November 16, 2009
NYC Gets A New Translator
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*Quick - when was the last time a brand-new
FM signal appeared on the airwaves of NEW YORK City? We're
not talking suburban rimshot signals here, nor does the WNYZ-LP
"Franken-FM" channel 6/87.7 operation quite count.
And by that measure, it would seem that the 1985 debut of 8-watt
WHCR (90.3) up in Harlem marked the last time a new (licensed)
FM signal signed on from within the five boroughs.
A quarter-century later, that's about to change: last week,
the FCC quietly approved one of the tens of thousands of applications
it received back in 2003 for new FM translators. That window
produced plenty of requests for new signals in the Big Apple,
most of them ungrantable - but it also included an application
from River Vale Media Foundation for a 19-watt signal on 107.1,
licensed to Brooklyn but aiming most of its highly-directional
signal northwest over the Brooklyn Bridge into the heart of Manhattan.
When the application was filed, it drew opposition from Clear
Channel, which operates WLTW (106.7) just two channels down the
dial. Under the translator rules, though, such second-adjacent
operation is acceptable, if the translator is up high
enough so that no listeners on the ground would receive predicted
interference. (It gets even more technical from there; suffice
it to say, it's an issue of ratios, and the River Vale application,
which calls for antennas mounted off the side of a 300' tall
apartment building near the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, meets
those FCC regulations.)
The grant of the construction permit on 107.1 (complete with
call letters W296BT) is just the start of what promises to be
an interesting saga, of course, as we find out what River Vale
(controlled by one Jae H. Chung) has in store for its new signal.
The application filed back in 2003 called for 107.1 to relay
Sound of Life's WLJP (89.3 Monroe), but that was just a placeholder.
There's not much we can tell from River Vale's other holdings;
Chung has some 30 other applications for other translators in
and near New York City still lingering ungranted from the 2003
window, and one other licensed translator, W247AW (97.3 Poughkeepsie),
which is apparently repeating WGNY-FM (103.1 Newburgh).
It's a pretty good bet that W296BT will become the most valuable
translator in America once it's built, assuming River Vale wants
to sell - especially now that the FCC allows AM stations to relay
their signals on FM. Will Chung find a buyer? We'll be watching
this one closely...
*The week's other big news from the big city was the Thursday
induction of six new members into the New York State Broadcasters
Hall of Fame. Longtime New York morning man Harry Harrison and
CBS newsman Charles Osgood made up the city contingent, and from
upstate the inductees included Albany's Don Weeks (WGY), Syracuse's
Rick Gary (now of WZUN/WUMX after long runs at WYYY and WSYR-TV),
Rochester's Brother Wease (WFXF) and Buffalo's Marie Rice (formerly
of WIVB-TV). Congratulations to all!
Next week's big news from the big city seems likely
to be the long-rumored deal between GE and Comcast to transfer
control of NBC to the cable giant. There's not much at this point
that we can add to the speculation running rampant across the
trades and the business press - while Comcast is clearly interested
mainly in NBC's cable networks, it's still far from clear what
becomes of NBC's broadcast holdings. In NERW-land, those consist
of NBC O&Os WNBC (Channel 4) in New York, WCAU (Channel 10)
in Comcast's home base of Philadelphia and WVIT (Channel 30)
in Connecticut, which NBC tried to sell last year, but which
failed to attract a buyer - as well as Telemundo outlets WNJU
(Channel 47) in New York and WNEU (Channel 60) in the Boston
market. While deregulation did away with the longstanding FCC
rules that barred cross-ownership between cable systems and broadcast
stations in a market, it's far from clear that the Justice Department's
antitrust hawks would look kindly on such overlaps, especially
in areas such as Philadelphia and Boston where Comcast is the
dominant cable operator. As for the details of what a Comcast/NBC
merger might look like operationally, it appears to us to be
so speculative at this point that we'll leave it to the message-board
crowd to discuss. (If nothing else, GE shedding NBC might finally
put to rest that long-running rumor that claims GE hoped to re-enter
radio after unloading NBC's radio assets two decades ago...)
Out on Long Island,
another obstacle to the impending sale of Long Island University's
WLIU (88.3 Southampton) has been cleared away with the signing
of a consent decree that settles allegations that WLIU and sister
station WCWP (88.1 Brookville) ran afoul of the FCC's underwriting
rules for noncommercial stations. Under the agreement, LIU will
make a "voluntary" contribution of $24,000 to the feds,
and the investigation into the violations will be dropped, allowing
the sale to Peconic Public Broadcasting to move ahead.
Albany now has an all-Christmas outlet, and it's no surprise:
Clear Channel flipped WTRY-FM (98.3 Rotterdam) last week, as
it's done for quite a few years now.
In other news from the Capital District, talker WGDJ (1300
Rensselaer) has applied for a license to cover its power increase,
jumping from 5 kW day and night to 10 kW days, 8 kW nights. And
its talk competitor, Pamal's WROW (590 Albany), has signed on
with Kansas-based Virtual News Center to produce "local"
news reports. Are they ready to handle "Schaghticoke,"
"Schoharie" and "Watervliet"?
We're still almost two weeks out from Thanksgiving, but Syracuse
now has two all-Christmas stations, with Clear Channel's WYYY
(94.5 Syracuse) following the early lead of crosstown WZUN (102.1
Phoenix). Buffalo's WTSS (102.5) and WJYE (96.1) joined the parade
this morning as well, as did WVOR (102.3 Canandaigua) here in
the Rochester market.
Calvary Chapel of the Finger Lakes, licensee of WZXV (99.7
Palmyra), is shuffling some of its Finger Lakes translators:
W281AT (104.1) is moving from Watkins Glen to Ithaca, and W274AG
(102.7 Penn Yan) is on its way south to Dundee, where it will
move to 102.1.
Speaking of the Finger Lakes, there's a real-life "Pirate
Radio" connection to the Finger Lakes Radio Group. Co-owner
Alan Bishop is a fully-licensed broadcaster in Geneva, Canandaigua,
Auburn, Dundee, Ithaca and Dunkirk these days...but back in 1985,
he spent several months rocking the North Sea as one of the jocks
on Dutch-owned pirate "Laser 558," working under the
airname "Craig Novak." (Bishop talked about his pirate
days with your editor on WXXI's "Mixed Media" last
week - you can hear the podcast here,
with apologies for some audio glitches at our end!)
And since there's another local "Pirate Radio" connection
- one of the movie's stars, Philip Seymour Hoffman, hails from
Rochester - how could we not offer at least a brief review of
the movie? If you're looking for a documentary about Radio Caroline,
Radio London, Radio 390 and all the other pirates who fought
the British authorities and rocked the British Isles in the mid-sixties,
this isn't it; the movie glosses over much of the political intrigue
and glamorizes the often-brutal conditions out at sea. (Sunny
weather off the coast of Britain at Christmastime? Unlikely.)
The film also takes considerable chronological liberties with
both equipment and music, not to mention RF safety.
But don't let that keep you out of the theater for this one:
if you're in the mood for what amounts to "WKRP on the high
seas," with a side helping of "DJs Gone Wild,"
not to mention lots of classic rock, "Pirate Radio"
doesn't disappoint. And in its spot-on depictions of the passion
with which British listeners greeted the arrival of rock radio
(or the movie's fictional "Radio Rock"), "Pirate
Radio" serves as a valuable reminder of the relationship
that radio had - and can still have - with its listeners, when
it's done right.
In Niagara County, Lockport Community Television is moving
forward with its construction permit for WLNF (90.5 Rapids).
It's working with the Rapids Fire Company to get zoning approval
for a 100-foot self-supporting tower behind the fire hall on
Plank Road, which would be shared by the fire department and
the radio station. WLNF would run 250 watts from the top of the
tower, carrying simulcasts of LCTV programming and eventually
adding radio-only programs.
We didn't offer a "Hockey on the Radio" feature
when the season started this fall because so much remained stable
on the dials across the region this year - of the NHL teams in
NERW-land, only the Boston Bruins moved flagships, and then only
from WBZ (1030) to WBZ-FM (98.5) - but a visit to Buffalo's HSBC
Arena last week to watch the Sabres' farm club, the Portland
(Maine) Pirates, take on the Rochester Amerks reminded us of
one interesting development: the Pirates' new play-by-play announcer
this year is Mark Jeanneret, son of veteran Sabres announcer
Rick Jeanneret. (Not much change on the AHL radio landscape this
year, either - we'd already noted the Lowell Devils' move to
WWZN 1510, and the Pirates have a mini-network based at Portland's
WLOB-FM 95.5/WLOB 1310. There's also one team move in NERW-land
- the former Philadelphia Phantoms are now the Adirondack Phantoms,
based in Glens Falls and heard on WNYQ 101.7.)
Where Are They Now? Reggie Jordan, who served as GM of Citadel's
Syracuse cluster in 2001-02, is the new VP/market manager for
New Northwest Broadcasters' cluster in Yakima, Washington.
Melissa Long, who honed her news chops in upstate New York
(most notably at Rochester's WROC-TV) before making a big jump
to CNN in Atlanta, is out of work - her anchor job at CNN.com
went away late last week when CNN shut down the separate news
production it was doing for its website.
And Paul Lyle, former general manager of the Route 81 stations
in Corning and Elmira, is facing some big legal problems in Kansas,
where he was fired from American Radio Investments earlier this
year. Lyle is facing felony theft charges for embezzling more
than $87,000 while serving as chief financial officer of the
radio group. The Joplin Globe reports
that Lyle says he stole the money to buy scratch-off lottery
tickets - and that he won $96,000 in a second-chance drawing
that was taking place at the Kansas state fair while Lyle was
in court for a preliminary hearing. Lyle pleaded guilty on Thursday
and agreed to use his winnings to pay restitution to American
Radio Investments; he'll be sentenced November 30.
THE 2010 CALENDAR
The brand-new Tower Site Calendar 2010 is
now shipping, complete with more than a dozen full-color images
of sites from Deer Point in Boise to KYPA in Los Angeles to Mount
Mansfield in Vermont.
Our individually-numbered, hand-signed
limited first edition is now sold out - but your
purchase of any version of the calendar helps support the continued
production of NERW and Tower Site of the Week.
And we still have a very small quantity
of earlier calendars available, too, if you missed some...
now at the fybush.com Store!
*Burlington's WCAX-TV (Channel 3) eulogized
former chief engineer Ted Teffner as a "towering figure"
in VERMONT broadcasting after his sudden death last week,
and it's hard to argue with that description. Until his retirement
not long ago, Teffner was the guiding force behind the massive
reconstruction project that transformed WCAX's 1950s-vintage
transmitter site atop Mount Mansfield into a 21st-century DTV
site shared by most of Burlington's TV broadcasters (and several
FMs, too), and it's hard to think of anyone more universally
admired in the state's engineering community.
Teffner had recently retired to Florida, where he died Thursday
at age 69. Funeral arrangements are not yet complete.
*There's not much new to report from the format
shuffle that's underway in central NEW HAMPSHIRE, where
WWHQ (101.5 Meredith) continues to run a repeating loop directing
listeners up the dial to WLKZ (104.9 Wolfeboro) to find the "Hawk"
classic rock format. Meanwhile, WNNH (99.1 Henniker) continues
to simulcast soon-to-be-ex-sister station WJYY (105.5 Concord),
and WWHK (102.3 Concord) was silent at last report. As always,
Congratulations to Mike Pomp of WTSN (1270 Dover) - he was
named Broadcaster of the Year at the New Hampshire Association
of Broadcasters' annual dinner Thursday. Radio Station of the
Year honors went to WCNL (1010 Newport), and Manchester's WMUR-TV
(Channel 9) was TV Station of the Year. (You can see the full
list of winners here.)
*Christmas came quickly to eastern MASSACHUSETTS
Friday afternoon - well, Christmas music, anyway. In the
closely-watched battle to be first with the holiday tunes, WODS
(103.3 Boston) kicked things off a few minutes after noon, followed
20 minutes later by WROR (105.7 Framingham) - and fans of the
oldies (er, "classic hits") will have to look elsewhere
for their music on the Boston airwaves until after Christmas
day. (For those keeping track, this year's start came a week
later than last year's November 6 flips at both stations.)
The December 1 relaunch of WCRB (99.5 Lowell) as a noncommercial
classical signal owned by WGBH remains on track, now that the
FCC has approved the $14 million sale. There's still no word
yet from WGBH about its new schedule on 89.7, expected to be
all news and talk during the day, with jazz remaining in place
later in the evening.
TV, WHDH-TV turned off its channel 7 digital transmitter for
good around 10:00 Friday morning, ending a rocky DTV transition
that found the NBC affiliate moving from analog 7/digital 42
to digital 7, then firing up the digital 42 transmitter again
just days after the June analog shutoff as complaints piled up
from viewers having trouble with the VHF digital signal. After
five months of digital operation (under STA) on both channels
7 and 42, WHDH secured FCC permission to move its permanent digital
facility to 42. For a few days last week, the channel 7 digital
signal carried a slate reminding viewers to rescan to receive
the UHF signal before the VHF signal went dark. The next steps,
we hear, will be the purchase of a new UHF transmitter to replace
the decade-old model WHDH had been using on 42 - and the shipping
of the channel 7 digital transmitter down to Sunbeam sister station
WSVN in Miami, which has been having more success with VHF digital
over Florida's flat terrain.
And we're sorry to report the death of Stanley Miastkowski,
WA1UMV, who was on the air at WHMP in Northampton in the seventies
before getting into technical journalism. Over the last few decades,
he worked for 73 magazine, Byte magazine and PC
World, as well as hosting several TV shows about computers.
Miastkowski died Nov. 3 in Peterborough, N.H.; he was 58.
*In CONNECTICUT, Kristin Okesson is
the new VP/GM of Cox Radio's four stations in Stamford and Norwalk
(WFOX, WCTZ and WSTC/WNLK). She's a familiar face in the region,
having worked in Danbury and across the state line in Westchester
as a market manager for Cumulus.
*And in RHODE ISLAND, add WWLI (105.1
Providence) to the all-Christmas parade, effective Sunday night/Monday
morning at midnight.
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*Our PENNSYLVANIA news starts on the
TV side up in Scranton, where Local TV's WNEP (Channel 16) is
rearranging the programming on its "WNEP2" DTV subchannel.
16.2 is now carrying classic TV shows from Retro TV, albeit in
a box surrounded by the weather forecasts and local event listings
that were already being seen on WNEP2.
Starting in January, WNEP2 will also be the new home of the
10 PM edition of WNEP's "Newswatch 16." The 10 o'clock
newscast had been airing on Fox affiliate WOLF-TV (Channel 56)
under a long-running contract, but WOLF-TV is shifting that contract
to the other local newsroom in town, Nexstar's WBRE-TV (Channel
28), which will begin producing a 10 PM newscast for Fox 56 with
its existing 11 PM crew. When the new show starts January 1,
it will run a full hour, rather than the half-hour show that
WNEP had been producing for WOLF-TV.
There's good news from Allentown, where Clear Channel engineers
put up a replacement tower last week at WAEB (790), getting the
station back to normal after one of its five towers was toppled,
apparently by vandals, over Labor Day weekend. Police still don't
have any leads on the vandalism.
In Philadelphia, Ken Johnson is the new director of urban
programming for Clear Channel's WUSL (98.9) and WDAS-FM (105.3),
moving north from Citadel in Dallas to take that newly-created
And speaking of moving north, Joey Brooks is leaving Clear
Channel's WIOQ (102.1) after many years as APD/music director/afternoon
jock - starting December 1, he'll be doing afternoons at CHUM-FM
(104.5) in Toronto.
There are two new stations coming to the low end of the dial
in north central Pennsylvania: Invisible Allies Ministries (owner
of several "Rev FM" Christian rock signals in State
College and vicinity) already has call letters - WRQV - for its
new 2400-watt/771' DA signal on 88.1 in Ridgway, with a transmitter
site south of St. Mary's; meanwhile, Gospel Tabernacle was granted
300 watts/636' for its new station on 88.5 in Coudersport.
And in Chambersburg, add WIKZ (95.1) to the all-Christmas
*As NEW JERSEY recovers from the battering
its coast took from that big storm late last week, there's good
news for classical listeners in Monmouth County: now that its
off-air receiver has been tweaked, W244AS (96.7 Oakhurst) is
once again relaying New York's WQXR, rather than the WXNY Spanish-language
programming that took over WQXR's former 96.3 facility when the
classical music moved up the dial to 105.9 a month ago.
Edited by NERW's own Scott Fybush - on sale now as
an e-book or printed volume!
*Country music has once again vanished from
the airwaves in CANADA's biggest market. On Friday afternoon
at 3, Corus abruptly pulled the plug on "Country 95.3"
(CING-FM), the Hamilton-licensed signal that was also supplying
the much larger Toronto market next door with its Taylor Swift
and Tim McGraw fix.
seven years of country, 95.3 is now playing classic hits, calling
itself simply "The New 95.3" - and while it helps to
fill the gap left behind when CHUM (1050) flipped from oldies
to a CP24 TV simulcast earlier this year, the move leaves country
fans seeking out some rimshot signals for their format. From
the east side of the Greater Toronto Area, there's CJKX (95.9
Ajax), "96KX," with a signal that reaches much of the
city and its eastern and northern suburbs (and even across the
lake here in Rochester when the winds are blowing the right way);
for listeners in 95.3's hometown of Hamilton, there's at least
a rimshot signal from CIKZ (106.7) over in Kitchener-Waterloo.
So far, there's no word from Corus about an airstaff for "The
Down at the far end of the 401, meanwhile, this morning marks
the official launch of a new country station serving not only
Windsor but much of the Detroit metro area right across the river.
CJWF (95.9) signs on "for real" at 8:00 with officials
from owner Blackburn Radio cutting a ribbon at the studios. The
airstaff includes morning hosts Mitch O'Connor and Melanie Deveau,
middayer Houida Kassem (late of London's CFPL-TV/A Channel) and
Reg Winters in afternoon drive.
In Waterloo, CKMS (100.3) went silent over the weekend after
losing its main source of funding. "100.3 SoundFM"
is the student station at the University of Waterloo, and in
a referendum there students voted against a $2.50-per-term fee
to support the station. The CKMS board of directors says it will
have more to report about the situation this week; in the meantime,
it's changed the locks on the station doors. (Monday
afternoon update: CKMS returned to the air Sunday with BBC World
Service programming; board members say the station can remain
on the air until at least early December while they seek other
options to keep it alive.)
And there's just one other piece of news from north of the
border this week: Toronto's CHTO (1690) has been granted a daytime
power increase from 1000 to 3000 watts; the move is expected
to improve reception of the station's Greek programming in Mississauga
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!)
November 17, 2008 -
- To the strains of Billy Joel's "It's Still Rock &
Roll to Me" and a new tune, "The Wease is Back,"
one of western NEW YORK's best-known radio talents returned to
the airwaves Saturday night, testing the waters of a new studio
ahead of the real launch this morning. That would be Rochester's
Brother Wease, of course, whose contract dispute with his former
station, Entercom's WCMF (96.5), made headlines both here and
in the mainstream media a year ago. Wease ended up departing
WCMF after a quarter of a century, leaving his former sidekicks
behind to start their own morning show - and as of today, after
waiting out a non-compete in his WCMF contract, he's over at
Clear Channel's rival classic rocker, WFXF (95.1 Honeoye Falls).
- In a radio environment where talent costs are often among
the first things to be cut by managers trying to make sense of
a plummeting economic picture, "The Fox" is hoping
its investment in Wease and a new crew of sidekicks, as well
as in the contract to carry Bills football, will pay off in ratings
and revenues for a station that's had relatively low visibility
in town in its five years on the air. There was nothing low-visibility
about WFXF this morning, however - from a bottom-of-the-front
page "Welcome back, Wease" ad in the Democrat and Chronicle
(paid for by sponsor Salvatore's Pizza, which is advertising
a "$9.51 Welcome back, Wease" special) to rolling billboards
on the streets of downtown Rochester to the TV crews that jammed
into the packed studio at Midtown Plaza, it was hard to miss
- While Clear Channel tests the value of a high-profile committment
local programming with Wease, other big broadcasters continue
to cut back. In New York City, CBS Radio cut at least four more
jobs last week, including Jeff Mazzei, the WCBS-FM (101.1) assistant
program director who'd more or less single-handedly kept the
oldies format alive on the station's HD2 signal between the 2005
flip to "Jack FM" and the 2007 return to oldies on
the main channel. Mazzei, a 23-year veteran of CBS-FM (and of
WNBC/WYNY before that), had been voicetracking overnights and
the Sunday night countdown show. Also out at CBS in New York
are a receptionist at WXRK, a sales assistant at WFAN and at
least one veteran engineer.
- Meanwhile in Buffalo, longtime WJYE (96.1) afternoon jock
Bob "the Godfather" Galli exited last week.
- The return of veteran MASSACHUSETTS sportscaster Bob Lobel
to the radio airwaves turned out to be temporary indeed. When
Lobel came on board as morning co-host on CBS Radio's WODS (103.3)
on September 22, station officials hinted that the longtime WBZ-TV
personality might be appearing in only a "guest" role
- and that's turned out to be the case. Chris Zito, who recently
departed Worcester's WXLO, joined the WODS staff on Wednesday,
working alongside Karen Blake from 6-9 AM weekdays. Zito's arrival
is hardly a surprise; in Worcester, he worked with Jay Beau Jones,
who's now PD at WODS.
- With Zito's return, however, came staffing cuts at WODS and
its sister CBS Radio stations: at WZLX (100.7), longtime overnight
jock "Reverend Al" Cole, is out. News anchor/morning
sidekick June Knight is gone at WODS, replaced by updates "from
the WBZ newsroom." But the WBZ (1030) newsroom is a few
staffers smaller than usual, too: Bob McMahon, a 16-year 'BZ
veteran (and before that a veteran of Utica and Syracuse radio
and of the old WEEI), is out, as are sports guy Alan Segel, who'd
been there more than 20 years, and producer Scot Cooper, who
was coming up on two decades there.
November 15, 2004 -
- It was supposed to have been a week of celebration for WBIX
(1060 Natick), as the eastern MASSACHUSETTS business-talk station
celebrated its new 24-hour status with a gala party at the Boston
Harbor Hotel. That was Wednesday night. By Sunday morning, the
station's future was in doubt, with owner Brad Bleidt under federal
investigation for having allegedly stolen money from clients
of his financial-management firm to cover the tens of millions
of dollars being spent to build WBIX's night signal and to keep
the upstart station afloat.
- The revelations came in a tape Bleidt sent to the Securities
and Exchange Commission before he apparently tried to kill himself,
just hours after the party on Wednesday. The Boston Herald reports
that the transcript of the tape quotes Bleidt as saying, "The
money's gone. I stole it. I used (it) to buy a radio station,
believe it or not, um, which is stupid,'' and "I'm literally
a psychopath, I must be. I'm a monster. An absolute monster.''
- Bleidt is reportedly hospitalized as he recovers from the
suicide attempt, and his personal assets, as well as the assets
of his company, Allocation Plus Asset Management, have been frozen
by court order while the SEC pursues its investigation. The revelations
come at a time of transition for WBIX. As best we can piece it
together, Bleidt (and his wife, Bonnie, who's also WBIX's morning
host) still hasn't closed on the sale of his interest in the
station. Purchaser Chris Egan (son of Richard Egan, founder of
EMC Corp.) has been operating the station for the last few months,
and it will be interesting to see whether his outright purchase
of the station can still go through. Adding to the complications,
we understand that Bleidt still owed the station's previous owner
(in its WMEX incarnation), Alex Langer, for most of the $13.5
million purchase price. Can WBIX survive? We'll be watching this
one closely - and of course, following the story of Brad Bleidt
carefully. Stay tuned...
- A veteran Rochester voice is expanding his reach to the west.
WCMF (96.5 Rochester) morning man Brother Wease will soon be
heard on Infinity sister station WBUF (92.9 Buffalo), doing a
10:30 AM to 1 PM shift that will be partly original for Buffalo
and partly a "best-of" the Rochester morning show.
This isn't Wease's first attempt to expand his show beyond its
home base - he was heard on weekends on New York's WNEW (102.7)
during its talk era - but this one may turn out to be longer-lasting,
especially when you consider that WBUF will be losing its current
morning host, Howard Stern, in just a year's time, if not sooner.
- The final shoes have dropped in that southern NEW JERSEY
format shuffle, as Press Communications began programming its
"Breeze" soft AC format on WKOE (106.3 Ocean City)
midweek last week, with the simulcast of Millennium's "New
Jersey 101.5" (WKXW-FM 101.5 Trenton) moving to WIXM (97.3
Millville). The new "Breeze" at 106.3 completes a Jersey
Shore-blanketing trimulcast with WWZY (107.1 Long Branch) and
WBHX (99.7 Beach Haven), and there's already a rumor swirling
that Press will swap formats between WWZY and modern rock "G106-3"
WHTG-FM (106.3 Eatontown) to put Breeze on both of the 106.3
signals it now controls.
November 14, 1999 -
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- In MAINE, a judge has ruled against Saga Communications in
its attempt to silence former WMGX morning host Lori Voornas.
Saga tried to get a temporary restraining order to prevent Voornas
from sending letters to advertisers on Citadel letterhead promising
a new morning show for an unnamed Citadel station, but the judge
declined to issue such an order, saying it's not clear Voornas
violated the terms of her non-compete by writing the letters.
The non-compete is up February 28; NERW expects to hear a well-rested
Voornas on one of the former Fuller-Jeffrey stations in the Citadel
group (WCLZ? WCYY?) on Leap Day.
- The big news in MASSACHUSETTS is Sunday night's format change
at WARE (1250 Ware), as Mega Broadcasting and Spanish programming
take over from the oldies. PD/morning voice Gary James and newsguy
J.P. Ellery said their farewells on Friday (11/12); expect the
legendary calls to go as well, leaving WACO-FM in Waco, Texas
as the only station in the U.S. whose calls are exactly the same
as the city of license. (NERW is not interested in hearing from
sticklers who would argue that the city of license for that station
should thus be "Wacofm, Texas"!) 2009
update - The calls stayed, and the oldies returned a few years
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2009 by Scott Fybush.