October 23, 2006
Three More Canadian AMs Head To FM
TOWER SITE CALENDAR 2007 - NOW SHIPPING!!!
*The AM dial in CANADA just keeps getting
emptier - at least everywhere outside its biggest cities. Last
week, three more AM signals in eastern Canada applied to move
to FM, even as three other applicants filed for new AM signals
in Toronto and Montreal.
moves first: CHUM Ltd. wants to get off the AM dial in Peterborough
and Kingston, Ontario. In Peterborough, it's hoping to move CKPT
(1420) to 99.3, with 17 kW DA (5.7 kW average ERP)/91.5 meters,
while in Kingston it wants to move CKLC (1380) to 98.9, with
15 kW DA (8.7 kW average ERP)/132.3 meters. If approved by the
CRTC after a hearing December 18, the moves would leave each
city with one AM (Corus' CKRU 980 and CFFX 960, respectively),
and would give CHUM three FM signals in Peterborough (counting
CKLY in Lindsay) and two in Kingston. (It also raises the potential
for still more interference across Lake Ontario, this time with
WLLW 99.3 in Seneca Falls and WBZA 98.9 in Rochester.)
The exodus from the AM dial in Nova Scotia continues, too:
Newcap is applying to relocate CFDR (780 Dartmouth/Halifax) to
88.9, with 50 kW DA (21 kW average ERP)/188.8 meters. If the
move is granted, Newcap says it would divest its half-interest
in CKUL (96.5 Halifax), since it also owns CFRQ (104.3 Halifax).
The December 18 hearing will also include three applications
for new AM signals: Radio Humsafar wants 1400 in Montreal, with
1 kW; S.S. TV Inc. wants 1650 in Brampton, Ontario, with 1 kW
day/680 watts night; and Neeti P. Ray wants 1650 in Mississauga,
Ontario, with 1 kW. All three of these stations would be multi-ethnic.
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Also on the CRTC's docket December 18: as expected, Bayshore
Broadcasting is applying for a new signal in Goderich, Ontario.
It would run an AC format on 104.9, with 12.55 kW DA (5.33 kW
average ERP)/110 meters. (A correction from last week, by the
way: Bluewater, Ontario, where CIBU Wingham has been granted
a relay, is not "near Sarnia," as we'd said; it's on
the shore of Lake Huron, encompassing the former villages of
Bayfield, Hensall and Zurich.)
The CRTC also closed
the books, as far as it's concerned, on Genex Communications'
controversial ownership of CHOI-FM (98.1 Quebec City), granting
Radio Nord's application for a "new" license on 98.1.
In reality, Radio Nord will take over the existing CHOI operation,
paying Genex C$9 million for CHOI's physical facilities. Several
other broadcasters objected to the deal, saying the amount was
"exaggerated" and arguing that the CRTC should have
reopened the 98.1 frequency to new applicants. The decision will
close out the long-running Genex appeal of the CRTC's initial
revocation of its license, which went all the way to the Supreme
Court of Canada.
And the CBC is mourning Lister Sinclair, who was a staple
of the network's radio programming from 1944 until his retirement
in 1999, spending the last 16 of those years as host of "Ideas"
on CBC Radio One. Sinclair joined the network as a playwright,
and was a frequent guest on CBC-TV as well in later years, serving
as host of The Nature of Things and as a panelist on several
other shows. He died last Monday (Oct. 16) in Toronto, at 85.
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*In western MASSACHUSETTS, they've
been wondering for a while about the status of WVEI-FM (105.5
Easthampton), the Springfield move-in that will become the newest
relay of Boston's all-sports WEEI whenever it finally gets on
the air from Mount Tom. Now there's a date - WEEI has been promoting
October 26 as sign-on day for 105.5.
"Open Source" is looking for a new source of funding,
now that UMass Lowell has pulled the plug on its sponsorship
of the public radio show. When "Open Source" signed
on last year, the original plan was for Lowell to become its
home base, with Lydon operating from new WUML (91.5 Lowell) studios
and working closely with students there. That never came to pass,
though, and "Open Source" ended up in studio space
leased from WGBH (89.7 Boston) instead, with WUML not even carrying
the show live. (It airs there at 6:00 Tuesday-Friday mornings,
a day after its evening airing on WGBH and about 30 other public
stations around the country, via Public Radio International.)
With Lydon's biggest supporter at UMass Lowell, Lou DiNatale,
caught up defending himself from a sexual harassment complaint,
and with the departure of chancellor William Hogan, who brought
Lydon to the university, interim chancellor David MacKenzie announced
last week that the school couldn't afford to keep paying for
the show. (Lydon was being paid $12,500 a month, and the Globe
reported that the total expenditure for the five-person staff
was about $38,000 a month.)
So what happens now? The money from UMass Lowell runs out
at the end of December, and Lydon says he's hoping to line up
a replacement source of funding before that. Expect the show
to vanish from WUML's morning lineup no matter what (it's never
been popular with the students at the station, who've fought
off repeated attempts by university officials to change the station's
direction), but we'd also expect Lydon to find some way to keep
it going at WGBH and the rest of its affiliates.
Vineyard's own WMVY (92.7 Tisbury) got some nice national press
recently - it was featured in a Time
magazine article about independent radio stations around
the country. (We're pretty sure owner Joe Gallagher doesn't really
do his broadcasting in the water, but we'll concede that it makes
for a cute picture...)
*The CONNECTICUT Broadcasters Association
holds its annual convention in Hartford on Wednesday, and we'll
be there - the agenda includes "Tower Sites I've Known and
Photographed," in which your editor will be presenting some
of my favorite images from almost two decades of traveling to
transmitter and studio sites far and wide. (We'll have Tower
Site Calendars available for sale, too!)
*Greater Media picked up the WJJZ calls and
smooth jazz format abandoned by Clear Channel in eastern PENNSYLVANIA
- and now it's picking up the PD, too. Michael Tozzi programmed
the old WJJZ (106.1 Philadelphia) from 2001 until its flip to
rhythmic AC in August. Now he'll join the new WJJZ (97.5 Burlington
NJ) for its November launch, serving both as PD and as midday
There's a call change in Brookville, up near Punxsutawney:
Renda Broadcasting's WYTR (103.3) has applied to change calls
to WMUV. But it looks like a case of "nothing to see here"
- those calls were just being parked at the oldies station to
keep from tipping off Renda's competitors in Jacksonville, Florida,
where the Pittsburgh-based company just flipped WKQL (100.7 Brunswick
GA) from oldies to "Movin'" rhythmic oldies on Friday.
The WMUV calls are headed down there, and we suspect they were
never even used on the air in Brookville. (One more NERW-land
connection here: WKQL's afternoon guy was former Boston jock
Tom Murphy, who worked at WEEI, WRKO and WVBF. He's looking for
a new gig now.)
Up the road in Clearfield, Clearfield Broadcasters is selling
WCPA (900) and WQYX (93.1) to First Media, which already owns
WZWW in the nearby State College market. Sale price is $750,000,
plus a noncompete payment that's not being disclosed.
*There's a new station on the air in NEW
YORK's Southern Tier - Equinox Broadcasting's WRRQ (106.7
Windsor) began broadcasting last week, doing AC as "Q107."
It'll take over the 104.5 Ingraham Hill translator (W283AC Johnson
City) that was being used by sister station WCDW (100.5 Susquehanna
PA), and it'll also be heard in downtown Binghamton on new translator
It's been a rough week for the folks at CBS Radio in New York.
At the network level, they said goodbye to Christopher Glenn,
the veteran anchor who retired in February. He died Tuesday (Oct.
17) of liver cancer, at 68. Upstairs at WCBS (880), they're mourning
Mary Gay Taylor, the station's veteran City Hall reporter, who
died Friday (Oct. 20) of breast cancer, at 71.
Two more from the obituary page: Mike Phillips, who made a
name for himself at the old WXLO (98.7, now WRKS) and WWDJ (970
Hackensack) in the early seventies, died last Monday (Oct. 16)
near Seattle, at 64. Phillips worked in Portland, Seattle and
San Francisco, in addition to a long run as PD of oldies KRTH
(101.1) in Los Angeles. And while Bob Lassiter made his name
in Florida and Chicago talk radio, he also worked at WOUR (96.9
Utica) and WJOI (93.7 Pittsburgh, now WRKZ) in the early seventies.
Lassiter died Oct. 13, at 61.
Over at WFNY-FM (92.3 Free FM), Julie Slater is saying "sayonara."
The former K-Rock middayer had been doing late nights and weekends
since the flip to "Free FM," and now she's going to
California to write for Variety.
In Albany, the schedule shuffle at WGY (810 Schenectady) has
edged Ed Martin out of a job after 15 years. Martin had most
recently been heard weeknights 6-7 PM and Saturdays 11 AM-1 PM,
but Michael Savage is now being heard from 6-10 on weeknights,
and the Saturday hours have been filled by a travel show and
Mike McConnell's syndicated "The Weekend."
A correction to last week's item on SUNY Oneonta's WUOW-LP
(104.7): the school didn't return the station's license to the
FCC - it was deleted from the FCC database after SUNY failed
to file a renewal application. That application has since been
filed, and should be granted soon.
And well-known engineer Bud Williamson is looking for help
in finding the gear that was stolen along with his truck from
his office in Slate Hill, N.Y. on Wednesday. The truck is a green
Toyota Tundra with New York "DRE 6" plates, and it
was full of test equipment and the usual engineering tools. If
you see it - or if you're offered any of the equipment that was
inside - drop Bud a line at budwilliamson at dre.cc or give him
a call at 845-355-4001.
*Finally this week - and admittedly a bit later than it should
be - here's NERW's quick look at where to find Hockey on the
Radio this winter. (Thanks to Joseph Gallant
for his help compiling the NHL flagship information!)
- The Boston Bruins continue on WBZ (1030), with TV
coverage on NESN.
- The New York Islanders are on WBBR (1130) and Fox
- The New York Rangers play most of their games on WEPN
(1050), with some games moving to WABC (770). TV games are on
MSG, which is commonly owned with the team.
- The New Jersey Devils play most of their games on
WFAN (660), with some conflict games moving to WFNY-FM (92.3),
and TV coverage on Fox Sports NY (and a few conflict games on
- The Philadelphia Flyers are mainly on WIP (610), with
some conflict games moving to WPHT (1210) or WYSP (94.1). TV's
mostly on Comcast Sports Net, with a few over-the-air games on
WPSG (Channel 57).
- The Pittsburgh Penguins make WXDX (105.9) their home
this year, with former TV voice Mike Lange handling radio duties.
Fox Sports Pittsburgh is the TV home for the Pens.
- The Buffalo Sabres continue on WGR (550) for radio
and a regional split of the MSG network (serving the Buffalo
and Rochester areas) for TV. New radio affiliates, just announced
this week, include WBTA (1490 Batavia), WMXO (101.5 Olean) and
WKSN (1340 Jamestown), as well as WROC (950 Rochester).
- The Toronto Maple Leafs continue on CFMJ (640), with
TV games split widely among CBLT (Channel 5), TSN, Rogers SportsNet
and the team's own Leafs TV.
- The Ottawa Senators play on CFGO (1200) in English,
with TV coverage split among CBOT (Channel 4), CHRO (Channels
5/43), TSN and Rogers SportsNet. In French, the team's on CJRC
(1150) and a split of RDS and RDI (the CBC's French-language
- The Montreal Canadiens play in French on CKAC (730)
and RDS, with English radio on CJAD (800) and English TV split
among CBMT (Channel 6), TSN and Rogers SportsNet.
What about the minors, where you're more likely to find your
editor in the stands? We'll start with the American Hockey
- The Rochester Amerks continue on WHTK (1280).
- The Syracuse Crunch play on WHEN (620).
- The Albany River Rats are on WTMM (1300).
Binghamton Senators move to a new home this season, leaving
WINR (680) for the brand-new WRRQ (106.7 Windsor) and its translators
on 104.5 and 95.1.
- The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins play on WQFM (92.1)/WQFN
- The Hershey Bears are on WQIC (100.1), with additional
coverage on WHYL (960 Carlisle) and WLPA (1490 Lancaster).
- The Philadelphia Phantoms have partial coverage on
WIP (610), with the rest of the games on the web.
- The Hartford Wolf Pack play on WPOP (1410).
- There's no radio for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers,
- The Providence Bruins are on a network that includes
WLKW (1450 West Warwick), WNBH (1340 New Bedford), WNRI (1380
Woonsocket), WQRI (88.3 Bristol) and WBLQ-LP (96.7 Ashaway).
- The Springfield Falcons are on WNNZ (640).
- The Worcester Sharks play on WTAG (580).
- The Lowell Devils (formerly the Lock Monsters)
stay on WCAP (980).
- The Manchester Monarchs are on WGIR (610) and its
network across southern New Hampshire.
- The Portland Pirates are on WJAE (1440)/WJJB (95.5
Topsham), plus network affiliates WTME (780 Rumford), WCNM (1240
Lewiston) and WKTQ (1450 South Paris).
- The Toronto Marlies turn up on CFMJ (640) when the
Leafs aren't playing, and on the web the rest of the time.
- The Hamilton Bulldogs play on CHAM (820).
The East Coast Hockey League is increasingly misnamed,
since it now includes teams as far afield as Alaska - and only
three teams in NERW-land:
- The Johnstown Chiefs are on WNTJ (850) and WNTW (990
- The Reading Royals play on WIOV (1240).
- The Trenton Titans play on WBCB (1490 Levittown PA)
and WTSR (91.3 Trenton).
And there's just one United Hockey League team in the
region - the Elmira Jackals. They move this year to WENY-FM (92.7)
and WENI-FM (98.7 Corning).
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!)
October 24, 2005 -
- Back in the earliest days of this column, a decade or so
ago, one of the popular parlor games in eastern MASSACHUSETTS
was to speculate on when, and how, Boston's WILD (1090) would
find a way to move its heritage callsign and urban format to
an FM signal. It almost happened in the mid-90s, on what eventually
became (and still remains) WXRV (92.5 Haverhill), and there were
some pretty intense rumors that it was going to happen again
in 1998, when the signal that's now WMKK (93.7 Lawrence) came
on the market. In 2000, Radio One's purchase of WILD put the
station under common ownership with an FM (WBOT 97.7 Brockton)
for the first time, and again the rumors of "WILD-FM"
swirled. Instead, WBOT remained "Hot 97-7," with a
hip-hop format, while WILD's classic R&B format remained
in place on the daytime AM signal - until last week, when Radio
One finally moved the WILD identity to the FM signal.
- The new "Wild 97.7," which will soon bear the WILD-FM
calls, picks up the Tom Joyner morning show that had been heard
on 1090 (replacing the syndicated Russ Parr show), and it'll
pick up the rest of the AM's local programming as well. After
6 PM, WILD-FM will begin aiming at a younger demographic, as
it edges from R&B oldies back to hip-hop for the evening
hours. WILD(AM), meanwhile, flips to black gospel as "Praise
1090, Boston's Inspiration Station"; it's not clear whether
new calls will be on the way there or not.
- In other news from western MASSACHUSETTS, Citadel's WMAS
(1450 Springfield) has moved from talk to ABC's True Oldies format,
displacing hosts such as Neal Boortz, Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz
and Randi Rhodes.
- And on the TV side of things, Meredith launched local news
on WSHM-LP (Channel 67) October 13, from studios at Monarch Place
in downtown Springfield. News director Doug Lezette is anchoring
the 6 and 11 PM broadcasts on "CBS 3," along with Lindsay
Liepman, Curtis Grevenitz doing weather and Scott Harris on sports.
The newscast reaches viewers in Springfield and the Pioneer Valley
over the LPTV signal and, mostly, over cable. (WSHM replaced
Hartford's WFSB, a Meredith sister station, on Massachusetts
cable systems a few years back; it's also available to Connecticut
viewers on a subchannel of WFSB-DT.)
- Up in NEW HAMPSHIRE, WSMN (1590 Nashua) returned to the air
last week. It's simulcasting sister station WSNH (900)'s ESPN
Radio programming, and it's apparently operating from a very
low-power STA on the WSNH tower while it tries to find a replacement
for the soon-to-be-demolished three-tower array on Hollis Street
that it used for 45 years before going dark this past spring.
- In MAINE, Clear Channel has found an unusual solution for
Portland-area fans of WTOS (105.1 Skowhegan) whose listening
has been interrupted by the newish LPFM, WJZP-LP, on 105.1 in
Portland. WTOS's morning show is now being simulcast on Clear
Channel talker WCME (96.7 Boothbay Harbor), which had been simulcasting
the morning show from Bangor-market WVOM (103.9 Howland).
- A station sale in NEW JERSEY is taking Mega Communications
completely out of the region, as it sheds its last remaining
Northeast property, WEMG (1310 Camden), to the fast-growing Davidson
group. Davidson, which also owns stations in Hartford and Providence,
is paying $8.75 million for the Philadelphia-market AM.
October 22, 2001 -
- Radio People on the Move: Kevin Baker returns to Albany after
his stint in Rutland, Vermont launching Vox classic rocker WEXP
(101.5 Brandon) as "the Fox." Baker will join Ed Levine's
Galaxy Broadcasting as it takes over WKLI (94.5 Ravena) and WABY
(1400 Albany) and moves WHTR down to 93.7 in Scotia to serve
the Albany market. Meanwhile, no replacement has been named at
WEXP, where Baker was the founding PD and afternoon drive jock.
Ted Edwards is leaving his PD job at WBAB (102.3 Babylon) on
Long Island to become VP of operations and development at Jesscom,
as well as PD of its new KFME (105.1 Garden City MO) in the Kansas
City market. And Steve Andolino moves up from PD to OM at AAA's
WBEA (101.7 Southold) and WEHM (96.7 East Hampton) way out on
Long Island's East End; Brian Cosgrove takes his PD stripes.
- We'll hop across Long Island sound to CONNECTICUT next, just
the same way WMOS (104.7 Montauk NY) is doing with its studios.
The station's call change (it used to be WBEA and was briefly
WCSO) turns out to be no coincidence: owner AAA Entertainment
has worked out a deal with the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville
to base WMOS in a studio near the casino's entrance, promoting
it as "Mohegan Sun Radio." Very clever! (And we can
attest from personal experience that the WMOS signal blasts across
Long Island Sound to that part of southeastern Connecticut...)
- Up in Boston, WUMB (91.9) GM Pat Monteith checked in to let
us know we were pretty accurate in our speculation about the
reasons Christopher Lydon won't make that station his next radio
home. In a letter to her listeners (you can check it out at www.wumb.org),
Monteith explains that a Lydon show would cost upwards of $500,000
annually to produce - which is most of WUMB's budget, not to
mention a significant shift in focus for a station known for
its music programming.
- Look for C|Net Radio to land on WBPS (890 Dedham) beginning
November 5; the tech-talk network (currently heard only on KNEW
910 in the San Francisco market) will take over programming 24/7
on the Mega Broadcasting station, putting an end to the "romantica"
music now running there as "Amor 890."
New England Radio Watch, October 21-23, 1996
can sponsor this new weekly feature! Click here for information!
- WBOQ (104.9), the classical outlet
licensed to Gloucester MA, is now in very good new hands. Southfield
Broadcasting LP transferred the license to Marlin Broadcasting
on October 1st, in a deal that was all in the family (Southfield
was owned by Douglas Tanger, and Marlin belongs to his brother
Woody). Marlin owns classical WTMI (93.1) Miami, and recently
sold classical stations in Detroit (WQRS 105.1) and Philadelphia
- Across the state line in Ballston Spa
NY, WZRQ (102.3) has dropped its Z-Rock format in favor of classic
rock, as WXCR. Z-Rock was being discontinued at the end of the
year anyway, and the modern-rock bent to Z-Rock's programming
was conflicting with WZRQ's new duopoly partner, "The Edge"
(WQBK-FM 103.9 Rensselaer/WQBJ 103.5 Cobleskill).
- The 1150 spot on Boston's radio dial
is now home to yet another set of call letters, its third this
fall. Sometime late Sunday night or Monday morning, Kidstar's
Boston affiliate quietly changed its call from WROR(AM) to WNFT(AM),
which, according to the folks at station owner Greater Media,
stands for "Nifty 1150." The WNFT calls were last used
in Jacksonville, Florida, on TV channel 47. (That station in
turn picked up an old New England callsign -- the WTEV(TV) calls
that were used on Channel 6 in New Bedford MA from 1963 until
the late seventies.
- From the "What the....?!?!?!?"
File: M Street this week reports that 1370 in Wickford RI has
added Westwood One's adult standards service to its local programming.
So far so good; but M Street then goes on to identify the station
as "WKFD," and says it "uses the calls WEGM as
a slogan." That prompted a lot of head-scratching here at
NERW headquarters, since when we visited the station in July
(see the July 23 NERW for all the details), they were using WEGM
as their sole ID. But sure enough, a check of the FCC database
finds that the folks down at 1919 M Street still think 1370 is
WKFD! So...either "WEGM" never actually applied for
its new calls...or the FCC database is way off on this one. Go
- Just over the state line, there's still
more call-change action going on. Cobleskill NY's WDCS 1190 has
changed calls to WLAL. The daytimer was recently sold to a listener
who was able to afford to keep it running, something the previous
owners were apparently unable to do. And M Street says Poughkeepsie
NY's WNSX 96.1 is now on the air, running ABC's satellite modern
AC format. A visit to that part of the Hudson Valley is long
overdue for the NERW traveling radio caravan...
- A bit further afield in upstate NY,
Remsen NY's WUUU (serving the U-U-Utica market, of course) has
applied for the WRFM calls on 93.5. Those calls were, of course,
long resident on 105.1 in New York City. Syracuse newcomer WXCD
(105.9) has changed calls to WLTI, formerly found in Detroit.
WGLI (1290) in Babylon, Long Island -- a station that's been
dark for years -- has applied for WZZU. And NERW has applied
for a grant for aspirin from the headache we get keeping track
of all this movement!
- A brief NERW this time around...as
the region continues to recover from one of the heaviest rainstorms
in recent memory. Some parts of Maine received over 19 inches
of rain in just over a day, and many roads remain closed. One
effect was clearly audible on the Boston dial: the absence of
WNRB (1510) from the airwaves.
- WNRB's transmitter is in a very low-lying
area of Waltham, along a stream called Beaver Brook. When the
waters began rising Sunday night, they flooded the parking lot
in which the station's four towers sit, then entered the concrete
transmitter house, eventually rising more than a foot above the
floor. Both the main 50kw Nautel transmitter and the backup suffered
damage, and when NERW stopped by last night, an engineer was
still removing water from the Nautel's cabinet. It's a credit
both to WNRB's engineers and to Nautel that the station is back
up and running this morning. NERW wishes them good luck...and
the good long rest they'll undoubtedly need after all that bailing
- It will take a lot longer for Portland,
Maine's WLOB (1310) and WLOB-LP (Channel 45) to make it back
on the air. The station's building on Warren Avenue in Portland
was flooded to the roof, and word has it that damage inside was
extremely severe. WGAN (560) has its transmitter just across
the highway from WLOB, but remained on the air throughout the
*It's here! As seen in the St.
Paul Pioneer Press, the Omaha
World-Herald and the Chicago
Sun-Times, Tower Site Calendar 2007 is now shipping!
This year's edition
features what we think are the finest tower images yet - from
the cover image of WCCO Minneapolis all the way to the back-cover
centerfold of WBZ in Boston, and from KGO San Francisco to KOIL
Omaha to Philadelphia's famed Roxborough tower farm, captured
in a dramatic dusk shot with the lights all aglow.
This sixth annual edition once again contains plenty of historic
dates from radio and television history in the Northeast and
beyond, and as always, it comes to you shrink-wrapped and shipped
first class mail for safe arrival.
You can even get your 2007 calendar free with
your new or renewal subscription
to NERW at the $60 level.
Visit the Fybush.com
Store and place your order today - and be among the first
to get the Tower Site Calendar 2007!
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.