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October 25, 2004 (updated October 28)

They Did It! (And some radio, too...)

WEDNESDAY NIGHT/THURSDAY MORNING/START OF A NEW ERA IN BASEBALL UPDATE: "The World Champion Boston Red Sox." Roll that around the tongue for a while. Savor it. After 86 years, it's time. Congratulations to the Red Sox - and we're pointing the NERW-mobile east towards Boston to take in a victory parade that we've been waiting for for a very long time now. Check out a Very Special Tower Site of the Week later Thursday - and we'll see you next Monday after the celebration! (Guess we need to change our copyright notice now, too, but that can wait a few days...)

It's hard to imagine what could be more distracting to most of New England (and the vast expanses of Sox Nation beyond) than a Red Sox run at the World Series, so it's no great surprise that there's very little for us to report this week - which is just as well, because there's a ballgame to watch!

But we live to bring you broadcast news, so here's the skimpy little run of it for this most distracted week (with a promise to be back with much more next Monday, no matter how this whole heart-in-the-throat week ends....)

*Gotta start in MASSACHUSETTS, of course - where the big news (aside from the obvious) was a management shuffle at Viacom's WBZ-TV (Channel 4) and WSBK (Channel 38) that found general manager Ed Goldman heading for the showers after a long run up there on the second floor.

We can't be completely unbiased about this one here at NERW, since your editor worked under Ed in the mid-nineties when he had oversight of WBZ radio (and, for a time, the entire CBS lineup of AM stations, too.)

Goldman's replacement, Julio Marenghi, comes to WBZ/WSBK from the station manager post at New York's WCBS-TV (Channel 2); it brings him full circle in a career that began - no kidding - in the WBZ mailroom.

*It's a good week for Boston's WEEI (850), which gets the honor as Sox flagship station of being the only station allowed to carry the home-team radio call of the Series; the rest of the Sox network gives way to ESPN Radio's play-by-play - which means that even parts of the Boston market (which stretches west into Worcester County, far beyond 850's nighttime reach) have to listen to the national feed (or, worse, watch the Fox TV coverage with former '67 Cardinal Tim McCarver and Cards home broadcaster Joe Buck!) instead of the properly biased home team.

(And speaking of Worcester, we hear that WORC 1310 is carrying the Spanish-language Sox feed this week; we wonder if WORC would continue carrying the English Yankees network next year even if it weren't on the verge of being sold and flipping all-Spanish?)

One Boston connection to Sinclair's much-hyped "POW Story" presentation, which ended up airing in most of Sinclair's 40 markets on Friday night - the show (which Sinclair ended up turning into a discussion of the controversy it had created) was hosted by Jeff Barnd, former anchor at WLVI (Channel 56) and now anchor at Sinclair's WBFF (Channel 45) in Baltimore. NERW stands by our conclusion last week - the bottom line here is that the whole kerfuffle was more about getting publicity for Sinclair and its political views than it was about the program itself, whatever the nature of that program was going to be.

*Not that we condone this kind of thing, but there's a Red Sox banner flying from one of the WTLB (1310 Utica) towers in upstate NEW YORK as we go to press Sunday night. The Galaxy-owned standards station didn't put it there, and they're rather upset with whoever did climb the tower late last Wednesday night or early Thursday morning to do it, inasmuch as they were trespassing and rather seriously endangering themselves in the process. So, this public safety reminder from your friends at NERW: there's no reversing the curse that 5,000 watts of RF energy can put through you. Stay away from live towers!

(And yes, police in the Utica suburb of New Hartford are investigating the incident.)

Down in the big city - you know, the one with the only baseball team ever to drop a 3-0 lead in the postseason - Salem's shuffling programming at its two AM stations. wiping out the contemporary Christian music that's been heard on WWDJ (970 Hackensack NJ) and rebranding 970 as a second program stream for its religious WMCA (570 New York).

And there was no buyer for WABC's old Harris MW50A transmitter on eBay last week; it's been relisted at the same $7,000 starting bid.

*They weren't as unhappy as Yankees fans - and really, who could be this week? - but about 200 upset senior citizens were out protesting over the weekend in NEW JERSEY, calling on WCMC (1230 Wildwood) to reconsider its decision to flip from standards to oldies. The Press of Atlantic City reports that the protesters carried signs that read "What are we, chopped liver? Wait till you get old!" and were especially vocal about the disappearance of longtime WCMC morning man Jim MacMillan and his very local show.

*In PENNSYLVANIA, CBS is looking for a new radio affiliate in the Pittsburgh market now that KQV (1410 Pittsburgh) is switching to AP Network News. If KQV's move is at all motivated by CBS' perceived political leanings (the station is owned by right-wing activist Richard Mellon Scaife), the station's not saying so; meanwhile, the logical move that would put CBS newscasts on Viacom-owned KDKA (1020 Pittsburgh) hasn't happened yet and reportedly isn't in the offing, at least not right away.

*And up there in CANADA - you know, the country with only one major league baseball team (sorry, Montreal) and no NHL hockey either (er, sorry, Montreal) - there's one new radio station conducting on-air testing. CHSL (1610 Toronto) comes from the San Lorenzo Latin American Community Centre; it's reportedly testing with 250 watts before turning on the full kilowatt that it'll eventually run.

Meanwhile in Ottawa, which could probably use a good Sens game right now, the local radio outlets of the CBC and Radio-Canada said goodbye to one of the region's longest-running studio locations last week. Thursday's edition of All in a Day on CBO (91.5 Ottawa) was the last to be broadcast from the Chateau Laurier, the venerable railroad hotel that's been home to CBO and its predecessor stations (remember, the CBC began as the Canadian National Railways' radio network) since 1924. CBO and its sister stations (CBOQ 103.3, CBOF 90.7 and CBOX 102.5) move down the street to a new home at 181 Queen Street, and thus ends a very long bit of history.

And that's where we leave you - as we, too, wait for the end of an even longer bit of history. See you next Monday, one way or another...

*While we wait, how about a Tower Site Calendar 2005 update?

It's now for sale, among other outlets, at the NAB Store - yup, that was the 2005 edition on the counter in San Diego - as well as being on the racks at Universal Radio in Ohio.

And we're pretty sure the cover of the Tower Site Calendar 2006 has now been photographed - but we won't spoil the surprise just yet, will we?

This year's calendar begins with WSTW/WDEL in Wilmington, Delaware on the cover, ends with Sutro Tower in San Francisco on the inside back cover - and along the way makes stops at WNBF in Binghamton, CFNB in Fredericton, Poor Mountain in Roanoke, KXNT in Las Vegas, WBBR in New York, Gibraltar Peak above Santa Barbara, WDEV in Waterbury, Vermont, WRIB in Providence, WOOD in Grand Rapids, KFJZ in Fort Worth, KYPA in Los Angeles and the top of Chicago's Hancock Tower.

We're holding the price from last year, notwithstanding increases in printing costs and PayPal fees - just $16 postpaid ($17.32 including sales tax to New York addresses). And as always, it's free with your $60 or higher subscription to NorthEast Radio Watch/ You can use PayPal, below, or send your check or money order, payable to Scott Fybush, to 92 Bonnie Brae Avenue, Rochester NY 14618.

And here's an even better deal - We still have plenty of 2004 calendars left, so how about this? For just $20 postpaid ($21.65 in New York), we'll send you both the 2005 and 2004 editions. It's almost like getting an extra calendar free! (Or, if you just need the 2004 edition, that's still on clearance at $8 - and if you buy two 2004 calendars, your third is free!)

So why wait until the last minute? Why make us wait until the last minute? Why not let me park my car back in the garage where it belongs? Buy your calendars now, won't you?

Order the 2005 Tower Site Calendar for $16...
Order the 2005 and 2004 Tower Site Calendars together for just $20...
...or subscribe to NERW at the $60 level and get a FREE 2005 Tower Site Calendar
...and you can still order the 2004 Tower Site Calendar at our special clearance price of $8! (US and Canada only - e-mail us for overseas ordering information.)

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 (8.25%) 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 by phone.)

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 is copyright 2004 by Scott Fybush.