Recent Issues:

December 27, 2004

December 20, 2004

December 13, 2004

December 6, 2004

2004 In Review

9/11 Plus One: The World Trade Center Broadcasters Recover

DCRTV - DC, Baltimore Radio & TV

Your message here - contact to reach thousands of NERW readers every week!

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 tuned...

(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) instead.

*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 service.

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 and check it out, why don't you?

Here 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 of applause.

(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 away?)

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 building.

Over 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?

*We're busy shipping out the Tower Site Calendar 2005 to radio fans from coast to coast and far beyond (would you believe New Zealand?)

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/ 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!)

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 2005 by Scott Fybush.