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:
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, PBRTV.com'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
-Syracuse's WLTI (105.9) blew out the syndicated Delilah show
to go wall-to-wall Jackson, reports
CNYRadio.com, with PD Tom Mitchell and APD Brian Phillips rushing
to get the songs loaded into the automation system at the last
-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:
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 CNYRadio.com
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
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.)
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
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
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.
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*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.
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
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!
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 LARadio.com
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
- 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
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
- 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
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
- 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
- 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 it...so 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 -
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- 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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2009 by Scott Fybush.