And so we arrive at the true millennium's end, at the close
of a year that saw few major changes in the region's radio and
television scene, yet brought the promise of significant developments
in the decade that's just beginning.
2000 brought the end -- for now -- of the consolidation boom,
as the big groups found there was little room to get bigger.
It brought the close of several long-running Northeast broadcast
careers (we miss you, Charles!) and the beginning of a significant
expansion of the Canadian FM dial.
As the year drew to a close, it brought politics, too, in
the form of a Congressional vote that ensured LPFM would remain
the province of religious translators instead of local voices,
and in the form of a presidential election that ensured deregulation
would continue to be the order of business at the FCC for the
next four years.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves.
January: Clear Channel still had some room to
maneuver in the region in 2000, and upstate New York was one
of the big growth areas for the nation's biggest radio operator.
For $20 million, CCU entered the Binghamton market with the former
Majac group, one AM (WENE) and four FMs (WKGB, WMXW, WMRV, and
WBBI), none of them actually licensed to Binghamton.
Beasley Broadcasting entered New England by paying $6 million
to Peter Arpin's ADD Media for WRCA (1330 Waltham).
February: A big buy in the Bangor market, as
Communications Capital Managers assembled a big cluster from
two smaller ones: WVOM and WBYA from Moon Song and WKSQ, WLKE,
and WBFB from Mark Osborne and Natalie Knox. Total price tag:
just over $12 million.
Up in north central Massachusetts, Jeff Shapiro dealt WCAT
AM-FM in Orange and Athol to Citadel for $875,000; just down
the road, Central Broadcasting sold WINQ to Aritaur.
Here in New York, Floyd Dykeman sold venerable religious FM
WJIV Cherry Valley to Jon Yinger's Midwest Broadcasting for $1.3
million, while Howard Green exited Elmira by selling WENY AM-FM
to White Broadcasting for $1.5 million.
March: George Souhan exited Seneca Falls broadcasting
by selling WSFW AM-FM to Family Life Ministries, which traded
the stations to George Kimble's Radio Group for WLLW Clyde. Price
Clear Channel unloaded some of its "spare" properties,
passing Northampton's WHMP AM-FM to Saga, Rhode Island's WWRX
to Steve Mindich's Phoenix group, and working out a complicated
deal with Regent that gave that group Albany's WQBK/WQBJ, WTMM,
WGNA AM-FM and WABT, plus 3 Michigan stations, in exchange for
11 Ohio and California stations and $67 million cash. (Clear
Channel also planned to spin WTRY 980 to Chase, but found later
on that it could keep that signal.)
Vox Media entered the Glens Falls market by buying nearly
the whole thing, picking up WMML, WHTR and WZZM from Starview
media and WNYQ, WENU, WHTR and WBZA from Bradmark.
Downstate, Arthur Liu's Multicultural paid Bonita Bequet $850,000
for Long Island's WNYG, while Nassau made plans to buy Aurora's
Westchester and Connecticut stations for $185 million, never
guessing that the market would turn before the deal could close.
Up in Maine, Communications Capital Managers added one more
station to its Bangor cluster, picking up WGUY Dexter from Innovative
Advertising Consultants for $1.475 million. Farmington's WKTJ
also got new owners; Marc Fisher and Nelson Doak took over that
little community operation.
April: Vox kept growing, entering western New
York and adjoining Pennsylvania with a group of stations that
included Dunkirk-Fredonia's WDOE and WCQA and Jamestown's WKSN-WHUG.
Arthur Liu shed one of his New York City stations, trading
WKDM (1380) to Mega Broadcasting in exchange for two Washington,
DC stations and $24.5 million.
So much for independent FMs in Buffalo: holdout John Casciani
sold country WNUC to giant cable operator Adelphia.
May: Clear Channel filled in another big gap,
dropping $24 million to pick up the ten stations of Straus Media
in the Hudson Valley (though the final price tag would be only
$18 million after several of the stations were spun off.) The
San Antonio gang also grew in Syracuse with the $5 million buy
of Cram's WVOA.
J.J. Jeffrey added to his Atlantic Coast group with the $3.5
million purchase of Portland's WLOB and Rumford's WLLB/WLOB-FM,
some of the Carter stations that never made it to closing in
The year's first big TV deals saw Entravision enter Hartford
by paying $26 million for WHCT (though bankrupt seller Astroline
ended up with just a fraction of that money, the rest going to
two license challengers).
The massive CBS/Viacom merger put Boston's WSBK in the same
family as WBZ-TV, and put CBS in charge of New Bedford's WLWC,
Radio One LMA'd Boston's WILD; the actual sale would come
June: Way up north in New Hampshire, Berlin's
WMOU was saved from permanent silence when Arnold Hanson Jr.
and Stephen Griffin bought the little AM from Bob and Gladys
Clear Channel spun WCKL/WCTW Catskill and WHUC/WTHK Hudson
to Concord Media for $6 million, then turned around and grabbed
Kingston's WGHQ/WBPM and Poughkeepsie's WBWZ/WRWD as part of
a $65 million purchase of Roberts Radio. Sabre Communications
solidified its cluster in the Southern Tier, paying $1.8 million
for Bilbat's WHHO/WKPQ Hornell.
Up in Littleton, N.H., Bruce James turned his LMA of White
Mountain FM's WMTK into ownership.
July: Saga picked up most of Ithaca, paying
$13.4 million for Eagle's WHCU, WTKO, WYXL, and WQNY. Galaxy
added one more station to its Syracuse group as Ed Levine paid
Robert Short $3.75 million for WRDS.
Down on Long Island, Peter Ottmar's AAA added two more FMs,
paying $2.7 million for MAK Communications' WBSQ and WBAZ.
ABC finally entered New England, though only in Radio Disney
form with the $49.8 million purchase of Hibernia, including Boston's
WMKI, Rhode Island's WHRC and Connecticut's WDZK.
Clear Channel set down stakes in the Bangor market, paying
Communications Capital Managers $10.2 million for the group it
had spent the spring assembling. A few hours north, McDonnel
Smith picked up Presque Isle's WEGP.
Robert Howe bought Bennington's WBTN(AM) from Vermont Public
Radio with a promise to return it to local programming, while
Vox added one more station in the Pioneer Valley as it bought
WPVQ Turners Falls from Cardwell Broadcasting.
August: Vox grabbed three more in western New
York, picking up Olean's WMNS, WMXO and WRLP from Magnum. Binghamton
dentist Paul Titus agreed to sell WINR to Clear Channel after
a deal to trade frequencies with Citadel's WNBF and WKOP fell
through. Rochester's WWWG passed from American General Media
to HHH Broadcasting for $975,000. Over in Albany, Ernie Anastos
added WMVI Mechanicville to his three-station group, while to
the south in Kingston, Clear Channel spun WBPM to Concord for
The big TV deal was Fox's purchase of Chris-Craft's TV stations,
putting New York's WNYW and WWOR under common ownership.
Up in Buffalo, Sinclair announced its own revised duopoly
plans, paying $51.5 million for Grant's WNYO to pair with its
New Hampshire's most powerful AM, Derry's WDER, changed hands
from Spacecom to Blount.
September: The biggest single-station deal of
the year in the region was the long-rumored sale of Manchester's
WMUR-TV to Hearst-Argyle, netting seller Imes Communications
$185 million. For $185 million, Canadian, Metromedia CMR sold
its four Montreal stations (CINF, CINW, CFQR and CKOI) to Corus,
while down the street Standard bought CHOM and CKGM from the
Clear Channel moved west from its new Bangor cluster, adding
Cumulus' WFAU, WCME, WKCG, WABK and WTOS in the Augusta area
(though still leaving a big gap between that cluster and its
next stronghold in New Hampshire).
Binghamton's WBNG-TV and three other Gateway Communications
stations were sold to SJL, while an hour or so away, Delaware
County Broadcasting sold its WDLA AM-FM, WDHI and WIYN to growing
group operator BanJo Communications.
October: The Hudson Valley radio scene, already
abuzz over Clear Channel's purchases, was rocked again when Rob
Dyson announced the sale of his Crystal group to Aurora. For
$55 million, the Aurora folks got to move north from Westchester/Putnam
towards Poughkeepsie and the Catskills with WEOK/WALL, WCZX/WZAD,
WPDH/WPDA, WRRV/WRRB and Kingston's WKNY, all just a few weeks
after announcing that the sale of the Westchester/Connecticut
cluster to Nassau was off.
Vermont and New Hampshire had their share of sales, with Clear
Channel paying $11 million for Bob and Cheryl Frisch's WTSL,
WGXL, WVRR and WXXK, Family Broadcasting selling WGLV to Vox,
and Dynamite selling WRRO to the Addison Broadcasting Company
On the Spanish-language broadcasting front, Entravision picked
up WUNI-TV Worcester from Jasas for $47.5 million, while TV Azteca
announced a $37.5 million purchase of WSAH-TV Bridgeport that
was never consummated, leaving the upstart network without a
flagship in market numero uno.
And we can't forget the $50,000 spin of Carter's WLLB Rumford
from J.J. Jeffrey's Atlantic Coast to Richard Gleason's Mountain
Valley Broadcasting, can we?
November: It wasn't the biggest deal of the
month, but the $5 million sale of Nash's WILD Boston to Radio
One was certainly the longest in coming. Out in Fitchburg, Live
Air bought WEIM from Frank Fillipone.
Clear Channel filled more Vermont gaps, paying Excalibur $5.8
million for the Rutland cluster of WSYB/WZRT, WWWT/WCVR and WLCQ.
LIN Broadcasting ended the long WNEQ saga in Buffalo (for
now, anyway) by agreeing to pay $26.2 million for the station,
with an option to take sister station WNED-TV instead (for an
additional $5 million) if the FCC won't switch the noncommercial
reservation in Buffalo to WNED's channel 17.
Across the border in Canada, Telemedia bought Affinity's CKTB/CHTZ/CHRE
in St. Catharines, CHAM in Hamilton, and CKSL in London.
December: A few big deals went down at year's
end, including the $1.1 billion sale of USA Broadcasting to Univision,
dooming the upstart independent WHUB-TV Marlborough in favor
of "Univision Duo."
Across the border, the CRTC gave its approval to BCE's C$2.3
billion purchase of CTV. On a smaller scale, Paul Allen's Vulcan
Ventures dropped $100 million for One-on-One's three stations,
including Boston's WNRB.
Clear Channel opened the checkbook again, spending $3.5 million
in Maine for the Orne family's WMCM/WRKD Rockland, $1.1 million
up the coast for Scott Hogg's WNSX Winter Harbor, $2.15 million
in central New York for Kenneth Roser's WOWZ-WOWB and WLFH, and
agreeing to pick up Vermont's WMXR and WCFR at year's end, too.
Eastern Media bought WESO in Southbridge back from Evergreen.
Up in northern Vermont, Bob Steele sold WMOO and WIKE to Northstar
Media. John Bulmer traded his upgraded WWFY in the Barre market
to Vox for WDOE and WBKX in the Dunkirk, N.Y. market and $775,000.
On the TV side, Clear Channel sold Providence's WPRI to Sunrise,
while LMA partner WNAC went from Smith Broadcasting to Sunrise
partner STC. And up in Canada, CHUM Group paid C$800,000 for
Lindsay, Ontario's CKLY.
January: One last-minute 1999 change happened
too late for last year's review, as WVVE Stonington (New London)
ditched oldies for active rock December 29, becoming WAXK, "Rock
The first development of 2000 came just seconds into the year,
as daytimer WKZE in Sharon, CT popped on the air for a well-heard
The dial spun in New Hampshire's capital city, as Concord's
WKXL-FM moved from 102.3 to 107.7, ditching the WNHI simulcast
that had been on the latter frequency (as WRCI) and flipping
102.3 to country as WOTX, "Outlaw."
Religion gave way to standards in Albany on January 9 when
Crawford's WDCD 1540 returned to the WPTR calls as "Legends."
Standards also made a comeback at WMSA Massena, replacing an
AC format there.
Entercom consolidated its Buffalo radio newsrooms, flipping
WGR to all-sports, leaving WBEN as the only commercial radio
news source in the Queen City and throwing several WGR staffers
out of work. Entercom also ended the satellite sports on WWKB,
leaving the 50 kilowatt flamethrower as a temporary simulcast
of hit radio WKSE-FM for several months.
Two New England veterans said goodbye in January, with Al
Needham retiring after decades in the WESX (Salem) newsroom and
George Taylor Morris being shown the door after a stint as PD
of WBOS (which, we'd add, once more ended the year without a
A set of heritage calls returned to Boston January 24 with
the debut of the "new, new" WMEX on 1060 Natick, providing
a new radio home (for a while, anyway) for Jerry Williams, Gene
Burns, and Upton Bell. The WJLT calls and religious format that
had been on 1060 moved to the former WRPT (650 Ashland).
Call changes: Up in Maine, the WCLZ calls were replaced by
WTPN at 98.9 Brunswick, then landed on 95.5 Topsham to replace
WXGL. Rhode Island Disney affiliate WDYZ (1450 West Warwick)
became WHRC ("Hercules"). In the Catskills, WWHW ditched
Weather Service broadcasts for AP all-news as WDNB.
Up in Canada, CFMO (101.1 Smiths Falls) dumped soft rock for
modern rock as "XFM," later changing calls to CIOX.
Out in London, classic hits "The Hawk" and dance "Energy
Radio" traded dial spots, with the Hawk moving from CFHK
103.1 to CKDK 103.9 and Energy doing the opposite.
Feburary: More changes at WBOS, as morning host
Robin Young left Morrissey Boulevard, but still no sign of the
oft-rumored format changes.
Down on Long Island, Ralph Tortora and Donna Donna landed
at WBAB just as PD Eric Wellman left. Ralphie Marino moved from
afternoons at Boston's WJMN to mornings at New York's WKTU. Kevin
Hilley departed Concord's WJYY for a brief stay at Albany's WCPT,
while Maynard High School's WAVM and UMass/Boston's WUMB tangled
over the 91.7 frequency in Boston's far western suburbs.
March: The "Jaws" theme brought an
end to the "Arrow" on the New Hampshire seacoast, as
WXBB/WXBP resurfaced as "the Shark," WSHA/WSAK.
The sale of George Souhan's WSFW AM-FM brought programming
changes, beginning with a sentimental tribute to the old guard
and ending with the move of WLLW ("The Wall") from
93.7 Clyde to the old WSFW-FM 99.3 signal. 93.7 went religious
as Family Life's WCOV, while WSFW(AM) went to satellite standards
for a few months.
Oldies returned to the New London market when Hall's WTYD
dumped soft AC and its old calls for WKNL "Kool 101."
Rhode Island also-ran "The Hawk" ditched classic
rock and the WHKK/WHCK calls for a minor shift to classic hits
"Z100" as WZRI/WZRA. Of greater note in the Ocean State,
veteran WPRI-TV anchor Walter Cryan did his last newscast March
At WBOS, Shirley Maldonado took over as PD, and even though
her last stint with Greater Media was programming smooth jazz
WSJZ, there was still no format change at 92.9.
Buffalo's WBEN and its Entercom sisters moved out of their
old homes in the city (for WBEN and WMJQ, the old NBC-built studio
on Elmwood Avenue) to an Amherst office park. Down the street
in Williamsville, country WNUC took on a new image as "the
Bullet, high caliber country."
Call changes: Rockland County's WLIR(AM) to WRCR; Watertown's
WWLF to WBDI (to match "Border" CHR sister WBDR); Auburn
Disney outlet WKGJ to WWLF (to match Syracuse sister WOLF); and
in Peterborough, N.H., WNHQ to WFEX as the station flipped to
a simulcast of Boston's WFNX.
New on the air: Sound of Life's WLJH (90.9 Glens Falls); WGBH's
WNAN (91.1 Nantucket, on March 15); and low-power Allston-Brighton
Free Radio (on AM 1580, March 11).
April: The AC "Magic" on WMXR/WCFR-FM
in the Upper Valley area of Vermont and New Hampshire disappeared
April 7, replaced briefly by "Quickradio" (a stunt,
of course) and permanently by country as "Bob." Across
the state, WXPS in the Burlington market ditched country to become
the year's only convert to smooth jazz (in this region, anyway).
Central Vermont's newest station found a permanent format when
WEXP (101.5 Brandon) hired Jay Gadon as general manager, flipping
from automated CHR to classic rock as "the Fox."
Buffalo's WMJQ shifted AC gears, ditching "Q102.5"
for hotter AC as WTSS and "Star," and allowing Brockport's
WASB-FM to grab the WMJQ calls (albeit still simulcasting WASB
Up in Conway, N.H., WBNC AM-FM switched from country to oldies.
In Maine, Bangor's WWBX and WABI were crippled by a fire in their
On the TV dial, Liz Walker announced cutbacks in her WBZ-TV
schedule, giving up the 5 and 11 PM newscasts to do the noon
show and attend to her family.
New to the air: WNSX (formerly WAKN) Winter Harbor, Maine,
simulcasting WMDI Bar Harbor. New calls: WCKP granted to the
91.9 Putney VT CP.
Gone: CIQC (600) and CKVL (850) Montreal, ending their simulcasts
of the new CINW 940 and CINF 690 at midnight April 23.
May: Berlin, New Hampshire's WMOU (1230) went
silent while its owners looked for a buyer. Down in Portland,
Hal Knight departed WPOR (101.9) after more than a quarter-century.
In Albany, Clear Channel killed classic rock WXCR (102.3),
flipping to its prefab "Kiss" format May 26 (and playing
flyswatter noises, a dig at competitor WFLY). New WKKF calls
Crosstown, Tele-Media turned WZEC (97.5 Hoosick Falls) from
a simulcast of Pittsfield's WBEC-FM into a clone of Albany's
WCPT, playing modern AC for the Bennington market.
The CRTC granted two new licenses in Ontario, for a smooth
jazz station on 94.7 in Hamilton and for a new station on 107.5
On TV, WLWC in the Providence market swapped its WB affiliation
June: WUMB and WAVM buried the hatchet, announcing
a deal to share time on a powered-up WAVM 91.7 signal in Maynard.
Little WPNT 1600 in East Longmeadow dropped its simulcast of
WAQY-FM to do travel information for the summer, rented out to
Six Flags amusement park. Over in Worcester, WORC-FM (98.9) switched
from classic rock back to oldies, getting out of the way of sister
classic rocker WWFX.
Up in Canada, the big changes were in Fredericton, N.B., where
country CKHJ moved from FM (105.3) to the AM/FM simulcast (1260
and low-power 95.5 and 103.5) that used to be CHR CIHI. Replacing
CKHJ on the big FM signal: AC "Fox" CFXY. Over in Ontario,
CKDX Newmarket dropped country for rhythmic oldies.
The CRTC announced the winners of the last new licenses in
Toronto. Michael Caine's CHWO (1250) got the big prize of 740
AM, while Denham Jolly got 93.5 FM for urban and Aboriginal Voices
Radio got 106.5 FM for native programming.
Buffalo's WWKB dropped the FM simulcast of WKSE for business
talk, still keeping leased-time talk on weekend mornings, truckers'
shows overnight, and a smattering of sports.
The FCC released the first group of LPFM applications, including
those for Maine and Rhode Island.
July: Jukebox Radio learned from the FCC that
its unusual way of feeding translators (buying a primary 100
miles away to serve a translator that overlooked Manhattan) was,
while technically kosher, not going to be permitted to continue.
What will that mean for primary WJUX (99.7) in Monticello? We
still don't know.
New York's WKDM (1380) went silent, sending its calls down
to Washington in exchange for WNNY (more on this later in the
fall). Up in Owego, WEBO (1330) ended a few years as an AM modern
rocker to go standards from new studios downtown. Over in Elmira,
WENY (1230) ditched talk for oldies. On the shores of Lake Champlain,
WDOT (1070 Plattsburgh) became WLFE, simulcasting the FM of the
same name in St. Albans.
Rhode Island's WLKW (550 Pawtucket) applied for WBZU, then
went back to its old WICE calls instead. Way up in Monticello,
Maine, WREM (710) went rock.
Satellite radio made its first big talent grabs in the region,
as XM hired WRKO programmer Kevin Straley and WBCN/WZLX veteran
Up in Canada, the CRTC approved the return of 1220 in Cornwall
as a "new" station, using the facilities CJSS abandoned
when it moved to FM in 1999.
August: The month's news began on the TV side,
with the August 1 debut of indie WHUB-TV, replacing home shopping
WHSH on channel 66 in Marlborough. Just a few days later, on
August 4, Charles Laquidara said farewell to Boston, doing his
last "Big Mattress" show on WZLX after more than three
decades there and at WBCN.
Northampton's WHMP-FM became active rock WLZX, "Laser."
To the north in Vermont, Wilmington's WMTT dropped its partial
simulcast of WRSI Greenfield to return to its original calls
of WVAY, simulcasting WEXP from Rutland.
In Maine, the country simulcast on WCME and WCTB was replaced
by a relay of the sports format from Skowhegan's WSKW.
After decades in Erie, Pennsylvania radio, Myron Jones handed
over the keys to WJET-FM and WFGO to Nextmedia.
Up in Canada, the CRTC approved a slew of new stations in
New Brunswick: a move to FM for CKCW Moncton, a second FM for
crosstown competitor CJMO, a new French outlet in Moncton on
99.9, and two religious low-power FMs there as well. In St. John,
the CHSJ folks were granted a second FM on 97.3, as well as a
new FM over in St. Stephen, across from Calais, Maine.
September: The WFNX network entered Rhode Island
September 7 with the demise of classic rock on WWRX 103.7. Up
in Central Massachusetts, WCAT-FM Athol switched from hot AC
to 60s and 70s oldies.
Syracuse's WRDS, under new ownership, stunted with country
as "Big Cow" before replacing its urban format with
soft AC as "Sunny 102." In Albany, the WTRY calls left
AM radio after half a century, replaced on 980 by sports as WOFX.
George Kimble took his four Finger Lakes AMs (WCGR, WGVA, WSFW,
and WAUB) to a mostly-simulcast news and talk format as the "Finger
Lakes News Network." Poughkeepsie's WEOK (and Middletown's
WALL) ditched talk for sports.
In Southington, Connecticut, WNTY (990) became the talk of
the message boards with a brief silent period (brought about
by a dispute with a leased-time operator) and a switch to hip-hop
"Blaze 990" for much of its day.
The big news, though, came from New York's WOR, where John
R. Gambling was shown the door. His September 11 show marked
the end of more than seven decades of "Rambling with Gambling"
on New York morning radio.
Call changes: Connecticut's WMMM to WSHU (officially, after
some months of using the call unofficially), Fredonia's WCQA
to WBKX, "the Bull," and Olean's WMNS to WOEN.
New on the air: CIWV Hamilton, with smooth jazz, and CHST
London, CHR "Star," both Sept. 1; public radio WCAI
Woods Hole, Sept. 25.
October: The region's AM stations looked for
some new programming ideas this year, and Citadel brought one
interesting idea to Syracuse's WNSS, flipping the station from
AP all-news to a simulcast of Webcaster comedyworld.com.
In New York City, Spanish-language all-news radio made its
debut on WNNY (1380). Over in Port Jervis, WDLC (1490) began
simulcasting sister FM WTSX. Out on Long Island, WFOG Riverhead
returned from a long silence to simulcast WRCN-FM. Across Long
Island sound, WSUB (980) traded talk for ESPN sports, while up
in Springfield, the Six Flags broadcasts on WPNT (1600) gave
way to a simulcast of co-owned WHMP Northampton under new calls
WHNP. Ernie Anastos began a new AC format in Albany on WMVI as
"Sunny 1160," while to the north in Glens Falls, WBZA
(1410) became WENU, simulcasting the standards on WENU-FM.
Sports came to FM in Maine, where WCLZ in Topsham began simulcasting
WJAE-WJJB, and in western New York, where Adelphia flipped WNUC
to sports as WNSA.
More changes on FM: The "Bug Country" trimulcast
in the Mohawk Valley became a quadcast with the debut of WBGK
(99.7 Newport Village). The upgraded signal of WWFY (100.9 Berlin
VT) went country as "Froggy," serving Barre and Montpelier.
In Syracuse, rimshotter WHCD dropped smooth jazz to return urban
to the market as WPHR, "Power 106.9."
On TV, WWDP in Norwell went Spanish with Telemundo.
In Canada, Corus flipped Barrie's CHAY from soft AC to dance
as "Energy." In Quebec City, Yves Sauve was granted
a new AM 1060 signal, replacing the long-gone CJRP. John Wright,
in partnership with Rogers, won the fight for 105.7 in Kingston,
Ontario. Montreal's CIEL 98.5 became CKOO, "Kool."
One more call change: WSLK Saranac Lake, to WYZY.
November: After a good ratings book at a few
stations that pioneered the format, the 80s pop sound landed
in the Northeast, preceded by an election-night format change
in Rochester that put the oldies sound of WBBF (98.9) on what
had been classic rock WQRV (93.3 Avon) and standards WEZO (950).
Later that week, WBBF left the 98.9 signal, replaced by 80s "Buzz"
and the WBZA calls. (WQRV and WEZO then became WBBF-FM and WBBF,
restoring the heritage call to its proper place on the AM dial.)
The 80s sound also made it to Long Island, as part of a broader
rock-AC format that replaced country on WMJC, now "Island
94.3." In the Hudson Valley, standards landed at WHUC in
Hudson and WKIP in Poughkeepsie, while Hudson's WTHK dumped country
for oldies as "Cruisin' 93.5" and Catskill's WCTW split
its "Cat" AC format from no-longer-sister-station WCTJ
Classical on AM? Marlin brought its favorite format to Hartford,
replacing the FM simulcast on WCCC (1290) -- though Howard Stern
remained on the station in the morning, creating what has to
be one of the strangest transitions in a broadcast day anywhere.
Bennington's WBTN (1370) returned to local operation after
a year of Vermont Public Radio simulcasting.
Over in New Hampshire, WNTK (1020) ended its simulcast of
its FM talk sister, replacing it with a nifty Americana format.
Elmira's WENY-FM dumped its own satellite AC format to simulcast
satellite AC from Corning's WCBA-FM.
New to the air: WKZA Lakewood-Jamestown, with hot AC as "Kiss,"
and Conestoga College's CJIQ (88.3 Kitchener-Waterloo).
December: The 80s trend continued, with Albany's
WABT (104.5) dropping rhythmic oldies to go "Buzz,"
followed by Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's WSHG/WWFH.
Clear Channel made its first big move in the Hudson Valley,
replacing "Thunder Country" on WTHN and "Cat"
AC on WCTJ with CHR as (what else?) "Kiss."
Back on the air: Elmira Heights' WEHH, albeit on 1600 instead
of its old 1590, and Toronto's 740, testing as CHWO after being
denied the CFPT calls it wanted.
In Utica, WRUN changed simulcasts from WFRG-FM's country to
the news-talk of sister AM WIBX.
Gone to XM: WBCN's Bradley Jay.
Call changes: Hartford's WHCT to WUVN and Univision, Binghamton's
religious WJIK to WIFF.
And at year's end, two UPN affiliates switched to WB. In Syracuse,
the change at WNYS leaves no UPN outlet in the market, while
in Connecticut, WTXX takes WB but sends UPN to New Haven's channel
59, changing from WBNE to WCTX.
That's the list of what happened in 2000 in our region...but
the Year in Review doesn't end here. What will satellite radio,
consolidation, and the LPFM fight do to the industry, and what
can broadcasters do to respond? Click
here for NERW's opinion...in our Year End Rant!