March 24, 2008
NBC Wants to Sell WVIT - Again
TOWER SITE CALENDAR 2008 - NOW AVAILABLE!!!
MONDAY MORNING UPDATE: Ask
just about any top-40 DJ of a certain generation to list their
most respected colleagues, and the name "Jackson Armstrong"
is almost sure to pop up somewhere near the top.
Armstrong, whose real name was John Larsh, died Saturday at
his North Carolina home, ending a career that found "Your
LEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEADER" behind the mic everywhere from
Los Angeles (KTNQ, KKHR, KFI) to Boston (WMEX).
Armstrong's career began at his hometown WCOG in Greensboro,
NC in 1964, but he came into his fast-talking persona in Cleveland,
where he worked both for WIXY and competitor WKYC.
came to Boston in 1968 to work at WMEX, spending most of the
next seven years in the northeast at CHUM in Toronto, WKBW in
Buffalo (where his three-year stint on the night shift is still
fondly remembered by listeners all over the northeast), WPOP
in Hartford, WKTQ in Pittsburgh (where he was a key part of 13Q
from 1973-75) and even a short stint at KDKA. A few years later,
he did one shift on New York's WNBC as "The Unknown DJ"
before heading west to work in Los Angeles, San Francisco and
Armstrong returned to the northeast airwaves in 2003 when
WKBW (by then known as WWKB) returned to an oldies format, voicetracking
first an evening shift and then an afternoon shift from North
Carolina until the demise of the oldies on KB in 2006.
In a memorial message, Armstrong's daughter Devon writes,
"If you knew him at all, you'd know he wouldn't want you
to be sad for a moment...he would also want you to help fight
to bring back the personality in radio if at all possible. He
loved being a DJ almost as much as he loved being a father and
that says A LOT."
Armstrong was 62.
*In CONNECTICUT, NBC Universal is
putting WVIT (Channel 30) up for sale after just over a decade
of network ownership.
The New Britain-licensed
station has actually been owned by NBC twice during its 55 years
on the air, first from 1957-1959 (under the WNBC-TV calls) and
then again since a 1997 trade with Paramount (which acquired
WLWC-TV New Bedford/Providence and WWHO-TV in the Columbus, Ohio
market). Under NBC's ownership, WVIT has been a solid competitor
in the spread-out Hartford/New Haven market, consistently hitting
at least second place in the local news ratings, with some nice
first-place finishes in the February sweeps among 25-54 viewers
in the mornings and at 11.
When NBC Universal announced plans to shed many of its smaller-market
stations (including Providence's WJAR), WVIT was conspicuously
missing from the list - and indeed, it wasn't long after the
sale of WJAR and other NBC O&Os to Media General that NBC
announced plans to build a new high-tech studio facility for
WVIT next door to its half-century-old facility on New Britain
Avenue in West Hartford.
That new building is currently going up in what had been WVIT's
parking lot, but by the time it's finished, the station is expected
to have a new owner.
That's because even with all the money it's spending on WVIT,
NBC says it's focusing its station ownership on the top 10 markets.
It owns stations in eight of them, leaving only Detroit and Boston
without NBC O&O presence. (In Detroit, NBC has a long association
with Post-Newsweek's powerful WDIV; in Boston, the network has
long been rumored to be interested in a deal to buy WHDH from
Ed Ansin's Sunbeam.)
Outside the top 10, NBC will be left with only KNSD in San
Diego once it completes the latest round of sales, which also
includes WTVJ in Miami.
GETCHER 2008 TOWER SITE CALENDAR
- BEFORE THEY'RE ALL GONE!
Still haven't ordered your 2008 Tower Site Calendar?
You do realize that it's now...er...2008, don't you? We're already
down to the last 60 or so calendars, and they're going
fast. The 2006 and 2007 editions of the calendar sold out, and
this one will do so as well, possibly as soon as this month.
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.
The calendar is just $18 with
shipping and handling included - or better yet, beat our move
to mandatory subscriptions later this year 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
right here and you can be sure 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.
*A windstorm in Bangor ripped the roof off the
MAINE Public Broadcasting administration building Friday
In January, MPBN had announced plans to move its staffers
(about two dozen of them) out of that building, at 65 Texas Avenue,
and into the neighboring building at 63 Texas Avenue that already
houses MPBN studios and master control. Only the lower two floors
of the three-story administration building were occupied when
the windstorm hit, and that meant staffers escaped injury when
the roof came off.
Because of damage to power lines, incoming electric feeds
to the 63 Texas Ave. building were cut off after the storm came
through, and MPBN operated its master control from generator
power for several hours while the winds died down.
It's not clear yet whether MPBN will speed up its plans to
move next door; we'll keep you posted.
in Brunswick, it's the end of the line for an old studio/transmitter
building. The barnlike structure that was home to the stations
on 98.9 and 900, variously WCME, WKXA and WCLZ, for almost half
a century came down last week, we're told. There hadn't been
studios in there for several years, since WCLZ (98.9 North Yarmouth)
was swallowed up by first the Portland-based Citadel cluster
and then the South Portland-based Saga cluster.
The AM side on 900, which is part of JJ Jeffrey's "Big
Jab" group of sports stations, changed calls last week as
well - it had been WJJB and is now WWBK. (The WJJB calls are
apparently headed for Westbrook to replace WJAE on the 1440 half
of the simulcast.)
In place of the old building, there's now a small prefab structure
housing the transmitters for WCLZ and WJJB.
And veteran newsman Bob Dyk, whose career included network
jobs at CBS and ABC, several years in California at San Francisco's
KGO-TV and Sacramento's KRBK, and two decades of radio and TV
news work in Maine at WMTW-TV and WGAN, has died. Dyk's network
achievements included reports from London on the death of Winston
Churchill in 1965, as well as the only on-scene US network coverage
of the first few days of the Iran hostage crisis from Tehran
in 1979. Dyk died Saturday at his home in Falmouth; he was 71.
*In MASSACHUSETTS, there's some good
news from WEEI (850) sports talker Glenn Ordway. He returned
to the air last week after an extended absence following the
difficult birth of his daughter, and he spent the first part
of his return recounting the medical heroics that allowed little
Mia Grace Ordway to pull through. There's still a chance that
the baby may have some damage to one area of her brain, but Ordway
tells the Herald, "were feeling pretty optimistic
that were going to have a fairly, positive outcome."
Don Imus is adding an affiliate in the Berkshires. WBEC (1420
Pittsfield) carried Imus' old CBS Radio show until it was cancelled
nearly a year ago amidst Imus' now-famous remarks about the Rutgers
women's basketball team. WBEC owner Vox tells the Berkshire
Eagle they were waiting to see what Imus' relaunched show
(which signed on in December) would be like before committing
to it. The new show will join the WBEC lineup March 31, replacing
Doug Stephan's syndicated "Good Day USA."
In Plymouth, Sean Casey exits as PD and afternoon jock at
WPLM-FM (99.1); morning guy Frank Mitchell takes over as PD,
with no replacement named yet for afternoons.
a new format at WNEB (1230 Worcester); it's flipped from religion
to conservative talk as "1230 AM The Patriot."
At classical WCRB (99.5 Lowell), they're mourning overnight
host Phil Patrone, who died March 15 after a fight with cancer.
Patrone came to WCRB from Boston's theater community, where he
worked with many of the region's theater companies and was honored
with awards that included the Eliot Norton Award as best actor
in 2001. At WCRB, Patrone also hosted Boston Pops and Boston
Symphony broadcasts. He was just 48 years old.
Some fun news from Greater Media: the cluster marked St. Patrick's
Day on Monday by bringing in many of Boston's Irish (and Irish-for-a-day)
VIPs to spin their favorite Irish tunes and tell some stories
on the all-Irish-music HD2 channel of WTKK (96.9). Now, if the
radios were just out there to tune in the signal...
a new TV newscast on the air in VERMONT. As we predicted
when Fox outlet WFFF (Channel 44) launched a 10 PM newscast last
year, the same news team is now producing a broadcast for sister
ABC outlet WVNY (Channel 22).
But instead of competing head-on with the Burlington/Plattsburgh
market's two news behemoths, WCAX (Channel 3) and WPTZ (Channel
5), WVNY is running its newscast on weeknights at 7 PM. And it's
branding the show, oddly enough, as "Fox 44 News at 7."
(Yes, Vermont readers, we'd love to see tape of the WFFF/WVNY
newscasts, if anyone's able...)
NERW LIVE IN PERSON! If you're in Southern California, come see NERW
editor Scott Fybush deliver the latest version of the "Tower
Sites I've Known and Photographed" slideshow, Tuesday, April
8 at the SBE Chapter 47 meeting in Burbank, CA. Details at the
SBE Chapter 47 website, http://www.sbe47.org/
*In NEW YORK, there's a new addition
to the airstaff at WRXP (101.9). "Greg," as he's known
on-air, is Greg Russ, formerly "Dekker" at Atlanta's
WNNX. (And WRXP has also been using the talents of a former WQCD
jock on weekends, when Paul Cavalconte's been heard recently.)
In Utica, CNYRadio.com
reports a staff move at the Regent cluster: WIBX (950) news director
Stacey Lynn moves to sister country station WFRG ("Big Frog
104.3") to co-host the morning show. On Big Frog, she's
known as "Polly Wogg," and she replaces the exiting
In the Finger Lakes, Geneva's WEOS (89.7) has amended its
applications for its new facilities. WEOS itself is now proposing
to move to 89.5, using 6 kW/312' from the current 89.7 site in
Stanley NY. Its new Ithaca sister station, WITH (90.1) applies
to modify its CP to move to a tower owned by Tompkins County
on South Hill, adjacent to the Ithaca College campus. From that
site, WITH would run 3 kW/-72'. WEOS has also modified its application
for 90.3 in Auburn; the new application specifies the Cayuga
County 911 tower, with 3.35 kW/289' DA.
*A NEW JERSEY format change: Press Communications
is replacing oldies with Fox Sports at WBUD (1260 Trenton). When
the flip takes effect on March 31, WBUD will run Fox 21 hours
a day, with three hours a day of Jim Rome in middays.
Scott Lowe has a new full-time gig at Press' G-Rock (WHTG-FM
106.3 Eatontown/WBBO 106.5 Bass River Township). The veteran
jock (WAEB-FM, WPST, WPLY, WYSP) has been doing part-time work
for G-Rock, but now he's signed on full-time for the night shift.
(He'll keep doing his Saturday night request show, as well.)
*In PENNSYLVANIA, Greater Media is
preparing to relaunch its AM sports talker, WPEN (950 Philadelphia).
The station has dropped its 6-9 AM show with Glenn Foley and
Michael Bradley, replacing it with ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike.
It's part of an overall rebranding of the station that will take
effect April 1, as it picks up the ESPN affiliation and becomes
rest of the WPEN day will shape up like this: former afternoon
host Jody McDonald moves to the 9 AM-1 PM slot, followed by the
Mike Tirico show from ESPN and then former WIP/WMMR talker Mike
Missanelli from 3-7 PM. Harry Mayes moves from middays to nights,
where he'll do 7-11 PM alongside Dan Schwartzman, who comes to
WPEN from former Philly-area ESPN outlet WPHY (920 Trenton).
Across the state in Pittsburgh, Steel City media is making
changes at WLTJ (92.9). As of Sunday evening, "Lite Rock
92.9" is no more, and we hear the station has reimaged as
Pittsburgh's "B94" (WBZW 93.7) has added a new voice
to its morning team, and she's a familiar one from the station's
earlier years as WBZZ. Melanie Taylor did middays on B94 for
four years, then moved into traffic reporting for WTAE-TV after
B's big format flip. She'll join the Buckhead and Bubba morning
show April 1.
In Harrisburg, Scott Matthews is leaving WRVV (97.3) to focus
on his voiceover business, Matthews Voice. Matthews had been
afternoon host and creative services director for "the River."
A veteran Harrisburg jock died last week. Louis Torres, Jr.
was known as "Joe Torre" on the air at stations that
included WHTF (92.7 Starview, now WSJW), WTPA (in both its 104.1
and 93.5 incarnations) and WRVV. Torres died March 14 at age
In Erie, Mike "Chico" Bormann is returning to the
air with his sports-talk show. Bormann was formerly heard on
WFNN (1330) and WJET (1400), but when his new "Chico and
Company" show debuts next week, it will be on Citadel's
competing sports station, WRIE (1260 the Score). The 4-7 PM weekday
show will be the first local offering on WRIE since it flipped
from standards to sports a year ago.
*Eastern CANADA is losing one of its biggest
remaining AM signals in just a few weeks. The CBC signed on CBAM
(106.1 Moncton) in January, and that set the clock ticking for
the end of 50,000-watt, non-directional CBA (1070 Moncton), which
has long been a beacon of CBC service not only for much of the
Maritimes but for the northeastern U.S. as well.
We're hearing that CBA will breathe its last on the AM dial
early on the morning of April 7, with the final sign-off coming
at 8:30 AM ADT (7:30 AM EDT).
In Nova Scotia, Milkman
UnLimited reports that Ian Smith is moving his "Smitty
in the Morning" wakeup show from MBS Radio's CKPE (94.9
Sydney) to one of the new signals that NewCap will be signing
on soon on Cape Breton Island.
There's a new community FM signal on the air north of Toronto.
CIWS (102.7 Whitchurch-Stouffville) signed on last Monday (March
17) as "Whistle Radio," with a combination of talk,
folk, blues, pop and so on. (We're told it's operating in mono,
for what that's worth...)
And there's a new AM signal testing in Gatineau, Quebec. CJEU
(1670) has been heard by some DXers with its "Radio Enfant"
French-language children's format.
*And as we do every year at this time,
we welcome the imminent arrival of Opening Day with our annual
look at Baseball on the Radio, NERW Style -
We start, of course, with the world champion Boston Red
Sox, who begin the season with a change of announcers. Gone
is Glenn Geffner, who served as secondary color announcer last
year when primary color man Dave O'Brien was working his other
job with ESPN. With Geffner now handling play-by-play for the
Florida Marlins, Dale Arnold will join Joe Castiglione (in his
26th season!) on Wednesday games. Jon Rish, host of the Sox'
pre- and post-game shows, will fill in for O'Brien on a few occasions
during the season as well.
The goofy dual-flagship situation continues this year for
fans in greater Boston, with most games airing on WRKO (680),
but with sister station WEEI (850) picking up Wednesday games
and most day games. That includes the team's two opening games
this Tuesday and Wednesday in Japan, which will air on WEEI with
a 5:25 AM pre-game show and first pitch at 6:05. (The unusual
morning-drive games will be pre-empted by some Sox affiliates,
including WTIC 1080 in Hartford, which will send the Sox to WTIC-FM's
HD2 signal.) WROL (950 Boston) continues as the Spanish-language
flagship, with WPRX (1120 Bristol CT) as an affiliate.
The rest of the Sox affiliate
lineup looks to be mostly unchanged: all games will air on
the remainder of the WEEI network, including WVEI (1440 Worcester),
which will share the Sox with WCRN (830 Worcester), filling the
signal gap at night for much of the area just west of Route 128.
WTIC will continue to be the 50,000-watt voice of Sox Nation
for much of the northeast (yes, there's a button set for 1080
in the NERW-mobile), and the usual roster of about 60 stations
throughout New England will continue to make Sox games the soundtrack
for summer from northern Maine right down to Greenwich, Connecticut.
Once again this year, there are no broadcast TV games for
the Sox except for the handful of Fox network offerings; otherwise,
it's team-owned NESN all the way.
*There are no big changes this year for the New York Yankees'
radio lineup, either, as John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman return
for another season on flagship WCBS (880 New York) and dozens
of affiliates around the northeast and as far south as Florida.
The Yanks add a South Florida outlet this season, with WMEN (640
Royal Palm Beach) picking up the team's games in the apparent
absence of a major league team in the region. (What was that
about the Marlins, again?) And Yankees fans in Rhode Island and
southeastern Massachusetts can breathe a sigh of relief: despite
the format change that wiped out "The Score," its Providence
successor on 790, "True Oldies" WPRV, will continue
to carry Yankees games this year.
Spanish-language Yanks broadcasts move to a new home this
year, WNSW (1430 Newark NJ), and TV coverage remains mostly on
YES Network, with some games on WWOR (Channel 9) and a network
of local TV affiliates extending from Connecticut across upstate
*The New York Mets enter their final season at Shea
Stadium with a new color commentator joining Howie Rose in the
WFAN (660) broadcast booth. Wayne Hagin comes to the Mets from
the Cardinals, replacing Tom McCarthy. Spanish-language Mets
broadcasts will continue to air on WADO (1280), and TV coverage
is mostly on Sportsnet New York, with 35 games on WPIX (Channel
11) and a regional TV network.
*The Philadelphia Phillies remain on WPHT (1210) this
year, boasting one of the longest-running radio announcers in
Harry Kalas, calling his 38th season of Phillies games, along
with an affiliate
roster in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware that's largely
unchanged. Listeners in York get a new Phillies outlet this year,
as Cumulus' relocated WGLD (1440 Manchester Township) is slated
to be on the air in time for opening day.
Phillies' Spanish broadcasts are on WUBA (1480); on TV, opening
day airs on KYW-TV (Channel 3), with the rest of the season split
among Comcast Sports Network, CN8 and WPSG-TV (Channel 57).
*The Pittsburgh Pirates enter their second season on
WPGB (104.7) with another veteran announcer, Lanny Frattare.
The Rochester native (we take pride in that around here!) enters
his 33rd season with the Bucs, and he'll be heard on an
extensive network of affiliates covering western Pennsylvania
and corners of Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland. FSN Pittsburgh
carries most of the games on TV
*The Toronto Blue Jays offer the only coast-to-coast
radio network in baseball, with affiliates stretching from
CKST (1040) in Vancouver to CJNI (95.7) in Halifax, as well as
Toronto flagship CJCL (Fan 590) and the big 50,000-watt signal
of CHML (900 Hamilton). There's one cross-border affiliate, too,
as WSPQ (1330 Springville NY) returns for another season with
a partial Jays lineup. Jerry Howarth returns for radio play-by-play,
joined this year by former Jays catcher Alan Ashby for color.
TV coverage for the Jays is once again spread out among Rogers
Sportsnet, TSN and the CBC.
A few other teams boast affiliates within the friendly confines
of NERW-land: the Cleveland Indians are heard on WRIE
(1260 Erie), just down the dial from Pirates affiliate WFNN (1330).
And the Baltimore Orioles have five affiliates north of
the Mason-Dixon line in Pennsylvania, including WOYK (1350 York)
and WPDC (1600 Elizabethtown). As more teams move their flagships
to FM, it's getting harder to hear distant baseball on the clear
channels at night, but some decent bets include the Indians on
WTAM (1100), the Reds on WLW (700), the Cubs on WGN (720), the
White Sox on WSCR (670) and the Nationals on WWWT (1500).
Our look at Baseball on the Radio continues next week with
the first half of our 2008 minor-league listings. See you then...and
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!)
March 26, 2007 -
- RHODE ISLAND will soon have its first locally-owned public
radio station. "Rhode Island Public Radio" is buying
two Rhode Island radio stations - existing public radio outlet
WRNI (1290 Providence) and WAKX (102.7 Narragansett Pier). WRNI
has been providing NPR news and talk to northern Rhode Island
since 1998, when Boston's WBUR bought the station. It's been
an up-and-down ride ever since, as WBUR has weathered management
shakeups, a Rhode Island state investigation into the use of
money donated by Rhode Island listeners, and an aborted plan
by former WBUR general manager Jane Christo to sell WRNI and
its sister station, WXNI (1230 Westerly). Now Boston University
has agreed to keep WRNI in public radio hands, selling it for
$2 million (paid over a ten-year period) to the Rhode Island
Public Radio group, formerly known as the Foundation for Ocean
State Public Radio. WBUR will continue to provide engineering
and programming assistance to WRNI for the next five years, and
it will sell WXNI separately, since RIPR's other purchase announced
this past week will make the Westerly AM signal redundant. (Money
from the WXNI sale will go towards reducing the sale price of
- That other purchase is WAKX, for which RIPR will pay Davidson
Media $2.65 million, funded by a loan from the Rhode Island Foundation.
That signal will give RIPR coverage of much of South County and
Newport for the first time. (It's currently LMA'd out with a
smooth jazz format, which will continue to be heard on Davidson's
WALE 990 Greenville, at least when that station's on the air
- it's been off again for a few days, we're told.)
- Just in from NEW JERSEY as we go to press Sunday night: WHWH
(1350 Princeton) is reportedly back from the dead. Though the
Multicultural Radio Broadcasting-owned station went silent just
short of a year ago, in favor of its expanded-band sister WTTM
(1680 Lindenwold), Multicultural was one of several broadcasters
that asked the FCC to reconsider its "five-year rule"
forcing expanded-band broadcasters to surrender one of their
two licenses. It argued - successfully, it would appear - that
the FCC's stated aim of cleaning up the AM band wasn't being
met by the five-year rule. There's no word yet on whether WHWH
will return to its last format, business talk programmed by former
owner Nassau under an LMA.
- On Long Island, it's the end of the line (terrestrially speaking,
anyway) for Scotty Hart's modern rock "Radio X" network,
anchored at WLIX-LP (94.7 Ridge), with translators W235BB (94.9
Hauppage) and W238BA (104.5 Selden). Next Sunday (Easter Sunday,
as it happens), the stations will flip to a religious format,
and they'll soon add two more translators, W268AN (101.5 Plainview)
and W243BF (96.5 Shirley). Radio X will live on, for a while
anyway, on its webcast at radiox.fm.
- The residual effects of Citadel's deal to acquire ABC Radio
from Disney will be felt in the Portland, MAINE market. As part
of the FCC's approval of the transaction, Citadel will lose its
grandfathered market-cap status there - and that means it will
have to spin off two stations. WCYI (93.9 Lewiston) and WCLZ
(98.9 Brunswick) will be among 11 Citadel stations being placed
in the "Last Bastion Station Trust" while the company
seeks a buyer. WCYI is half of the modern rock simulcast with
WCYY (94.3 Biddeford), while WCLZ programs an adult album alternative
March 24, 2003 -
- One of the best known broadcast voices in central PENNSYLVANIA
came back to the air last Thursday (March 20). Bruce Bond was
a fixture in afternoons at WNNK (104.1) until December 2001,
when the Cumulus station shifted from CHR to hot AC and let him
go. Bond and sidekick "Stretch" quickly found a new
home at Citadel's classic hits WRKZ (102.3 Carlisle) - but Cumulus
soon filed suit to enforce Bond's one-year noncompete agreement,
which left Stretch working mornings solo on "Z102."
His absence from the airwaves (and a paycheck) hasn't been easy
for Bond; a note on his brucebond.com Web site asks for donations
from listeners to help him pay his bills.
- Over in Pottsville, WPAM (1450) has returned to the air after
being silent for a short time after its LMA by crosstown WPPA/WAVT
ended. The station is now being run under a five-year LMA to
Bob Murray (a former WPAM PD); it signed back on March 16 with
a day of Bruce Springsteen singing "The Rising," followed
by a day of Irish music; the permanent format at the new "Phoenix
1450" is classic rock.
- NEW YORK is seeing some talk schedule changes as well; WABC
(770) has pulled George Noory's "Coast to Coast AM"
(the old Art Bell show) and installed Steve Malzberg in the 1-5
AM slot. That gives him four solo hours instead of the two hours
he was sharing with Richard Bey from 6-8 PM. (Monica Crowley
is filling that seat now.)
- Upstate, rumors are swirling about the fate of WNSA (107.7
Wethersfield Township), the Buffalo-market sports station that's
owned by bankrupt Adelphia. WNSA's afternoon host Howard Simon
is now being seen on TV as well, with a 3-6 PM "Simoncast"
on sister cable network Empire Sports; that pushes the "Fan
TV" talk show back to 7 PM.
- Down in RHODE ISLAND, the "O" word is becoming
a thing of the past at Clear Channel's WWBB (101.5 Providence).
That's "O" as in "Oldies" - the music B101
is playing is now going under the moniker "Big Hits of the
Sixties and Seventies." This is a (forgive the pun) "Big"
thing these days; we've seen similar shifts up the New Hampshire
seacoast at WQSO (96.7 Rochester) and over in Utica at what's
now WUCL (93.5 Remsen), and we expect to see more of these "non-Oldies"
oldies stations in the months to come.
- We'll have more on this when we get back to home base next
week (we're coming to you from South Carolina at the moment,
as we gather new pictures for Tower Site of the Week) - but some
local sound is coming back to WWRX (103.7 Westerly). It's getting
detached from the FNX Radio Network up in Boston, with PD Cruze
taking over mornings and afternoon guys Storm and Birdsey becoming
WWRX-only. Details on the 31st...
March 26, 1998-
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- There's a new CHR on Cape Cod. The former WJCO (93.5) in
Harwich Port slipped away to an all-Chumbawamba stunt format
over the weekend before resurfacing Monday morning as WYST, "Star
93." Chris Boles is PD for Ernie Boch's station, which goes
up against established CHR WRZE (96.3) Nantucket.
- Other news from MASSACHUSETTS: Boston's WBZ (1030) is making
good on its claim of "news all day, every day" next
month by dropping its "Sports Saturday" and "Sports
Sunday" shows in favor of all news. BZ's specialty sports
shows, "Calling all Sports," "Upton Bell and Bob
Lobel," and "The McDonoughs on Sports" will continue.
- Moving along to RHODE ISLAND, we find two call letter changes
this week. In Providence, Portuguese WRCP (1290) will change
to WRNI when Boston's WBUR-FM (90.9) takes over operation of
the station this spring. And in West Warwick, the venerable WHIM
calls have been pulled from AM 1450 for WDYZ -- for Radio Disney,
of course. NERW wonders if WDYZ owner Hibernia will be applying
for new calls for its WPZE (1260 Boston) and WRDM (1550 Bloomfield
CT) as well.
- The FCC has paid a visit to a MAINE radio station that was
operating without a license. "I 97-3" was visited by
an FCC agent last Tuesday night, with a promise of a formal letter
from the FCC to follow. In a posting to a pirate radio newsgroup,
the station's owner says he was running just half a watt -- and
notes that the visit came just a few days after his station was
mentioned here in NERW. The station remains on the air, reportedly
running just a tenth of a watt for the moment.
- In NEW YORK, we bid farewell to one noncommercial station.
WOSS (91.1) in Ossining has returned its license to the FCC.
No word on why the school-owned station is calling it quits.
- Staff changes at several upstate CHR outlets: at Syracuse's
WWHT (107.9), PD Ed Lacomb is out; no replacement has been named
yet. In the Utica area, WOWZ (97.9 Whitesboro)/WOWB (105.5 Little
Falls), a.k.a. "Wow FM," is shuffling staff in the
wake of the departure of middayer Pam Anderson. Donna Jeffries
is taking midday duties temporarily, while part-timer "Kookinbocker"
(we don't make these names up, really!) takes over afternoons
under the air name "Rick Devoe." (Or perhaps that's
"Kehoe" -- we've heard both versions) And in Rochester,
overnighter Magic Man has resigned from WPXY (97.9). "Norm
on the Barstool" extends his 10PM shift all the way to 3AM,
while former morning sidekick Athena takes on 3 to 5:30 AM, followed
by producing duties for Scott Spezzano's morning show. As for
the rumors of a job out of town for 'PXY PD Clarke Ingram, word
at press time is that he's about to sign a new deal to stay with
ARS/CBS and 98PXY.
- There are new calls for Binghamton's soft AC outlet. The
former WGRG (101.7 Owego) is now WLTB. NERW's still waiting to
hear the modern rock format on its sister AM station, WEBO (1330).
Rochester's "Sunny 106" is finally using its new calls
on-air -- WYSY (106.7 Irondequoit) and WISY (102.3 Canandaigua)
replace WMAX-FM and WMHX, respectively. The WMAX-FM calls migrate
to the former WRCD (107.3 Honeoye Falls), where they're still
hidden away as "WMAX-FM Honeoye Falls no longer lives...this
is Jam'n 107."
- The country trimulcast on 107.1 surrounding New York City
(WWXY Briarcliff Manor, WWVY Hampton Bays, and WWZY Long Branch
NJ) is adding a fourth player. Big City Radio is buying WRNJ-FM
(107.1 Belvidere NJ), which serves the Easton PA market. It's
expected to join the "Y107" simulcast April 1.
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learn how you can help make continued publication possible. NERW
2008 by Scott Fybush.