March 2, 2009
A Great Voice is Stilled
*Back in 2001, your editor spent a couple of weeks driving
across the middle of America, in the first of what we'd come
to call our "Big Trips." Out there on the plains, as
we passed radio tower after radio tower, we found a constant
ritual: every day, around noon, we tuned in to the strongest
ABC affiliate we could find for the daily "visit" with
We'd been listening to Paul Harvey, on and off, for many years
by then, but there was something about hearing him in his natural
environment, a couple of states west of his home base of Chicago
and a couple of states north of his native Oklahoma, that reinforced
what we already knew: almost 70 years into his long career, the
voice we were hearing on the car radio was truly a natural treasure.
Now, of course, that voice is gone. It began vanishing from
the airwaves during Harvey's frequent absences of the last few
years, and it went away for good Saturday when he died in Arizona,
at the age of 90.
The whole scope of his career has been, and will be, well
documented all over the newspapers and the national trades, so
perhaps you'll forgive us if we pay tribute by way of sharing
some personal reminiscences of our own experiences with Paul
Harvey was never a staple of the New England radio landscape
to the same extent as the midwest (even if Framingham-based Bose
was long one of his primary sponsors), but by the time your editor
arrived at Boston's WBZ in 1992, Harvey's three daily broadcasts
had become an important part of the station's lineup, though
he'd only been on the air there since 1980. (Remarkably, his
previous Boston affiliate was a carrier-current college station,
Until the last years of his career, Harvey resisted naming
a permanent substitute, instead spreading that role among his
ABC colleagues (most notably, recently, Gil Gross) and among
anchors from his larger affiliates - and in the mid-nineties,
ABC briefly tapped WBZ's Gary LaPierre to do some fill-in broadcasts
during Harvey's vacations.
As LaPierre's regular newswriter, your editor was tapped to
help with the writing on the Harvey broadcasts as well. You can
well imagine my own excitement at having my words heard nationally;
the bigger surprise, though, was watching the thrill LaPierre
experienced at stepping into those big shoes for a day. Here
was an anchor who'd already been in the business for three decades,
interviewing presidents and Beatles and covering every major
event imaginable - but that day, he was filling in for Paul
Harvey, and that was really something.
(Sadly, the relationship between Harvey and WBZ cooled in
later years; the station's purchase by CBS meant the end of LaPierre's
fill-ins, and in 2006 WBZ dropped its ABC affiliation entirely,
sending Harvey to exile on weak-signalled WTTT 1150, and eventually
off the Boston airwaves entirely.)
Meanwhile, your editor had moved home to Rochester, where
Harvey has long been heard on WHAM (1180) - and when that station
marked its 80th birthday in 2002 by inviting Harvey to Rochester
for a speech and reception, it was an honor to sit in the audience
as the octogenarian Harvey spoke for 45 minutes with almost no
notes - and then to get to meet the man afterward, and to present
him with one of the early editions of the Tower Site Calendar.
The phone rang a few days later, and it was WHAM operations
director Jeff Howlett. "You're going to want to listen to
Paul today," he said - and proceeded to play the early feed
of the noon "News and Comment" over the phone.
After a lengthy recap of his visit to Rochester, full of praise
for the city and for WHAM, Harvey continued by spending nearly
a full minute of his broadcast talking about...the Tower Site
Calendar. (You can hear it here.)
remarkable as that brush with radio greatness was, there
was still one more to come: a year or so later, through the good
graces of an acquaintance in ABC affiliate relations, a visit
to Chicago was highlighted by a tour of the Paul
Harvey studios - and the opportunity to sit across the glass
and watch the "noon visit" being broadcast.
Except that didn't happen...because just as your editor was
settling in to one of the chairs of the conference room that
adjoins the small studio, Mr. Harvey asked if we'd rather come
watch from inside the studio itself. And so we did, sitting almost
breathless as that voice - almost 85 years young that November
morning - emerged from the frail-looking, toupee-less man in
the blue ABC smock (his regular work uniform) sitting at the
desk just a few feet away.
You don't really top an experience like that, and we never
did. Instead, we listened with some sadness as Harvey slowly
vanished from the airwaves in recent years, his energy and enthusiasm
clearly drained by the illness and death of his wife and producer
of six decades, his beloved Angel.
Now he's gone, and with him the last vestiges of an era when
stentorian radio commentators roamed the network schedules. Paul
Harvey outlasted that era by many decades in that remarkable
career that started just a dozen years after radio broadcasting
itself, and it's hard to imagine that anyone will ever match
*In a decade and a half of doing this column,
we've shied away from repeating rumors and spreading gossip.
But sometimes the drumbeat is so loud, and so clear, that it's
hard to ignore - and that's the case, this week, with CBS Radio's
NEW YORK cluster.
as salespeople for WXRK (92.3 New York) settle in as the first
tenants of the cluster's new home downtown at 345 Hudson Street,
well-placed sources tell NERW that managers are looking for a
new request line number that ends with the letters "H-I-T-S."
That, needless to say, doesn't fit the rock format of "K-Rock"
or the AC format of its eventual neighbor at Hudson Street, "Fresh"
WWFS (102.7). But it does track with the big flip out in Los
Angeles last week that transformed FM talker KLSX (97.1) into
top-40 "AMP Radio."
Despite rumors that have suggested "AMP" clones
showing up everywhere from Boston to San Francisco, we're hearing
that the eventual flip in New York - whether at WWFS or WXRK
- won't carry the "AMP" branding, which will apparently
remain unique to L.A.
So which signal will end up flipping in New York, and when?
That remains a well-guarded secret for now, though with the contract
for morning men Opie & Anthony just a couple of months from
expiration, it certainly would seem that WXRK is more obviously
poised for a flip than WWFS, which has been surprisingly successful
with its "Fresh" format after many years of instability
and repeated format flips as WNEW.
(And, no, we don't put much weight on the rumors that have
the WNEW brand returning to 102.7 and "Fresh" moving
to 92.3, either.)
Will any of this pan out? As always - stay tuned.
MONDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: We
now know the outcome of this morning's big meeting in Syracuse
- and it ends up being the opposite of what we'd surmised - Barrington
Broadcasting's NBC affiliate, WSTM (Channel 3), is taking over
operations of Granite's CBS affiliate, WTVH (Channel 5), under
a shared-services agreement. There was no noon newscast on WTVH,
and it appears much of that station's staff may be out as operations
of the CBS station move two doors down to WSTM's studios. We'll
have much more on this developing story in next week's NERW.
And in Corning, the FCC has deleted the license of WCEB (91.9),
the Corning Community College station that's barely been on the
air at all in recent years.
*Long Island's WBON (98.5 Westhampton) is
now being simulcast in the Atlantic City, NEW JERSEY market:
listeners to WTAA (1490 Pleasantville) are hearing WBON's "La
Fiesta" format in place of the "Gran D" satellite
format that had been airing on the Atlantic City signal.
And while we're straddling the line between the Empire State
and the Garden State, a note on our item last week about construction
of a new tower site for WEPN (1050 New York): while the current
WEPN transmitter building in East Rutherford, N.J. indeed dates
to 1940 and the station's WHN days, the three-tower array that's
been rendered useless by the construction of the new "Xanadu"
shopping/entertainment center next door was not, in fact,
original to 1940.
As several highly alert NERW readers have noted, WHN's original
1940 array used only two towers, located due east of the transmitter
building on land that was subsequently taken by the Turnpike
Authority for construction of Exit 16W, circa 1968. That's when
the present three-tower array went up north of the transmitter
building - and when the roads around the site were reconfigured,
too, as anyone who's ever tried to find the station's driveway
has found out to their chagrin. (Here's a hint: you can only
get there if you're coming west from Secaucus...)
*One more New Jersey note: NJN Radio has been granted a construction
permit for a new signal on 88.9 in Bernardsville, more than a
decade after the statewide public broadcaster first applied.
NJN was competing with World Revivals, Inc., which applied for
the frequency in nearby Chatham. World Revivals challenged the
FCC's initial grant to NJN, claiming NJN never had authorization
to use its proposed antenna site on the water tower of a VA hospital.
But the FCC says there's clear evidence that NJN indeed had "reasonable
assurance" of the site's availability, so the CP grant stands.
STILL NEED A 2009 CALENDAR?
...because there are still a few copies of Tower
Site Calendar 2009 in stock at the fybush.com
Our business manager (aka Mrs. Fybush)
says we're heading for another sellout, so don't sit around waiting
for a clearance sale that won't be happening.
So fill that empty space on your wall today,
with a brand-new Tower Site Calendar 2009!
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*The most recent radio headlines in MASSACHUSETTS
have been all about one of the most prominent unlicensed
signals in Boston. "Touch 106" has won mayoral approval
even as it's defied the FCC's attempts to shut it down and to
fine owner Charles Clemons, and now Clemons is making a new bid
for legitimacy with what he's billing as a cross-country walk
to promote the cause of low-power FM. The "Walk 4 Power,"
which is scheduled to start today at noon in Boston's Grove Hall
neighborhood, is supposed to take about five months, and Clemons
is promising regular on-air updates on "Touch 106"
as he walks.
Congratulations to Greater Media chairman Peter Smyth - he
was honored recently by the Broadcasters Foundation of America
with its Golden Mike Award for his service to the industry, and,
class act that he is, he insisted that the Bordes family, which
owns the company, be honored as well.
*TV viewers in RHODE ISLAND won't be able
to use the "Ghiorse Factor" to plan their wardrobes
much longer. After 26 years at WJAR (Channel 10), in two stretches
from 1968-1983 and again since 1998, meteorologist John Ghiorse
retired from the station at the end of February. Ghiorse started
his TV career at Hartford's WTIC-TV (Channel 3, now WFSB) in
1966, and also worked at Providence's WLNE before returning to
WJAR. Most recently, he's been seen on WJAR's morning, noon and
*The news out of MAINE is all about
call changes: WKCG (101.3 Augusta) has become WVQM, to match
its news-talk simulcast with WVOM (103.9 Howland) in the Bangor
market. Meanwhile, Bangor's WABI (910) sheds the calls it's had
for more than eight decades - it's now WAEI, matching its WEEI-simulcast
FM sister, WAEI-FM (97.1 Bangor). The WABI calls live on over
at WABI-TV (Channel 5).
And there are callsigns for two new signals: WWLN (90.5) in
Lincoln and WJVH (91.5) in Belfast both belong to Augusta's Light
of Life Ministries.
*From western PENNSYLVANIA comes the
first example we've seen in NERW-land of oe of the newest developments
in the DTV transition, as WTAE-DT (4/RF 51) applies for special
temporary authority to operate a "replacement service"
translator on RF channel 22. These new services are being authorized
to fill in areas that formerly received usable analog service
but fall outside the signal range of DTV service from the same
station. And in the case of WTAE, which has long been hampered
in parts of the Pittsburgh market by its transmitter location
in southern Allegheny County, distant from the rest of the Pittsburgh
signals, that loss area includes "certain densely populated
areas in the northern portion of Allegheny County, northwestern
portion of Westmoreland County, southern portion of Armstrong
County and southern portion of Butler County.
So WTAE's asking the FCC to authorize a 9.25 kW digital translator
on channel 22, the frequency vacated by WPMY, now operating digitally
on channel 42. The new signal would come from the WQED tower
in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh.
One call change to report: in Martinsburg, WJSM (1110) has
changed calls to WWBJ.
Edited by NERW's own Scott Fybush - on sale now as
an e-book or printed volume!
*The economic crash of the broadcast TV
industry in CANADA could mean the end of several local
stations in smaller markets across Ontario, and the shutdown
of dozens of relay transmitters, if CTVglobemedia follows through
on its latest requests to the CRTC.
says it's been losing money ever since it purchased the "A
Channel" stations as part of its takeover of CHUM Ltd.,
and it now intends to shut down Windsor-market CHWI (Channel
16 Wheatley/60 Windsor) and Wingham's CKNX-TV (Channel 8) when
those station's licenses expire this August.
CTV also says it will ask the CRTC to allow it to end separate
local programming on its CKCO (Channel 42) signal in Oil Springs,
near Windsor, making that station a full-time relay of CKCO-TV
(Channel 13) in Kitchener. And it says it intends to cease operations
at a slew of rebroadcast transmitters, most notably CJOH's relays
in Deseronto, Pembroke and Lancaster and CFTO's relays in Severn
Falls and Bobcaygeon (Peterborough). Also set to go dark are
CKCO's Wiarton relay; CKCW-TV-2 in St. Edward, PEI; CKCD in Campbellton,
NB; CJCH/CJCB relays in Bridgetown and New Glasgow, NS; and northern
Ontario signals in Wawa, Dwight, Chapleau, Kapuskasing, Kearns,
Hearst and Elliot Lake.
Will CTV really follow through on the shutdowns - or is this
a negotiating ploy to bring the CRTC around to broadcasters'
demands for US-style retransmission consent payments? Stay tuned...
Meanwhile in Hamilton, the Spectator reports that staffers
at Canwest Global's troubled CHCH (Channel 11) are preparing
a plan to take over operation of the station under a local board
of directors. This plan, too, depends on retransmission-consent
money, as much as 50 cents per cable/satellite subscriber per
month that would go toward funding local newscasts and subsidizing
discount advertising for local businesses. If the plan is approved,
it would mean much of the US-based programming that now runs
on CHCH under the "E!" banner would be replaced by
local news. Canwest says it could shutter CHCH within weeks if
a buyer doesn't step forward.
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, ten and - where available - fifteen 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 3, 2008 -
- It's beginning to sound like a broken record (remember those?)
- Big Conglomerate Broadcaster posts bad quarterly earnings results,
and within a day or two, dozens more talented broadcasters are
out on the streets, never mind how good their ratings might have
been or how many years they'd been with the station.
- The disease seems to be working its way through all the big
"C" companies, first with CBS Radio and Clear Channel
earlier this year. On Leap Day Friday, it was Citadel's turn,
as the company reeled from the losses that followed last year's
ambitious purchase of the ABC Radio assets, which helped drag
its stock down to the $1 level from a year-ago high of $10.40
per share. After posting a net loss for the quarter of $848 million,
the job cuts came fast and furious at most of the former ABC
Radio properties. In Atlanta, nearly the entire airstaffs at
WKHX(FM) and WYAY(FM) were history; in Washington, smooth jazz
WJZW(FM) and its airstaff were gone, replaced with automated
"True Oldies"; in Chicago, much of the news staff at
WLS was history - and in New York, WABC (770) and WPLJ (95.5)
were not immune.
- At WABC, the cuts claimed John R. Gambling, the third-generation
talk host who came to the station in 2000 after his Rambling
With Gambling morning show was cancelled by WOR following an
amazing 75-year run. In his place, former WABC morning host Curtis
Sliwa, relegated to a 5-6 AM talk hour, will move to the 10-11:45
AM slot preceding Paul Harvey and Rush Limbaugh. But newsman
George Weber, who'd been Sliwa's sidekick in the early mornings,
won't join him on his new shift - Weber's out as well. Down the
hall at WPLJ, the "Rocky Allen Showgram" is history
as well. Allen, who did afternoons on WPLJ from 1993-1998, then
spent just over a year on WABC, returned to WPLJ in 2005 along
with his sidekick Blain Ensley.
- The week's other big radio headline came from upstate, where
Rochester's Brother Wease announced he's returning to the airwaves,
just a month after contract negotiations between the veteran
morning talker and his longtime radio home, WCMF (96.5), broke
down. We'd been hearing lots of rumors about Wease being seen
in the hallways at Clear Channel, the biggest local competitor
to WCMF's new owners, Entercom - and it turns out that the corporate
hiring freeze at Clear Channel wasn't as rock-solid as it appeared
to be, since the company will hire Wease to be the new morning
voice at its classic rocker, "Fox" WFXF (95.1 Honeoye
- Current "Fox" morning man J.P. Hastings won't be
vacating his chair right away, though. Because of Wease's non-compete
with Entercom, his return to the Rochester airwaves may not happen
until this fall. In the meantime, Wease will be working off the
air at Clear Channel, mostly in the sales department, though
he tells us he's also booking some guests on Bob Lonsberry's
talk show at Clear Channel's WHAM (1180). Wease's crosstown move
sets up an interesting morning showdown: his former sidekicks,
including comedian Tommy Mule and producer Bill Moran, remain
at WCMF as the hosts of that station's replacement morning show,
which means Wease will have to hire a new morning crew for his
"Fox" debut later this year. He's done that before,
as former sidekicks including Stephanie Miller, B.J. Shea and
Gregg "Opie" Hughes have moved on to bigger things,
but this is the first time he'll be competing directly against
his former co-workers. (Including, we'd note, his former colleague
Dave Kane, whose midday show on WCMF will air against the last
hour or so of Wease on WFXF.)
- There's a new format coming to Buffalo this morning, as Dick
Greene takes control of WECK (1230 Cheektowaga) from Regent,
replacing the classic country format with a new lineup of talk
programming anchored by veteran Buffalo talents Harv Moore (late
of WHTT) and Tom Donohue (most recently with WLKK) in morning
drive. The schedule will also include some programming heard
on Greene's Niagara County outlet, WLVL (1340 Lockport), such
as "Tradio" and a 10 AM talk show hosted by Scott Leffler.
Tom Schuh, formerly with Entercom, is the PD of the station,
which will also include syndicated talkers Bill O'Reilly, Neal
Boortz, Dennis Miller and Jim Bohannon, plus Fox Sports overnight
and on weekends.
- Perhaps the most famous voice in PENNSYLVANIA sports broadcasting
history has been silenced. Myron Cope died Wednesday (Feb. 27)
at 79, ending a career that included 35 seasons as color announcer
for the Pittsburgh Steelers, as well as a 22 year run, from 1973-1995,
as host of the city's first sports talk show, on the former WTAE
(1250) and many years as a sports commentator on WTAE-TV (Channel
- Cope, born Myron Kopelman, already had a distinguished career
as a print writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and later in
magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post when he was recruited
for the Steelers' radio team in 1970. His unusual turns of phrase
- both Yiddishisms such as "Yoi!" and catchprases such
as "The Immaculate Reception," for the pass that won
the 1972 Steelers their Super Bowl championship - endeared Cope
to generations of Steelers fans. He even created one of the team's
icons, the "Terrible Towel" that began waving from
the stands at the old Three Rivers Stadium in 1975. Cope retired
from the Steelers' broadcast booth in 2005 as he fought a series
of illnesses that included a growth on his vocal cords; the next
year, he donated the trademark rights to the Terrible Towel to
the Allegheny Valley School, where his autistic son, Daniel,
has lived most of his life. Fittingly, a sea of Terrible Towels
waved in front of Pittsburgh's City Hall Friday during a memorial
ceremony for Cope, as the city said "Bye, now" to the
man so closely associated with all those winning seasons.
- In VERMONT, Pamal has split what's now WDVT (94.5 Rutland)
away from "Cat Country," which is now heard solely
on its new home at 105.3, WJEN (ex-WEBK Killington). The new
format on 94.5, which launched Feb. 22 at 6 AM, is classic hits
March 1, 2004 -
- There's a format change on the way in PENNSYLVANIA in a few
weeks. On April 5, Salem will flip WZZD (990 Philadelphia) from
the format of religious teaching and music that it's had for
23 years to conservative talk. 990 will get new calls, WNTP,
and a program lineup that will include the syndicated offerings
from Laura Ingraham, Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved
and Michael Savage. Salem has been rolling out its conservative
talk in many of its markets, including last year's launch of
WTTT (1150) in Boston; in addition to the April 5 launches in
Philadelphia and Dallas (KSKY 660 Balch Springs TX), Salem is
also introducing a national morning show hosted by William Bennett
and veteran talk PD Tom Tradup. "Bill Bennett's Morning
in America" will also be heard on WTTT, replacing the current
Jimi Carter morning show there; NERW suspects it's just a matter
of time before Salem clears that show and the rest of its network
on one of its New York outlets (WMCA 570 or WWDJ 970) as well.
- Another call change in Philadelphia: WLDW (96.5) has become
WRDW-FM, reflecting its new "Wired" identity; those
calls have a long heritage down in Augusta, Georgia, where owner
Beasley has WRDW (1630) - and where there's also WRDW-TV, no
longer co-owned with the radio station.
- There's a fight brewing in Chambersburg over the land where
the four towers of WCBG (1590) now sit. City officials began
building a water tower right next door to the site, apparently
without realizing that the RF field from the station would interact
with the new structure. Now the city says it will condemn the
land on which the towers will sit, offering Verstandig Broadcasting
a paltry $30,000 for relocating to a city-owned landfill site.
The station, understandably, doesn't want to move; we'll keep
you posted on how this one plays out.
- Up in the Scranton area, WKJN (1440 Carbondale) applies to
change its calls back to WCDL; new owner Route 81 Radio is planning
to build new studios in the Carbondale city hall building to
get the station back on the air soon. (Sister station WCWI 94.3
has changed calls to WNAK-FM and is now simulcasting standards
WNAK 730; another Citadel spin-off, WCWY 107.7 Tunkhannock, is
changing calls to WBZR under its new owner, Geos Communications.)
- Howard Stern fans in Pittsburgh are making do without the
shock jock for now; WXDX (105.9) there was one of the six Clear
Channel stations that abruptly pulled the Stern show from their
airwaves on Thursday. "The X" played music Thursday
and Friday mornings, and it's not clear yet whether the Stern
show will be back there (or on Clear Channel's WNVE 95.1 in the
Rochester market, which also went Stern-less) any time soon.
- A format flip in NEW YORK's Capital District leads things
off this week; as we'd hinted last week, Crawford Broadcasting
will move the oldies "Legends" WPTR (1540 Albany) over
to the FM dial today, swapping calls and format with religious
WDCD (96.7 Clifton Park). While the religious programming gets
the big 50,000 watt AM signal, we're hearing that some tweaks
to "Legends" are on the way at its new FM home, where
it will compete with Clear Channel oldies WTRY (98.3 Rotterdam)
and its emphasis on the 60s and 70s, as well as Pamal's WKLI
(100.9 Albany) and its standards format.
- Heading down the Hudson, NERW was first to report (in a Friday
extra last week) that Pamal will soon flip WXPK (107.1 Briarcliff
Manor) from its current top 40 simulcast of Poughkeepsie's WSPK
to adult album alternative - and now we can fill in some of the
details. Peter Mutino, late of WGCH (1490 Greenwich CT), will
be the station's general manager, and it'll be based at Pamal's
studio facility in Beacon. Latest word is that the new 107.1
will debut on April 1; the message boards have already noted
that the signal's original calls of WRNW are available (and,
as one wag noted, early WRNW jock Howard Stern just might be,
- Call changes are relatively rare in CANADA, but we have three
of them this week, all related. Rogers flipped CISS (92.5 Toronto)
to "Jack FM" almost a year ago, and now it's finally
changed the calls there to CJAQ. The CISS calls replace CKBY
on 105.3 in Ottawa, which became top 40 "Kiss" earlier
this year - and the CKBY calls follow the country format south
to "Y101" in Smiths Falls, the 101.1 outlet formerly
known as CIOX.
February 26, 1999 -
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- In MAINE, Bonnie Grant is leaving her post as general manager
of WPOR (101.9/1490 Portland) after years with the station. Saga
told staffers this week that it plans to move WPOR out of its
current home on Baxter Blvd. and into the building at 420 Western
Ave. in South Portland that now houses Saga's other Portland
outlets, WGAN, WZAN, WMGX, and WYNZ. As part of the process,
Saga market manager Cary Pahigian adds GM responsibilities for
WPOR -- which left Grant with the choice of the sales manager
job she held before becoming GM, or a departure for other work.
- Meantime, the rest of the Saga stations are getting a new
news and programming coordinator. Doug Tribeau joins the group
to replace departed news director Leslie Doppler and WGAN/WZAN
PD Dave Winsor (who's still at Western Avenue, but now focused
on the WGAN morning show). Tribeau was with Eagle Broadcasting's
four-station group (WHCU, WTKO, WYXL, WQNY) in Ithaca, New York.
- We begin the MASSACHUSETTS news this week with more departures,
most prominently those of the "Two Chicks Dishing."
Leslie Gold and Lori Kramer held down nights at WRKO (680) for
the last few years, but the partnership that began at WMMM in
Westport CT and moved on to WRKO for weekends couldn't survive
the weeknight pressure, it seems. Their contracts expired Friday
(2/26), and WRKO PD Kevin Straley decided not to renew, so now
it's back to New York City for Kramer and back to the job hunt
for Gold. What's next for 7-10 PM on The Talk Station? Among
the names we've heard mentioned are political pundit Michael
Goldman and Lowell's Paul Sullivan, who is himself another departure
this week. Sullivan's final show on WLLH (1400 Lowell-Lawrence)
was Friday morning, as the station heads for Mega Broadcasting
ownership and a switch to all-Spanish. Big changes on the way
for Merrimack Valley radio? Sure sounds that way, from some of
the rumors floating up and down 495...
- NEW YORK, too, has its comings and goings this week, with
Long Island at center stage. As Carl Liu (son of NYC leased-time
guru Arthur) gets ready to buy WLVG (96.1 Center Moriches), the
AC station is losing its PD and morning host. PD Stefan Rybak
left this week, and morning guy Marty Mitchell is leaving as
well (though he keeps his weekend gig on quad-cast country Y107
surrounding New York). Liu's deal is worth between $3 million
and $3.5 million and includes an LMA of up to 3 years with current
owner Gary Starr, according to the M Street folks.
- Over at WBLI (106.1 Patchogue), Cox stays within the corporate
family by bringing in its PD from sister CHR WWHT (107.9 Syracuse).
Less than a year after making "Hot 107.9" his first
PD gig, J.J. Rice heads down the Thruway and out the L.I.E. to
make his mark on the Nassau/Suffolk market. We're proud to say
we "knew him when" (as APD/MD at Rochester's WPXY),
and we wish him all the best on the Island.
- Buffalo's WNED (970) appears to have been saved from extinction
for the moment, but not without creating some friction on the
local noncomm scene. The Western New York Public Broadcasting
Authority had said WNED's news and talk format was losing money,
and had planned to shut down programming, instead simulcasting
the NPR news, talk, and jazz from SUNY Buffalo's WBFO (88.7).
After the news broke, listeners and the community called on WNED
to reconsider, and the station responded by launching a nine-day
pledge drive last weekend to raise $150,000 needed to run the
AM. WNED raised $70,000 of that in the first two days alone,
along with $100,000 in cash and advertising space from the Buffalo
News. If the fund drive succeeds, WNED will hire a consultant
to examine the AM's future, including the possibility of replacing
"Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered,"
already heard on WBFO, with local news (which 970 used to run
in its WEBR days).
- Across the border, the CHR on 92.5 in Toronto is now on its
second name in as many weeks. It seems Rogers Broadcasting didn't
check to see what nicknames were already in use in the market
when it replaced country CISS with CHR "Power" -- and
the result was a lawsuit from CKDX (88.5 Newmarket), which has
been "Power 88" for two years now. Gone is "Power,"
in is "Kiss" (or is that "Ciss"?), and if
there's confusion with cross-market WKSE ("Kiss 98.5")
Niagara Falls-Buffalo, NERW suspects the U.S. Embassy will decline
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learn how you can help make continued publication possible. NERW
2009 by Scott Fybush.