June 28, 2004
Millennium Adds Two in NJ
COLORADO SPRINGS -- Yes, NERW's on the road again -
and if you've ever harbored secret fantasies of seeing a "Tower
Site of the Week" all about the AM sticks of Pueblo, Colorado,
we've got the goods. (Not that there's much to be said for most
of the AM sticks of Pueblo, but that's a story for another day.)
In any case, before we get to the week's news, a schedule update:
there will be no regular NERW column on Monday, July 5, when
we'll be in Fort Wayne, Indiana. NERW will return on Monday,
July 12, and if there's major breaking news between now and then,
we'll post it right here.
NEW JERSEY, the major breaking news this past week was
something insiders had been expecting for a long while now: the
sale of WCHR-FM (105.7 Manahawkin) from Nassau to Millennium.
In addition to classic rock "Hawk," though, Millennium's
getting another FM outlet for its $40 million, as Nassau throws
in smooth jazz WOJZ (104.9 Egg Harbor City) to the deal.
*In NEW YORK, we now know who'll replace
the syndicated Doug Banks in mornings on WBLS (107.5 New York).
Rick Party's coming up from Miami's WEDR (99.1) to take over
the shift on July 6. He'll be joined by Sonia Colon, who's headed
uptown from WQHT (97.1). And new in middays at WBLS is Adimu,
who heads east from KKBT (100.3) in Los Angeles.
Up in Rochester,
Clear Channel's getting ready to swap facilities at two of its
On July 4, classic hits "Fox" WFXF (107.3 South
Bristol) will take over the big 50 kW class B signal now occupied
by WNVE (95.1 Honeoye Falls), while modern rock "Nerve"
will relocate from the market-blanketing 95.1 to the rimshot-on-a-good-day
class A 107.3 signal that emanates from 35 miles out of town.
(Some back story here: A few years ago, Clear Channel moved
95.1 from the perch atop Bristol Mountain that it had occupied
for half a century, changing its city of license from South Bristol
to Honeoye Falls and co-locating it with WVOR 100.5 on Baker
Hill in Perinton, much closer to the city. To make that improvement,
though, the 107.3 signal was effectively sacrificed, leaving
its Honeoye Falls city of license and Bloomfield tower site to
go to the more distant Bristol site and become the replacement
"sole local service" - cough, cough, hack - to the
1200 or so souls of South Bristol.)
Amazingly, despite having no airstaff, not much signal and
almost no promotion, 107.3 placed respectably in the ratings
as "The Fox," enough so that Clear Channel's giving
the format a shot at the big stick and a better chance to shave
some numbers off Infinity's heritage classic rocker WCMF (96.5)
and Entercom's classic hits WBZA (98.9).
As for the Nerve, we suspect its fate was sealed when Clear
Channel took Howard Stern off its airwaves in February; will
it be anything more than a placeholder on 107.3 in its new incarnation?
Up north, WPAC (96.7 Canton) and WNCQ (102.9 Morristown) are
swapping call letters; we hear this is a prelude to 96.7's power
increase (well, effectively - technically, 102.9 is upgrading
and swapping frequencies with 96.7, but that gives even us a
headache to contemplate) and a swap of formats that will bring
country down to 96.7.
*A new station is on the air in PENNSYLVANIA:
WRXV (89.1 State College) is testing at half power and waiting
for its license to cover. It's doing Christian rock as "Rev
And we're sorry to report the passing of Paul Brown, the longtime
voice of Erie public broadcaster WQLN. Brown came to the station
as its second employee in 1967, following a career that had begun
21 years earlier at WAZL in Hazleton and then at WMGW in Meadville.
Brown served as PD of WQLN-TV (Channel 54) and hosted "Two
Cents Worth" on WQLN-FM (91.3). Brown, who died June 12
at 79, retired from WQLN in 1998.
after NERW went to press last Monday, Vox made some big changes
at its remaining stations in western MASSACHUSETTS, killing
off the very soft AC at WMNB (100.1 North Adams) and the AC at
WUPE (95.9 Pittsfield) and replacing both with an oldies simulcast
"Whoopee" has a full airstaff: Joanne Billow moves
to mornings there from the morning show at sister WBEC-FM (105.5
Pittsfield). Alex Seseske, who was doing WUPE's morning show,
moves to middays, followed by PD Dave Isby in the afternoon and
A.J. Kelley at night.
Over at Live 105.5, Billow's former co-host Steve Murray moves
to afternoons and OM Mike Patrick takes over mornings.
One valley over, we hear Air America Radio is coming to Northampton
and the Pioneer Valley next week. That's when Saga's WHMP (1400
Northampton)/WHNP (1600 East Longmeadow)/WHMQ (1240 Greenfield)
will pick up some Air America programming. Still no sign of a
*In CONNECTICUT, we hear WKZE (1020
Sharon) is dropping its classic rock format and going with a
simulcast of sister AAA WKZE-FM (98.1 Salisbury).
*A call change in RHODE ISLAND: in
a few days, "Swing FM" WADK-FM (99.3 Block Island)
will become WJZS, differentiating itself from sister station
WADK (1540) in Newport.
*A MAINE morning show host is
running for vice president: Pat LaMarche, who does wakeups on
WEBB (98.5 Waterville) under the air name "Genny Judge,"
was picked this past weekend as the Green Party candidate to
replace Dick Cheney in an undisclosed secret location. It's not
her first run for office; the former WGAN talk host ran as the
Green candidate for governor of Maine a few years back, too.
*Just one note from CANADA: we see
on Milkman's site
that the former CISD (107.7 Iroquois ON) is unloading its equipment
now that it's gone silent. Contact Jim
Millard if you're in the market for the station's studio
and remote gear...
*Finally this week, we know it's already
June - and almost July, even - but perhaps a bargain price will
convince you that you still need a 2004 calendar. After all,
the 2004 Tower Site Calendar is more than just a
bunch of boxes with dates in them - it's also a collection of
some of the niftiest broadcast transmission facilities in North
Still on the way for later this year are WMT Cedar
Rapids IA, WPTF Raleigh NC, WAJR Morgantown WV, the mighty 12-tower
night site of 1190 in Dallas (KFXR, at least this week), Lookout
Mountain in Denver (shown at left), CKLW in Windsor and WBT in
Charlotte, not to mention lots of fun anniversary dates for stations
large (Channel 9 in New York) and small (WFAR Farrell PA).
And as we get ready to put the 2005 edition of the calendar
into production, we're offering a special deal to clear out our
stock of 2004 calendars. For just $8 postpaid (New York
orders add 66 cents sales tax for a total of $8.66), you can
still own a 2004 Tower Site Calendar.
Maybe you need an extra for the office, or you've marked up
your copy and you'd like a pristine one to stash away, or perhaps
you've been meaning to get one as a gift for that special someone.
Or perhaps you're just cheap (hey, this is radio, after
all!) Doesn't matter; the point is, this is your best chance
to get a 2004 Tower Site Calendar at a bargain price.
Order this week, and we'll even throw in a third calendar,
free, if you order two. (That's $16 postpaid, $17.32 in
New York State!)
We'll also throw in an extra calendar, free, for anyone
who subscribes to NERW at the $60 level. Remember, your support
is what keeps NERW coming to you week after week.
Now what more could you want? (A live jock at 3 AM, maybe?)
Don't want to order by credit card? You know the drill by
now - make those checks payable to "Scott Fybush,"
be sure to include sales tax ($0.66 per calendar) for New York
state calendar orders only, and send them along to 92 Bonnie
Brae Avenue, Rochester NY 14618. (Sorry - we can't take orders
Thanks for your support!
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
2004 by Scott Fybush.