July 31, 2006
Leven, Mittman Back In The Game
MONDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: It
is, at long last, official - Nassau and Greater Media made the
announcement Monday afternoon that they've completed negotiations
to send Greater's 99.5 Lowell signal (now country WKLB) to Nassau,
in exchange for Nassau's Philadelphia move-in, WTHK (97.5 Burlington
At the same time, Greater Media has completed its deal to
acquire WCRB (102.5 Waltham) from Charles River Broadcasting,
setting the stage for the long-anticipated format and call swap
that will move WCRB's classical format down the dial to 99.5
and WKLB's country into the heart of the Boston market at 102.5.
Nassau says it intends to keep the classical format and WCRB
calls on 99.5, making it the "new flagship" of the
company's chain of classical signals in northern New England.
In Philadelphia, 97.5 will get a new format (as yet undetermined)
as it joins the Greater Media cluster of WPEN, WMMR, WBEN-FM
There are no surprises here for anyone who's been following
this long-gestating deal in NERW (or any of the trades, for that
matter) for the last year or so, and there are probably some
headaches on the way for classical music fans in Boston proper
and out near the Route 128 tower farm, who'll experience much
weaker reception of WCRB. But for WCRB's staffers, who've been
operating in a climate of uncertainty for the last few months,
today's announcement provides some degree of security - and we're
certainly pleased to be able to replace speculation with certainty
in this space.
There's still no word on the future of Charles River Broadcasting's
Cape Cod signals, WKPE and WFCC. The terms of the deals with
Greater Media and Nassau have not yet been disclosed, either,
but Greater Media says it will give Nassau cash in addition to
the 99.5 license and WCRB's intellectual property, in exchange
for the 97.5 signal in Philadelphia.
Much more, no doubt, in next week's NERW...
*Two familiar names in Northeast broadcasting
have returned to ownership, via a $5.5 million deal to buy seven
northern NEW YORK stations.
Jim Leven was one of the principals of the old Pilot group,
whose stations in Syracuse and elsewhere ended up as part of
the Citadel group a few years ago. Bruce Mittman was station
manager at WAAF (107.3 Worcester) and several other stations
around Massachusetts. As "Community Broadcasters LLC,"
they're the new owners of most of what was the Clancy-Mance group
in Watertown and Ogdensburg.
Here's what they
get in the deal: news-talk WATN (1240 Watertown), rock WOTT (100.7
Henderson/Watertown) top 40 "Border" WBDI (106.7 Copenhagen/Watertown)
and WBDB (92.7 Ogdensburg), AC WTOJ (103.1 Carthage/Watertown),
oldies WGIX (95.3 Gouverneur) and talk WSLB (1400 Ogdensburg).
Noticeably missing in the deal is WBDR (102.7 Cape Vincent),
which stays with Clancy-Mance. As country "Kix 102.7,"
WBDR functions as a Kingston, Ontario station, programmed and
operated out of CIKR (K-Rock 105.7)'s Kingston studio.
There's no word yet on what, if any, changes are planned when
Leven and Mittman take control of the stations. Dick Kozacko's
Kozacko Media Services brokered the sale.
INDEPENDENCE ISN'T EASY (OR
FREE): Here at NERW,
we pride ourselves on twelve years (and counting) of editorial
independence. There's no filter on the news you read here. Our
editorial staff of one answers only to you, our readers, and
therein lies the catch:
It all depends on your
If you're not a current subscriber
- or if your subscription has lapsed - now's the time to fix
that. Click right
here to subscribe...and if you already have your 2006
Tower Site Calendar, just let us know and we'll gladly put you
first on the list for the 2007 Tower Site Calendar (shipping
in early September) instead.
If you have a job opening to
fill, or a product to sell, and you want to reach everyone who's
anyone in radio (and TV) in the northeastern US, we offer economical
classified and display advertising. Just drop us a line or give
us a phone call and we'll get you right up on the site.
And if you're already a financial
supporter of NERW, thank you for helping to keep
an independent voice alive in the trade-publication wilderness!
*Here in Rochester, Nikki Landry has departed her midday shift
and music director post at country WBEE-FM (92.5) to take on
the same role at Entravision's newly-flipped KNTY (101.9 Shingle
Springs CA) in the Sacramento market. Night jock Weslea moves
to middays to replace Landry.
In New York City, today's launch day for the new Whoopi Goldberg
syndicated morning show. WKTU (103.5 Lake Success) is both home
base and, so far, the only announced NERW-land affiliate for
the program, which has former Z100 afternoon guy Paul "Cubby"
Bryant as Whoopi's sidekick.
Speaking of syndication, WOR (710 New York) is now offering
its afternoon drive "Hennican and White" show over
the WOR Radio Network; no word of any affiliates for that program
yet, either. (WOR's owner, Buckley Broadcasting, has two other
talkers in NERW-land. Syracuse's WFBL has Sean Hannity in afternoon
drive, while the WDRC network of stations in Connecticut have
local talker Dan Lovallo on in the Hennican/White timeslot.)
WOR is also offering its midmorning Joan Hamburg show in syndication.
And speaking of WOR, it's getting very close now to signing
on its new transmitter facility in the New Jersey Meadowlands.
The new site has already been on the air testing in non-directional
mode, and we hear the new directional pattern will be getting
proofed overnight this week.
There's a new news director at WQXR (96.3 New York): Steve
Knight has been hired to fill the (very big) shoes of Sam Hall,
who retired last month after a long career in New York radio.
Knight has been working most recently at AP Radio, but his resume
includes stints at CBS Radio and at Seattle's KIRO (710), where
he was news director.
can have your ad here! Click here for information on the
most economical way to reach tens of thousands of Northeast radio
and TV people each week.
*There's a TV station sale in central PENNSYLVANIA,
as the Television Station Group (formerly known as SJL Broadcasting)
sells WTAJ-TV (Channel 10) in Altoona and WLYH (Channel 15) in
Lebanon to Nexstar, for $58 million.
WTAJ is a dominant
CBS affiliate, while WLYH is a UPN (soon to be CW) affiliate
that's operated under an LMA by Clear Channel's WHP-TV.
Will Nexstar, whose operating philosophy calls for the creation
of duopolies wherever possible, be looking to make additional
acquisitions in those markets? (It already has a duopoly in Erie,
at WJET/WFXP, and in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, at WBRE/WYOU, as
well as nearby outlets in Rochester, Utica and Hagerstown.)
In Bloomsburg, Joe "Bobby" Reilly has changed the
calls of his new FM acquisition, as the former WKAB (103.5 Berwick)
Just outside Philadelphia, there's signal testing underway
on WFYL (1180 King of Prussia). The little daytimer is moving
in from 1530 in McConnellsburg, and it's transmitting from the
middle of a golf course!
Radio People on the Move: Blake Dannen moves on from WZZO
(95.1 Allentown), after more than a decade in afternoons, to
become afternoon guy at crosstown WODE (99.9 Easton). And what
ever happened to "Rocco the Janitor" from Philadelphia's
"Wired" WRDW-FM (96.5)? Same frequency, but very
different scenery - he lands at "96.5 CayRock"
in the Cayman Islands as PD/morning guy, under his real name
of Ben Maxwell. And his GM there is none other than Steve Jones,
former PD of Boston's WMKK (93.7).
*In CONNECTICUT, it now appears that
former Long Island morning man Steve Harper won't be joining
the staff of WEZN-FM (Star 99.9) in Bridgeport, after all. NERW
hears that after visiting the station and meeting his co-workers-to-be
last week, Harper decided not to make the move across Long Island
Sound - and will instead be taking a buyout and leaving Cox Radio.
The Star morning show is running more or less jockless for now,
and there's no word yet on the station's next move (or on Harper's,
for that matter.)
Up in the Hartford market, WWYZ (92.5 Waterbury) is looking
for a new music director/night jock following the departure of
Aaron Davis. He's headed down I-84 to become PD/afternoons at
WRWD (107.3 Highland NY) - taking the place of Justin Tyler,
who moved in the opposite direction to become PD of WPKX (97.9
*There's a familiar name joining the staff
at WPRI (Channel 12) in Providence, RHODE ISLAND. Tim
White, WPRI's new investigative reporter, is the son of legendary
Providence reporter Jack White. The younger White comes from
WBZ-TV (Channel 4) in Boston, where he was managing editor.
Across town at WJAR (Channel 10), they're mourning Jim Mendes,
who died Friday (July 28) at 80. Mendes was one of the region's
first jazz DJs, and worked for WJAR (920, now WHJJ) and WJAR-TV
for forty years, most recently as an announcer for channel 10.
*In MASSACHUSETTS, they're getting
ready to honor one of the very earliest broadcasting pioneers.
year marks the centennial of Reginald Aubrey Fessenden's first
broadcasts from Brant Rock, a neighborhood in Marshfield, and
next weekend will mark the first phase in a public celebration
of the centennial. While the events get underway on Friday (August
4), the big radio-related activities will take place on Saturday,
with a live WATD (95.9) broadcast from the Daniel Webster Estate
and Heritage Center from noon until 5 PM. (WATD owner Ed Perry
is one of the driving forces behind the centennial celebration.)
That will be followed by a gala cocktail party and celebration
dinner, during which the first Reginald Fessenden Award in Broadcasting
will be presented to WBZ (1030) newsman Gary LaPierre. (The evening
will also include the debut of a new drink, the "Fessenden
There's a website devoted to the celebration at www.radiosfirstvoice.org
- and more events coming later this year, leading up to the actual
December 24 anniversary.
Speaking of radio veterans - though hardly as old as Fessenden
- congratulations are in order to WROR (105.7 Framingham) morning
team Loren (Owens) and Wally (Brine), who marked their 25th anniversary
last Tuesday. Loren and Wally have outlasted pretty much everything
else at 105.7 - the station's been through several owners in
the last quarter-century as it's migrated from AC (WVBF) to country
(WKLB) to classic hits (WROR), which makes the duo's longevity
all the more remarkable.
The FCC was busy last week handing out fines for public-file
violations. Stations filing for license renewals are now asked
on the application whether all the documents that belong in their
public file have been placed in the file on schedule - and many
are now learning that answering "no" can be expensive.
Notices of Apparent Liability for $10,000 each went out last
week to Emerson College's WERS (88.9 Boston), College of the
Holy Cross' WCHC (88.1 Worcester), Sporting News Radio's WWZN
(1510 Boston), as well as Clear Channel's Providence talker WHJJ
(920) - and Davidson's WXCT (990 Southington CT) has a $4,000
proposed fine from the FCC.
While it's true that "rules are rules," we'll be
watching closely to see what the FCC does with a pending rulemaking
that will eliminate many of the current public-file requirements,
which often seem to be bureaucracy for bureaucracy's sake. How
many of these files have ever been inspected by an
actual listener, we wonder? And how many stations just checked
"yes" on the public file question at renewal time -
and are going unpunished (and uninspected) as a result?
There's a management change on the way at the parent company
of Boston's WFNX (101.7 Lynn), as Barry Morris prepares to step
down at year's end as president/COO of the Phoenix Media/Communications
Group. Brad Mindich, Phoenix executive VP (and son of owner Steve
Mindich), will succeed Morris - and WFNX GM Andy Kingston will
become senior VP of the Phoenix group.
Out west, Entercom still has yet to flip the switch to turn
on WVEI-FM (105.5 Easthampton), but it's already talking about
a new studio location for the Springfield-market WEEI relay.
The Boston Herald's Jesse Noyes reported last week that
WVEI is now talking with the Basketball Hall of Fame about locating
its Springfield studio there next year.
And we're sorry to report the death at age 63 of Darrell Martinie,
the "Cosmic Muffin," whose humorous astrology reports
were a fixture on Charles Laquidara's WBCN morning show for many
years. Martinie, who was named the state's official astrologer
in 1993 by Governor William Weld, was later heard on WZLX and
WBOS. He died July 26 at his Saugus home, survived by his husband,
*In VERMONT, WVPR (89.5 Windsor) has
become the first Vermont Public Radio outlet - and indeed, the
state's first station, period - to broadcast in HD Radio.
*Robb Atkinson is the new news director at
WGME (Channel 13) in Portland, MAINE, replacing David
Kaplar. (Atkinson comes north from WATE in Knoxville, Tennessee
to take the job.)
*There's yet another new station on the air in
eastern CANADA, as Newcap's second FM in Charlottetown,
PEI signed on Wednesday (July 26) at 5 PM. As we'd reported earlier
in NERW, the new "K-Rock 105.5" is legally CKQK, and
it kicked off with the island's top 105 rock tunes before launching
into its regular programming.
Over in Halifax, CJCH (920) responded to CHNS (960)'s move
to the FM dial by flipping from standards to oldies last week.
In eastern Ontario, Corus' Cornwall stations (CJUL, CJSS-FM,
CFLG-FM) are moving to new studios and offices this fall, leaving
behind their cramped building (designed for one station many
years ago) for new digs in the Old Cotton Mill building.
Up in Campbellford, CKOL (93.7) is adding a second transmitter
for its community programming. CHCC (100.7 Madoc) will operate
with just under 50 watts, relaying CKOL with some local inserts
for the Madoc area.
And in St. Catharines, Milkman UnLimited reports that
Madelyn Hamilton has been promoted from operations manager at
Standard's CKTB/CHTZ/CHRE (and PD of CKTB/CHRE) to general manager
of all three stations. CHTZ PD Bruce Gilbert adds OM duties at
all three stations.
the NERW Archives
(Yup, we've been doing this a long time now, and
so we're digging back into the vaults for a look at what NERW
was covering one, five and ten years ago this week, or thereabouts
- the column appeared on an erratic schedule in its earliest
years as "New England Radio Watch," and didn't go to
a regular weekly schedule until 1997. Thanks to LARadio.com
for the idea - and thanks to you, our readers, for the support
that's made all these years of NERW possible!)
August 1, 2005 -
- There are some nervous programmers in NEW YORK, and around
the country, awaiting the aftermath of the settlement between
state attorney general Elliot Spitzer and Sony Music over payola
charges. While Sony's $10 million payment, coupled with an assurance
that it will change its practices, gets the company off the hook
with Spitzer's office, the e-mails that Spitzer's office dug
up as part of its investigation will likely lead to more investigations,
both by the FCC and by some of the broadcasters accused of accepting
- Among the stations whose call letters appeared in the e-mails
were Boston's WXKS and WBCN (where Sony apparently paid for a
staff dinner for former PD Oedipus), Albany's WFLY and WKKF (where
Sony supplied a $1400 laptop to former PD Donny Michaels), Hartford's
WKSS, Buffalo's WKSE (where PD Dave Universal was ousted earlier
in the payola investigation, and where the e-mails suggest that
even Sony was finding Universal excessively greedy) and Rochester's
WPXY (where an e-mail from PD Mike Danger admits "i'm a
whore this week. what can i say?")
- Upstate, Route 81 continued its shuffling in Corning/Elmira,
putting new calls on 97.7 Big Flats (ex-WGMM, then briefly WCBA-FM
and now WENI-FM, paralleling simulcast WENY-FM 92.7 Elmira) and
flipping WCBA (1350 Corning) from a simulcast of oldies WGMM
(98.7 Corning) to Fox Sports Radio. WCBA is also picking up the
Jim Rome show.
- In MASSACHUSETTS, Qantum Communications announced a $10 million
spinoff of three Cape Cod stations that it can't keep because
of ownership caps. Nassau will enter the Cape market with the
purchase of classic rock WPXC (102.9 Hyannis) and oldies WDVT
(93.5 Harwich Port)/WTWV (101.1 Mashpee) - and that starts the
rumor mill spinning, since Nassau's not a company that tends
to be happy with just three signals in a market.
July 30, 2001 -
- One of the biggest vacancies in MASSACHUSETTS radio has been
filled. More than half a year after Christopher Lydon and his
"Connection" staff parted ways with WBUR-FM (90.9 Boston),
the station has named a permanent replacement. Dick Gordon is
a familiar name to our readers north of the border, where he's
a frequent guest host and regular reporter for "This Morning"
on CBC Radio One. Gordon was one of three finalists for the "Connection"
job, which he'll start in September. As for Lydon, he's telling
the Boston newspapers that he's still looking at his options
for a return to the airwaves, but there's still no definite word
about where or when.
- On the commercial side of things, you can stop sending resumes
to "Kiss 108" (WXKS-FM 107.9 Medford-Boston). The CHR
powerhouse has named the replacement for departed station manager/PD
John Ivey, and it's a familiar name within the Clear Channel
Boston family: "Cadillac Jack" McCartney. He comes
to Medford from the PD seat at WJMN (94.5 Boston), opening a
vacancy at "Jam'n" that was quickly filled by assistant
PD Dennis O'Heron.
- Expect a new noncommercial station on the air in New Bedford
one of these days, as New Bedford Christian Radio and Broadcasting
for the Challenged settle their competing applications for 88.1.
More details to come on this one; in any event, the station will
have to operate from the Tiverton, R.I. tower of New Bedford's
WLNE-TV, which occupies adjacent channel 6.
- We'll start our NEW YORK news with a less-than-surprising
schedule change: now that Don and Mike (of WJFK Washington fame)
have shifted their syndicated show to middays, they're going
to be heard live on New York's WNEW (102.7) as well. The move
allows WNEW's Opie and Anthony to be heard live in Washington
on WJFK-FM (106.7 Manassas VA), and gives Infinity a solid lineup
to syndicate alongside morning star Howard Stern. The WNEW move
displaces Boston veteran Leslie Gold from the schedule (which
leads us to wondering: since her former co-host Lori Kramer is
also out of work, thanks to the demise of eYada.com, could the
"Two Chicks" ever kiss and make up?) and moves Ron
and Fez to an earlier-evening slot.
- Out in the New York suburbs, Marty Mitchell is the new PD
of country quadcast "Y107" (WYNY 107.1 Briarcliff Manor,
et al), though there's still some doubt that the country format
has much longer to run on those challenged signals.
New England Radio Watch, July 31, 1996
can sponsor this new weekly feature! Click here for information!
- We now know where Cape Cod talker WXTK
(94.9) wants to go...95.1. The West Yarmouth-licensed 50kw FM
has filed an application to move up the dial one channel, with
a directional antenna. The move would get WXTK out from some
sticky co-channel problems with WHOM, Mount Washington NH. WHOM
is almost 200 miles away...but with 50kw from the top of New
England's tallest mountain, 3742 feet above average terrain,
it can cause serious interference to WXTK, especially in outlying
areas of the Cape when the trops are up. Here in Boston's western
suburbs, about twice as close to West Yarmouth as to Mt. Washington,
WHOM is the usual occupant on 94.9.
- More news from the periphery: A new
FM station has been granted in Rensselaerville NY, a tiny bump
in the road southwest of Albany that also happens to be home
to the tower farm housing nearly all of Albany's TV and high-power
FM stations. (The new FM will, nonetheless, be the "first
local service" to Rensselaerville. Uh, sure, whatever.)
The new station will be on 89.9 with 340 watts from 762 feet
AAT. The owner? Sound of Life, Inc...which also owns WFGB 89.7
Kingston, WLJP 89.3 Monroe, WPGL 90.7 Pattersonville (which serves
very much the same area as the new FM will, and which has translators
in Troy and Albany), and WRPJ 88.9 Port Jervis.
- Also happening in Eastern New York:
Starview Media of York PA is paying $450,000 to pick up a third
FM in the Glens Falls area, north of Albany. Country WZZM 93.5
Corinth will join Starview's country WSTL 1410 South Glens Falls,
talk WBZA 1230 Glens Falls, ac WENU 101.7 Hudson Falls, and hot
ac WHTR 107.1 Hudson Falls (ex-WMJR). About the only stations
in the market Starview doesn't control are Normandy Broadcasting's
talk/standards WWSC 1450/country WYLR 95.9 Glens Falls, William
Walker's oldies WCKM 900 Saratoga Springs/WCKM-FM 98.5 Lake George,
and Fair Way Communications' WJKE 101.3 Stillwater.
*Didn't find a Tower Site Calendar
2006 under the tree/menorah/Blaw-Knox diamond tower model
of your choice over the holidays? Our supply is running low,
but we have a few still available at special clearance
We've got to say,
we're especially proud of the way this year's calendar turned
out. 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
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
2006 by Scott Fybush.