Tower Site Calendar now available!

April 17-24, 2003 (click here to see the Tijuana photos featured on CGC Communicator!)

Danforth Hill, Litchfield, Maine

We're still getting caught up from three weeks on the road, gathering lots of exciting new pictures and station visits for future installments of Site of the Week - but we didn't want to leave you with nothing this week, so why not a site that's in the headlines?

Danforth Hill in Litchfield, Maine, northeast of Lewiston and southwest of Augusta, has long been home to public broadcaster WCBB-TV (Channel 10), which signed on back in 1964 as a service of Colby College, Bates College and Bowdoin College. About a decade ago, WCBB merged with the statewide public broadcasting system to form Maine Public Broadcasting, known on air as "Maine PBS" to viewers of its five TV transmitters around the Pine Tree State. WCBB continues to provide Maine PBS service to a big swath of mid-Maine, stretching from the outskirts of Portland 35 miles away up to Augusta and Waterville and much of the mid-coast area as well. In 1999, it was joined by WCBB-DT (Channel 17), the first DTV outlet for Maine PBS.

Channel 10 is the middle tower in the photo of the towers, with the little channel 17 antenna visible on the right side of the tower just above the Maine PBS STL tower seen at right.

But that's not why we're featuring these pictures, taken on a gray day in February 2002, on the same trip that took us to the new WMTW-TV (Channel 8) site north of Portland - no, the news hook this week is the tower at left, a much newer facility.

WMPX-TV (Channel 23) signed on from that tower in the fall of 1999, owned by a company called Winstar and bringing Pax TV service to pretty much the same area WCBB serves, with cable carriage that extends throughout the Portland market. A year or so later, Pax worked out a deal with Gannett to manage its stations in markets where Gannett also had stations; in this case, it paired WMPX with heritage Portland NBC affiliate WCSH (Channel 6), with WCSH selling ad time on WMPX and running its newscasts on a delayed basis on channel 23.

And if you've been paying any attention at all to Maine TV in the last year or so, you already know that Pax bought WMPX from Winstar in 2001 and then put channel 23 (and its station in the U.S. Virgin Islands) up for sale last year, which is how this station ended up in the hands of a company called Corporate Media Consultants Group - just in time to become the Fox affiliate for southern Maine, after former Fox outlet WPXT (Channel 51) flipped to WB during a fit of corporate pique.

So that's why this tower is in the headlines this week: as of April 15, WMPX-TV has become WPFO, the source for Fox programming in Portland, Lewiston and Augusta - and now you can say you've seen where it comes from!

(By the way, there's another nearby site of interest: just down Oak Hill Road, a stone's throw from the Androscoggin-Kennebec county line, sits the tower of WCYY (93.9 Lewiston), which was itself in the headlines a few months ago when it picked up the soft AC programming that was lost when the Mount Washington transmitter site of WHOM (94.9) burned...)

Much more next week in Tower Site of the Week - stay tuned!

Want to see more neat sticks all year round? Nashville's WSM (at right) is one of the more than a dozen Tower Site images featured in the 2003 Tower Site Calendar, still available from Tower Site of the Week and

If you liked last year's edition, you'll love this one: higher-quality images (in addition to WSM, this year's edition includes Providence's WHJJ; Mount Mansfield, Vermont; Buffalo's WBEN; KOMA in Oklahoma City; WTIC, Hartford; Brookmans Park, England; WPAT, Paterson; Four Times Square, New York; WIBC in Indianapolis; WWVA in Wheeling, W.V.; WGN Chicago and more), more dates in radio history, a convenient hole for hanging - and we'll even make sure all the dates fall on the right days!

This year's edition is still available in limited quantities! And this year, you can order with your Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express by using the handy link below!

Better yet, here's an incentive to make your 2003 NERW/Site of the Week subscription pledge a little early: support NERW/ at the $60 level or higher, and you'll get this lovely calendar for free! How can you go wrong? (Click here to visit our Support page, where you can make your NERW contribution with a major credit card...)

 Click here to order your 2003 Tower Site Calendar by credit card!

You can also order by mail; just send a check for $16 per calendar (NYS residents add 8% sales tax), shipping included, to Scott Fybush, 92 Bonnie Brae Ave., Rochester NY 14618.

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