102.3 Erie).
  • If it was a quiet week in the northeastern US (and it was), it was a fairly busy one in CANADA, where the CBC told the CRTC it won't be ready for the DTV transition planned for next summer. The CBC submitted a modified transition plan last week, asking regulators for an additional year (until August 31, 2012) to get its digital signals on the air in a dozen places around the country, including English-language transmitters in Windsor, Saint John/Fredericton, Charlottetown, Halifax and St. John's.
  • In Quebec, Cogeco is asking the CRTC for a waiver of its common-ownership policy as part of its planned purchase of most of Corus' radio stations in the province. Cogeco says that only by owning three French-language FM stations can it sustain the cost of operating CHMP (98.5), the last privately-owned Francophone talk station left standing in Montreal. Cogeco also says it will sell off two Quebec City signals, CJEC (Rhythme FM 91.9) and CFEL (102.1 Montmagny). CFEL is part of a three-station network that's been relaying Montreal's CKOI (96.9); Cogeco says it would transform the Sherbrooke CKOI relay, CKOY (104.5), into a rebroadcaster of French-language sports-talk CKAC (730 Montreal) with no local advertising.

Five Years Ago: August 7, 2006 -

  • An unusual weather system with winds that may have hit 120 miles per hour took down a radio tower in central MASSACHUSETTS last Wednesday. WESO (970 Southbridge) lost its 240-foot guyed tower in the town of Dudley when the "derecho" (a system of downburst clusters that are part of a heavy windstorm) ripped across southern New England. The National Weather Service says it was the first derecho in the region since 1995.
  • WESO went silent when the tower went down, but returned over the weekend at low power from a makeshift wire antenna. Chief engineer Rick Kenadek and engineering consultant Kurt Jackson were working to get a temporary tower up, and planning to replace the downed tower, which dated from 1955. Kenedek tells NERW that the winds loosened one of the tower's guy wires, bringing the rest of the structure down.
  • On the South Shore, the weekend was devoted to a celebration of the upcoming centennial of Reginald Aubrey Fessenden's Christmas Eve 1906 broadcast from Brant Rock in Marshfield. Saturday's highlights included a live WATD (95.9 Marshfield) broadcast from the Daniel Webster Estate and Heritage Center, featuring New England broadcasters past and present, including WHDH's Fred B. Cole (now 91), station owners Barry Lunderville, Dennis Jackson and Marshall Sanft, and a telephone hookup with a parallel Fessenden celebration taking place in Scotland. A gala party Saturday night was highlighted by the presentation of the first "Reginald A. Fessenden Broadcasting Award" to WBZ's Gary LaPierre, and several tables full of his WBZ colleagues turned out to salute LaPierre for the honor.
  • The week's other big story from the Bay State was, of course, last Monday's announcement that Greater Media, Nassau and Charles River Broadcasting had finalized the transactions that will give Nassau the WCRB call letters and classical format and the 99.5 Lowell facility that's now Greater Media's WKLB. The WKLB calls and country format will move to WCRB's present 102.5 Waltham facility, and Greater Media will get Nassau's WTHK (97.5 Burlington NJ), soon to become a full-market Philadelphia move-in. The sale price of WCRB to Greater Media hasn't yet been disclosed, but there's reliable word that the Nassau/Greater swap includes a $20 million cash payment from Greater to Nassau. In addition to the cash, Nassau will enter the Boston market for the first time with the WCRB acquisition. On its new 99.5 signal, WCRB's classical format will reach more deeply into southern New Hampshire (at the expense of coverage in downtown Boston, on the South Shore and in the western suburbs), linking up with Nassau's four-station "W-Bach" network on the Maine coast.
  • The big story in NEW YORK last week was Air America's announcement that it will change flagship stations at the end of August, when its current lease with Inner City Broadcasting's WLIB (1190) expires. Beginning September 1, most Air America programming will instead air on Access.1's WWRL (1600), displacing a daytime lineup there that currently includes leased-time health shows (10 AM-3 PM) and several syndicated talkers. WWRL's current morning show, featuring Sam Greenfield and Armstrong Williams, will remain in place, as will its weekend Caribbean music programming and, likely, its carriage of the late-night Alan Colmes show. So what will be heard on WLIB come September? Inner City's not saying yet, but the rumors are very strong that the station will end up with a non-Air America lineup of other progressive talkers, likely with the involvement of former Clear Channel Radio boss Randy Michaels.
  • Upstate, the Rochester broadcast community is mourning longtime WOKR (Channel 13) meteorologist Bill Peterson, who died Saturday (Aug. 5) at 58 after a long, public struggle with cancer, lung disease and heart disease. Peterson came to Rochester in 1982 from his native Wisconsin and never left channel 13, becoming the station's chief meteorologist, a post he held until his health problems forced him to retire in 2001. Even after he retired, Peterson's health was still the subject of regular updates on channel 13 (now WHAM-TV), and the station devoted much of its weekend newscasts to sharing memories of Peterson from staff and viewers. Not many broadcasters merit that level of coverage, but it's a tribute to the connection that Peterson forged with the community that it didn't seem a bit out of place. (The station's Monday 6 PM newscast will also be dedicated to Peterson.)
  • In western PENNSYLVANIA, the format didn't change at Connoisseur Media's WUSE (93.9 Fairview), but just about everything else at the Erie-market country station did. As of last Monday, "US 93.9" has given way to "The Wolf," with new calls WTWF. The station's airstaff is expected to remain in place, though it's running jockless right now.

10 Years Ago: August 13, 2001 -

  • The big news in NEW YORK came as no surprise, really; everyone in the business knew that ABC wanted WEVD (1050 New York) as the Big Apple flagship for ESPN Radio. Now we know the price and the terms under which control of WEVD will pass from the Forward Association to the Disney gang. ESPN programming will begin full-time on 1050 September 1, under an LMA that gives Disney the option to begin negotiations for a $78 million purchase of the 50,000 watt station any time in the next two years. Forward officials say their goal is to return to a focus on their print offerings (the weekly Forward), using the money from WEVD to support the struggling newspaper. The Forward Association reportedly wants to become a non-profit, according to the "Save WEVD" folks who have been fighting for months to keep the present quirky talk lineup in place on 1050. So what about those call letters? It's a safe bet that labor leader Eugene Victor Debs wasn't an Islanders fan, so we'd expect a possible change (though Disney never did flip its Radio Disney outlet on 1560 from the old "WQEW"). M Street beat us to the punch in noting that the logical "WSPN" is in use on FM up in Saratoga Springs, at Skidmore College's 91.1.
  • Elsewhere in NEW YORK, there are some unhappy listeners and viewers in the public broadcasting arena, thanks to a pair of decisions to merge operations in the New York City area. On the TV side, the board of directors at WLIW (Channel 21) on Long Island voted last week to approve a merger with Newark, N.J.-licensed WNET (Channel 13). By joining forces with the bigger WNET operation, WLIW officials say, they can avoid the massive financial burden of the upcoming DTV conversion. Long Island viewers say they're worried about losing the distinctive programming (in particular, British comedies) that WLIW has long offered. WLIW board member Anne Ellis resigned before the vote on the merger, and lawmakers are being asked to examine the deal.
  • On the radio side, program producers and listeners of WNYE (91.5 New York) are launching their own last-ditch effort to keep the city's Board of Education from handing operations over to the WNYC public radio folks. We've seen the e-mail petition they're circulating, and while we know the "Save WNYE" crew means well, a word of advice: your letters to the school chancellor would be better received if you call him "Harold" Levy and not "Howard"...
  • A few more bits of news from the city: John Fullam has resigned as general manager of Clear Channel's WHTZ (100.3 Newark) and senior VP for regional operations for Clear Channel. No replacement has been named. Fordham University's WFUV has been denied, again, in its attempts to put an on-channel booster for its 90.7 signal in Manhattan. And on the TV side, there's finally more DTV action: WPIX-DT 33 had its license to cover granted this week, while WNET-DT 61 is right behind.

15 Years Ago: New England Radio Watch, August 1/9, 1996

  • That loud sucking sound you're hearing near Boston's Copley Square is coming from the American Radio Systems headquarters, as ARS keeps buying and buying and buying. Within the last few weeks, ARS has spent about $67 million buying KXOA-AM-FM/KQPT-FM Sacramento, KRBT-FM/KNAX-FM Fresno, and KOQO-AM/FM Fresno. Now ARS has turned its attention back to home, spending a reported $24.9 million to buy WAAF (107.3)/WWTM (1440) from Zapis. WAAF targets the Boston market with a hard-rock format, serving a small niche, but one that it has all to itself. WWTM is all sports, with a signal that doesn't reach anywhere east of Worcester County very well. They join ARS' existing stable of stations: WRKO (680), its flagship talker; WEEI (850), which is all sports; WEGQ (93.7), the Lawrence-licensed 70s outlet; and WBMX (98.5), the hot AC "Mix 98.5."
  • WRCZ (101.7) in Pittsfield MA has returned to its original calls of WBRK-FM, and is using ABC's syndicated AC "Star" format as "Star 101.7." "FMedia!" reports "Z101" was the lowest-rated FM in Berkshire County.
  • After about 2 years as morning host of Boston's WMJX "Magic 106.7," Gary Dickson is headed off to Houston's oldies KLDE (94.5). The move brings Dickson back to his old employer, Entercom, for whom he had worked in Pittsburgh before coming to Boston as Tom Bergeron's replacement on Magic. Mike Addams moves across the hall from WMJX's sister station WBCS "Country 96.9" to handle morning duties on Magic, and Addams' former co-host, Tom Doyle, will keep things going on WBCS while Greater Media figures out how it's going to drop country from either WBCS or newly-purchased WKLB (105.7), probably within a month.

You can sponsor this weekly feature! Click here for information!

NorthEast Radio Watch is made possible by the generous contributions of our regular readers. If you enjoy NERW, please click here to learn how you can help make continued publication possible. NERW is copyright 2011 by Scott Fybush.