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May 16, 2005
Preston & Steve Back on Philly Airwaves
PENNSYLVANIA morning team returns to the air today after
a contentious absence. The "Preston and Steve" show
has been off the airwaves since February 24, when Radio One pulled
the plug on modern rock "Y100" (WPLY 100.3 Media),
sending Preston Elliot and Steve Morrison packing along with
the rest of the staff.
Elliot and Morrison had already reached a deal to move to
Greater Media's WMMR (93.3 Philadelphia) before the end of Y100,
and the station's demise sent the duo to court to try to get
out of their six-month noncompete deal with Radio One, a wish
that was granted last week.
With Preston & Steve's arrival at WMMR comes the departure
of the "Philly Guys" morning show; in a note to listeners
on WMMR's website, PD Bill Weston writes, "We recognize
the individual talents that made up the Philly Guys. Its
also the right combination of talents that is key to a successful
morning show. This chemistry and/ or complementary
aspect was lacking in the Philly Guys."
Philly Guys cast member Joe Conklin stays with WMMR to produce
comedy bits, while Gina Crash and Vinnie the Crumb are out the
Meanwhile on the
Y100 front, the "Feztival" concert that was a signature
of the station for so long was cancelled over the weekend (it
was supposed to have taken place Sunday) for lack of ticket sales,
despite a strong push from the "Y100Rocks.com" website
that has attempted to keep the Y flag flying since the station
signed off the airwaves.
And WMWX (95.7 Philadelphia) indeed changed calls to WBEN-FM
*Up the road in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market, Mike Krinik
is leaving the PD post at Entercom's "Froggy" WGGY
(101.3 Scranton) after six years on the job to head west as Capitol/Nashville's
West Coast regional director.
Down the road at Citadel, Jules Riley isn't renewing her contract
as operations manager of the cluster and PD of country "JR"
WSJR (93.7 Dallas).
And there's a call change in Scranton that marks the end of
a very long tradition in the market: Entercom flipped WGBI (910
Scranton) to WBZU last week, the first call change for that station
in some 80 years. The WBZU calls are being parked as the result
of a format change in Madison, Wisconsin (where the former WBZU
105.1 is now "Charlie" WCHY), much as sister station
WKZN (1300 West Hazleton) is parking calls last used in New Orleans.
For listeners, WBZU and WKZN will still be known as "WILK,"
simulcasting the "WILK News-Talk Network" from WILK
(980 Wilkes-Barre); it's been quite a few years since the WGBI
calls made much impact in the market.
Over in the Altoona market, the FCC says Forever of PA, LLC
can't transfer the licenses of its four stations to the reorganized
entity known as Forever Broadcasting, LLC, because the deal would
put Forever Broadcasting over the ownership limits in the market.
Forever's principals, Donald Alt and Kerby Confer, argued that
the reorganization of ownership wouldn't change the existing
balance of the market, since the Forever of PA stations (WFBG
1290, WFGY 98.1, WRKY 104.9 and WLTS 94.5 in State College) are
already commonly operated with the Forever Broadcasting stations
in the market - WVAM 1430, WWOT 100.1 and WALY 103.9. But the
FCC says the reorganization would substantially change the voting
rights of Alt, Confer and the two other principals, Carol Logan
and Lynn Deppen - and that constitutes a change in control of
the stations that's not allowed under current ownership rules.
One ownership change in the market that's not running into
any FCC issues: the $80,000 sale of WKMC (1370 Roaring Spring)
from Cary Simpson's Allegheny Mountain Network to David Barger's
Handsome Brothers Inc. closed a couple of weeks ago. Ray Rosenblum
of Pittsburgh brokered the deal, which makes WKMC a sister station
to WRTA (1240 Altoona), WBXQ (94.7 Cresson) and WBRX (94.3 Patton).
Brinkman is still well remembered in Pittsburgh from his days
at KQV (1410), and now he's stepping down from his longtime role
as PD of Dallas oldies station KLUV (98.7). Brinkman, who says
he's tired of 16-hour days, will remain in afternoon drive -
but someone else will have to figure out how to replace KLUV's
legendary morning man Ron Chapman when he steps down later this
year. (And by the way, it's quite the Steel City crew at KLUV
- Brinkman is followed in evenings by fellow Pittsburgher John
*In NEW YORK, WXRK (92.3 New York)
overnight jock Lee "Crazy Cabbie" Mroszak is going
to prison for 12 months for tax evasion. "Cabbie" is
a frequent guest on the Howard Stern show, and he made a big
chunk of money in 2001 in an amateur boxing match with former
Stern cast member "Stuttering John" Melendez. That
wouldn't have been a problem - except that Mroszak never paid
taxes on his winnings, and bragged about it on the Stern show.
Mroszak pleaded guilty in December; by the time he's out of prison,
Stern will be history on K-Rock, and it'll be interesting to
see if there's a K-Rock for Cabbie to return to at all.
Over at troubled sister station WNEW (Mix 102.7), Rick Stacy
was sent packing at week's end. Stacy had survived a succession
of formats at WNEW going back to the early days of "Blink."
Air America flagship WLIB (1190 New York) is bolstering its
staff; in addition to recently-arrived GM Scott Elberg, the station
this week added Bob Perry (formerly of Univision Radio) as general
On the TV dial - or is that radio? - WNYZ-LP (Channel 6) began
testing from its Long Island City transmitter site last week,
with its audio carrier (at 87.76 MHz - an eagle-eyed NERW reader
points out that the station has a 10 kHz plus offset on its frequency)
being widely heard throughout the metro area, so far just with
tones. WNYZ-LP will be leasing time to Spanish-language programmers
when it begins regular operation.
Some Radio People on the Move in the Albany market: at the
Pamal (Albany Broadcasting) cluster, Stacy Rogers moves up from
GM to regional VP, with Dan Austin adding GM duties to his national
sales manager title. Over at Galaxy's WRCZ (94.5 Ravena), former
Utica PD Stew Schantz is settling in to the PD chair, adding
some new rock to the station's classic rock rotation. (Among
the items in his in-box - dealing with an FCC inquiry into alleged
bad language from afternoon host J.R. Gach.)
In Syracuse, WAQX (95.7 Manlius) has hired a new assistant
PD/MD/afternoon drive jock, as Don Kelley arrives from Albuquerque
(where he was at the former KTZO, now "Ed FM" KDRF)
to replace the departed Ryno.
A few new(ish) translators in the Southern Tier: WCDW (100.5
Susquehanna PA) adds a new translator on the west side of Binghamton,
W296BS (107.1 Endwell). Over in Corning, WLVY (94.3 Elmira) adds
a Corning translator, W229AS (93.7) - and WLVY has a new morning
co-host, too, as PD Mike Strobel replaces Mike Jacobs alongside
Gary Knight in wakeups.
In Jamestown, the FCC grants the transfer of WKSN (1340),
WHUG (101.9) and WQFX (103.1 Russell) from Vox to MediaOne over
the objection of one of the stations' competitors, WKZA (106.9
Lakewod). WKZA argued that the deal (which puts the stations
in the same hands as WJTN 1240 and WWSE 93.3) creates too much
market concentration; the FCC says the deal meets its interim
contour-overlap standards, and since Jamestown isn't an Arbitron
market, there's no way to analyze the deal that way.
A well-known Buffalo voice has died. Frank Benny was a newsman
at WGR (550) from 1965 until 1985, surviving some ordeals that
would have ended many careers (including an early-seventies arrest
for a bank holdup) to build a long career in the Queen City.
Benny, born Frank Biniak in Chicago, also worked at WYRK and
WBEN before heading to Florida in 1989. He was working as news
director at WENG in Englewood, Florida when he died May 9. Benny
*In CANADA, there's a new morning
show at CKGE (94.9 the Rock) in Oshawa, Ontario, as former CITY-TV/TSN
sports guy John Gallagher joins Amy Beer on "John Gallagher
and Beer for Breakfast." (Is that Canadian, or what?)
A Niagara Region broadcast pioneer has died. Robert E. Redmond
founded CHSC (1220 St. Catharines) in 1967 and CHSC-FM (105.7,
now CHRE) a year later. He later put CJEZ (EZ Rock 97.3) in Toronto
on the air. Redmond sold his stations to Standard Broadcasting
a few years back; he died May 7 at 76.
*In VERMONT, WNCS (104.7 Montpelier)
night jock Jamie Canfield adds music director duties.
In Bellows Falls, the St. Charles Educational Association
has asked the FCC to cancel its construction permit for an LPFM
*In NEW HAMPSHIRE, there's a bittersweet
end to the saga of WSMN (1590 Nashua): the station's longtime
studio building on West Hollis Street is reportedly being used
for practice by local fire departments, and will eventually be
burned to the ground; the site will become a housing development
sooner or later.
*In RHODE ISLAND, Cranston mayor Steve
Laffey is now suing the state Board of Elections over the ruling
that Laffey's (now cancelled) Friday talk show on WPRO (630 Providence)
constituted an improper campaign contribution by WPRO's owner,
Citadel. Laffey argues that there's no FCC prohibition on sitting
officeholders hosting shows if there's not an election underway,
and he says his right to free speech is being violated by the
ruling. (Steve Kass has expanded his 9-11:45 AM show back to
five days a week in the meantime.)
*In MASSACHUSETTS, Entercom's WEEI
(850 Boston) has signed the Boston Red Sox for the 2006 season,
in a deal expected to be worth between $8-12 million. The rights
deal will, as expected, move the Sox affiliation in Providence
from WPRO to Entercom's WEEI-FM (103.7 Westerly).
Radio (and TV) People on the Move: Jon Keller has started
his new gig as a political commentator at WBZ-TV (Channel 4),
returning to WBZ (where he was the producer of the David Brudnoy
Show on the radio side) after many successful years on WLVI (Channel
56). Over at Greater Media, Kevin Redding joins WROR (105.7 Framingham)
for afternoons; he'd been at WAAF most recently, doing weekends
and vacation fill. And in Plymouth, WPLM-FM (99.1) operations/production
manager Pat Cronin is leaving the station, effective June 1.
The new schedule
on WGBH (89.7 Boston) takes effect May 31, and it creates a bit
more duplication with rival public radio outlet WBUR-FM (90.9
Boston), as WGBH adds a third hour of Morning Edition from 8-9
AM weekdays, cutting an hour off its classical music programming.
The jazz on "Eric in the Evening" will start an hour
later as well, as WGBH adds Christopher Lydon's new "Open
Source" talk show.
*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
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2005 by Scott Fybush.