January 3, 2005
NERW's big 2004 Year in Review - now
available! Click here!
Bangor Flips to Classic Hits
*The new year brought a new format to MAINE,
where Cumulus flipped Bangor-market oldies WWMJ (95.7 Ellsworth)
to classic hits just after Christmas. Newspaper ads for "Classic
Hits I-95" had been running for several weeks, so the flip
wasn't much of a surprise for the market. Will new calls be on
the way to replace the old "Magic 95.7" identity? Stay
(NERW notes that the new I-95 keeps the Don Imus show from
its previous incarnation; we also note that the station's website
crashed our computer twice, so be warned.)
*There's a new morning team at WJYY (105.5)
in Concord, NEW HAMPSHIRE, where Jeanmarie Pavol is Nazzy's
new co-host for wakeups. Pavol comes to WJYY after a brief stint
at WFNX in Boston and an eight-year run before that as part of
the WGIR-FM/WHEB morning show; she replaces Bev Valentine, who's
now doing middays. And WJYY also ads Meegan Dee, herself a WGIR-FM
veteran, for overnights. (And WGIR-FM is itself promoting its
"new era," which is supposed to start today; it's all
apparently connected to the station's 25th anniversary as a rocker.)
*A CONNECTICUT non-comm is back
on the air after a short absence. WAPJ (89.9 Torrington) lost
its old studio space, but it came back on New Year's Eve from
new studios at 42 Water Street. WAPJ's still doing some simulcasts
of WMNR (88.1 Monroe) and WWUH (91.3 West Hartford), but it's
also promising more local programming. And it has a new translator
on the air: W286AP (105.1) is transmitting from downtown Torrington
with 150 watts.
Speaking of relays,
it's Connecticut Public Radio's WPKT (90.5 Meriden) that would
be rebroadcast on WNHU (88.7 West Haven) under the plan proposed
by WNHU GM Hank Yaggi. The plan's still drawing some controversy
from some of WNHU's music programmers, but Yaggi says it has
the support of WNHU's news staff, who'd get training from the
professionals at Connecticut Public Radio if the simulcast materializes.
Down the road at WQUN (1220 Hamden), morning host Ray Andrewsen
is the station's new general manager. (He'll stay on the air
in the mornings, too.)
A former Bridgeport talk host is out of a job in Seattle:
Fred Ebert was let go recently from his 7-10 PM slot at KIRO
(710) out there, and he's reportedly headed back home to be with
his family in Connecticut. Ebert had been at WICC (600 Bridgeport)
before heading west in 2003.
A former Connecticut news director is out of a job in Atlanta:
Micah Johnson, whose resume includes stints at WVIT (Channel
30) as well as WBRE (Channel 28) in Wilkes-Barre, became the
latest victim of Atlanta's WGCL (Channel 46) last week when he
lost the news director post at that very troubled CBS affiliate.
Johnson was the fourth news director WGCL has had in less than
three years; no word yet on his next stop.
And over at WEBE (107.9 Westport), Sundays will sound a little
different as the station axes Casey Kasem's countdown, extending
the shifts of Bob Gilmore (now 6-10 AM) and Michael Gayder (10-3)
*It was one of the first stations in the
region to go all-Christmas, and now the NEW YORK Capital
District's smooth jazz outlet appears to be the last to stay
with the format. WZMR (104.9 Altamont) said it would go back
to its urban AC/smooth jazz "Love 104.9" format when
the holiday was over, but as late as press time Sunday (Jan.
2), it was still in all-Christmas mode. Hmmm...
We hear that the new year brings a new format to WENU (1410
South Glens Falls) and WENU-FM (101.7 Hudson Falls), which are
replacing standards with soft AC, still mostly from a satellite
There's late word from Utica of a station sale, as the insatiable
Alan Chartock of Albany's WAMC (90.3) picks up WRUN (1150 Utica)
from Regent Communications for a reported $275,000. Expect WRUN,
which had been doing standards, to become the westernmost outpost
of the WAMC network that already stretches from central Connecticut
south to Oneonta and north to the Canadian border; NERW notes
that the area already gets nearly all the programming WAMC offers
via WRVN (91.9 Utica), part of the Oswego-based WRVO Stations
network, and we wonder if WRVO will raise any territorial exclusivity
issues over the move.
The new year also brings with it an updated EAS plan for New
York state, which Bud Williamson and the New York State Emergency
Communications Committee have been hard at work on. It includes
a few changes to operational area boundaries and some reassigned
monitoring assignments, and Bud tells us it's Amber Alert-ready,
too. If your station hasn't downloaded a copy yet, head over
to nyeas.net and check it
out, why don't you?
in Rochester, New Year's Eve brought a big farewell celebration
for WHEC (Channel 10)'s anchor of 29 years, Gabe Dalmath. His
usual newscasts at 5:30 AM and 5-6 PM were filled with tributes
and old clips, and Gabe ended up anchoring at 6 as well in place
of his successor, Brian Martin. After Dalmath's farewell words
at the end of the newscast, his co-workers came on to the set
with a cake, and the newscast ended with a well-deserved round
(A personal note from your editor: Gabe was instrumental in
getting me into this business in the first place, back in the
late seventies when he was just getting started as an anchor
and I was just a wee lad. Gabe was always welcoming during my
many visits to WHEC back then, and he's always been there with
an encouraging word later in my career. Best wishes to him as
he starts his next career in the mortgage industry!)
And there's still no sign of the new WHAM-TV call letters
on what's still - for now - WOKR (Channel 13) in Rochester. (Why
do we have a feeling the new identity will launch while we're
In Buffalo, Joe Schlaerth moves up from executive producer
to news director at WIVB (Channel 4) and WNLO (Channel 23), filling
the void left when former ND Chris Musial was promoted to replace
the stations' late general manager, Lou Verruto.
*In PENNSYLVANIA, Route 81's WCDL
(1440 Carbondale) began testing right around Christmas, and it
returns to the air for real today (Jan. 3) at noon, running a
classic country format from its studios in Carbondale's municipal
in Williamsport, WLYC (1050) spent a few days stunting before
making a format flip today, dropping Westwood One's standards
format and picking up ESPN sports.
ESPN aired once before in the market, on the now-defunct WFXX
(1450 South Williamsport); it'll be accompanied on WLYC by broadcasts
of high-school basketball and wrestling and by the Philadelphia
Phillies once the season begins.
And we'll know on Wednesday what the "all new" sound
of WRRK (96.9 Braddock) turns out to be; stay tuned to next week's
NERW for the whole story.
Speaking of next week, we're on the road all this week,
so next week's issue may not appear until sometime Tuesday. We'll
be back on schedule, for sure, on January 17. And in the meantime,
we hope you've had a chance to check out our comprehensive 2004 Year in Review -
and if you haven't, why not go have a look?
busy shipping out the Tower Site Calendar 2005 to
radio fans from coast to coast and far beyond (would you believe
Didn't find one under the tree this year? That's OK - we've
still got plenty, and we're shipping them out daily.
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.
(You can see some previews of this year's calendar images
at Tower Site
of the Week - where the archive listing's newly updated!)
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/fybush.com. You can use PayPal, below, or send your check
or money order, payable to Scott Fybush, to 92 Bonnie Brae Avenue,
Rochester NY 14618. (Please note that the prices below are valid
for U.S. and Canadian orders only; please e-mail for information
about overseas shipping.)
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!)
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!
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learn how you can help make continued publication possible. NERW
2005 by Scott Fybush.