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September 12, 2005
Changes Ahead At Morey's LI Group
*The exact details are still murky, but it appears
that some big changes are imminent at the Long Island radio stations
owned by The Morey Organization. For the last few days, active
rock "Bone" WBON (98.5 Westhampton), dance/top 40 "Party"
WDRE (105.3 Calverton-Roanoke) and modern rock WLIR (107.1 Hampton
Bays) have been running jockless, and on Friday all three stations
will reportedly drop their current formats.
That prospect has the message boards buzzing, especially where
"Party 105" is concerned. (Dance music fans take their
format very seriously, after all.) It appears that most, if not
all, of the staff at the stations is out of work as well. More
on this in next week's NERW.
There's another change out there on the island: WLIE (540
Islip) has dropped its local morning show with David Weiss and
Amanda Clark, replacing it with programming from Connecticut-based
Business Talk Radio, which leases out the remainder of the station's
daytime hours as well. WLIE still has some local leased-time
programming in evening hours, but BTR says it's likely to exercise
an option to buy the station outright eventually.
*It's been a pretty quiet week elsewhere in NEW YORK,
but we can't let the week go by without pausing for a moment
to remember all those lost four years ago in the attacks on the
World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Flight 93. We remember,
in particular, the six broadcast engineers - Isaias Riveras and
Bob Pattison of WCBS-TV, William Steckman of WNBC, Donald DiFranco
of WABC-TV, Steve Jacobson of WPIX and Rod Coppola of WNET -
who were killed while doing their jobs high atop One World Trade
Center that bright September morning.
(Our coverage of broadcasters' recovery from 9/11 remains
available online via the links at the left of this page. It's
a tribute to how quickly broadcasters were able to restore their
signals that the article we put up three years ago remains pretty
comprehensive. Since then, there's been little progress towards
a new master tower for the TV stations that used the World Trade
Center; instead, broadcasters have adapted to the limited space
and resources at the Empire State Building to put full-power
analog signals back on the air and to restore DTV service to
the nation's biggest market.)
*It was anything but a quiet week in RHODE ISLAND
radio, where what was supposed to have been a benefit broadcast
for Hurricane Katrina's victims turned into an on-air brawl between
WPRO (630 Providence) talk host DanYorke and his predecessor,
John DePetro, who now does late mornings on Boston's WRKO (680).
Yorke, a frequent on-air critic of DePetro, was broadcasting
from a furniture store in West Warwick when DePetro, who'd been
listening to the show, showed up, grabbed the microphone and
began castigating Yorke on the air, saying he'd been offered
the WPRO job and had turned it down.
WPRO PD David Bernstein came on the air afterwards to say
that the station stood behind Yorke - and the whole thing goes
down as a reminder that Rhode Island talk radio, just like Rhode
Island politics, is a most unusual thing.
(Need further evidence? Crosstown talk rival WHJJ 920, reinventing
itself after a year or so as a mostly-syndicated progressive
talker, announced that it's found a new local talk host for late
mornings: former "Survivor" contestant and Rhode Island
native Helen Glover takes the 10AM-1PM slot beginning tomorrow,
replacing Air America's Jerry Springer and the first hour of
Al Franken. This is the first of a series of changes at WHJJ,
we hear; expect an announcement about another local host later
*One of the most respected names in MASSACHUSETTS
broadcasting has been picked as the new leader of troubled
public radio station WBUR-FM (90.9 Boston).
Paul LaCamera spent 33 years at WCVB-TV (Channel 5), most
of that time at the helm of what's widely regarded as one of
the best commercial TV stations in the country. LaCamera just
retired from WCVB a few weeks ago, and the timing couldn't have
been better for WBUR, which is still recovering from the turmoil
that marked the end of the tenure of Jane Christo, whose long
run at the station rivaled that of LaCamera's at WCVB.
LaCamera will take over as WBUR's general manager on October
3, replacing interim GM Peter Fiedler.
*Congratulations to NEW HAMPSHIRE's
WOKQ (97.5 Dover), where "The WOKQ Morning Waking Crew"
with Mark Ericson and Danielle Carrier were nominated as Small
Market Personalities of the Year in the upcoming CMA awards.
Best of luck...
*A few bits of news from VERMONT:
WWBI-LP (Channel 27), which actually serves Burlington from across
the lake in Plattsburgh, N.Y., has changed ownership and affiliation.
After a few years as a Pax affiliate, the station's now part
of the Daystar religious network. Word of God Religious Fellowship
is paying Susan Clarke's SMC Communications $1.2 million for
And we're sorry to report the death Sept. 1 of Paul Ford,
whose day job was as a schoolteacher, but whose early-morning
job for 20 years was as the wakeup host on WWSR (1420 St. Albans).
Ford, who also worked at WLBZ and WFAU in Maine, was 83.
*A few new callsigns in PENNSYLVANIA,
starting in Scranton, where the initials of former owner Doug
Lane are disappearing from WWDL (104.9), which becomes WWRR.
There are a bunch of new calls for new stations, too: WWWH
(88.5 Halifax), WXFR (88.3 State College) and WZZH (90.9 Honesdale).
*In eastern CANADA, Rogers has unveiled
the call letters and studio sites for its trio of news-talk FM
stations that will soon be launching in the Maritimes. CJNI (95.7)
will be at 6080 Young Street in Halifax, CHNI (88.9) at 55 Waterloo
Street in Saint John and CKNI (91.9) at 70 Assumption Blvd. in
Moncton. The stations are expected to sign on sometime next month.
While we're out that way, CITA (105.9 Moncton) applies to
add two relay transmitters for its religious programming, in
Sussex, N.B. (107.3, 48 watts) and Amherst, N.S. (99.1, 50 watts).
North of Toronto, CJLF (100.3 Barrie) has been granted a power
increase, going from 1800 watts to 18.7 kW (with a directional
antenna). It's also been granted a relay transmitter at Huntsville,
with 750 watts at 98.9.
And we send our best wishes to our radio-industry webmaster
colleague Milkman, of Milkman
UnLimited, as he awaits surgery later this week. (How's this
for dedication? He's keeping his site updated from a laptop in
his hospital room...)
Site Calendar 2006 is just back from the printer, and we've
got to say, we're especially proud of the way this one turned
Once again, we bring you more than a dozen images from the
fybush.com collection that have never seen print before, including
that nifty nighttime view of New York's WMCA that graces the
cover. You also get to see WSB, KTAR, Mount Wilson, CBV and many,
many more, plus all those fun dates in radio and TV history,
civil and religious holidays, a handy full-page 2007 calendar,
and the always-popular hole for hanging.
And we do it all with no increase in price, for the fourth
The calendars are shipping now, so there's no need to wait
until the holidays to enjoy all that tall steel and all that
broadcast history. Order now and beat the rush!
You can get one free with your 2006 subscription
to NERW at the $60 level, or order the calendar (plus other goodies)
at our brand new fybush.com
Store! We think you'll like this one - and as always,
we thank you 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
2005 by Scott Fybush.