August 3 & 10, 2009
WBCN Rocks to the End
NERW's now on
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*Since this is a double issue of NERW, by
the next time you read this column, WBCN (104.1 Boston) will
be a thing of the past for listeners in eastern MASSACHUSETTS
- but even as CBS Radio puts 41 years of rock radio out to pasture
(or at least out to an HD2 channel, which is pretty much the
same thing), the station's not going quietly. Current and former
staffers, including legendary WBCN names such as longtime PD
Oedipus and long-ago jock Peter Wolf of J. Geils Band fame, gathered
over the weekend for a farewell concert - and next weekend will
mark the start of a series of on-air farewell events leading
up to WBCN's final sign-off August 12.
Behind the scenes, the wheels are turning quickly on the transition,
including a sequence of studio moves that took WBMX (98.5 Boston)
from its 1200 Soldiers Field Road studios to a new studio on
the top floor of CBS Radio's 83 Leo Birmingham Parkway facility
over the weekend.
But by the time "Mix 98.5" made it down the road
to Birmingham Parkway (the old TV 38 building), it wasn't "WBMX"
any longer. CBS quietly changed 98.5's calls from WBMX to WBMX-FM
late last week, the first step in the series of call changes
that will turn 98.5 into "Sports Hub" WBZ-FM.
Here's how it all plays out: when WBMX became WBMX-FM, CBS
Radio also flipped WFNA (1660 Charlotte NC), one of its pair
of sports stations in the Charlotte market, to "WBMX"
- making it all but certain that the Charlotte 1660 signal will
end up being the spot where CBS parks the WBCN calls for safekeeping
come August 13, when WBMX-FM in Boston changes calls to WBZ-FM
and WBMX Charlotte and WBCN Boston swap calls, putting WBMX on
104.1 (as "Mix 104") and creating the cognitive dissonance
of "WBCN Charlotte" on the AM dial, for the tiny handful
of people who notice such things.
(While NERW's on the road next week, we'll be keeping up
on the developments as WBCN says goodbye and Sports Hub 98.5
gears up for launch - follow our Twitter feed @NERadioWatch or
keep an eye on the top of this page for updates as they happen!)
sad news to report about a longtime fixture on the Boston FM
dial: George Taylor Morris, better known as "GTM" during
his stints as a PD and air talent at WCOZ, WZLX and WBOS, died
Saturday (Aug. 1) at his home in Reston, Virginia after a battle
with throat cancer.
Morris, a California native, came east in 1967 to do news
on Long Island at WHLI (1100 Hempstead), eventually working his
way into the music side of the business as a jock at WWDJ (970
Hackensack) in its final years as a top-40 outlet. He went to
Boston to program WCOZ in 1975, then returned to New York as
PD of WPIX (101.9). Morris made one more foray into news from
1979-1981 as a news anchor at NBC's new service for FM stations,
"The Source," before joining Westwood One as the network's
By the mid-80s, Morris was on the national scene as host of
the syndicated "Reelin' in the Years," which aired
from 1984-1999, and by the end of the decade he was back in Boston
as a key part of WZLX's early classic rock success. Morris later
moved over to WBOS (92.9), where he served as PD until 2003,
when he joined XM Satellite Radio, where he programmed and did
mornings on the "Deep Tracks" classic rock channel,
as well as hosting the "XM Artist Confidential" interview
GTM was just 62; he's survived by his wife of 20 years and
*The latest high-profile
Boston pirate FM has been visited by the FCC. "WPOT Hot
97.5" signed on in mid-July on a particularly poorly-chosen
frequency, right next door to Entercom's WAAF relay, WKAF (97.7
Brockton). It didn't take long for agents from the Quincy field
office to track the signal to One Westinghouse Plaza in Hyde
Park - and to issue a Notice of Unlicensed Operation to the building's
landlord, Motherbrook LLC/The Hamilton Co. Will pressure on the
landlord get "WPOT" off the air - or will it join other
unlicensed signals like "Touch 106" as long-term survivors
on the Boston dial, much to the chagrin of the city's licensed
On the North Shore, Keating Willcox has reportedly dumped
the female-oriented talk format at his WNSH (1570 Beverly) in
favor of a simulcast of leased-time ethnic WESX (1230 Nahant).
WNSH's 30 kW day signal will extend the range of WESX's programming
to the north, regaining some coverage that WESX lost in its move
from Salem (with transmitter in Marblehead) to its new Saugus
transmitter site; at night, WNSH's 85 watts probably won't add
A Cape Ann translator signal has started migrating west. W236BX
(95.1 Gloucester) is the former W243CD (96.5), which is being
sold by Radio Assist Ministry to the owners of Fitchburg's WPKZ
(1280, the former WEIM). Having moved down the dial from 96.5
to 95.1 in several steps, W236BX has now applied to relocate
from its present site near Manchester to a new location about
halfway between Boxford and Lawrence - and if this proceeds the
way we think it's going, we'd expect to see three or four more
moves that will take the translator through the Merrimack Valley
and then on to Fitchburg, where it will presumably be used as
an FM relay for WPKZ.
Further west on Route 2, there's word that the administration
at Deerfield Academy pulled the plug on WGAJ (91.7 Deerfield)
at the end of the school year this past spring, with no plans
to return the station to the air. What will become of that frequency
at the northern end of the Pioneer Valley? Stay tuned...
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crisis that threatened to cost two small PBS stations in NEW
YORK and PENNSYLVANIA much of their viewer and donor
bases was averted late last week.
WPBS-TV (Channel 16) in Watertown and WQLN-TV (Channel 54)
in Erie faced the loss of their large and loyal audiences in
Ottawa and London, Ontario, respectively, when Rogers Cable announced
it was planning to replace its over-the-air pickups of those
stations' signals with the feed of Detroit's PBS station, WTVS
(Channel 56), that's already on Rogers' fiber backbone across
much of Ontario.
Viewers in both London and Ottawa responded with protests
to Rogers, and the Canadian cable giant agreed to keep WPBS and
WQLN on its systems if the U.S.-based stations could arrange
for fiber feeds of their signals to Rogers' Canadian headends.
Both stations announced last week that they'll move forward with
those feeds, though they come at a significant cost (north of
$30,000 a year) at a time when the stations - especially WQLN
- are facing budget shortfalls and cuts in state funding.
Still, the loss of the larger markets to the north would have
been an even deeper blow; without viewers in Canada, both stations
warned that they might have had to pare back operations or even
merge with larger-market PBS stations in adjacent markets.
*On the radio dial, New York's WOR (710) has promoted Scott
Lakefield from assistant PD to PD, where he replaces Jerry Crowley;
meanwhile, Jennifer Buckley adds "vice president" to
her title as director of sales.
Where are they now? Dave Logan, the last PD of the "old"
WCBS-FM (101.1) before it was replaced by Jack in 2005, is the
new PD at Clear Channel's KKSF (103.7 San Francisco), which recently
dumped its long-standing smooth jazz format for classic rock
as "The Band."
If you've ever worked at Long Island's WHLI (1100 Hempstead)
or WKJY (98.3 Hempstead), Ted David wants to hear from you. The
WHLI alumnus and longtime CNBC anchor, now doing fill-ins at
New York's WINS, is starting to make plans for a reunion event
- and he's got an e-mail address (WHLIReunion at gmail dot com)
and a Facebook page going...so check in with him if you're interested.
Northeast Gospel Broadcasting's new signal on 88.5 in Dolgeville
now has calls: WVVC-FM, a familiar ID in the Utica market, where
that callsign once graced the religious station on 100.7 that's
now WKVU, EMF's "K-Love" outlet.
Down in Jamestown, Jimmy Swaggart's Family Worship Center
Church is buying unbuilt WYRR (88.9 Lakewood) from Muncy Hills
Broadcasting for $10,000; it will build out the CP as another
outlet of its "Sonlife Radio Network," already heard
in parts of western New York on WJCA (102.1 Albion).
And one more bit of TV news to round out this slow week: the
New York Lottery has signed its first deal with a cable news
channel to carry its drawings. The Lottery has been off the air
in Albany since the end of its contract with WTEN (Channel 10);
now it's moving to Time Warner Cable's Capital News 9 in a six-year
*In VERMONT, there's a new PD at WCPV
(101.3 Essex NY). Mary Cenci, who's been the interim PD at "Champ
101.3" for the last 7 months, gets to take the "interim"
label off her business card. She continues as "Morning Mess"
co-host at the station as well.
On TV, WGMU-CA (Channel 39) in Burlington is back on the air
after several months of darkness. Convergence Media Group, which
owns WNMN (Channel 40) across the lake in Saranac Lake, N.Y.,
bought WGMU out of the Equity bankruptcy sale, and now WGMU/WNMN
are relaunching with Retro TV programming, to be accompanied
eventually by MyNetwork TV once WNMN-DT is fully built out.
*A TV change in MAINE: Jon
Camp is out as evening co-anchor at Hearst's WMTW (Channel 8)
*RHODE ISLAND's Buddy Cianci is once
again a free man; the WPRO (630 Providence)/WEAN (99.7 Wakefield-Peace
Dale) talk host and former Providence mayor ended his supervised
release period last week, closing the book on his most recent
brush with corruption charges.
And there's been a format change at WJZS (99.3 Block Island):
the quirky mix of standards and AC and smooth jazz that had been
programmed locally on the station gave way to Citadel's "Today's
Best Hits" hot AC satellite service over the weekend.
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*They call it "Happy Valley," but
rock fans in State College, PENNSYLVANIA won't be happy
if they try to tune to "QWK Rock" (WQWK 103.1 State
College) this morning - there's word that Forever Broadcasting
is flipping the station to a simulcast of news-talk WRSC (1390
State College). This was the second incarnation of WQWK; its
previous facility on 97.1 was traded away to 2510 Licenses a
few years back.
Two bits of TV news from opposite ends of the Keystone State:
in Pittsburgh, WTAE-TV (Channel 4) adds "This TV,"
the classic movie channel from MGM/UA, on its 4.2 subchannel
this morning, replacing the weather and traffic that had been
At Fox's WTXF (Channel 29) in Philadelphia, the "Good
Day Philadelphia" morning show is adding an hour in September,
picking up the 9-10 AM hour that's now filled by syndicated fare.
Mike Jerrick is returning to the station to help anchor the show;
John Anderson will continue to co-host with Sheinelle Jones from
5-7 AM, with Jerrick picking up anchor duties at 7.
*A format change of sorts in northwest NEW
JERSEY: WHCY (106.3 Blairstown) segued from a Citadel Media
(ex-ABC) satellite hot AC format to Clear Channel's in-house
national hot AC service over the weekend.
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*Our news from CANADA starts out east,
in Moncton, N.B., where CFQM (103.9) made a quiet format change
on Friday, segueing from AC (as "Magic 104") to classic
hits as "Max FM 103.9."
Most of the Magic air personalities remain in place at the
MBS station, joined by Matt Rideout from sister station CKCW-FM
Following up on last week's news from Nova Scotia about the
demise of yet another AM station, we can now tell you definitively
that CFDR (780 KIXX) in Halifax is gone from the medium-wave
dial for good, having decided not to take advantage of the 90
days of simulcasting allowed by the CRTC. Instead, to the tune
of Roy Rogers singing "Happy Trails to You," the country
station left the air completely last Monday morning at 10; its
replacement, Rogers' "Lite 92.9" CKLT, has yet to have
its official launch, instead continuing to operate in testing
mode for now.
*In Ontario, yet
another AM station wants to move to FM. CJOY (1460) in Guelph,
Ontario is taking another bite at the FM apple: after being denied
on its first attempt to move to 95.7 last year, the Corus-owned
oldies station has resubmitted its application to the CRTC. CJOY
was turned down when it applied in May 2008 because that application
came as part of a CRTC call for new stations in Guelph - and
when the CRTC chose not to license any new signals, it also rejected
the CJOY move in the process. This time, it's a standalone AM-to-FM
application calling for 30 kW max/9.5 kW average/53.7 meters,
and the CRTC will consider it at a Sept. 29 public hearing in
Radio People on the Move: veteran jock Bob Dearborn is out
as morning man at CKWR (98.5 Waterloo) after two years at the
station, which is reportedly going through some severe cutbacks
that Dearborn, in a press release announcing his departure last
week, blamed on "financial mismanagement" by the previous
board of directors. Dearborn says the station's current board
would have liked to renew his contract, but that the station's
financial straits have left him "out of our league."
Over in Toronto, Jane Brown starts today as morning news anchor
at CFZM (AM 740) and as assistant news director for CFZM and
sister station CFMZ (Classical 96.3). Brown has a quarter-century
of Toronto news experience, including a decade as morning news
anchor at CFRB (1010) and stints at CFTR (680 News), CBC Radio
and CILQ (Q107).
And the My FM network is now testing its newest outlet: CKXM
(90.5 Exeter) is using Christmas music to get its new transmitter
warmed up and ready to go before an official launch later in
*We close with a programming reminder - barring breaking news,
we're off next week as part of our summer publishing schedule.
We'll be back here with a new NERW on August 17, and we'll post
updates on our Twitter feed (@NERadioWatch) in the meantime.
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!)
August 11, 2008 -
- Non-compete contracts became a thing of the past for broadcast
employees in NEW YORK State as of Thursday, when Gov. David Paterson
signed the Broadcast Employees Freedom to Work Act. The legislation
was strongly supported by AFTRA, but faced intense opposition
from the New York State Broadcasters Association, which attempted
to rally its members to lobby against the bill. The governor,
however, was sympathetic to the case presented by AFTRA and its
members. "The contract provisions were banning placed
an unfair burden on these professionals by limiting their ability
to move to other employers within the same market or within a
certain time period," Paterson said in a statement after
signing the bill. "With the approval of this bill, we hope
to empower broadcasters with greater independence as they pursue
- At least here in western New York, the immediate question
raised by the bill's passage was, "what happens to Brother
Wease?" The former WCMF (96.5 Rochester) morning man has
been off the air since his contract dispute with WCMF's new owners,
Entercom, flared up late last year; while he's now working for
Clear Channel, we're told other provisions of Wease's Entercom
contract will still keep him off the air until around Thanksgiving,
when he'll reappear at Clear Channel's WFXF (95.1 Honeoye Falls).
- There's one other Clear Channel Rochester note to offer this
week: WHTK (1280 Rochester) quietly changed its branding from
"Hot Talk 1280" to "Sportstalk 1280" last
week. We're sure that has nothing, nothing at all, to do with
the impending format change at Entercom's WROC (950 Rochester),
which has apparently registered "sportsradio950espn.com"
as a new domain name.
- The biggest news out of New York City was also from Clear
Channel, as yet another PD is departing its cluster there. This
time it's Bob Buchmann, PD of WAXQ (104.3 New York), whose exit
next week will put Tom Poleman, the cluster's senior VP/programming,
in control of Q104.3, assisted by APD Eric Wellman. Buchmann's
2-4 PM airshift will be divided between middayer Maria Milito
and afternoon jock Ken Dashow.
- Over on the New York AM dial, Wednesday (Aug. 6) marked the
debut of Salem's new talker. WNYM (970 Hackensack NJ) wrapped
up several days of stunting (including an all-Sinatra day) with
an hour of a countdown clock, followed by a brief welcome to
its talk format, then right into the Mike Gallagher show. While
there are no strictly local shows on WNYM, Salem is trying to
create as many links as it can between its syndicated lineup
and the city, most notably in the case of Gallagher, the former
WABC morning man whose program originates from the Empire State
Building. The rest of the lineup includes the Wall Street Journal
Report (5-6 AM), Bill Bennett (6-9 AM), Dennis Prager (noon-3
PM), Michael Medved (3-6 PM), Hugh Hewitt (6-9 PM), Laura Schlessinger
(9-midnight), John Gibson (midnight-3 AM) and Jim Bohannon (3-5
AM). WNYM brings Fox News Radio an hourly clearance in New York
as well, with Metro Networks providing local news headlines.
- In RHODE ISLAND, they're awaiting the reissue of the Providence
Arbitron ratings after the book was abruptly withdrawn last week.
Arbitron says six diaries were returned from a "media-affiliated"
household in East Greenwich, R.I., and that those diaries substantially
affected ratings for WPRO (630 Providence)/WEAN (99.7 Wakefield-Peace
Dale). The Boston Herald and other media outlets immediately
focused on WPRO's morning host, John DePetro, who happens to
live in East Greenwich, and local TV newscasts led with video
of DePetro in his car leaving the station, saying little of substance
about the issue. The Herald reported that the six questionable
diaries claimed to be from three women and three men, all aged
27-34, who reported 109 hours of listening to DePetro's show
- and that the spring book jumped WPRO from 11th place (with
a 2.0) to fourth place (with a 6.8) among listeners 25-54. What
will the revised numbers say - and will DePetro's job be affected?
August 3 & 9, 2004 -
- Commercial broadcasters who'd been eyeing the last big open
FM channel in NEW YORK are now officially out of luck. The 92.1A
allocation in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst was to have appeared
in an upcoming FCC auction - with a starting price of $800,000,
no less - but now it's joined a long list of open FM allocations
that are reserved for "noncommercial educational" use.
Some background here: in order to clear up a long-running legal
battle about whether or not noncommercial broadcasters (primarily
the big religious chains that have been putting thousands of
new satellite-fed signals on the air from coast to coast) would
have priority in obtaining these new signals, the FCC opened
up a petition process a few months back. If the noncomm petitioners
could show that one of these signals would be the first or second
noncomm facility for at least 10% of the audience it would serve,
the channel would automatically be set aside for noncomm use.
And because most of Buffalo's public radio operates on commercial
licenses (WNED-FM 94.5 and WNED 970), that 92.1 allocation qualified,
at the request of "Youngshine Media." The FCC still
hasn't figured out when it'll open an application window for
all these reserved noncommercial allocations. (2009
update: they still haven't!)
- Plenty of top-40 stations around the country have held reunions
of former staffers, but we think it's a pretty good bet that
few have been as well attended as Saturday's homecoming at WOLF
(1490) in Syracuse, NEW YORK.
- It's not every 1000-watt graveyarder AM signal (250 watts,
back in the day!) that draws back staffers from as far back as
the day the station signed on in 1940 (like former sports director
Red Parton, seen at right in the photo at left) - and it's certainly
not every small AM station that draws back staffers who worked
for just a few months in the summer of 1978 (like CBS Radio News
correspondent Peter King, in the yellow shirt, who came all the
way from his home base in Orlando, Florida for the reunion.)
- But then, not every little station like WOLF has historical
caretakers like Bob Mitchell and Lee Goodman, whose wolf1490.net
site chronicles the history of WOLF from the beginning all the
way to its current incarnation as part of a four-station Radio
Disney simulcast in Central New York. Bob and Lee were planning
this reunion for months, and it showed, not only in the former
staffers who packed the little WOLF building on Saturday morning
but also in the huge collection of WOLF photos, T-shirts, surveys,
banners and whatnot that covered the walls of the restaurant
where the reunion luncheon was held. Nor, for that matter, do
many stations this size have an alumni roster that includes names
like Dick Clark (who worked at WOLF while he was a student at
Syracuse University), Marv Albert, CBS network announcer Wendell
"Windy" Craig, Chicago legend Fred Winston, Detroit
morning legend Dick Purtan, Boston radio legend Dale Dorman,
WCBS-FM afternoon guy Bob Shannon (who was still Don Bombard
in his WOLF days), and the list goes on and on.
- Clark sent recorded greetings, and many other former WOLF'ers
showed up in person - not just Craig and Bombard but also some
other names familiar around NERW-land, like WBZ (1030 Boston)
anchor Bob McMahon (who was at WOLF in 1972-73), WWSW (94.5 Pittsburgh)
afternoon jock Mike Frazer and Clancy-Mance Communications owner
Dave Mance. And plenty of ex-WOLF staffers who stuck around the
Syracuse market showed up as well, including WSTM (Channel 3)
sports anchor Joe Zone, WYYY (94.5) morning team Rick Gary and
PD Kathy Rowe and WBBS (B104.7) morning guy Ron Bee. (We've still
just scratched the surface of the guest list!)
- Rick and Ron co-hosted the three-hour reunion show on WOLF,
and we should point out here that the show was made possible
by current WOLF owner Craig Fox, who graciously opened up the
station's building on West Kirkpatrick Street ("it hasn't
changed a bit," commented many attendees) and its airwaves
for the event.
August 6, 1999 -
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- Two regional radio groups changed hands this week, with one
deal creating the largest radio group in VERMONT.
- Bruce Danziger's Vox Media made its first appearance on the
radio landscape in April, when it bought WKXL AM-FM in Concord,
New Hampshire, then followed that with the purchase of WSNO-WORK
in Barre. This week, Vox agreed to pay $5.5 million for Jeff
Shapiro's Dynacom group, which includes: * rocker WHDQ (106.1)
Claremont NH (and translators in White River Junction and Keene
and on-channel booster in Rutland)
* -sports-talk WNHV (910) White River Junction and WTSV (1230)
* soft AC "Wish" trimulcast WSSH (101.5) Marlboro/WZSH
(107.1) Bellows Falls/WWSH (95.3) White River Junction
* AAA "River" WRSI (95.3) Greenfield MA and WMTT (100.7)
Wilmington (plus translator in Jamaica)
* eclectic oldies WGAM (1520) Greenfield MA (which we'd thought
had been sold back to original owner Ed Skutnik, but that in
fact seems to have been an LMA)
- What changes might be in store? We'd guess not many, based
on what Vox has (or rather, hasn't) changed at its first purchases.
- The other big sale is in upstate NEW YORK, where Regent Communications
is making its debut in the region with the $44 million (plus
100,000 shares of stock) purchase of Forever's clusters in Utica
and Watertown. The big prizes here are the market-dominant country
stations in each city, "Froggy 97" WFRY (97.5 Watertown)
and "Big Frog 104," WFRG (104.3 Utica). In addition,
Regent gets Watertown's news-talk WTNY (790), satellite oldies
WUZZ (1410), and classic rock WCIZ (93.3), plus Utica's news-talk
WIBX (950), oldies WODZ (96.1 Rome), AC WLZW (98.7), and WFRG
simulcast WRUN (1150).
- Elsewhere in the Empire State, the dial keeps changing south
of Albany. Not only did WRIP (97.9 Windham) make its official
debut with a mix of AC and oldies on Thursday morning, but a
Poughkeepsie simulcast is in the process of changing. WTND (96.1)
has been simulcasting the "Thunder Country" of sister
stations WTHN (99.3 Ellenville) and WTHK (93.5 Hudson), but on
Monday it will switch to a simulcast of the "Cat" AC
format from nearby WCTW (98.5 Catskill). We also hear that the
WCTW translator in Poughkeepsie, W292CM on 106.3, has been silent
for a few days. Wonder if it'll switch primaries to WTHK to keep
the country coming? Just to top things off, we hear Straus Media's
new 92.9 in Saugerties, still without call letters (though we
like to think of it as BMPH980827ID in intimate moments), will
be on the air by October 1.
- The move of WTIC (1080/96.5) took place this week, amidst
much griping from the airstaff, who were the last to leave the
19th floor of the Gold Building in downtown Hartford, with nothing
but the four walls left around them. They've now joined the rest
of the station's operations at CBS's Farmington office-park facility.
As noted earlier this year in NERW, WTIC had operated from downtown
Hartford since 1925, in just three different studio locations.
(And we're feeling especially sympathetic towards WTIC-FM promo
guy Tristano Korlou, who just had to move a few months ago at
his old job at WPXY, only to do the box-packing thing again in
his new gig!)
- The big question in MASSACHUSETTS is where Don Imus will
make his home at month's end. We know Greater Media is taking
over the I-Man affiliation from Entercom sports talker WEEI (850),
but nobody's saying which of Greater's five stations will carry
the show. Initial speculation focused on WBOS (92.9 Brookline),
but after that station turned in a stronger-than-expected Spring
book, the buzz shifted to smooth jazz WSJZ (96.9). We'll know
for sure in a few weeks...
- On the talk front, GOP consultant Jay Severin has parted
ways with WRKO (680), where he held down the 11PM-1AM slot from
his home outside New York City. Former WRKO "Chick"
Leslie Gold is now trying the Web thing at an Internet-only talk
station called, so help us, eYada. NERW tuned in for a few minutes
and heard, um, one caller. Gotta start somewhere, we suppose.
Speaking of "past their glory days," the Boston Celtics
will be absent from the broadcast airwaves this fall. Their entire
schedule, home and away, will be seen on Fox Sports New England.
- We'll note here, also, that Boston is one of the markets
that could see TV duopoly under the new rules announced this
week by the FCC. In markets with 20 or more separately-owned
"media voices" (which can include newspapers, cable,
radio, and TV), companies can own two TV stations as well as
six radio stations. Markets with 10 to 19 voices can have 4 radio/2
TV combos. If nothing else, this proposal might increase the
value of fringe TV operations like WMFP (Channel 62 Lawrence),
WWDP (Channel 46 Norwell), and WNDS (Channel 50 Derry NH), as
the prospect of duopoly with the big guys becomes reality.
- The proposal also gives a five-year window to LMAs like those
between WPRI and WLWC in Providence, WTIC-TV and WTXX in Hartford,
WTNH and WBNE in New Haven, WPXT and WPME in Portland, WPTZ and
WFFF in Plattsburgh/Burlington, and the soon-to-be-consummated
WUTV and WNEQ in Buffalo. They'll have to become full-fledged
duopolies before the end of that five years, or show the FCC
that their duopoly is in the public interest. (Yep, even the
folks down at the Portals can remember that phrase from time
- To CANADA, where longtime friend-of-NERW Wayne Harrett has
finally achieved his dream of putting a community station on
the air in Nova Scotia. CKEP (106.9) is running a whopping 25
watts in the Eastern Passage/Cow Bay area, but only as a limited-time
special event station until August 8. Wayne's seeking community
support to make "K106" a full-time reality; find out
more at the comprehensive Web site he's put up.
- Also on the 106 MHz part of the spectrum, the CBC has been
testing in Toronto on 106.3. M Street reports it's a favor to
Industry Canada, to determine whether that frequency might also
be suitable for low-power use (in addition to the 93.5 and 740
AM spots for which applications are now being taken). NERW notes
that it's a bit close to the 13kW CJBC-5-FM transmitter in Peterborough
(and in fact the CBCP Peterborough transmitter, on the same tower
as CJBC-5, had to change from 93.5 to 98.7 to accomodate the
co-channel in Toronto!) -- but then, it's not like anyone's listening
to the French-language CJBC signal in Peterborough, right? (This
would be even less of an issue if the CBC itself, as surmised,
ends up applying for 106.3 for its planned Radio 3 service.)
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learn how you can help make continued publication possible. NERW
2009 by Scott Fybush.