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June 29 & July 6, 2009

Radio Remembers MJ - And Itself

*Remember the days when radio was a vital part of the national conversation? When a station like WABC or WIBG or WRKO could cut across demographic boundaries to bring entire communities together with music and personality?

The radio industry spends a lot of time wondering where those days went - but for a few days late last week, it regained a bit of that old relevance in the wake of the death of one of radio's biggest stars.

At the height of his own career in the eighties, of course, Michael Jackson transcended radio; it can even be argued that the boost his groundbreaking videos gave to MTV in its early years helped the TV network usurp the role that top-40 radio had long played in shaping America's musical tastes.

None of that mattered, though, on Thursday evening. As word spread that Jackson had suffered a heart attack - and, not long afterward, of his death at the age of 50 - many radio stations all over the region, and the nation, quickly crossed format lines and dug out old CDs and even LPs as they launched into nonstop hours of Jackson's music.

"Many" stations, mind you, and not "all," because the timing of Jackson's death, especially here in the east, pointed up the new reality of radio, circa 2009: when the music and the voicetracks on a radio station were programmed by someone miles away and hours before, it's much harder for that station to rise to the occasion by providing listeners with the music and the information they didn't know they needed ahead of time. (Note the demand for Jackson music in record stores and at online sites - a demand that radio was uniquely positioned to meet, immediately and efficiently.)

But our purpose here this week is not to call out the stations that found themselves ill-prepared to react to the breaking news from Los Angeles; instead, we note just some of the ones that rose to the occasion:

-In New York City, Jackson's music was all over the dial within minutes of his death. Urban stations, including WBLS (107.5) and WRKS (98.7), went wall-to-wall Jackson through the weekend; classic hits WCBS-FM (101.1) offered several all-Jackson hours on Thursday, followed by several songs an hour thereafter; we're told that even a few of the city's Spanish-language stations were playing Jackson's songs Thursday night.

-Boston's WXKS-FM (107.9) and WJMN (94.5) are the descendants of two of the stations that played Jackson's music most heavily in the "Thriller" era, and both were heavy on Jackson's music after his death. So was WODS (103.3), where Barry Scott devoted his weekend "Lost 45s" show entirely to Jackson.

-In Philadelphia, most of the FM dial was full of Jackson's music Thursday night, spanning the format spectrum from AC (WISX 106.1) to adult hits (WBEN-FM 95.7) to urban (WUSL 98.9, WDAS-FM 105.3, WRNB 107.9) to oldies (WOGL 98.1).

-In Pittsburgh,'s Jason Togyer reports that Jackson music also crossed format lines, though it was oddly absent at young-skewing top-40 competitors WKST-FM (96.1) and WBZW (93.7) and in short supply early on at several of the city's voicetracked FMs. (Little WKHB 620 was live-and-local with nonstop Jackson tunes starting at 7:15 Thursday night, reports PD Clarke Ingram...)

-Syracuse's WLTI (105.9) blew out the syndicated Delilah show to go wall-to-wall Jackson, reports, with PD Tom Mitchell and APD Brian Phillips rushing to get the songs loaded into the automation system at the last moment.

-Here in Rochester, stations were oddly slow to start playing Jackson's music as the news broke on Thursday, but the spotlight (and the local TV news) was soon firmly focused on locally-owned urban WDKX (103.9). There was no need to go scrambling for songs there; Jackson tunes have been a staple on WDKX from its earliest days 35 years ago, and the station's phone lines were ringing nonstop with remembrances and requests all weekend as WDKX went wall-to-wall Jackson. (Buffalo's WBLK was also wall-to-wall Jackson, at least on Friday.)

As your editor observed in a Boston Globe article Saturday, there aren't likely to be many other moments quite like this in radio's future, if only because it's hard to imagine any other artists who crossed rigid format boundaries to appeal to so many listeners for so many years. But for a few days, at least, it was refreshing to hear radio doing what it does best: being a true mass medium in a way that no MP3 player or webcast or cellphone can do. Is it too much to hope that some of that spark might last?

On with the rest of the week's news:

*In upstate NEW YORK, the Utica market's "River" is changing directions: Mindy Barstein's WXUR (92.7 Herkimer) is segueing from classic rock to active rock, and dropping Don Imus from morning drive in the process. While Imus moves to sister station WNRS (1420 Herkimer), Bill Keeler returns to morning drive on WXUR, with Frank McBride taking over Keeler's afternoon slot, followed by Justin Cortese at night. (And reports that WXUR's transmitter move to Smith Hill in Utica, giving it a class B1 signal that will make it a full-market player, is due to become a reality as early as mid-July.)

Another Utica-market FM station received some vindication late last week, as FCC investigators reported they could find no sign of excessive RF radiation around the new tower site of EMF Broadcasting's WOKR (93.5 Remsen) in the town of Floyd, north of Rome. Town officials say they're still trying to get some answers about what's causing the mysterious illnesses in several homes near the tower, which residents blamed on WOKR's April move to the site. Neighbors tell the Utica Observer-Dispatch that they saw workers at the American Tower-owned facility shortly before the FCC's visit, and they remain suspicious.

They're looking for a new PD at Albany's WAJZ (96.3 Voorheesville), where Russ Allen is packing his bags for sunny Florida and the PD job at Pamal sister station WTMG in Gainesville.

Over in Rochester, WBEE-FM (92.5) is looking for a new midday host - not to mention APD/MD - now that Weslea is leaving her gig there. She's heading for a new career in the music business, and parttimers are covering her shift for now.

(And an update to last week's story about Jack Mindy's "retirement" from WGMC - make that "semi-retirement," as he checks in to let us know he'll still be working part-time as the jazz station's operations manager, while handing his afternoon airshift over to Eric Gruner.)

Catholic radio in Buffalo is about to get a bit stronger: Holy Family Communications is applying to move WLOF (101.7) west from its present city of license, Attica, to the town of Elma, on the Erie/Wyoming county line. From a new tower site south of Cowlesville (not far from the WNYO-TV 49 site), the relocated WLOF would put a city-grade signal over most of Buffalo, if the application is approved. (To retain "first local service" to Attica, Family Life Network is applying to change the city of license of its WCOU 88.3 from Warsaw to Attica, with no actual facility change.)

The Olean market is about to get a new signal: Jeffrey Andrulonis' Colonial group is preparing to move newly-purchased WFRM-FM (96.7) from Coudersport, Pennsylvania across the state line to Portville. WFRM-FM changed calls to WLMY this week, and Andrulonis tells the Olean Times-Herald the station could be on the air from Olean as early as the end of this week. At first, it will be simulcasting sister station WXMT (106.3 Smethport PA), with a new format yet to be announced.

In the Elmira market, public radio WSQE (91.1 Corning) is getting ready to move its transmitter. The relay of Binghamton's WSKG (89.3) has been granted a construction permit to increase its power from the present 3.6 kW/653' to 4 kW DA/1056', a move up from class B1 to class B - and a move from its current transmitter site on Elmira's Hawley Hill to the new tall tower on Higman Hill in Corning. That's where sister station WSKA-DT (Channel 30) is already located - and where another former Hawley Hill tenant, WENY-TV (Channel 36), recently moved. WSQE's relocation will fill in a public-radio dead zone around Bath and other parts of northern and western Steuben County. (And we note that WSQE held a similar CP for this move, at slightly lower power, which expired in March.)

*Moving downstate, there's a new identity on WCBS-FM (101.1 New York)'s HD2 channel. The adult-hits format, which ceased to be known as "Jack" last year, is now "ToNY 101.1."

And in the midst of the TV transition the last few weeks, we've neglected to note more studio moves in the big city - WWFS (Fresh 102.7) moved downtown from 888 Seventh Avenue to CBS Radio's new 345 Hudson Street studios two weeks ago, joining WCBS-FM and WXRK (92.3 Now FM). Next up for the Hudson Street facility will be its two AMs - WINS (1010) is due to vacate its longtime 888 Seventh Avenue home, one floor up from WWFS, in late July or early August, followed a month or so later by WFAN (660)'s long-awaited move out of its dank basement home in Astoria, Queens.

Just up the dial, WRXP (101.9 New York) is rolling out a new overnight show: "From the Basement with Brian and Chris" will run from midnight until 6 weeknights, starting July 6, with two WRXP marketing staffers - "lifestyle engagement director" Brian D'Aurelio and marketing/digital media director Chris Nadler adding overnights to their dayside responsibilities.

TV news: Several DTV stations operating on the VHF band are already increasing power - and looking for still another round of power increases. Schenectady's WRGB (Channel 6) was granted special temporary authority last week to increase its effective radiated power from 4.64 kW to 11.2 kW, with an application now pending to go to 30.2 kW, in coordination with co-channel WPVI in Philadelphia and WEDY in New Haven. Here in Rochester, WHEC-TV (Channel 10) is working its way up from 18.2 kW to 30 kW, with the possibility of still more power on the way to alleviate some reception problems it's experiencing.

The end of last week brought the shutdown of a few more analog transmitters: nightlight operation ended Friday on Buffalo's WGRZ (Channel 2) and New York's WNBC (Channel 4), leaving only Rochester's WXXI-TV (Channel 21) and New York's WCBS-TV (Channel 2) still operating their analog transmitters in the Empire State.

And there's a call change in Saranac Lake, as WCWF (Channel 40) becomes WNMN. As best we can make out from its FCC filings, channel 40 went dark on June 12, since its low-power analog signal had to leave the air and its digital facility isn't yet ready. The station has an application for special temporary authority to operate a very low-powered interim digital facility, allowing it to get back on the air sometime soon. (And about those calls: with the Burlington-Plattsburgh market's CW affiliation now claimed by WFFF's 44.2 subchannel, it looks like channel 40 will be going for the My Network TV affiliation that used to belong to now-dark WBVT.)

And amidst all the high-profile obituaries for Michael Jackson, Ed McMahon (about whom, more in a bit), Farrah Fawcett and Billy Mays, we note, too, the passing of Ken Roberts, one of the last living links to an earlier era of big radio voices.

Roberts, who died June 19 in New York City at age 99, began his radio career at WPCH (later merged with WMCA) in the late twenties, but by 1931 he had settled in as a staff announcer at CBS' flagship station, WABC (today's WCBS). While at WABC, and later at the CBS Radio Network and CBS-TV, Roberts became a familiar voice as host of several quiz shows and as the announcer (as late as 1974) of the soap operas "Secret Storm" and "Love of Life." He memorably parodied the latter assignment during the debut season of the PBS children's show "The Electric Company," where he closed each episode as the announcer of "Love of Chair," uttering the immortal tag line, "And...what about Naomi?"

Still later, Roberts made an off-camera appearance in Woody Allen's 1987 movie "Radio Days," which co-starred his son, actor Tony Roberts.

*In NEW JERSEY, WILW (94.3 Avalon) is applying to make a big move north: it hopes to relocate to the tower of sister-station-to-be WIBG (1020 Ocean City-Somers Point), boosting power from its present 3.3 kW/300' to 6 kW/299'. From the new location, WILW would lose a bit of its existing southern Cape May County coverage, trading it for a 60 dBu contour extending as far north as Atlantic City.


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*While he achieved fame in New York and later California, Ed McMahon never forgot his roots in the Merrimack Valley of MASSACHUSETTS, and so we remember him this week not only for his many years alongside Johnny and Doc, or for his career as a TV pitchman and host, but also for his earliest years in the business at Lowell's WLLH.

McMahon's voice was heard on WLLH doing station IDs in the 1980s, and he returned to Lowell in 1994 to be honored with a live broadcast on WLLH (alongside then-morning host Paul Sullivan) - and with a park bench at Middlesex Community College, too.

McMahon died last Tuesday (June 23) at 86.

*On the TV side, Fox is moving its early-evening newscast at WFXT (Channel 25). After failing to draw much in the way of ratings at 5 and 5:30 PM, "Fox 25 News" will move to 6-6:30 PM beginning September 14, with "Dr. Oz" filling the 5 PM hour.

And while it was supposed to have ended analog nightlight operation on Friday, WGBH-TV (Channel 2) will instead keep transmitting until June 12, alongside WBZ-TV (Channel 4) and WCVB (Channel 5).

Where are they now? Former WBMX (98.5) PD Jon Zellner worked his way up the CBS Radio chain of command to become VP of top 40 and AC programming, then moved over to XM (and now Sirius XM) as senior VP of music programming. Effective July 20, he's returning to terrestrial radio as senior VP of programming for Clear Channel Radio.

*The only news from northern New England was in the callsign department: in Rangeley, MAINE, Tranet's new construction permit on 90.5 will be WRGY, while in Plymouth, NEW HAMPSHIRE, Wentworth Baptist Church's new 90.7 will be WPVH.


We thought we'd sell out of Tower Site Calendar 2009 without resorting to a clearance sale...but not quite.

Our business manager (aka Mrs. Fybush) reports that a limited quantity of 2009 calendars are still available - and as we get ready to send Tower Site Calendar 2010 to the printer, we're clearing out the remaining 2009 editions.

The supply is dwindling fast at our clearance price of just $9 each, postpaid - that's half-off the usual price of $18. So place that order now - and get ready for pre-orders of the 2010 edition, starting in July.

Order now at the Store!

*Another obituary overshadowed by the week's big celebrity deaths leads our PENNSYLVANIA news this week: Irv Homer began his talk career by leasing time on WXUR (690/100.3) in Media in the late 1960s, then moved on to WEEZ (1590) in Chester before hitting the big time in 1975 with a slot on WWDB-FM (96.5), where he became a staple of Philadelphia talk radio for a quarter of a century.

After WWDB exited the talk format, Homer continued to host a show on suburban WBCB (1490 Levittown-Fairless Hills), where he was still working at the time of his death last week. Homer, 86, suffered a heart attack while speaking at Eastern University Wednesday night. He died shortly afterward at Bryn Mawr Hospital.

Up in the Scranton market, Family Life Ministries is adding a second FM signal. It already owns WCIG (91.3 Carbondale), on the east side of Scranton - and now it's buying WGMF-FM (107.7 Dallas), on the west side, from GEOS Communications. Family Life will pay an even $1 million for the signal, which it will take over under an LMA July 11.

"Gem Radio" will continue to be heard in the market even after the 107.7 signal goes away - it will continue on WGMF (1460 Tunkhannock), and on FM via a translator lineup that includes W282BJ (104.3 Scranton) and W283BJ (104.5 Wyoming/Wilkes-Barre). "Gem" - and several other area stations - were off the air for much of Friday afternoon and into the weekend when a severe thunderstorm rolled through the area; fortunately, there were no reports of permanent damage.

New calls for a new signal in Carlisle: Cumberland Valley Christian Radio's 91.3 there will be WPFG.

Edited by NERW's own Scott Fybush - on sale now as an e-book or printed volume!

*In CANADA, Rogers is cutting back at its Toronto sports station, CJCL (FAN 590): the station has dropped overnight ESPN Radio network shows in favor of replays of its own daytime programming, and it's cutting staff, including night talker Norm "Stormin Normin" Rumack.

And a few more southern Ontario personnel moves, with a hat-tip to Milkman UnLimited: "Mocha" moves from mornings/music director at CKBT (91.5 the Beat) in Kitchener/Waterloo to afternoons/assistant MD at the revived CKIS (Kiss 92.5) in Toronto, while down the QEW in Niagara Falls, Rob White is back as PD of CFLZ (105.1 the River).

Over in New Brunswick, Radio-Canada's CBAF-FM (88.5 Moncton) has been granted an additional temporary frequency in Caraquet: it will operate a 50-watt transmitter on 93.9 from July 1 to September 30 to broadcast events at the Festival Acadien.

NERW programming note: Barring major news developments, we're taking a break for the holidays (Independence Day in the US, Canada Day up north). We'll be back with our next regular issue of NERW on Monday, July 13 - and of course we'll post any urgent updates here right away in the meantime. A very happy and safe holiday to all our readers on both sides of the border!

From 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. Note that 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 for the idea - and thanks to you, our readers, for the support that's made all these years of NERW possible!)

June 30 & July 7, 2008 -

  • The last time PENNSYLVANIA DJ Bruce Bond found himself in court, it was 2002. Bond, an institution at Cumulus' WNNK (104.1 Harrisburg), had been cut loose from that station during a late-2001 format change, and when he returned to the airwaves the following spring on then-WRKZ (102.3 Carlisle), Bond was promptly sued by Cumulus for breaching his noncompete agreement. Bond's new job on WRKZ ended in January 2004, and in the years since then he'd faded into obscurity - until last Thursday, anyway. That's when Bond was indicted in New York City, charged with 65 counts of forgery, attempted grand larceny and identity theft.
  • Prosecutors say Bond was part of a scheme in which he sent bogus corporate checks to people who had responded to "work-at-home" ads on Craigslist. The scheme apparently started early in 2007, and involved conspirators in Nigeria and Europe who received most of the money after the fraud victims cashed the phony checks. (Once the checks had been cashed and the money sent abroad, the victims found out the checks were bad, leaving them on the hook to their banks.) Those overseas accomplices allegedly paid Bond $1,500 a week for his role, which prosecutors say involved printing the checks in his Manhattan apartment and mailing them. When Bond was arrested in May, investigators said they found check paper and printers in the apartment.
  • Bond's lawyers say he was just "a cog" in a much larger operation, but he's in deep legal trouble nonetheless. At his arraignment on Friday, Bond pleaded not guilty and was ordered held on $250,000 bond. He'll be back in court July 23.
  • There's a morning show change on the way in NEW YORK next month, as Emmis' WQHT (97.1 New York) parts ways with morning host Tarsha Jones, aka "Miss Jones." Jones is scheduled to remain on the air this week to say goodbye to her New York listeners, but beginning July 21 her morning timeslot will be filled with two shows. From 5-7 AM, Hot 97 listeners will hear a local morning show hosted by WQHT swing jocks Cipha Sounds and Peter Rosenberg - and then, from 7-10 AM, they'll hear the Big Boy morning show from Emmis sister station KPWR (105.9) in Los Angeles.
  • Here in Rochester, a delayed format change finally took place a few minutes after midnight this morning, as Crawford Broadcasting flipped WRCI (990 Rochester) to religion, replacing the simulcast of oldies WLGZ (Legends 102.7).
  • Like everyone else in MASSACHUSETTS this time of year, our attention this week is focused out on the Cape and Islands. Thats's where WRZE (96.3) has hopped the ferry from its longtime Nantucket home to the mainland. The Qantum-owned station lost the lease on its Nantucket tower site, and it's temporarily downgrading from class B to class A with a new city of license of Dennis, running 6 kW from the tower of sister station WCOD (106.1 Hyannis) until a new tower can be built for both stations, at which point "The Rose" will go back up to class B1 status with 25 kW.

June 28, 2004 -

  • In NEW JERSEY, the major breaking news this past week was something insiders had been expecting for a long while now: the sale of WCHR-FM (105.7 Manahawkin) from Nassau to Millennium. In addition to classic rock "Hawk," though, Millennium's getting another FM outlet for its $40 million, as Nassau throws in smooth jazz WOJZ (104.9 Egg Harbor City) to the deal.
  • In NEW YORK, we now know who'll replace the syndicated Doug Banks in mornings on WBLS (107.5 New York). Rick Party's coming up from Miami's WEDR (99.1) to take over the shift on July 6. He'll be joined by Sonia Colon, who's headed uptown from WQHT (97.1). And new in middays at WBLS is Adimu, who heads east from KKBT (100.3) in Los Angeles.
  • Up in Rochester, Clear Channel's getting ready to swap facilities at two of its FMs. On July 4, classic hits "Fox" WFXF (107.3 South Bristol) will take over the big 50 kW class B signal now occupied by WNVE (95.1 Honeoye Falls), while modern rock "Nerve" will relocate from the market-blanketing 95.1 to the rimshot-on-a-good-day class A 107.3 signal that emanates from 35 miles out of town.
  • Some back story here: A few years ago, Clear Channel moved 95.1 from the perch atop Bristol Mountain that it had occupied for half a century, changing its city of license from South Bristol to Honeoye Falls and co-locating it with WVOR 100.5 on Baker Hill in Perinton, much closer to the city. To make that improvement, though, the 107.3 signal was effectively sacrificed, leaving its Honeoye Falls city of license and Bloomfield tower site to go to the more distant Bristol site and become the replacement "sole local service" - cough, cough, hack - to the 1200 or so souls of South Bristol.Amazingly, despite having no airstaff, not much signal and almost no promotion, 107.3 placed respectably in the ratings as "The Fox," enough so that Clear Channel's giving the format a shot at the big stick and a better chance to shave some numbers off Infinity's heritage classic rocker WCMF (96.5) and Entercom's classic hits WBZA (98.9).
  • As for the Nerve, we suspect its fate was sealed when Clear Channel took Howard Stern off its airwaves in February; will it be anything more than a placeholder on 107.3 in its new incarnation? (2009 update: No.)
  • Just after NERW went to press last Monday, Vox made some big changes at its remaining stations in western MASSACHUSETTS, killing off the very soft AC at WMNB (100.1 North Adams) and the AC at WUPE (95.9 Pittsfield) and replacing both with an oldies simulcast as "Whoopee."
  • "Whoopee" has a full airstaff: Joanne Billow moves to mornings there from the morning show at sister WBEC-FM (105.5 Pittsfield). Alex Seseske, who was doing WUPE's morning show, moves to middays, followed by PD Dave Isby in the afternoon and A.J. Kelley at night. Over at Live 105.5, Billow's former co-host Steve Murray moves to afternoons and OM Mike Patrick takes over mornings.
  • One valley over, we hear Air America Radio is coming to Northampton and the Pioneer Valley next week. That's when Saga's WHMP (1400 Northampton)/WHNP (1600 East Longmeadow)/WHMQ (1240 Greenfield) will pick up some Air America programming. Still no sign of a Boston affiliate...

July 2, 1999 -

  • We'll start this week with two station sales in MASSACHUSETTS. The big one is out west in the Berkshires, where Tele-Media is paying $4.65 million to buy Aritaur's three-station group, news-talk WBEC (1420 Pittsfield), CHR WBEC-FM (105.5 Pittsfield), and religious WZEC (97.5 Hoosick Falls NY, still running the format it had in its pre-Aritaur days as WNGN). The deal expands Tele-Media's reach eastward from its station group in Albany (WABY, WABY-FM, WKLI/WKBE) over the state line into the Pittsfield market, and leaves NERW wondering -- is an Albany-Pittsfield simulcast on the way?
  • We also have to wonder what will become of the other station owned by Aritaur's Joseph Gallagher, WBET (1460) in Brockton. Gallagher's KJI Broadcasting sold WBET's sister station, WCAV (97.7), to Radio One a few weeks back for a tidy profit.
  • Meantime, the other station in Brockton, WMSX (1410), is getting a new owner -- and it's a familiar buyer of late. Keating Willcox's Willow Farm Broadcasting is paying $674,000 to buy WMSX from Donald Sandler, the second deal in a year Sandler's Metro South Broadcasting has made to sell the station. The first, to Monte Bowen's Griot Communications, was never consummated.
  • One of New England's largest locally-owned broadcast groups is being sold. Twenty-two years after buying what was then WRYT in Boston, Ken Carberry (aka Carter) is selling most of his Carter Broadcasting stations to Catholic Family Radio for a reported $22 million. Catholic Family Radio gets flagship WROL (950) in Boston, WACE (730 Chicopee) in the Springfield market, WRIB (1220) in Providence, and Maine cluster WLOB (1310 Portland) and WLLB AM-FM (790/96.3 Rumford), while Carter hangs on to WCRN (830 Worcester) and LPTVs W34BL Leicester, Mass. and WLOB-LP (Channel 45) Portland.
  • Carberry, who was raised in a Catholic orphanage in Leicester, says Catholic Family Radio was the best choice for the future of his network. "Catholic Family Radio has the resources to take our format and content to the next level," he says, noting that CFR has already lined up former Vatican ambassador and Boston mayor Ray Flynn for his own daily talk show.
  • While Carberry remains involved with CFR, he's also starting a new media venture, Northstar Media Group, with his son Kurt. The new group's flagship, WCRN, has already applied for a major power boost -- from 7000 watts by day to 50,000 -- with no change in its directional pattern. Night power (5 kilowatts) would remain the same for now.
  • The other big news from MASSACHUSETTS is the impending end of the six-year relationship between Don Imus and WEEI (850 Boston). WEEI's new Entercom owners aren't renewing their contract with Imus' syndicator, Infinity, which expires August 24. WEEI was reportedly paying well into seven figures annually for the rights to carry Imus, and ratings weren't reflecting now Infinity begins the search for a new Boston Imus affiliate. Rumors are already flying about a new FM home for the I-man, but nothing's confirmed yet, so stay tuned...
  • Saratoga Springs' WKAJ (900) is getting new calls to go with its new owner. Ernie Anastos has applied for WUAM as the new calls for the little adult-standards outlet, marking the second time the station has dropped its original calls. Just north in Glens Falls, the FCC lists WCQL as the "new calls" for the station on 95.9, which is kind of silly since the license has been around for a couple of decades and the WCQL calls have been in use there for a few years now. Sounds like a database correction to us...
  • Heading towards Syracuse, we're told new WRVD (90.3) is on with just half power for now, but that should change soon.
  • Auburn's WHCD (106.9) is indeed being sold, as Butch Charles hands over the keys to the smooth-jazz outlet to "Mag Mile Media LLC." We're keeping an ear on this one, which comes in quite well under the flea-power signal of local WKGS (106.7 Irondequoit); updates to follow.
  • Congratulations to WXXI (1370 Rochester) on its fifteenth anniversary on the air (and hey, Bob, did you ever find that tape from July 2, 1984?) (2009 update: Hey, Bob, did you ever find that tape from July 2, 1984?)
  • A well-known voice is returning to Rochester's WCMF (96.5) on the weekdays. Bill Moran ("The Moranimal") yielded the 3-7 PM slot on 'CMF to BJ Shea two years ago; now Shea is out the door and Moran returns to the slot after a couple of years in the advertising business (and doing weekends on WCMF to keep his pipes fresh).
  • And just over the state line in PENNSYLVANIA, there are a bunch of call and format changes to report in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market, most of them involving the Citadel mega-group: WKQV (1550 Pittston) and WEMR (1460 Tunkhannock) switch from One-on-One Sports to Music of Your Life; WCDL (1440 Carbondale) changes calls to WKJN but keeps its simulcast with news-talk WARM (590 Scranton); rock simulcast "The Bear" (WZMT 97.9 Hazleton/WKQV-FM 95.7 Olyphant) takes on new calls WXBE and WXAR, respectively (get it -- "BE" and "AR" = "BEAR"?); and over in Mount Pocono, WILT (960) is being sold to Nassau Broadcasting in nearby New Jersey, ending its LMA with and simulcast of WILK (980 Wilkes-Barre).

June 29, 1994 -

  • WBZ has introduced a new financial show on Saturdays from 3-5. "The Money Managers" is hosted by Dee Lee of the Herald and Dave Caruso of New England Cable News. It replaces "Learning Center Live."
  • And despite all the reports that Stern will be moving to AM drive on WBCN imminently, sorry, Charlie. WBCN morning institution Charles Laquidara has just signed a long-term contract with the Rock of Boston that will keep Laquidara on BCN mornings past the turn of the century. So much for retiring to Florida... (2009 update: Contracts are made to be bought out...and it turned out to be Hawaii in the end for Laquidara.)

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