March 30, 2009
1050 CHUM, Larry Glick Both Gone
*It was a bad week for legends on both sides of
the border. Canada lost one of its heritage oldies stations for
a second time, while Boston lost one of its favorite talk radio
We'll get to the legacy of Larry Glick a bit later in this
week's column, but first we'll do what CTVglobemedia couldn't
be bothered to do and give Toronto's CHUM (1050) a proper burial
after 50 years of rock and roll.
The last time CHUM changed format, back in May 2001, it was
a big deal indeed.
Back then, the Waters family still owned the station, as it
had since the fifties, and the big flip to "Team" sports
radio came with an all-day party at 1331 Yonge Street, complete
with on-air reminiscences of CHUM's glory days, a website retrospective,
and passionate CHUM fans lining the sidewalks to say farewell
to one of Canada's signature radio stations. (You can read our
on-scene coverage of that memorable day here.)
failed, and rather spectacularly at that, and even the watered-down,
mostly voicetracked version of 1050 CHUM that returned to the
Toronto airwaves in 2002 had its devoted admirers, at least judging
by the crowds that lined up around the block on a rainy day last
October to get one last look at the 1331 Yonge Street studios
before they're sold to be demolished for a new condo development.
What they - and we - didn't know that day was that the end
of the oldies format was just months away, and that when it came,
it would be announced as a minor item in a press release from
CP24, the all-news cable channel that went along with the CHUM
radio stations when the Waters family sold their media holdings
to CTVglobemedia two years ago.
It took some time for CP24 to fully separate itself from CityTV,
formerly CP24's parent, after CTV spun the CityTV operations
off to Rogers in 2007. (Until last week, CP24 was simulcasting
evening newscasts from CTV's CFTO-TV, but was still simulcasting
CityTV's "Breakfast TV" in the morning.)
Now CP24 is asserting its own identity - and much to the surprise
of CHUM fans all over North America, the announcement of a new
5:30 AM "CP24 Breakfast" show also included the news
that effective that same morning - last Thursday, March 26 -
the all-news cable channel would be simulcast on the new "CP24
And just like that, half a century of Canadian radio history
was gone. The 1050chum.com
website, which had become a repository of CHUM's long legacy,
began redirecting to CP24's site as soon as the announcement
was made. There were no on-air farewells to be heard on 1050,
since the station's evening and overnight programming had already
been tracked. Even the final moments were graceless: while "Please
Release Me," the last full song heard just before 5 AM Thursday,
might have been picked as a nod to the end (again) of CHUM, there
was still a minute or so left to kill, so listeners heard the
beginning of "Black Magic Woman" before an unceremonious
dump into CP24's audio, complete with a steady diet of "as
you can see" and "as these pictures show," and
little regard for anyone trying to follow along on the radio.
Some of those opening-day glitches will be fixed, of course,
and CTV's promising at least a bit of radio-specific programming
But while it's easy to see CTV's business logic here - making
CP24's content available across as many platforms as possible,
and creating at least a minor rival to Rogers' highly successful
radio-specific "680News" (CFTR) - it's still hard to
imagine "CP24 Radio" becoming any sort of a valued
part of Toronto's radio scene in the way that even the weakened
recent version of 1050 CHUM had been.
CHUM's demise put at least four people, including morning
host Gord James (the station's only live air talent), out of
work, though CTV says it will try to find jobs for them elsewhere
in the company.
What now for Toronto-area oldies fans? There's still CKOC
(1150) in nearby Hamilton, and Toronto's own CFZM (740) mixes
some oldies with its pop standards. (There's another CHUM connection
at AM 740 - owner Moses Znaimer founded CityTV and later sold
it to CHUM Limited, going to work for the Waters family.) And
now that the CRTC is allowing FM stations to adopt oldies formats,
there's always the possibility - however remote - that the format
could be reincarnated on the FM dial. (Not, however, on CHUM-FM
104.5 itself; that station continues to be exceedingly successful
with its hot AC format.)
There's lots of additional news from Canada in this busy week,
and we'll get to it later in this issue - but first, our other
*Ask a random radio listener outside MASSACHUSETTS
to name a Boston radio personality, and the odds are pretty
good that the response will be "Larry Glick."
two decades on powerful WBZ (1030 Boston), and for many years
before that on WMEX (1510 Boston) and afterward on WHDH (850
Boston), Glick's informal style and offbeat sense of humor defined
a new kind of talk radio, inspired a generation of radio people
and amused fans all over the "38 states and half of Canada"
served by WBZ's 50 kW signal. (Indeed, for some years when this
column was young, the single most commonly-asked question we
received was, "what ever happened to Larry Glick?")
Sadly, there's now a final answer to that question: Glick
went in for open-heart surgery near his Boca Raton, Florida home
last Thursday, and after 10 hours on the operating table, complications
arose and doctors were unable to revive him. Glick was 87.
A native of Roxbury, Glick left Boston to serve in the U.S.
Army during World War II. Returning, he attended Emerson College,
worked briefly at WLNH in Laconia, N.H., then spent some time
on a kibbutz in Israel. When he returned stateside in the early
fifties, he went to Florida, where he owned WZOK-FM (96.9) in
Jacksonville for a few years before moving to Miami's WINZ, where
his life in talk radio began.
It was WMEX that brought Glick back home to Boston in 1964,
where he joined an all-star staff that included Jerry Williams,
though the two wouldn't work together long. Williams left in
1965, and Glick followed in 1968, moving his nighttime talk show
from WMEX's weak 5 kW signal to WBZ's clear channel.
At WBZ, of course, Glick found his biggest success. Leaving
the heavy issues-oriented talk to the daytime hours (a lesson
he learned early on at WINZ), he spent the hours from midnight
to 5 AM (occasionally being moved to an earlier evening shift)
having fun with night owls, early risers and probably every cab
driver in the Northeast, dispensing "Glick University"
T-shirts, trading quips with newsman Streeter Stuart (often parodied
on the other side of the glass by newshound "Streeter Glick")
and longtime producer Kenny "Muck" Meyer, and "shooting
off" callers with a barrage of sound effects.
Glick's long run at WBZ came to a close in 1987, evidently
with some acrimony, judging by his reaction when your editor
reached him a few years later in hopes that he might appear on
a reunion show. (Fortunately, whatever breach existed was repaired
later on by Glick's spiritual successor at WBZ, Steve Leveille;
after Leveille inherited the overnight hours from Bob Raleigh,
Glick made several well-received appearances as a guest on the
From 1988 until 1992, Glick's Boston career wrapped up at
WHDH, but his show didn't fit as well with that station's issue-oriented
talk, and the station's attempt to move him into a daytime slot
was simply the wrong spot. Glick retired from radio, turning
his attention to a new career as a hypnotist and eventually moving
south to Florida.
Last September, Glick was inducted into the Massachusetts
Broadcasters Hall of Fame, much to the delight of his audience
of "Glicknicks." He is survived by his wife, Lisa,
and her two daughters. A private memorial service was held in
Florida last week; a public memorial service will be announced
in the Boston area at a later time.
*There's just one
other significant bit of Bay State news this week: on Cape Cod,
Qantum didn't wait until its announced date of April 1 to flip
top-40 "Rose" WRZE (96.3 Dennis) to become the newest
affiliate of Boston's WEEI sports network.
Instead, the flip happened on Wednesday (March 25), following
a short retrospective of WRZE's 18 years in its old format. The
new calls on 96.3, as had previously been announced, are WEII.
It's still not clear whether WEII will join most of the rest
of the WEEI network with Red Sox coverage this season; for now,
the Sox network web page still shows Qantum sister station WXTK
(95.1 West Yarmouth) as the team's Cape Cod home for the summer.
(Read on for our full Baseball on the Radio coverage, later in
this week's NERW...)
*We're still reeling - as is the rest of
the NEW YORK radio community - at the developments in
the murder of former WABC (770) newsman George Weber. The details
have been all over the tabloids; suffice it to say that at week's
end, 16-year-old John Katehis was being held without bail at
Bellevue Hospital after pleading not guilty to second-degree
murder and weapons possession.
At Emmis' WRXP (101.9 New York), middayer Steve Craig has
been promoted to assistant PD and night guy Brian Phillips to
music director, taking two of the roles held by afternoon jock
Bryan Schock before his departure.
Over at ESPN Radio's WEPN (1050 New York), the third tower
in the station's new directional array is now standing in the
swamps near Exit 16E of the New Jersey Turnpike - and just as
we were about to put up this week's NERW with a plea for updated
photos from our loyal commuter-readers who've been snapping shots
as they drive into the city, what should arrive in our in-box
but some photos from both up close and up in the air above the
new site? Our thanks to ESPN Radio's Kevin Plumb for these exclusive
looks at New York's newest AM site...
On the air, "ESPN 1050" has named a replacement
for Max Kellerman in the 10 AM-noon slot: he's Brandon Tierney,
who moves to the midday shift from evenings.
A change of the guard at Cumulus' WFAS-FM (103.9 Bronxville)/WFAS
(1230 White Plains): Rod Calarco has departed after seven years.
Continuing upstate, Chris Marino is out at WSPK (104.7 Poughkeepsie),
where he'd been doing mornings.
Dennis Jackson's new construction permit on 90.1 in North
Salem is getting a third set of calls: initially WVWA ("Nine!")
and then WJJZ, it's now changing to WJZZ, a callsign formerly
used in Atlanta - and long before that, on what's now WEZN-FM
(99.9 Bridgeport CT). The new station will be a jazz and community-radio
outlet serving northern Westchester and the Danbury area once
Dennis gets it on the air.
the road in Oswego, John Hurlbutt said farewell to the WRVO (89.9)
audience on Tuesday morning, ending 40 years of involvement with
the station, the last 30 as local host of "Morning Edition."
More on the sale of that 105.9 construction permit in Little
Valley that we mentioned last week: the buyer, Seneca Broadcasting
LLC, is a business arm of the Seneca Nation, which has become
a fairly major business player in western New York with casinos
in Niagara Falls and Salamanca and other operations across the
region. The class B1 signal would serve most of the nation's
territory, with a fringe signal into the southern parts of the
In TV news, Time Warner Cable completed its sweep of all-news
channels across the state with last Wednesday's launch of "Your
News Now," serving the Buffalo market on cable channel 14
in the city of Buffalo and cable channel 9 in most other areas.
The new channel has Buffalo-based anchors (including Jen Markham,
formerly of Rochester's WHAM-TV) and reporters, but draws on
its sister station R News in Rochester for sports and on Time
Warner's centralized hub in Syracuse for weather.
Jim Aroune, late of R News, moves to Buffalo as the executive
editor of the new channel, which appears to be launching without
its own website, a surprising omission in this interactive age.
(YNN also bumps C-SPAN off basic cable in much of Time Warner's
western New York service territory, a most unfortunate - but
not unsurprising- decision; in other areas of Chautauqua County,
it knocked one of the Erie-market stations off the cable.)
Across town, WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) is one of many Gannett news
operations facing yet another round of furloughs. After most
staffers took a week without pay in the first quarter, Gannett
is again ordering non-union staff (and strongly urging union
staffers) to take another week in the second quarter; higher-paid
management personnel are getting two weeks off without pay.
On the noncommercial side of things, WNED-TV (Channel 17)
celebrates its fiftieth anniversary today - but not without big
budget worries. Facing significant cuts in state funding (as
are all the public broadcasters around the state), WNED's senior
managers took 7.5% pay cuts, while subjecting the rest of the
staff to 5% cuts and freezing hiring for several vacant positions.
*In NEW JERSEY, Andy Santoro has departed as market
manager of Millenium Radio in Trenton, where he served as GM
of WKXW (New Jersey 101.5) before being promoted to his most
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*The RHODE ISLAND Radio Hall of Fame
has named its second class of inductees, to be honored at a dinner
May 14 at West Warwick's West Valley Inn. The class includes
the late talk host Jack Comley, sportscaster George Patrick Duffy,
WHJY/WWRX jock Carolyn Fox, WPRO-FM morning man Daniel "Giovanni"
Centofani, former WHJJ/WPRO/WCTK jock Jimmy Gray, longtime WLKW-FM
host Norm Jagolinzer, the late jazz DJ Jim Mendes and "Saturday
Night Live" announcer Don Pardo, who began his broadcast
career at WJAR back in 1938.
At WHJJ (920 Providence), there's a shift in the morning schedule:
the new "Wall Street Journal This Morning" replaces
the syndicated Pittsburgh-based "Quinn and Rose" from
6-8 AM weekdays, leading into the local Helen Glover show.
*There's a new operations manager for Clear
Channel's CONNECTICUT stations: Mike Wheeler moves north
from Atlanta, where he was PD of WZGC (Dave FM 92.9), to become
operations manager of the Hartford and New Haven clusters.
*There's a new Catholic radio signal coming
to MAINE's capital city. Columbus Home Association, which
is an offshoot of the local Knights of Columbus, has been granted
a construction permit for 89.5 in Augusta. The CP calls for 410
watts/329' DA, vertical-only, from a site on Ingraham Mountain
- but we'd expect an application to improve that signal as soon
as the required protection to WCSH (Channel 6) goes away in a
couple of months. The new 89.5 will sign on as a fulltime EWTN
Radio outlet, but it tells the FCC it expects to add local programming,
And in the Portland market, Saga is applying to change the
city of license of WYNZ (100.9 Westbrook) to South Portland.
No changes are planned to the station's technical facilities,
and we're wondering if this has something to do with the (as
yet unimplemented) FCC localism proposal that would require stations
to have a main studio in their city of license; with six stations
in its South Portland studios, none of them licensed to South
Portland, such a requirement would be exceedingly expensive (and
rather pointless) if it were to pass.
*It's not just New York threatening big cutbacks
in state funding for public broadcasting. In PENNSYLVANIA,
Pittsburgh's WQED could lose as much as $1.1 million if Governor
Ed Rendell's proposed cuts take effect - and concern about that,
as well as a $734,000 operating loss for the first five months
of the station's fiscal year, has prompted WQED president/CEO
George Miles to take a 30% pay cut, reports PBRTV.com.
Other top executives also took salary cuts, while salaries across
the rest of the organization were frozen.
Nancy Dymond is the new market manager for Connoisseur's cluster
in Erie. She's most recently been with Fritz Broadcasting in
Saginaw and Lansing, Michigan, and in sales with Radio One/Detroit.
yet another member of the classic lineup at Scranton's WARM (590)
has died. Len Woloson began his career at WPTS (1540 Pittston)
before joining the WARM "Sensational Seven" to do nights,
thus becoming the "All-Night Satellite." Woloson left
the station for gigs in Providence and at WXYZ in Detroit (as
"Pat Murphy") before returning to WARM as the "Morning
Mayor" from 1969-1972. After leaving Scranton, he settled
in Las Vegas, working on-air at KENO and KDWN, then doing sales
before his retirement. Woloson died March 22 in Las Vegas; he
*Aside from the big news from CHUM and the CBC's latest budget
woes, which could lead to as many as 800 job cuts nationwide
and big reductions in local programming in cities such as Sudbury
and Windsor, most of our news from CANADA this week comes
from two big public hearings the CRTC is planning for late May.
On May 25, there's a public hearing scheduled in Quebec City
that will kick off with a review of four applications for new
signals in the provincial capital. Toronto-based Evanov is applying
for two of those four - a French-language "contemporary
easy listening" station on 105.7 and an English-language
counterpart on 105.3, which would be the first commercial English-language
station in the city in several decades. Michel Cloutier is applying
for a French-language jazz and blues station in Levis on 104.1,
while Radio Communautaire de Levis wants a community station
on 104.1. Down the dial, tourist information station CKJF is
applying to move from 90.3, with 16 watts, to 106.9, with 100
In Alma, Quebec, CFGT (1270) is once again applying to move
to FM, on 97.7 - but this time, it's addressing the CRTC's previous
concerns about signal overlap with co-owned stations by submitting
another application to slightly reduce power at sister station
CHRL (99.5 Roberval).
In the Ottawa market, religious broadcaster Radio Ville-Marie
wants to put a new AM signal on the air at 1350, with 1000 watts
by day and 180 watts at night. The new station in Gatineau, Quebec
would be a relay of Ville-Marie's CIRA (91.3 Montreal).
Another public hearing, on May 27 in Halifax, will consider
a pile of applications in the Maritimes. There are two applications
for 105.1 in Halifax, one from Acadia Broadcasting and the other
from HFX Broadcasting, as well as a Frank Torres application
for a blues and jazz station on 99.1. The Torres application
competes with one from community station CICR (99.1 Parrsboro)
to boost its power from 50 to 500 watts.
In Truro, Hope FM Ministries wants to move low-power CINU
(98.5) to 106.3, to get out of the way of newly-licensed French-language
CKRH on 98.5 - but meanwhile, the Truro Live Performing Arts
Association has applied for a 5-watt developmental station on
106.1. And in Liverpool, N.S., Alex Walling is applying for a
community station on 99.3, with 50 watts.
In Peterborough, Ontario, Andy McNabb is asking the CRTC for
permission to buy silent CKKK (90.5) for C$190,000. The station
has been off the air since March 2008, when it was displaced
from its old 99.5 frequency by CKPT's move to FM. McNabb is the
former owner of CKLY in nearby Lindsay, and he's applied for
Christian talk stations in Brampton and Niagara.
Speaking of moves to FM, now that CKKW in Kitchener-Waterloo
is settling in at its new home on 99.5, owner CTVglobemedia wasted
no time clearing out its former AM transmitter site. It took
just over two hours last Monday to drop all nine towers at the
site, three at a time - and now the days of AM 1090 in Kitchener
are gone for good. (That's a still frame from a video that's
been making the rounds among radio folks all week; we'll be happy
to provide proper credit to the videographer if someone up that
way drops us a line...)
And in Windsor, the CRTC has granted the University of Windsor's
CJAM permission to move from 91.5 to 99.1, going from an unprotected
license to a protected class A facility with 456 watts, non-directional.
Edited by NERW's own Scott Fybush - on sale now as
an e-book or printed volume!
*And we close this week with one of
the happiest sounds in the world - "Play Ball!" - as
we take the first part of our annual look at Baseball on the
Like the season itself, we start with the major leagues, and
while there's plenty new this year on the stadium front in NERW-land,
there's not much change on the radio dials.
The Boston Red Sox are in year three of their 10-year
deal with Entercom, and last year's dual-flagship arrangement
continues unchanged, with WRKO (680 Boston) carrying most games
except on Wednesdays, when the team's on WEEI (850 Boston), and
on certain weekdays when day games get bumped to WEEI. Outside
Boston, the core of the Sox network continues to be WEEI's regional
radio network, where most affiliates will carry all the games,
with the notable exception of Bangor, where the Sox rights are
still with Stephen King's WZON (620) instead of WEEI affiliate
WAEI (910/97.1). No change in the broadcast booth, either, where
Joe Castiglione will be calling games for a 27th year, with Dave
O'Brien as primary color guy and Dale Arnold and Jon Rish working
games that O'Brien will miss when he's on the road with ESPN.
And of course out here in the hinterlands of Sox Nation, we'll
once again be listening on WTIC (1080 Hartford), the primary
clear-channel skywave source for Sox fans west of New England.
Spanish-language Sox radio continues to be provided by the
Spanish Beisbol Network, with a small network across southern
New England that's flagshipped at either WWDJ (1150) or sister
WROL (950), depending on which source you believe.
There's no change in the Sox TV picture, either - Sox-owned
NESN continues to carry the full season, with no broadcast games.
When the New York Yankees inaugurate New Yankee Stadium,
they'll do so with a familiar set of voices - John Sterling and
Suzyn Waldman - and a familiar flagship, WCBS (880 New York).
The Yankees continue to boast one of the biggest radio networks
in the region, with affiliates as far off as Iowa, Las Vegas
and even Anchorage, and one big affiliation change upstate, where
Dick Greene's WECK (1230 Cheektowaga) takes over Buffalo-market
Yankees coverage with a full season of games.
Spanish-language radio stays on WQBU (92.7 Garden City) for
The Yankees' own YES Network has TV coverage, of course, with
about two dozen games available for free over WWOR-TV (Channel
9) and a network of affiliates stretching from Connecticut to
northeast Pennsylvania and upstate to Buffalo.
Over in Flushing, the New York Mets also start the
season in new digs, Citi Field, but with no dramatic changes
to their radio lineup - Howie Rose and Wayne Hagin on WFAN (660
New York), with a big signal that effectively makes it a one-station
network - or its TV carriage, primarily on SNY, with about two
dozen games on WPIX (Channel 11) and a few upstate stations.
Spanish-language radio coverage remains on WADO (1280 New York).
The World Champion Philadelphia Phillies remain on
WPHT (1210 Philadelphia) and a 19-station network across eastern
Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, with Harry Kalas returning
to the booth for an amazing 39th season with the team (and the
44th of his career, which started in 1965 with the Houston Astros.)
He's joined by Chris Wheeler, Larry Andersen and Scott Franzke
in the booth. (Useless trivia we picked up in the course of our
research: Franzke was born the very same day as your editor...and
as Shaquille O'Neal.)
The Phillies split their TV coverage among three venues: Comcast
Sports Network, Comcast Network (the former CN8), and a broadcast
schedule seen on WPHL (Channel 17) in Philadelphia and affiliates
across eastern Pennsylvania.
Spanish-language broadcasts continue on WUBA (1480 Philadelphia).
biggest change in the broadcast booth across the region this
season is at PNC Park, home of the hapless Pittsburgh Pirates,
where veteran play-by-play man Lanny Frattare hung up his headphones
at the end of last season. This year's broadcast team will be
made up of Greg Brown, in his 16th year with the Bucs, and newcomer
Tim Neverett, formerly part of the Colorado Rockies' TV team,
along with commentators Bob Walk, Steve Blass and John Wehner.
The Pirates' network remains largely unchanged, led by flagship
WPGB (104.7 Pittsburgh), with more than three dozen affiliates
across western Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland.
TV coverage remains with FSN Pittsburgh, though the network
isn't covering a dozen or so road games and a handful of day
games at home.
And across the border, the Toronto Blue Jays remain
on CJCL (Fan 590) in Toronto - which won't change for as long
as Rogers owns the team and the station - and a coast-to-coast
network of 20 stations. The big change for Jays fans outside
Canada comes in Hamilton, Ontario, where longtime affiliate CHML
(900), which has a huge signal down the East Coast at night,
has been replaced by CHAM (820), which is also 50 kW, but with
a much more directional night signal. The Jays' lone US affiliate,
WSPQ (1330 Springville NY), has also vanished from the affiliate
list this year, it seems. Jerry Howarth, Mike Wilner and Alan
Ashby continue to make up the Jays' radio broadcast team.
On TV, Rogers SportsNet has most of the games, with TSN providing
national coverage of about 20 games, and a few with no TV at
all, it appears.
We'll be back next week with the AAA and AA broadcast lineups
for the season...
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 31, 2008 -
- As 2007 came to a close, it appeared that Entercom was poised
to extend the highly successful sports-talk format of its WEEI
(850 Boston) far beyond its present home turf in MASSACHUSETTS
and RHODE ISLAND. A syndication deal with Nassau was to have
taken WEEI's programming regional, picking up Nassau-owned affiliates
in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, as well as on Cape Cod.
That deal abruptly collapsed just before the new year, but the
dream of regional syndication remained alive inside the New Balance
Building. Last week, Entercom announced that it will begin offering
WEEI's lineup of local sports talk to other broadcasters in the
region, and it's moving fast - holding meetings with interested
broadcasters "over the next few weeks, with the goal to
launch a syndicated regional network during the Spring 2008 ratings
- Who'll sign on with WEEI's network? Entercom already runs
WEEI relays in many of southern New England's biggest markets
- Providence (WEEI-FM), Worcester (WVEI) and Springfield (WVEI-FM).
It's hard to imagine Connecticut stations, sitting on the fence
between Red Sox/Yankees and Patriots/Giants, warming to the very
Boston-centric WEEI network. But that still leaves much of the
territory the Nassau deal was to have covered - Cape Cod, Manchester/Concord,
the Upper Valley, Portland - as well as the rest of Maine, not
to mention smaller communities in New Hampshire, Vermont and
western Massachusetts - where a turnkey affiliation with the
big-city sound of WEEI might be just the ticket, as it were,
for struggling AM operators.
- In NEW YORK City, there's once again a full-time program
director at WXRK (92.3 K-Rock), as Mike Tierney gets promoted
from acting PD.
- In eastern PENNSYLVANIA, tomorrow marks the official launch
of Philadelphia's rebranded "ESPN 950," which relaunches
its sports format with a lineup that moves Jody McDonald from
afternoons to middays and brings Mike Missanelli on board for
- Over at the competition - CBS Radio's WIP (610) - midday
host Steve Martorano is out, as the station has decided not to
renew his contract. It's the second time in four years that Martorano
has left WIP; ironically, it was Missanelli, now at WPEN, who
replaced him back in 2004.
- Pittsburgh's rebranded "Q 92.9" (still WLTJ, with
no sign of new calls yet) has hired a new morning host. John
Cline was most recently morning host at CBS Radio's WZPT (100.7
New Kensington) before budget cuts there blew him out - but he's
best known as part of B94 (WBZZ 93.7)'s long-running "JohnDaveBubbaShelly"
- The wholesale transition from AM to FM in CANADA isn't proceeding
without a few rocky patches - and one of them is in Sherbrooke,
Quebec, where Corus has found that CHLT-FM (102.1) isn't fully
covering the wide area that was once served by the old CHLT (630).
As a result, Corus is asking the CRTC for permission to move
the FM station up the dial, to 107.7, and up in power, to 50
kW DA/161.9 meters, from a new transmitter site.
March 29, 2004 -
- This week's top story comes from RHODE ISLAND, but it's really
about MASSACHUSETTS, too, as one Boston broadcaster exits the
Ocean State and another prepares to enter it. Steve Mindich's
Phoenix Media/Communications Group is selling WWRX (103.7 Westerly)
to Entercom for a reported $14.5 million. Mindich bought the
station in 2000 when Clear Channel had to spin it off; he flipped
it to modern rock as "FNX," running it first as part
of the "FNX Network" based at WFNX (101.7 Lynn MA)
and later breaking off for mostly local programming. That local
programming came to an end last Monday, with WWRX returning to
a temporary WFNX simulcast in preparation for Entercom's May
- When Entercom gets the big signal (it covers Rhode Island
and serves big chunks of eastern Connecticut and southeastern
Massachusetts), it'll flip 103.7 to a simulcast of sports WEEI
(850 Boston), extending that station's programming to a market
that can't hear it very well after dark - and bringing some pretty
big competition to Citadel's WSKO (790 Providence)/WSKO-FM (99.7
Wakefield-Peace Dale, which broadcasts from the very same tower
as WWRX!) What the new WEEI-FM won't bring with it - at least
not right away - is the 2004 World Champion (we can, and will,
dream, especially with Opening Day just days away) Boston Red
Sox, whose contract keeps them on WSKO sister station WPRO (630
Providence) through the end of the 2004 season. Entercom says
it plans to move the Sox to 103.7 in 2005, the last year of its
current contract with the team.
- Here in Rochester, WXXI (1370) has found a temporary replacement
for afternoon anchor/reporter Mark Giardina. Yes, that's yours
truly there, back on the air (for a little while, anyway) for
the first time in more than two years and reminding you that
"local broadcast of All Things Considered is made possible
by our listeners, and by..."
- There's a new signal on the air in western PENNSYLVANIA.
Clarke Ingram, scanning the dial from his base in NERW's Pittsburgh
bureau, reports that WFJY (660 Wilkinsburg) signed on Friday
afternoon, running talk programming from the National Radio Network
and ID'ing with sister station WVFC (1530 McConnellsburg). This
is the new facility for the silent 1470 Portage, moving some
75 miles from the Johnstown area to the WURP (1550 Braddock)
towers just east of Pittsburgh - and now that it's on the air,
we suspect Alex Langer's next move will be to build out the CP
that moves WVFC east to the Philadelphia market, on 1180 in King
of Prussia from the WWDB (860) site.
March 26, 1999 -
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- The big-band sounds that disappeared from WQEW (1560) just
before New Year's are back on the air in NEW YORK, at least in
the parts of the market that can hear WNJR (1430) from Newark,
New Jersey. Arthur Liu began stunting his new format on "Sunny
1430" Monday morning, with a full roster of DJs (including
latest hire Julius LaRosa) to start March 29. The station's initial
5AM-7PM schedule will go to 24 hours as additional leased-time
contracts at WNJR expire. Liu has bought the remains of the old
WNEW record library, which ended up at WJUX ("Jukebox Radio")
before the Bergen County (er, Monticello NY) station went to
an oldies format. He's also reported to be negotiating with CBS
for the WNEW calls, but the price is said to be in the high six
- Just a bit to the north, WRKL (910 New City) returned to
the Rockland County airwaves this week, with a simulcast of the
Polish-language programs from sister PolNet station WNVR (1030
Vernon Hills IL), now claiming a "New York-New Jersey-Connecticut"
relay on 910. We were remiss last week in overlooking Rockland
County's other commercial AM, little WLIR (1300 Spring Valley),
ex-WGRC, WRRC, etc. The station is playing adult standards with
little, if any, local content.
- We've been reading about 1300's history, as well as more
than 150 other New York-area AM stations, in an incredible book
called The Airwaves of New York, by Bill Jaker, Frank
Sulek, and Peter Kanze (McFarland, 1998). We thought we knew
a lot about New York radio history, but these guys have done
their homework -- there are stations in here we never even heard
of before now!
- In the Albany area, Sinclair is officially dropping its plans
to buy WMHQ (Channel 45) from public station WMHT TV/FM. No word
yet on what the WMHT folks will do now; they'd hoped to use proceeds
from Channel 45 to fund DTV conversion and a new studio facility.
NERW wonders whether the financially-strapped Sinclair will go
forward with its plan to buy Buffalo's secondary public station,
WNEQ (Channel 23); those plans are apparently in some doubt now
- The new modern AC station on 104.9 in Altamont, ex-WSRD Johnstown,
is applying for the "WAAP" calls as "the Point."
Its new PD and morning talent is Pat Ryan, who comes across the
hall from nights at WYJB (95.5). And over at WABY/WKLI-WKBE,
Paige Laimers succeeds former co-owner Bill Hunt as general manager.
- The 99.7 formerly allocated to Old Forge has been granted
a change of city of license to Newport Village, which in reality
will mean 1400 watts from up in the hills east of Utica. Calls
on this yet-unbuilt rimshotter are "WBGK" for now.
- Houghton College in Allegany County is teaming up with Rochester
public broadcaster WXXI to expand the reach of classical WXXI-FM
(91.5 Rochester). If we're reading the FCC filings right, it
appears WXXI will take over Houghton's WJSL (90.3 Houghton),
while Houghton applies for a new campus-based station on 91.1
with 360 watts. Last we heard WJSL, it was using the Bath-based
Family Life religious network.
- Up in MAINE, the days of "Mount Rialto Radio" are
numbered. WCDQ (92.1 Sanford) and sister AM WSME (1220 Sanford)
are being sold to Boston's Steve Mindich and Phoenix Media Group.
When the sale closes, WCDQ's eclectic rock format will give way
to a relay of Mindich modern rocker WFNX (101.7 Lynn), with the
new calls "WPHX" being requested. (Those with particularly
long memories will recall that Mindich wanted to use that callsign
in the early '90s when he planned to purchase Channel 46 in Norwell,
then WHRC-TV and now WPXB). WSME will apparently stay with its
syndicated talk format (and, NERW wonders, maybe even bother
to legal ID once in a while?)
- At WGAN (560 Portland), budget cuts led to the elimination
this week of the morning-show producer position. Out, as a result,
is Adam Wolf, who moved up to WGAN from Boston's WBZ a couple
of years ago. NERW's sorry to hear that; Adam is a former colleague
at WBZ and a good radio guy.
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2009 by Scott Fybush.