August 18, 2008
"Mad Dog" Russo Splits From WFAN
*After more than 18 years at the pinnacle
of the NEW YORK sports-talk radio scene, "Mike and
the Mad Dog" are history at WFAN (660).
Francesa and Chris "Mad Dog" Russo spent very little
of the summer working together, separated by alternating vacations
amidst newspaper headlines suggesting increased tension between
the long-running co-hosts. And then, on Thursday, the memo came
out - Francesa had signed a new long-term contract to stay at
WFAN, while Russo was gone from the station that made him famous.
Russo's next career move is unclear right now. While rumors
have him heading for satellite radio - and a noncompete clause
in his contract (which remains in effect) bars him from competitor
WEPN until next spring - the Dog was back on the WFAN airwaves
Friday, calling in to his former show to say goodbye.
Francesa, meanwhile, becomes the solo star of a show that
thrived on his tension with his former co-host. While there will
new cast members added to the afternoon shift by the time the
show relaunches Sept. 5, Francesa says they won't fill the same
co-host role that Russo did. For now, Francesa's show will continue
to be simulcast on the YES Network (which replayed the Friday
call-in several times).
For WFAN, this is just the latest disruption to a program
schedule that had been set in stone for almost two decades. The
station's morning shift, now featuring Boomer Esiason and Craig
Carton, is still struggling to recapture the ratings and revenue
Don Imus brought in for years - and rumors continue to circulate
that the Mets, a staple of WFAN's lineup since the station's
debut in 1987, may shift flagships next year.
(On a brighter note, we hear construction is finally getting
underway in earnest at the new lower Manhattan studio complex
that will eventually house WFAN, WINS, WCBS-FM and WWFS; might
a move out of its dank Queens basement home change WFAN's fortunes
later this year?)
*In Syracuse, Citadel's WAQX (95.7 Manlius) is advertising
for a new PD, but CNYRadio.com reports that the current occupant
of that chair, Alexis, isn't leaving 95X - she's remaining on
the staff as midday host while handing off the programming reins.
There's a big Citadel change in Binghamton: after a quarter-century
at WAAL (99.1), most of that time in afternoon drive, Thunder
Reynolds has exited the classic rock station.
In Ithaca, Saga's WHCU (870) is shuffling its morning lineup,
replacing Dennis Miller (10-noon) and the last hour of its local
morning show with Glenn Beck, who'll now be heard from 9 AM-noon.
Dave Vieser and Geoff Dunn will continue to be heard with "Morning
Newswatch" from 5:30-9 AM. WHCU is also looking for an assistant
news director to fill the shoes of Greg Fry, who's moved to the
Albany market and a new news job with Clear Channel's WGY.
Here in Rochester, we've got "November 17" marked
on our (Tower Site) calendars - that's the date Brother Wease
will apparently be back on the air at WFXF (95.1 the Fox). On
Thursday, current morning man J.P. Hastings (who'll move to afternoons
once Wease takes over) announced that the "95-day countdown"
to Wease's return had begun.
what happens when the "Mike and Mike" morning show
at Clear Channel sister station WHTK (1280 Rochester) moves over
to crosstown WROC (950) with the rest of the ESPN Radio affiliation?
We hear that the new schedule on 950 will include much more
ESPN content than "Sportsradio 1280" now clears - but
it will also include a simulcast of Mike Schopp and the Bulldog
from 3-7 PM, coming from Entercom sister station WGR (550 Buffalo).
Irony alert: Schopp's sports-talk career took off here in Rochester
almost a decade ago - on WHTK. (He later went to upstart Buffalo
sports talker WNSA before landing at WGR.)
In the Finger Lakes, Bob Savage is now syndicating the Bill
Nojay talk show that airs daily on his WYSL (1040 Avon) from
2-3 PM. Nojay's show is being heard at 3 PM on WLEA (1480 Hornell)
and on a one-day delay at 11 AM on the Finger Lakes News Network
(WGVA 1240 Geneva, WAUB 1590 Auburn and WFLR 1570 Dundee).
Speaking of WFLR, its AM signal was off the air due to transmitter
troubles last Wednesday, and that gave us a chance to hear the
AM programming being relayed over its new translator, W245BL
(96.9 Dundee), with a signal that reached all the way up to Waterloo.
For now, W245BL is usually relaying WFLR-FM (95.9 Dundee), but
when that FM signal moves to Ithaca (as Odessa-licensed 95.5),
the 96.9/1570 combination will replace the current WFLR-FM for
Dundee/Penn Yan listeners.
The Buffalo Broadcasters have announced the lineup of honorees
for their next Hall of Fame induction, to be held Sept. 23. This
year's roster: pioneering sportscaster Roger Baker, talk host
Art Wander, WKBW-TV program manager John DiSciullo, former WGR-TV
weatherman Father Barry Lillis, NFL star/ESPN commentator Ron
Jaworski, Regent chief engineer Bill Stachowiak and WKBW-TV itself,
which celebrates its 50th anniversary in November. The induction
ceremony will be held at the WNED-TV studio, with Don Paul (WIVB-TV)
and Sue O'Neil (WKSE/WTSS) as masters of ceremony.
Back downstate, Reg Osterhoudt adds PD duties at WBWZ (93.3
New Paltz) to his job as operations director of Clear Channel's
Poughkeepsie cluster; Aaron McCord drops the WBWZ job to focus
on his PD work at sister stations WRWD-FM (107.3 Highland)/WRWC
Is Bob Buchmann done with radio? The now-former WAXQ (104.3
New York) PD and mid-afternoon jock did his last show last week
from Billy Joel's Long Island home, and he's dropping some pretty
broad hints that he's leaving the business, or at least the New
York market. Does that include Long Island, where Buchmann made
his name at WBAB? Stay tuned...
Three New York obituaries close our Empire State report this
When Le Roy Akins died last Sunday morning (Aug. 10), he was
remembered for his most recent job: for the last two years, he's
been mayor of Glens Falls. But as a teenager growing up in Glens
Falls, he was "Roy Lee," boy DJ at WWSC (1450) - and
from 1964-1971, Akins engineered and produced J.J. Jeffrey and
George Michael's shows at WFIL (560) in Philadelphia. Akins later
went into marketing before beginning his political career. He
Guy LeBow, who died Aug. 14 at 92, had a broadcasting career
that included TV and radio sportscasting, acting, writing and
even station ownership. LeBow recreated Giants baseball games
on WMCA after the team relocated from New York to San Francisco
in 1957, broadcast sports reports on WABC-TV's Eyewitness News
in the seventies, and, as chairman of Global Broadcasting, operated
WNWK (105.9 Newark NJ) for a decade after its previous licensee
lost the station's license in 1982.
Unless you're a game show aficionado, you've probably never
heard of David Zinkin. But the Rochester native, who died Wednesday
after a long battle with cancer, was an important link in the
NERW chain, keeping us posted on radio and TV news from western
New York during this column's early Boston-based years, filling
us in on the worlds of cable news, local TV, free-to-air satellite,
broadcasting history and many other topics after our move back
to Rochester, and helping keep the computers at NERW Central
up and running, too. David was also a close friend of your editor
as far back as middle school, and his loss (at the far-too-young
age of 37) leaves a big hole in this column.
few callsign changes in NEW JERSEY: in North Cape May,
WSJQ (106.7) becomes WKOE, picking up the calls that used to
be on 106.3 in Ocean City (now WBBO 106.5 Bass River Township).
No format change yet, but we'll be listening.
NJN Radio has calls for its new 90.3 in Toms River: it will
be WNJO, calls last heard in Trenton on 94.5, now WPST.
And veteran Jersey jock Zach Martin is back on the Garden
State airwaves, doing fill-in and weekend work at WDHA (105.5
Dover). Martin had been doing production at New York's WFAN.
Edited by NERW's own Scott Fybush - on sale now as
an e-book or printed volume!
*The PD chair keeps spinning in PENNSYLVANIA's
biggest market: Rick Vaughn is leaving WIOQ (102.1 Philadelphia)
on Sept. 2. He's heading for Chicago's WKSC (Kiss 103.5), to
replace the departing Rick Gillette.
In Pittsburgh, market veteran Zak Szabo is the new afternoon
host at Steel City Media's WLTJ (Q92.9).
on the AM dial, the message boards have been buzzing about a
new website at my660am.com,
which appears to be pointing the way to a new sports-heavy format
at WPYT (660 Wilkinsburg) beginning today. The lineup advertised
on the website includes "The Kegs and Eggs Morning Show,"
focusing on outdoor sports, as well as a new 2-6 PM "Barstool
Talk" sports-talk show.
In the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market, the AHL Penguins minor-league
hockey team is changing affiliates this fall. The Pens will move
from Shamrock's WEJL (630 Scranton)/WBAX (1240 Wilkes-Barre)
to Entercom's "Mountain" WDMT (102.3 Pittston) under
a multi-year deal.
And we remember Paul Norton, whose long broadcast career took
him from Olean to Albany to Buffalo's WKBW and WGR to the Voice
of America before he landed in Philadelphia in 1959. After a
year at WFIL (560), Norton moved across the hall to become a
staff announcer at WFIL-TV (Channel 6), and he remained on the
staff at Channel 6 (now WPVI) until his retirement in 1997. Norton
died of a stroke August 7 at a nursing home in Delaware. He was
*In MASSACHUSETTS, there's a new program
lineup at "ESPN Boston" (WAMG 890 Dedham/WLLH 1400
Lowell). With Mike Felger's departure for WEEI, WAMG has picked
up the "Mike and Lew Show" that had been heard (as
a leased-time offering) in morning drive on WWZN (1510 Boston).
Mike and Lew are now airing from 4-6 PM on 890, preceded from
noon-2 by a new show hosted by WCVB (Channel 5) sports anchor
Bob Halloran and WAMG's Mike Salk.
Down on the South Coast, UMass Dartmouth's WUMD (89.3 Dartmouth)
was knocked off the air last Monday after a lightning hit damaged
its transmitter. The station kept webcasting, and was back on
the radio at low power by this past weekend.
FCC is forcing Nassau to unwind a long-running NEW HAMPSHIRE
JSA - and quickly. The license to what's now WWHK (102.3
Concord) stayed in the hands of Capitol Broadcasting (aka Vox)
when Jeff Shapiro and Bruce Danziger sold the rest of their cluster
to Nassau back in 2004, and while WWHK has been functioning as
part of Nassau's Concord/Manchester/Nashua cluster ever since,
it's been doing so under a JSA with Capitol.
Nassau applied to buy WWHK outright in 2005, but the FCC dismissed
the application, saying it would put Nassau over the four-FM
limit for the Concord market. Nassau asked the FCC for a waiver,
noting that the 102.3 signal had been "home" to the
Manchester market at the time of the transfer application. But
the FCC isn't buying the argument. It says Nassau should have
ended the JSA in September 2006, when new rules went into affect
that attribute JSAs and LMAs against ownership limits. Now the
Commission is ordering the JSA to be terminated immediately,
forcing Capitol to make other arrangements to sell WWHK's airtime
- and it says the Enforcement Bureau will be weighing in on the
Barry Lunderville is changing calls at his new AM signal in
Berlin: WRTN (1490) will now be WKDR, a longtime Burlington,
*Congratulations to VERMONT Public
Radio, which will expand the reach of its classical service to
the Route 7 corridor south of Burlington with the help of a newly-granted
construction permit in Middlebury. The new signal on 90.1, with
1.2 kW/317' DA, will carry VPR Classical, replacing the present
Middlebury translator service on W258AW (99.5).
MAINE, we're hearing that the cutbacks at Blueberry Broadcasting
(the former Clear Channel group) hit even harder than we reported
last week: we're told that of the 34 people working for Clear
Channel at the Augusta cluster, just 22 still had jobs once Blueberry
took over. Three jobs were cut in Bangor when the deal closed
We're also hearing there may be some big changes coming at
J.J. Jeffrey's Atlantic Coast stations: the rumor mill has sports
WJJB-FM ("The Big Jab") moving to the big 96.3 signal
now occupied by talker WLOB-FM, which would take WJJB's Topsham-licensed
95.5. We're also hearing that Atlantic Coast may replace rhythmic
top 40 with WEEI's sports network on WRED (95.9 Saco).
Up north, there are reports that Allan Weiner's new 94.7 in
Monticello is on the air, playing classic country as "WBCQ-FM"
(Weiner's Monticello-based shortwave station also has the WBCQ
calls); the FCC database still shows 94.7 as an unbuilt CP with
no calls, but a request for the WBCQ-FM calls was filed August
*In RHODE ISLAND, Arbitron released
the revised version of the spring ratings, minus the six questionable
diaries from a "media-affiliated" household in East
Greenwich. With that extra WPRO listening subtracted from the
numbers, John DePetro's morning show dropped from fourth to ninth
place among listeners 25-54, though it remained in first place
among all listeners 12+. WPRO's all-day 12+ numbers fell from
first place to a tie for second. The station's maintaining "radio
silence" (as it were) about the issue, and DePetro remains
on the air at last check.
*A quiet week in CANADA; in fact,
the most exciting item we could dredge up comes from Barrie,
Ontario, where CHAY (93.1) has rebranded as "FM93, Barrie's
Fresh Music Mix."
To the north, a proposed station sale that slipped by us when
it was first announced back in May: Haliburton Communications,
which is selling most of its English-language signals in Ontario
to Newcap, also has a pending deal to sell its French-language
network (CHYC Sudbury, CHYK Timmins, CHYX Kapuskasing) to Le5
Communications, helmed by Paul Lefebvre, for C$425,000.
And Ron Laidlaw, who was the first news director at CFPL-TV
(Channel 10) in London, running the newsroom there from the station's
1953 debut until his retirement in 1985, has died. Laidlaw was
credited with Canada's first local commercial newscast in color,
and was the second president of RTNDA Canada in 1965-66. Laidlaw
died Thursday (Aug. 14); he was 88.
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 13, 2007 -
- Is there any other commercial station in MASSACHUSETTS that's
been in the same hands as long as WCAP (980 Lowell)? The station
signed on June 10, 1951, owned by Maurice Cohen and his two brothers,
and while the brothers have since passed on, the station has
remained under Cohen's control for all this time.
- That's about to change, as Cohen announced this morning on
WCAP's morning show. He's selling the station to a group of local
investors led by Chelmsford real-estate agency owner Sam Poulten,
local developer Brian McMahon and Andover radio consultant Clark
Smidt, under the "Merrimack Valley Radio, LLC" banner.
- "It's been almost a two-year courtship," Smidt
told NERW, describing his long negotiations with Cohen for the
purchase of the station. Smidt says he's known Cohen since the
early seventies, but it was only in recent years that he began
exploring a purchase of WCAP. "A good friend gave me the
idea that rather than looking for stations in northern New England,
this makes sense because it's right next door to me," Smidt
- The purchase, valued at $2,660,000, was financed locally
by Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank, Smidt told NERW in a weekend
interview. "The chairman of the board of the Lowell Five
knew Mr. Cohen, knows the situation, believes in Lowell, and
said if the fourth largest city in Massachusetts can't support
a good AM station, he'd be surprised," Smidt said. The veteran
consultant, whose Boston radio career included the creation of
new formats at WBZ-FM (106.7, now WMJX) and WEEI-FM (103.3, now
WODS) will be serving as WCAP's general manager once the deal
closes. He promises that Cohen, who's nearing age 90, will continue
to have an open door at the station. And he says he expects to
keep WCAP's talk format, adding more local content and boosting
the station's local sales efforts, which have flagged in recent
- It's been in the works for a while, but now the demise of
another Bay State AM station has become reality. WPEP (1570 Taunton)
disappeared from the airwaves last week, clearing the way for
former sister station WNSH (1570 Beverly) to make a big jump
in power. The latest version of the WNSH upgrade, for which a
construction permit was granted in June, calls for 30 kW days,
non-directional, from the present transmitter site on the Endicott
College campus. WNSH's present 85-watt night signal will be unaffected.
The elimination of WPEP will allow WNSH to drop the three-tower
daytime directional pattern that must now null co-channel WPEP
to the southwest (and even then, limits WNSH to 500 watts); it
also removes a source of local programming for the Taunton area,
which gets most of its "local" programming from Providence
and Boston stations these days.
- In NEW YORK, we're still waiting for the official confirmation
of the new morning team on WFAN (660) - but it sounds like it's
pretty much a done deal that former football star Boomer Esiason
and WKXW (101.5 Trenton NJ) afternoon host Craig Carton will
be the permanent replacement for Don Imus on the radio side.
We don't expect Esiason and Carton to be simulcast on MSNBC -
that slot will likely stay with Joe Scarborough, who's been filling
in on an interim basis - but we wouldn't be at all surprised
to see YES Network end up carrying the show, just as it does
the Mike and the Mad Dog afternoon show.
- "After 50 years in broadcasting...I'm retiring, effective
in about 30 seconds." That was the way Steve Delaney signed
off from VERMONT Public Radio on Friday, as he handed off his
"Midday Report" noon anchoring duties to the new daily
"Vermont Edition" that will debut today. Delaney spent
much of his career in the field, including more than 20 years
as an NBC News correspondent. He later worked for Monitor Radio
before joining VPR in 1997. Delaney will continue to contribute
to VPR newscasts; Mitch Wertlieb will be the new noon news anchor,
leading into Jane Lindholm as "Vermont Edition" host.
August 18, 2003 -
- As we go to press (so to speak) Sunday night, the Blackout
of 2003 is well on the way to the history books: power is back
on across the region, and the radio and TV dials are back to
normal. But it's worth a moment to update our Friday recap of
how broadcasters from Long Island to Cleveland handled the power
failure - and to offer some lessons to broadcasters looking to
make sure they don't go dark the next time the power goes off.
We'll start with the market-by-market look at who stayed on and
- New York City: Up here at NERW Central, we spent much of
our dark evening listening to the outstanding coverage on WCBS,
which pre-empted the Yankees game to stick with news. WCBS was
one of a handful of stations to stay on without significant interruptions;
WOR kept its entire staff going through the night at its 23rd
floor studios overlooking a darkened Times Square - and its transmitter
site stayed up on generator power for more than 24 hours (on
the old Continental 317, not the newer Harris - and with engineer
Tom Ray going on the air to talk about the situation, then staying
on by accident giving out the transmitter phone number!)
- Bloomberg's WBBR is designed to stay on the air no matter
what (two generators, two separate transmitter facilities, a
UPS and a backup studio at its New Jersey transmitter site),
and it did. WABC stayed up and running with only minor technical
glitches; its programming was less smooth, however, as it moved
from the scheduled Sean Hannity show, to news broadcast from
the ABC network radio facility on West End Avenue, back to Hannity
(who planned to send affiliates a taped "best-of" show
but ended up going live to the nation with blackout coverage)
from the WABC studios, and into the night with Steve Malzberg
and Monica Crowley mixing news and rumors.
- Less fortunate broadcasters included WFAN, which had trouble
getting its generators working at its Astoria studios and its
High Island transmitter and was off the air until just before
the Yankees game, which it then picked up from WCBS, the Mets
having been blacked out at Shea. WFAN then simulcast WCBS overnight
before running a best-of Imus show on tape from the transmitter.
Later Friday, Jody McDonald drove to Philadelphia to do the midday
show from sister WIP - and then Chris "Mad Dog" Russo
did five hours of live talk from the transmitter site, with no
phones! WFAN was back to Astoria in time for Friday night's Mets
- WINS lost power late in the afternoon at its New Jersey transmitter
site, returning later in the evening with coverage that was simulcast
on WNEW, which went "Blink"less from its auxiliary
transmitter at the WINS site.
- On the TV side, the Empire State Building was mostly dark,
as only a handful of stations had generator facilities in the
cramped transmitter spaces there. We've already noted that WCBS-TV
(Channel 2) maintained its tradition of always being on in a
crisis - but we neglected to note that WNBC (Channel 4) also
had a generator at Empire that enabled it to stay on the air
until 1 AM, when its live coverage (from the emergency studio
6C at 30 Rock, and later from a sixth-floor balcony) ended and
the station shut down the generator overnight to move to its
auxiliary facility at the Armstrong tower in Alpine, N.J. WABC,
WPIX and WNET were all on from Alpine, it appears; WNYW and WWOR
were off the air until late Friday when power was restored at
Empire. (And Pax's WPXN stayed on the air from its New Jersey
transmitter site with infomercials and Pax programming...) One
more note: Cable TV news is not a useful medium in a blackout
- and Time Warner's New York 1 proved the point, going off the
air when the power (and cable) went out and staying off through
- In MASSACHUSETTS, John "Ozone" Osterlind is taking
an involuntary two-week break from morning duties at Entercom
talker WRKO (680 Boston) after learning the hard way just where
the boundaries to his "bad boy" act lie. Early last
Tuesday morning (August 12), Osterlind and co-host Peter Blute
were reportedly discussing the Palestinian situation when Osterlind
suggested that the solution would be to eradicate the Palestinians.
That was too much for station officials (though afternoon host
Howie Carr can refer to "towelheads" without penalty)
- and Osterlind was sent to the beach for two weeks, with a variety
of guest hosts filling in.
- A familiar station identity is back in CANADA, where Corus
pulled the plug on "Energy 93.1" up in Barrie, Ontario
- replacing it with soft AC sounds as "The New CHAY 93.1."
The CHAY calls never legally disappeared from the powerful station
north of Toronto, but they haven't been used much on the air
recently; the move leaves just one remaining "Energy"
station from Corus' chain, the 103.1 facility in London.
August 13, 1998 -
can sponsor this weekly feature! Click here for information!
- There's been a lot of speculation over the last few months
about the fate of American Radio Systems' Boston stations --
even an article in another radio column just a few weeks ago
that authoritatively claimed Jacor would be the next owner of
WRKO, WEEI, WAAF, WEGQ, and WWTM. As of this afternoon, the rumors
are over. David Field's Entercom is paying $65 million to buy
the stations from CBS, which was required to sell the stations
as part of the antitrust settlement of its purchase of ARS. CBS
also gets two Entercom stations in Tampa, WYUU (92.5 Safety Harbor
FL) and WLLD (98.7 Holmes Beach FL). Although it's based in Philadelphia,
Entercom's first entry into the Northeast radio market came just
last year with its purchase of the former Heritage Media group
in Rochester. The Boston (and Worcester) stations are the company's
first entries in New England.
- What happens now? Let's put NERW in analysis mode here and
take a look at Entercom's new prizes: WRKO (680) tops the list
in both ratings and prestige. With nearly two decades under its
belt as a talker (after those 14 glorious years as a top-40 rocker),
the 50 kilowatt giant remains a solid ratings performer, despite
some recent turbulence in morning drive. Entercom's background
is more on the FM side than AM, but recent acquisitions of AM
giants like Seattle's KIRO and Kansas City's KMBZ and KCMO suggest
that the company is getting more comfortable on the other side
of the dial. With solid performers like Dr. Laura, Rush Limbaugh,
and locally, Howie Carr in the afternoons, changes at WRKO seem
unlikely. WEEI (850) and mostly-simulcast WWTM (1440 Worcester)
have carved out a solid niche in the sports arena, fending off
competition from the now-defunct sports weekend at WBZ (1030),
as well as the mostly-syndicated fare on WNRB (1510). Along with
WAAF, they'll give Entercom a solid footing among younger male
listeners. On the other side of the equation, neither of WEEI's
major sports franchises (the Red Sox and Celtics) has been performing
well of late, and despite WEEI's 1994 move from 590 to the former
WHDH at 850, it's still saddled with a directional signal that
misses many western suburbs at night. WWTM helps by day, but
is no more effective at reaching Framingham or Natick after dark.
Entercom's only other sports outlet is KFXX in Portland, Oregon.
- On the FM side, Entercom gets two rimshotters. The better
of the two signals, at least in greater Boston, is WEGQ (93.7
Lawrence). The erstwhile WCGY moved its transmitter to Middleton
a few years back, improving reception around Boston, but it's
still hampered by second-adjacent stations in Taunton and Providence
to the south. As for format, classic rock is one thing Entercom
knows how to handle. Will the company's solid grasp of the format
help the "Eagle" differentiate itself from CBS' WZLX
(100.7)? It had better, if only to pull WEGQ out of the 17th
place spot where it landed in the Spring book...
- Last on the list, but perhaps the most interesting, is WAAF
(107.3 Worcester). For years, WAAF has tried to pretend it's
actually located 40 miles east, even though its signal within
the city of Boston can most kindly be described as "variable."
But with the help of plenty of advertising dollars, along with
publicity that can't be bought (like last spring's "Mayor
Menino is Dead" April Fools' stunt), WAAF continues to do
fairly well in the ratings. What's more, its active rock format
is Entercom's specialty. So what happens next? Well, another
Entercom specialty is frequency and call shifts. This is the
company that traded KCMO's 810 dial spot for WHB's 710 in Kansas
City, flip-flopped its sports (KFXX) and nostalgia (KKSN) outlets
in Portland, and moved the legendary WBBF calls from AM to FM
in Rochester. Could WAAF finally become a legitimate Boston signal
on 93.7, with Eagle getting regional reach on 107.3 (a signal
which regularly draws ratings as far away as Springfield)? Wouldn't
- One more note before we move on to the rest of the week's
news: Besides keeping hot AC WBMX (98.5), CBS is hanging on to
one other ARS station. WNFT (1150) was not included in the Entercom
sale, which leads NERW to wonder what CBS has in mind with this
often-ignored station that's currently pulling R&B oldies
off the satellite. Could WBZ finally get the overflow outlet
that it's wanted for years? With the Justice Department satisfied,
could 1150 now be flipped to sports? And what of CBS's stated
committment to find minority buyers? Is WNFT's current format
a clue? We don't know...but we'll keep you posted.
- We'll start the rest of this week's news in NEW YORK with
the sale of Albany's second public TV outlet. Sinclair has agreed
to pay $23 million for WMHQ (Channel 45), with the station returning
to commercial operation once the sale closes (it began its life
in the 80s as commercial independent WUSV before being sold to
WMHT), either as a UPN or WB affiliate. Sinclair gets an upstate
New York sweep with this one -- they now own or are purchasing
WUTV (Fox) in Buffalo, WUHF (Fox) in Rochester, and WSYT (Fox,
with an LMA on UPN affiliate WNYS) in Syracuse, as well as a
large radio group in Buffalo.
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
2008 by Scott Fybush.