December 17, 2007
TV Towers Down in Scranton
TOWER SITE CALENDAR 2008 - NOW AVAILABLE!!!
*The weekend's icy, windy storm in northeast
PENNSYLVANIA destroyed one Scranton/Wilkes-Barre TV tower
early Sunday morning and caused serious damage to several others.
Just before 7:00
Sunday morning, the 823-foot tower of ABC affiliate WNEP-TV (Channel
16) atop Penobscot Mountain, east of Wilkes-Barre, collapsed
under the weight of ice that had formed there overnight.
As it fell, the tower's guy wires apparently hit the next
tower over on the mountain, belonging to public broadcasters
WVIA-TV (Channel 44), WVIA-DT (Channel 41) and WVIA-FM (89.9),
toppling the upper portion of that tower and taking those TV/DT
signals off the air.
The WNEP tower fell on the station's transmitter building,
damaging most of the equipment inside, including the station's
two analog transmitters. (WNEP-DT is at a different tower location
on Penobscot, and it was on the air through much of the storm,
albeit at reduced power.)
Within a few hours after the collapse, engineers for WNEP
and WVIA were making their way through the wreckage and the debris
to figure out what could be salvaged and what was beyond hope.
For WVIA, an analog TV signal was restored at midday Sunday
from a shorter auxiliary tower next to the damaged main tower.
WVIA-DT remained off the air, and WVIA-FM remained on the air
from the remaining portion of the damaged tower.
WNEP, meanwhile, briefly replaced the rotating wheel of news
repeats on its DTV subchannel (and on a stream on its website)
with its regular analog-feed programming, providing a signal
that area cable companies could pick up in place of the destroyed
analog signal. By Sunday afternoon, WNEP programming had been
restored to cable systems in much of the station's wide-ranging
coverage area, while its "newschannel" feed was back
Also silenced in the WNEP collapse was Wilkes College's WCLH
(90.7 Wilkes-Barre), which had its antenna on the WNEP tower.
WCLH is still programming via a webstream at wclh.org
until a temporary replacement site can be built.
There were more problems on the mountain in the meantime.
Downed power lines and a tower heavily laden with ice took Nexstar's
CBS affiliate, WYOU-TV (Channel 22)/WYOU-DT (Channel 13), off
the air, with many area cable companies picking up Philadelphia's
KYW-TV (Channel 3) or other CBS outlets in the region to keep
CBS football (and the Survivor finale) coming to their
subscribers. The tower of Fox affiliate WOLF-TV (Channel 56),
which is also home to WNEP-DT's antenna, lost one guy wire to
the storm but remained standing at last report. And Nexstar's
NBC affiliate, WBRE-TV (Channel 28), which lost a tower to ice
in 1989, had no reported problems at its new tower. (WBRE-DT,
however, is located at the powerless WYOU tower, and remained
off the air into Monday.)
The commercial radio stations on Penobscot, Citadel's WMGS
(92.9 Scranton), WBHT (97.1 Mountain Top) and WBSX (97.9 Hazleton),
are on separate towers from the TV stations, and remained on
the air as long as the power held out. (As of about 7 PM Sunday,
there was no power on the mountain, and all its signals were
silent; we've since been told that power came back on about 9:20
Sunday night, restoring service from most of the stations up
there that still had towers.)
A separate power outage on the market's other mountaintop
site, Bald Mountain above Scranton, took CW affiliate WSWB (Channel
38) off the air as well; Pax/ion affiliate WQPX (Channel 64)
remained on the air from the same location, presumably with the
help of a generator. (WSWB finally returned to the air Monday
afternoon, around 4 PM.)
We'll be following this story closely as these damaged stations
work on returning to the air - including the interesting question
of whether it's worth rebuilding an analog-only site like WNEP's
when the sunset of analog TV is only 14 months away, and when
only 10 percent of the viewers in the market get their TV over-the-air
anyway. (And will WVIA, which stays on its present DTV allotment
of 41, bother rebuilding its analog signal at full height, or
just stay on the auxiliary tower until 2009?)
IT'S THE 2008 TOWER SITE CALENDAR!
Think the arrival of the new
phone book is an exciting time of year? (We do, actually, with
apologies to Steve Martin, but that's not the point.)
Here's a really exciting spot
on the calendar - in fact, it is the calendar. Yes, the
2008 Tower Site
Calendar is back from the printer and ready for shipping
all over the US and beyond.
This year's edition is a particularly
fine one, if we do say so ourselves. From the cover photo of
KAST in Astoria, Oregon to the back cover shot of the Blaw-Knox
diamond tower at WBNS in Columbus, this year's calendar features
14 all-new full-color shots of famous broadcast sites far and
wide. There's KROQ in Los Angeles, KFBK in Sacramento, WESX in
Salem, WGAN in Portland, Black Mountain in Vegas, Mount Spokane
in Spokane, and many (ok, several) more.
If you've been following our
adventures, you know that the 2006 and 2007 editions of the calendar
sold out. If you've been following postal rates and the cost
of printing, you know they've both gone up.
Even so, we still think this
year's edition is a bargain - just $18 with shipping and
Or better yet, beat our move
to mandatory subscriptions (also coming later this fall) and
get a free calendar with your $60 subscription to NERW for 2008.
(Remember, the proceeds from both the calendar and the subscriptions
help keep NERW right here on the web, as we head into our fourteenth
year of news and analysis.)
right here and you can be one of the first to have
your very own Tower Site Calendar 2008! (And thank you!)
The 2008 Tower
Site Calendar is dedicated to the memory of Robert Eiselen (1934-2007),
whose digital imaging skills made even a bunch of pictures of
radio towers look almost like art. His contributions were essential
to the calendar's evolution from 2003 to the current edition,
and he will be missed dearly.
*In western PENNSYLVANIA, there's
a changing of the guard on the morning news shift at KDKA (1020
Pittsburgh). Bob Kopler will retire Dec. 28, ending 19 years
at KDKA, and he'll be replaced by Bill Rehkopf, who began his
career in western Pennsylvania at stations in Clarion and Punxsutawney
and later worked in Williamsport (WRAK/WKSB), Harrisburg (WHP)
and Scranton (WARM). Rehkopf moves to Pittsburgh from Baltimore's
WPOC (93.1), where he's been known on the air as "Aaron
And we return to northeast Pennsylvania to wrap up the week's
news with word of a reunion gathering at WAZL (1490 Hazleton).
Wednesday is WAZL's 75th anniversary, and staffers Rocky Brown
and Tony Pacelli will be leading an all-day on-air celebration.
They'd like to hear from former staffers, too, at 570-455-1490
(and they're asking you to check in before the anniversary day
to schedule a call-in on the day itself.)
*Our NEW YORK news starts downstate,
with word of three more applications that were filed in that
special window to create a new fulltime AM signal on 1700 for
Rockland County. In addition to the application from Alexander
Broadcasting's WRCR (1300 Spring Valley) that we told you about
last week, the county's other existing broadcaster, Polnet, has
applied for 1700 in Haverstraw to accompany its WRKL (910 New
City). A former programmer of 1300, Zev Brenner's Talkline Communications,
wants to put 1700 in Monsey, where it would presumably serve
the community of Hasidic Jews there. And Gary Smithwick's S&B
Communications applied for 1700 in Stony Point.
In Binghamton, it's the end of the line for a 20-year morning
radio partnership. John Carter and Chris O'Connor have hosted
the "John and Chris Show" at several stations, most
recently WLTB (101.7 Johnson City). Last Wednesday, O'Connor
departed the show, saying she wanted to spend more time with
her family. O'Connor plans to continue to appear on "Magic
101.7" from time to time.
In Albany, WOFX (980 Troy) has parted ways with afternoon
talk host Dan Murphy, who'd been hosting the "Murphy's Law"
sports show from 3-5 PM weekdays. WOFX is filling the slot with
Fox Sports network content for now.
There's sad news about WVKZ (1240 Schenectady) morning host
and Albany market legend Joe "Boom Boom Brannigan"
Motto, who's gravely ill at Albany Medical Center. We're told
that cards or letters would cheer up Brannigan and his family;
they can be addressed to Albany Medical Center Hospital, 43 New
Scotland Ave., Albany NY 12208.
in Rochester, one of the city's top TV reporters is moving on.
Dave McKinley came to WROC-TV (Channel 8) from WHAM (1180) in
1999, bringing with him an encyclopedic knowledge of local history
that he soon put to good use in his weekly "News 8 Then"
segments, digging through WROC's copious archives to pull out
forgotten bits of film and video from days gone by. Dave's heading
west at year's end, joining the reporting staff at WGRZ-TV (Channel
2) in Buffalo (where he went to college and began his radio career),
and he'll be missed, dearly.
Speaking of Buffalo, former WKBW (Channel 7) sports anchor
John Murphy quietly settled his lawsuit against the station last
week. Murphy's contract expired back in September and wasn't
renewed after he declined to take a pay cut, and he sued to escape
the non-compete clause that would have kept him off the TV airwaves
in Buffalo for a year. Murphy remains on the air on radio, as
the voice of the Bills.
One more note before we move on this week: as you're thinking
about year-end charitable contributions, may we suggest that
you keep the Broadcasters Foundation of America in mind? In a
business that too often eats its young, we all know how difficult
things can be for older broadcasters and former broadcasters
lacking the pension and retirement plans that are so rare in
When they're looking for help and it's slow in coming, the
Broadcasters Foundation is there to fill in the gaps, providing
a safety net in times of trouble.
Last year alone, the Broadcasters Foundation helped out with
nearly $325,000 in grants, distributed across 36 states, for
former broadcasters (and their widows and widowers) in need of
financial help - not to mention more than $300,000 in emergency
grants for broadcasters affected by Hurricane Katrina.
"Few of them were famous," notes Bill O'Shaughnessy
of WVOX/WVIP, who chairs the foundation's endowment committee,
but "all were once broadcasters, like us." (He'd prefer
that credit for the foundation's good works go to chairman Phil
Lombardo of Citadel Television and emeritus chair Ed McLaughlin,
but we need to at least credit O'Shaughnessy for doing so much
to make the industry aware of the foundation's work.)
Contributions are tax-deductible, and can be sent to the Broadcasters
Foundation of America at 7 Lincoln Ave., Greenwich CT 06830.
*A veteran CONNECTICUT morning man
lost his job last week. John LaBarca came to WICC (600 Bridgeport)
from WMMM (1260 Westport) in 1989, and had been hosting the station's
morning show and its Sunday "Italian House Party" ever
since. He tells the Connecticut Post that he was on vacation
when station management came to his house on Thursday to inform
him that he wouldn't be returning. LaBarca admitted to the Post
that there had been personality conflicts with WICC GM Ann
McManus, and operations manager Curt Hansen told the paper that
there had been long-running "personnel issues" with
LaBarca. Replacing LaBarca in mornings is Tony Reno.
*In our rundown of new noncommercial station
applications last week, we left out one big pile of NEW HAMPSHIRE
applications. Highland Community Broadcasting, which currently
operates classical LPFM WCNH-LP (94.7 Concord), wants to replace
that signal (which suffers massive adjacent-channel interference)
with a 250-watt 91.5, licensed to Bow. To the north, Highland
wants 88.3 in Gilford; to the southeast, 88.5 in Kingston and
90.5 in Eliot, Maine; and to the southwest, 89.9 Hillsboro. All
of those applications are caught up in big MX groups, with the
Hillsboro proposal tangled in a 17-application logjam. (Highland's
Harry Kozlowski points out that the FCC's point system for resolving
conflicting applications will actually clear out many of these
MX conflicts fairly quickly.)
*In MASSACHUSETTS, WRKO (680 Boston)
morning host Tom Finneran is off the air until early January
as he undergoes surgery for prostate cancer. The surgery is scheduled
for Friday, and Finneran expects to return to the air from Iowa
on January 2, just in time for the caucuses the next day.
In Worcester, WCRN (830) has added CBS' hourly newscasts at
the top of each hour. And up in Lowell, WCAP (980) is now simulcasting
the audio of WCVB (Channel 5)'s "Eyeopener" newscast
from 5-6 AM and its evening newscasts from 5:30-6:30 PM. Those
TV simulcasts worked well for co-owner Clark Smidt up in New
Hampshire at WNNH and WTPL, where he relayed the audio of WMUR's
newscasts; will they work in Lowell, too?
The 2007 NCE Window, cont'd: This
week, we wrap up our look at the applications filed in the October
noncommercial filing window with an examination of southern New
England. There were no "singletons" (grantable applications
that did not conflict with any other applications) out of the
69 applications filed in Massachusetts, and at least one that
could be dismissed out of hand: Quinton Joseph's application
for a 10-watt signal on 91.9 in Dorchester.
Not only isn't the FCC accepting class D applications in this
window, and not only did Joseph specify transmitter coordinates
somewhere in the Siberian Arctic, but there's also the fact that
91.9 is already very much occupied in the Boston area by UMass
WUMB itself was a player in the window, applying for 91.5
in Gloucester. That application is MX'd (mutually exclusive)
to an application from Light of Life Ministries for 91.5 Rockport,
which is in turn MX'd to a North Andover Community Access application
for 91.5 North Andover.
There's another cluster of North Shore MX'd applications on
88.5, including one in Amesbury from WBUR, one in Essex from
the Beverly Cable and Telecommunication Corp. and several religious
broadcasters, plus one on 88.7 in Amesbury from another Spanish-language
religious broadcaster. (There's also one from Maine's Bangor
Baptist Church for 88.5 in "Amesbury NH," which is
clearly a typo, since it specifies a transmitter site near Amesbury,
In the immediate Boston area, the dial is already full enough
that there was no room for new signals, but down south in Brockton,
the "Brockton Educational Outreach Center" applied
for 90.1 (from an address that we're told has been used for several
pirate signals in the past!), MX'd with a community station in
Easton and possibly one in Fall River (Fall River & New Bedford
Outreach Center) as well.
In the same neck of the woods, there's a set of MX'd applications
on 88.5 from Talking Information Center in Middleborough Center,
Home Improvement Ministries in Middleborough, and Academy of
the Immaculate in Bayview, near New Bedford. Over in Mansfield,
Peace Abbey/Life Experience School of Sherborn has applied for
91.7, while the Marconi Broadcasting Foundation wants 91.5 in
Milford, which it erroneously located in Rhode Island.
There are several big MX groups on Cape Cod and the islands:
on 88.1, Athens Christian Radio applies in Provincetown, while
Dennis Jackson's Foothills Public Radio applies in Edgartown.
A much bigger MX cluster includes (as best we can tell) 19 applications
on 88.5, 88.7 and 88.9, with appearances by several big broadcast
groups. Boston's WBUR is in the pile, with applications for 88.7
in Sagamore and a big 40 kW signal on 89.1 in Eastham. Competitor
WGBH is in the hunt as well, applying for a similarly big Eastham
signal on 88.7. Cape Cod Community Television seeks 88.7 in South
Yarmouth, while Foothills wants 88.7 Oak Bluffs. Horizon Christian
Fellowship seeks 88.5 in Orleans and 88.7 in East Falmouth. Home
Improvement Ministries (will they carry "Tool Time"?)
wants 23 kW on 89.1 in Brewster. Nantucket Public Radio (whose
WNCK 89.5 relays WGBH) wants another signal on 88.7 in Nantucket.
And Connecticut River Educational Radio, which operates religious
WWBW-LP (96.9 Higganum CT) wants 88.5 Nantucket and 88.9 Martha's
Five religious broadcasters are piled up with MX'd applications
on 89.3 in the Lunenburg-Leominster area; there's also a Horizon
Christian Fellowship application on 90.1 in Fitchburg.
There's an MX cluster on 89.9 around Athol, including a WBUR
application there. WBUR also has a 91.5 application in Ware,
MX'd to Quaboag Hills Public Radio for 91.5 in Palmer.
Out west, there's an MX group on 88.1 in the Berkshires that
includes Amherst's WFCR, Foothills Public Radio and Calvary Chapel
of the Berkshires. Morgan Brook Christian Radio has an application
for 89.5 in Baptist Village, near Springfield, while WFCR seeks
89.5 in Stockbridge. And there's an MX group on 91.7/91.9 in
the Berkshires, including a Foothills application for 91.9 in
were all of 13 applications in RHODE ISLAND (fourteen
if you count one mistakenly filed for "Milford RI"),
including three from Rhode Island Public Radio (WRNI), which
seeks 88.1 Newport, 89.5 Westerly and 91.5 Woonsocket. That 91.5
frequency is where most of the Ocean State action was in the
window: Bryant University wants it in Pascoag, Providence Community
Radio in Harrisville, and Peace Abbey/Life Experience School
filed for "3000 kW" (since amended to the correct 3
kW in Burrillville.
Connecticut's Sacred Heart University (WSHU) applied for two
Rhode Island signals, too: it wants 89.5 Charlestown and 89.9
And there was one "singleton": Colina Alta Ministries'
application for 91.1 in Bradford, near Westerly.
*There were 20 applications in Connecticut, with two "singletons":
Morgan Brook Christian Radio will get 89.9 in North Granby, while
Tri-State Public Communications (which currently programs community
station WHDD 1020 Sharon) will add a new community voice along
the New York border on 91.9 in Sharon.
From outside the Nutmeg State, Albany's WAMC applies for 90.9
in Manchester, MX'd to New York's WNYC on 90.9 in Central Manchester
and several other Hartford-area 90.7/90.9 applications.
Sacred Heart University (WSHU) applied for 89.9 in Niantic,
while Monroe's WMNR seeks 88.3 in Warren. Calvary Chapel of Southeast
Connecticut has three applications: 89.5 Pawcatuck, 90.7 Wauregan
and 91.3 Moosup.
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*Yet another AM station in CANADA has
made the move to FM.
(1320 New Glasgow NS) flipped the switch on the new CKEC-FM (94.1)
at 9:41 AM last Tuesday (Dec. 11). The new "East Coast 94.1"
is playing hot AC, and the AM signal will go silent in three
months, leaving nine AM stations in the province - and five of
those are planning FM moves as well.
One of them, CFAB (1450 Windsor), will have to try again to
find a frequency and power level the CRTC can live with. Last
week, the commission rejected CFAB's second attempt to go to
FM, saying that the proposed 23.8 kW signal on 92.9 would far
exceed the AM coverage area and create too much overlap with
MBS Radio's other stations in Kentville.
In Yarmouth, the CBC has been granted a new 19.9 kW signal
on 98.5 to carry Radio Two to Nova Scotia's west coast.
In New Brunswick, they're mourning Perry White, the morning
host at CHTD (98.1 St. Stephen) and weekend jock at CHSJ (94.1
Saint John). He was killed last Monday in a car crash near St.
George, New Brunswick. White was 43.
*And since nobody else is going to do it, we close this week's
NERW by recalling that it was 117 years ago tomorrow that Edwin
Howard Armstrong was born in Yonkers, New York.
Without his inventions, among them the superheterodyne receiver
and a little thing called "frequency modulation," none
of us would be doing what we do now. One can only imagine what
else Major Armstrong would have accomplished if he hadn't spent
the last unhappy years of his life fighting over the patents
So raise a birthday toast to one of radio's great inventors
tomorrow, won't you?
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!)
December 18, 2006 -
- As Clear Channel prepares to transition to private ownership,
it's quietly putting one of its biggest NEW YORK stations on
the market. WALK-FM (97.5 Patchogue) came into what would become
Clear Channel in October 1994, when Chancellor Media bought the
station (and its sister station, WALK 1370) as part of its acquisition
of American Media. As Chancellor evolved into AMFM and ultimately
into Clear Channel, WALK became a Long Island sister station
to Clear Channel's five-FM cluster in New York City, eventually
sharing much of its management with the New York cluster.
- Under the old multiple-ownership rules, that combination
of station was acceptable, since WALK-FM's Suffolk County-based
signal didn't overlap primary contours with the New York FMs.
But under the current ownership rules, which are based on Arbitron
markets, there's a problem: while WALK-FM is in the "Nassau/Suffolk"
market, that market is embedded in the larger New York market.
And rather than testing whether or not the privatization of Clear
Channel might allow WALK-FM's grandfathered status to continue,
Clear Channel is opting to make its license transfers as smooth
as possible, shedding several stations around the country that
are in the same ownership bind as WALK-FM.
- But WALK-FM won't go at a fire-sale price. As the dominant
AC station in a lucrative suburban market, and as one of only
two Class B FM signals that reach the entire Nassau-Suffolk market,
we're hearing that the price tag on WALK-FM is somewhere north
of $100 million (with a few bucks in there for the AM operation
as well) - and that there are already interested buyers, including
at least one former owner looking to re-enter the region.
- In Buffalo, it's the end of the line for Air America and
the rest of the progressive talk format at WHLD (1270 Niagara
Falls). Niagara Independent Media, which leased WHLD's airtime
from Citadel beginning in early February to carry its talk lineup,
says it couldn't keep the station afloat. In a message posted
to the WHLD website Sunday night, station founder Brian Brown-Cashdollar
wrote, "Start-ups face a huge up hill battle to get established,
and its almost unheard of for a start up to launch a station
with a format as expensive as the news/talk format." Niagara
Independent Media had been leasing time on WHLD to broadcast
"Democracy Now" before launching the full-fledged format,
and the show will continue to be heard there on weekday afternoons
at 1, in addition to a morning airing on sister station WBBF
(1120 Buffalo). What now for WHLD? Expect a return to the leased-time
ethnic programming that had been heard there before February.
- Sports talk is coming to Albany's FM dial today, as Regent
continues to shuffle its Capital District radio lineup. With
hot AC "Buzz" successfully transplanted to the new
WBZZ (105.7 Malta), its former home at WABT (104.5 Mechanicville)
will flip today to ESPN Radio, picking up that format from Regent's
"Team 1300" WTMM (1300 Rensselaer). What next for the
1300 signal? We're hearing a strong buzz (or is that the wrong
word?) that Greenstone Media's new female-oriented talk format
could be coming to the AM side early in 2007.
- In MASSACHUSETTS, the Red Sox have made a change in their
radio booth for the 2007 season: Jerry Trupiano is out after
13 years alongside Joe Castiglione. In his place, there'll be
three voices in the booth, as Castiglione is joined by Dave O'Brien
(who's called games for the Braves, Mets and Marlins in addition
to his work for ESPN) and by Sox PR chief Glenn Geffner (who's
also called games for the Padres - and, as we fondly remember
here in Rochester, the AAA Red Wings...)
- Tonight will mark the finale of "The Ten O'Clock News"
on WLVI (Channel 56), ending 22 years of prime-time news from
Morrissey Boulevard, and putting 150 people out of work as the
station changes hands from Tribune to Sunbeam, which will launch
a new 10 PM newscast produced by WHDH-TV (Channel 7) on Tuesday.
The last word from Morrissey Boulevard, after anchors Karen Marinella
and Frank Mallicoat say their farewells, will come from commentator
Jack Hynes, who was WLVI's 10 PM anchor for most of its news
December 16, 2002 -
- The big story this week comes from the snowy northern reaches
of NEW HAMPSHIRE -- but it's a precedent that broadcasters all
over the country could soon be studying as they fight local zoning
boards standing in the way of broadcast tower construction.
- Longtime NERW readers are already familiar with Bob Vinikoor's
struggles to build WQTH (720 Hanover), the construction permit
he was granted five years ago for a 50,000 watt daytime, 500
watt nighttime signal that would be a counterpart to his existing
WNTK (1020 Newport), WNTK-FM (99.7 New London) and WNBX (1480
Springfield VT). The station would use four 266-foot towers on
Etna Road in Lebanon, in an area zoned for industrial use. But
Vinikoor ran up against a Lebanon ordinance that prohibits any
broadcast tower higher than 42 feet -- and a city government
that was unwilling to accept the laws of physics (and FCC minimum
efficiency requirements) that dictate that no station operating
on 720 can possibly use a tower that short.
- Several years of court battles ensued, including a setback
last year when a state trial court found in favor of the city
and refused to grant summary judgment in Vinikoor's favor. The
New Hampshire Supreme Court accepted his appeal, though, and
on September 11 Vinikoor and attorney Fred Hopengarten of Lincoln,
Mass. appeared before the court for oral arguments, with Chris
Imlay, lawyer for the Society of Broadcast Engineers, submitting
a friend of the court brief in support of Vinikoor.
- The court issued its ruling on Thursday, and it's a pretty
clear victory for Vinikoor and for the radio industry in general.
In particular, the court agreed with Vinikoor that the city's
laws prohibiting a 266-foot tower are in conflict with the federal
regulations that require a tower of that height for a station
on 720 -- and that simply arguing that Vinikoor is "not
required by federal law" to build the station doesn't give
the city's regulations precedence. Vinikoor's next step: returning
to the trial court for an actual court order, after which he'll
be free to apply for a building permit and build the most powerful
AM signal (at least during daylight hours) in northern New England.
- Jukebox Radio is off the air in northern NEW JERSEY and Rockland
County, NEW YORK, but NERW's ears down that way report that the
oldies/infomercials format continues for now on primary WJUX
- Why was the plug pulled on the WJUX feed to translators W232AL
(94.3 Pomona NY) and W276AQ (103.1 Fort Lee NJ)? The Bergen Record
reports that Jukebox owner Gerry Turro received a letter from
the FCC in mid-November raising questions about a loan Turro
made to the former business partner who purchased the WJUX studios
from him. The FCC says the loan creates an impermissible business
relationship between the primary station and the two translators,
which operate outside WJUX's primary contour. While Turro has
won previous fights to keep the unusual translator network (fed
from studios in Dumont, N.J., near the Fort Lee transmitter)
intact, he tells the Record, "I'm sorry, I no longer feel
like fighting." Turro and Wesley Weis, who owns WJUX, are
reportedly trying to sell the three transmitters to a noncommercial
operator, which would be able to legally operate the translators
and the primary together.
December 18, 1997-
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- After six years of morning drive talk radio in Boston, Marjorie
Clapprood is leaving the airwaves. Clapprood's contract with
WRKO (680) is up at the end of December, and is not being renewed.
Her last show was this morning. Clapprood started out on WHDH
(850), co-hosting with Pat Whitley. Their show moved to WRKO
in 1992 when the stations came under common ownership (ARS, soon
to be CBS), and with Whitley's departure this past spring, the
show was re-named "Clapprood and Company." Current
co-host "Tai" will stay with WRKO, possibly filling
the 10 PM to 1 AM slot now held by Jeff Katz, who moves to mornings
to replace Clapprood. As for Clapprood's future, she tells the
Boston Globe she'll work on a book while considering returning
to law school or to television.
- Plenty of news this week from NEW HAMPSHIRE, starting with
the "other shoe dropping" in the ARS-Capstar deal on
the Seacoast. Earlier this fall, Capstar picked up oldies WQSO
(96.7 Rochester) and CHR WERZ (107.1 Exeter); now AM sister stations
WZNN (930, CP 1700 Rochester) and WMYF (1540 Exeter) are being
added to the deal, for a price reported at between $3 and 6 million.
- An upstate NEW YORK daytimer is trying again to find a new
frequency. WSIV (1540 East Syracuse) has withdrawn its application
for 1500 watt daytime-only operation on 670 kHz. It's apparently
part of a deal with Binghamton's WINR (680), which now gets the
go-ahead to raise its daytime power from 1 to 5 kilowatts. WSIV
has applied for 1500 watts, daytime-only, on 720 kHz instead.
- WYSL (1040) in Avon has finally turned on its night power,
several months after moving to the "24-hour" 1040 frequency
from its old daytime-only spot on 1030. WYSL is staying on until
6:30 pm nightly with a simulcast of WOKR (Channel 13)'s newscasts.
- Radio with Pictures: Kevin O'Neill, the "Why Guy"
feature reporter at Buffalo's WIVB (Channel 4), is taking his
dispute with the station very public. In an interview with the
Buffalo News, O'Neill said this week that he wants to break his
contract with WIVB because he's not being paid enough -- and
he wants to take job offers in New York or Miami. In Syracuse,
W18AL (Channel 18) is back with a simulcast of The Box programming
from W35AQ (Channel 35). And as Lowell Paxson gets ready to launch
his PaxNet next August, he's changed the calls on more than a
dozen of his TV stations. WAQF (Channel 51) Batavia-Buffalo-Rochester
will sign on under the WPXV call letters instead if the FCC approves.
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learn how you can help make continued publication possible. NERW
2007 by Scott Fybush.