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April 25, 2005
Taricani Honored in Vegas
*The RHODE ISLAND television reporter who
spent four months under house arrest after refusing to give up
the source of a controversial videotape was hailed as a journalistic
hero last week in Las Vegas.
WJAR (Channel 10)'s Jim Taricani was a last-minute addition
to the roster of speakers at the Radio-Television News Directors
Association and National Association of Broadcasters' conventions,
and he used the opportunity to call for the adoption of a federal
"shield law" to protect journalists' sources.
Had such a law been in place, it would have kept Taricani
from being convicted of contempt of court after he defied a Rhode
Island judge's order to reveal the source of the tape that exposed
a corruption ring in Providence's city government. Taricani was
fined $85,000 and sentenced to six months in prison, which was
reduced to four months of home confinement because of Taricani's
health issues (he underwent a heart transplant a few years back.)
RTNDA invited Taricani and WJAR news director Betty-Jo Cugini
to Las Vegas as soon as he was released, and Taricani said he
was delighted to accept. "It's great to be here - it's great
to be anywhere outside home," he told the news managers
as he spoke at their opening breakfast Monday.
Taricani and Cugini said NBC management could not have been
more supportive during the trial and the confinement that followed,
including paying Taricani's fine and legal expenses. Taricani
is expected to be back at work at WJAR this week.
have returned to Manchester, NEW HAMPSHIRE with a format
flip at WKBR (1250 Manchester); it had been carrying talk and
ESPN sports, but now it's "Oldies 1250," taking up
the format abandoned a few months ago when WQLL (96.5 Bedford)
went to classic rock as "the Mall," WMLL. Woody Woodland's
morning show remains in place on WKBR.
*In MASSACHUSETTS, Greater Media has
a new PD for WBOS (92.9 Brookline), as Dave Douglas takes over
Michele Williams' old job. Douglas was the PD at WAAF (107.3
Worcester) a few years back, and he's worked in Seattle and San
Diego as well. (And NERW notes that all three stations lean towards
the hard edge of the rock spectrum, which makes Douglas an interesting
choice for a station that once proclaimed itself to be the home
of "rock without the hard edge."
Out there beyond the Cape, WMVY (92.7 West Tisbury) made some
changes last week that show the power that Webcasting now has
for at least a few small stations with unique formats. The Martha's
Vineyard-based station promoted station manager/PD Barbara Dacey
to the new post of "Director/Worldwide Programming,"
where she'll focus on the custom streams the station now makes
available at mvyradio.com.
Production director P.J. Finn takes over the PD reins for the
Meanwhile, WRZE (96.3 Nantucket) names David Duran as its
new PD/afternoon host to replace Shane Blue, who's now at Boston's
Kiss 108; Duran comes over from WFHN (107.1 Fairhaven)'s afternoon
slot, where Michael Rock now takes over. (Rock was the PD of
WKKB 100.3 before it was sold and flipped to Spanish.)
*In western NEW YORK, the rumor mill
is buzzing again this week about potential changes to the struggling
oldies format at Entercom's WWKB (1520 Buffalo), with word of
the resignation of PD/afternoon jock Hank Nevins, who's apparently
heading off to the world of PR.
Just south of Rochester, there's good news for Bob Savage's
WYSL (1040 Avon); he got word from the FCC last week that he's
been approved to take WYSL from 2500 watts to 20,000 watts by
day. WYSL will drop to 13,200 watts during critical hours and
remain at 500 watts after dark from its current four-tower array;
the new signal's expected to be on the air within a few months.
Down in New York City, "Miss Info" is back on the
air at WQHT (97.1), four months after the morning show blow-up
there (over the "Tsunami Song") that led her to boycott
former co-worker Miss Jones and the rest of the morning show
crew. "Info," aka Minya Oh, now has her own show on
Saturday mornings from 8-noon on Hot 97.
And a tip of the hat to our colleague Scott Jameson, who's
been chronicling the radio landscape in central New York on cnyradio.com for the last
four years, in addition to jocking on WSEN (92.1 Baldwinsville).
Scott announced Friday that he's suspending regular updates to
the site, and we'll miss it greatly.
*Mark down June 11-12 in your calendar for
an historic broadcast in NEW JERSEY. That's when the Armstrong
Tower in Alpine will play host to a commemorative celebration
of the life of its builder (and the inventor of FM radio), Major
Edwin Howard Armstrong. Philadelphia engineer Steve Hemphill
has built a Phasitron FM transmitter that operates in the "old"
FM band (42-50 MHz), and he's secured a temporary experimental
authorization from the FCC to run 250 watts from the Armstrong
tower under the very appropriate calls WA2XMN. The station's
been on the air from time to time at 44.1 MHz, but in June it
will operate all weekend at 42.8 MHz with reconstructions of
vintage Armstrong broadcasts. Stay tuned as we bring you more
details on this very neat event as they're announced...
*A landmark tower in western PENNSYLVANIA is
no more. Engineers at WPIC (790 Sharon) nicknamed the station's
550-foot Truscon tower "Old Shakey" as it entered its
old age, and in recent years the station was unable even to get
climbers to set foot on it to take care of painting and other
maintenance. The end of the line for the 1947-vintage tower came
last Wednesday (April 20) after one of its base insulators failed,
forcing the Cumulus station to topple the tower. The 100,000
pounds of steel came down with one big "thud," bringing
down various STL antennas and the old WYFM (102.9) top-mounted
antenna with it. (WYFM moved a few years ago, and is now transmitting
from the tower of sister station WHOT-FM in Youngstown, Ohio.)
As for WPIC, it's running 400 watts from a temporary longwire
antenna designed by retired engineer Jerry Starr, and it's looking
for a site for a new tower to return to its usual 1000 watt daytime
(50 watts at night) operation.
(More pictures of the WPIC site, past and present, on this
Site of the Week here at fybush.com.)
*In CANADA, the CRTC's finished sorting
through several applications for new stations in the Simcoe-Brantford-Kitchener,
Ontario area, and here's how it shakes out: CIKZ (99.5 Kitchener-Waterloo
ON) will be allowed to move to 106.7, where it will experience
less interference from cross-border Buffalo signals (and get
a bit of a power increase, too, going from 1600 watts/140 m at
99.5 to 2000 watts/200 m at 106.7). The CRTC also approved Bel-Roc
Communications' application for a new signal in Haldimand County
(Simcoe), though Bel-Roc will have to find an alternate frequency
from its proposed use of 106.7. Applications for the use of 106.7
by CJTW (94.3 Kitchener) and by Telephone City Broadcasting (CKPC/CKPC-FM
Brantford) were denied.
(NERW notes: The 106.7 frequency opened up when the CRTC allowed
CHCD Simcoe to move off 106.7 to 98.9 in order to escape interference
from Buffalo's WYRK on 106.5. When CIKZ signed on at 99.5, we
predicted some nasty interference with co-channel WDCX in Buffalo
- and stations in the area operating on or near other high-powered
Buffalo channels such as 94.5 and 92.9 have also experienced
interference problems. Could the band simply be too full to squeeze
anything more on the air in that area?)
*Our special clearance pricing continues
for fans of the Tower Site Calendar 2005. We're well aware
that many of the calendar's fans buy it for the pictures, not
the actual calendar pages...but that doesn't change the fact
that by this time of the year, we're not exactly shipping 'em
out the door at a breakneck pace, and Mrs. NERW would very much
like a corner of her living room back.
So while she rediscovers the floor beneath those boxes of
calendars and we begin to line up the images for Tower Site Calendar
2006, you get the very first crack at our Calendar
Clearance Deal for 2005.
Here's how it works:
instead of our list price of $16 for this fabulous, full-color,
glossy calendar, you can now pick one up for just $8,
postpaid. ($8.66 to New York State addresses.) Better yet, if
you order two calendars at this special clearance price, we'll
throw in a third for free - $16 for THREE calendars, with nine
exciting months of 2005 yet to go. (That's $17.32 in NYS.)
Maybe you've already hung your original 2005 calendar on the
wall, and you're thinking it would be nice to have another copy
to stick away in pristine condition. Maybe you really want to
frame that spectacular September page right now - but you still
need a calendar later this year. Maybe you just want to help
Mrs. NERW clean out the living room and give happy NERW baby
Ariel more space to practice walking.
Whatever your motive, now's your big chance, because while
there are still 2005 calendars left, there may not be any in
a few weeks. (Remember, the 2002 and 2003 editions were total
sellouts, and I've had to turn away several of you who were hoping
to add these now-rare calendars to your collections.)
And we've got two more great deals for you, too. We still
have a few 2004 calendars left, and while they're getting rare,
Mrs. NERW wants them gone - so they're yours, in pristine condition,
for just $5 postpaid. (Buy two and the third is free!) Or order
the 2004 and 2005 calendars together for just $10, postpaid.
(What a deal!)
(New York orders pay $5.41 for the 2004 calendar, $10.83 for
the 2004 and 2005 together.)
And as always, the calendar's free with your $60 or higher
subscription to NorthEast Radio Watch/fybush.com. In fact, we've
got a great deal for new or renewing $60 subscribers: we'll send
you two 2005 calendars if you subscribe now. Or,
if you'd prefer, we'll hold a brand-new Tower Site Calendar
2006 for you with your subscription, and you can be among
the very first to see the 2006 edition when it's released this
summer. Remember, we count on your subscription dollars to keep
NERW coming each and every Monday morning!
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
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.)
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2005 by Scott Fybush.