March 1, 2010
Albany Builds a "Bridge"
NERW's now on
Twitter - follow us @NERadioWatch for breaking news updates during
TUESDAY UPDATE: Clear
Channel's launch of "Rush Radio 1200" in Boston is
coming faster than expected. As of next Monday, Limbaugh is gone
from longtime affiliate WRKO (680 Boston), replaced by a local
show hosted by political consultant Charley Manning - and over
at rushradio1200.com, there's now a website up, complete with
a "Rush Radio 1200 WXKS" logo and Limbaugh himself
shown as "on air."
Meanwhile at WBZ, they're mourning Don Kent, the veteran weatherman
who died Monday night at his New Hampshire home. Kent came to
WBZ-TV in 1950, and remained an icon of New England TV weather
for three decades. He was 92.
Much more on both stories next week in NERW...
*That mythical "wheel of formats" was
spinning fast in NEW YORK's capital city last week, at
least where Albany Broadcasting's cluster was concerned.
One format change was expected: on Wednesday, WKLI (100.9
Albany) broke out of the simulcast with WROW (590 Albany), which
has inherited WKLI's former "Magic" standards/soft
AC format, becoming "The Bridge" with an adult hits
format. There's no live talent on "The Bridge" just
yet, but Albany Broadcasting says the plan is to add an airstaff
down the road.
The surprise came on Friday, when sister station WZMR (104.9
Altamont) ditched its "Edge" modern rock format to
go country as "The Cat." This is the second time Albany's
had country on 104.9; from January 2005 until February 2006,
WZMR simulcasted country "Froggy" WFFG from up in the
Glens Falls market before launching "The Edge."
not hard to surmise what Albany Broadcasting has in mind here:
the cash cow in their cluster is AC powerhouse WYJB (95.5 Albany),
which routinely battles with Regent's country behemoth WGNA-FM
(107.7 Albany) for the top of the ratings pile.
Will bumping the older-skewing "Magic" format to
AM pull some of its FM audience over to B95 - and might "The
Cat" on 104.9 then shave just a bit of the country audience
off WGNA? It's possible...but we've seen this strategy attempted
without much success in other markets in the past, too.
As for the talk format that used to be on WROW, one of its
personalities has landed across town: Premiere's Glenn Beck show
starts today on Clear Channel's WGY (810 Schenectady), where
it displaces local talker Al Roney from the 9 AM-noon timeslot.
*We can add one more syndicated show to the lineup at Citadel's
new "Big Talker" in Syracuse (WLTI 105.9) as it prepares
for a debut later this week: Doug McIntyre's "Red Eye Radio,"
based at Citadel's KABC (790) in Los Angeles, will occupy the
overnight hours there. As we noted in a midweek update to our
last column, the rest of the lineup at 105.9 includes Bob &
Tom in morning drive, local talker Gary Nolan in the afternoon
and an eclectic mix of syndicated talkers including Stephanie
Miller from the left, Michael Smerconish and Dave Ramsey from
somewhere in the center and Mark Levin on the right.
the hall at Citadel's lone Syracuse AM outlet, new calls are
in place to go along with the new "Score" slogan. The
former WNSS (1260 Syracuse) is now WSKO, a callsign Citadel last
used in Providence before it pulled the plug on "Score"
sports-talk there a couple of years back. The new WSKO will lead
off its day with Don Imus, using Sporting News Radio the rest
of the day until local sports talker Brent Axe hits the air at
2 PM weekdays.
Friday's the big day for the Syracuse sports affiliation shuffle,
of course, when Galaxy picks up ESPN from Citadel, launching
"ESPN 97.7 and 1200" on WTLA (1200 North Syracuse),
WSGO (1440 Oswego) and their translators at 97.7 and 100.1, as
well as ESPN Deportes on WSCP (1070 Sandy Creek). The new ESPN
outlets will also have Syracuse University sports, and what better
time to have that set of basketball rights?
Here in Rochester, Brody has left the building at Stephens
Media, where he was production director and midday jock for WZNE
(94.1 Brighton); he's following his wife, former WPXY jock Amanda
Valentine, to Denver, where she's now working for Entercom's
KALC (Alice 105.9).
There's a new signal on the air in the Jamestown area: the
Louisiana-based SONLIFE religious network put WYRR (88.9 Lakewood)
on the air last week.
And on TV, there's a new subchannel coming to several of Sinclair's
stations: the company has signed a carriage deal with "THECOOLTV,"
a new music-video network. It'll air on WUHF (31.2) in Rochester,
WSYT (68.2) in Syracuse and either WUTV (29.2) or WNYO (49.2)
in Buffalo beginning in a few weeks, as well as on WGME (13.2)
in Portland, Maine.
*New York City's "Franken-FM" is getting a new format
this week, for at least part of the day: WNYZ-LP (Channel 6,
aka 87.7 FM) is being leased out to a Korean-language programmer
from 5 AM until 8 PM daily. That means the "Indie Darkroom"
modern rock that's been airing on WNYZ since the demise of the
"Party FM" simulcast last month will be heard only
in the evening and overnight hours.
WWRL (1600 New York) has filled the timeslots that were left
vacant when Air America went belly-up recently, and it's sticking
with progressive talk: Thom Hartmann is now being heard weekdays
from 3-6 PM, followed by Mark Riley from 6-8 PM.
CBS Radio's sports giant WFAN (660 New York) is already being
heard on FM HD subchannels at several CBS stations in Florida,
and now it's added a Washington, DC simulcast. DCRTV.com reports
that WJFK-FM (106.7 Manassas VA) is now running four FM HD sports
streams: its own local programming on HD-1, Baltimore's WJZ-FM
on HD-2, New York's WFAN on HD-3 and Philadelphia's WIP (610)
on, yes, HD-4.
There's some sad news from public broadcaster WNYC: producer/engineer
Dave Nolan died of a heart attack Friday, just a week before
he was to have joined the station full-time as a senior archivist,
working alongside Andy Lanset in WNYC's remarkable archives.
Nolan had worked with WNYC for a quarter of a century on an occasional
basis while working in a variety of audio engineering roles around
the city and co-hosting at WBAI (99.5). Nolan was just 48.
Click on the banner above
to visit's NERW's 15th annual Year in Review, brought to you
this year by these nice folks:
*The weather was the big story over the weekend
in NEW HAMPSHIRE, especially at Saga's cluster in Manchester,
where high winds literally ripped the roof off the Commercial
Street studios of WZID (95.7), WMLL (96.5) and WFEA (1370) early
Friday morning. With several inches of water in every studio,
WZID reportedly relocated to a conference room down the street
at the WMUR-TV studios, staying on the air helping to provide
emergency information as some 300,000 New Englanders suffered
without power or heat.
The power outages knocked some other stations off the air
around the Granite State, too, at least temporarily; thankfully,
there's been no word of any other facility damage so far in New
On the seacoast, Clear Channel is shuffling its morning lineup.
The "Matty in the Morning" simulcast from Boston's
WXKS-FM (Kiss 108) is relocating from York Center, Maine-licensed
WSKX (Kiss 95.3) to WERZ (107.1 Exeter), where it replaces the
syndicated "Bob & Sheri." Will Clear Channel be
using more of its "Premium Choice" in-house syndication
*MAINE's public radio network felt
the brunt of the weekend storm along the coast, as high winds
damaged the antenna of WMEP (90.5 Camden) atop Ragged Mountain,
silencing the station. The combination of damage there and the
destruction of power lines leading up the hill may keep WMEP
off the air for several weeks. MPBN is urging listeners to tune
to two of its other signals, WMEA (90.1 Portland) and WMEH (90.9
Bangor), which provide fringe coverage of Camden.
*Our MASSACHUSETTS news this week begins
with the ouster of a PD: Frank Mitchell is gone from WPLM-FM
(99.1 Plymouth) after not quite two years as programmer. Mitchell
was also the morning host at "Easy 99.1"; no replacement
has yet been named.
A veteran New York jock has turned up on the Boston noncommercial
dial. Meg Griffin made a name for herself at the old WNEW-FM
and WXRK in the eighties and nineties, later spending time at
VH1 and most recently at Sirius Satellite Radio's "Loft"
channel. Griffin has been living in the Boston area for the last
few years, and now she's doing evenings on WUMB-FM (91.9 Boston),
where her 7-10 PM "Music Mix with Meg" displaces the
evening airing of "World Cafe" to 10-midnight.
"Red Eye Radio" was apparently just a temporary
occupant of the overnight hours on Entercom's WRKO (680 Boston);
last week found the slot once again filled by replays of Howie
Carr's local afternoon show, though "Red Eye" is still
claiming WRKO as an affiliate. (The Citadel syndicated show did
add another New England affiliate last week: it's now being heard
on WNTK 99.7 up in New London, N.H.)
Out west, Rob Cressman just got a promotion at Saga's Pioneer
Valley cluster, where he was already programming WLZX (99.3 Northampton).
Now he's "director of programming" for both WLZX and
sister station WAQY (102.1 Springfield), where he replaces Dave
Cooper, who'd been PD there for not quite three years.
In the Berkshires, talk host Sherman Baldwin is off the air
at WBRK (1340 Pittsfield), where he was leasing time for the
afternoon "Talk Berkshires" show for the past year.
Baldwin, who'd earlier been heard on Albany's WROW, tells the
Berkshire Eagle he was booted from WBRK because his program
raised allegations of sexual misconduct by a former Berkshire
County sheriff - and he says WBRK offered to let him keep doing
the show only if it stopped addressing local news topics. After
twice scheduling news conferences to further address the issue,
Baldwin cancelled on an attorney's advice. WBRK owner Chip Hodgkins
told the Eagle that "there have been issues"
in recent months, and that Baldwin "decided to leave"
and was not terminated.
On TV, Boston's last analog signal is gone: WFXZ-CA, which
was carrying Azteca America Spanish-language programming on channel
24, has gone digital on channel 25, transmitting a 5 kW signal
from the FM128 tower in Newton.
*The morning is starting a little earlier
at one CONNECTICUT TV station. NBC's WVIT (Channel 30)
moves the start of its morning news ahead to 4:30 AM beginning
today, following a growing trend around the country for even
earlier morning newscasts.
- DO YOU HAVE YOUR NEW CALENDAR YET?
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.
We're selling them at a pretty good pace
this year, which means a sellout is likely.
(We've got special discounts for bulk orders,
too - they make great gifts for your business colleagues or friends...)
now at the fybush.com Store!
*In PENNSYLVANIA, there are new calls coming
to Bold Gold's soon-to-launch talker in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
market: WLNP (94.3 Carbondale) is becoming WTRW.
In Lancaster, Franklin and Marshall College is taking WFNM
(89.1) off the air for six months. F&M tells the FCC that
renovations to the Old Main Building, where WFNM's transmitter
is located, will force the station to be silent from March 15
until about September 15.
The new Catholic station in Oil City has call letters: WQHE
(88.3) will be licensed to the Oil City Columbian Home Building
Association, which is tied in to the Knights of Columbus.
Down the road in Greenville, WGRP (940) and WEXC (107.1) are
among the Beacon Broadcasting stations that are now up for sale
following the death of Beacon owner Harold Glunt. Pittsburgh
broker Ray Rosenblum is handling the sale of the cluster, which
also includes WLOA (1470 Farrell) and two signals on the Ohio
side of the state line.
In Waynesburg, WKVE (103.1) is telling listeners to make the
shift over to its simulcasts on WANB (1210) and its FM translator
on 105.1...and that means the move of WKVE to Mount Pleasant
is coming soon, bringing a new FM signal to Greene and Fayette
counties with fringe coverage of Pittsburgh's southern suburbs.
Owner Bob Stevens was testing the new Mount Pleasant signal a
couple of weeks ago with storm information.
Two obituaries from the Keystone State this week: Marlowe
Froke was a professor of journalism at Penn State in 1964 when
he put WPSX-TV (channel 3, now WPSU-TV) on the air. A decade
later, Froke also established a statewide public-affairs cable
channel, initially known as "Pennarama" and now as
PCN. Froke retired from Penn State in 1992 and later served as
president of the Cable Center in Denver, which he had helped
to launch as a museum of cable TV at Penn State. Earlier in his
career, Froke had served as news director at Chicago's WGN radio
and TV. Froke died Feb. 23 at Mount Nittany Medical Center in
State College; he was 82.
In Pittsburgh, they're mourning newsman Otto "Mark"
Schaefer, who came to WIIC-TV (Channel 11, now WPXI) in 1957
when the station went on the air, then moved over to KQV (1410)
in 1966. Schaefer remained part of KQV into the station's transition
to all-news, retiring in the early nineties. He died Friday (Feb.
26) at 84.
Speaking of "WIIC," the low-power TV station that
now bears those calls in Pittsburgh got slapped by the FCC last
week for changing channels without permission. WIIC-LP was authorized
to use channel 29, but when FCC agents inspected the station
in December 2007, they found that it was using channel 32 - and
had been doing so since at least the previous April. Owner Abacus
Television didn't deny the violation, but it asked the FCC for
a break from the proposed $4,000 fine. The FCC says Abacus failed
to submit financial documentation to justify its claim of a hardship,
but it did reduce the fine for previous compliance, so Abacus
now owes $3,200.
(There's an interesting back story here: WIIC-LP was previously
W29AV, and it held an STA to use channel 32 for a few years because
of adjacent-channel interference from another LPTV on channel
30. WIIC apparently returned to 32 to avoid co-channel DTV interference
on 29 from a station in Johnstown - and it was caught after its
operation on 32 caused interference to wireless microphones at
a Steelers game. Abacus told the FCC it had applied for another
STA for channel 32 earlier in 2007, but that STA was never granted
because the appropriate filing fees were never paid. Since then,
WIIC has again applied for an STA for channel 32 - and for digital
operation on channel 29.)
*There's a new HD Radio multicast in NEW JERSEY:
Brookdale Community College's WBJB (90.5 Lincroft) lit up "Altrok"
on 90.5-HD2 last week, along with "Brookdale Student Radio"
on 90.5-HD3. Both services are streaming as well, and probably
reaching more listeners that way than via the HD subchannels,
at least for now.
Down the shore at Atlantic Broadcasting, we're hearing Brett
DeNafo is out as PD, though he retains an ownership interest
in the group.
DO IT RIGHT PRODUCTIONS --
Visit our Web site, doitrightproductions.net,
to hear our three syndicated shows, Classic Clips, Country Roots
and Gospel Doings, produced by longtime country and bluegrass
lovers. We also provide demo and duplicating services. Contact
Roland (Bruce) Cutler, PO Box 351, Lyons, NY 14489; or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can have
your ad here, for just a few dollars a week! Click
for information on the most economical way to reach tens of thousands
of Northeast radio and TV people each week.
*One of CANADA's most popular morning radio
hosts says farewell today. Andy Barrie's final "Metro Morning"
will air from 5:30 until 8:30 on CBLA (99.1 Toronto), followed
by a finale in front of a live audience in the CBC Broadcast
Centre, in which new "Metro Morning" host Matt Galloway
will interview Barrie as the morning baton is handed over.
Over at Oshawa's "Rock 94.9" (CKGE), David Marsden
is moving his "Marsden Theatre" shows to Saturday and
Sunday nights. The legendary Toronto PD had been broadcasting
on Thursday and Friday nights at 94.9.
In Montreal, CJAD (800) is picking up "Coast to Coast
AM." The show had aired on the now-defunct CINW (940) in
its days as a news-talk outlet.
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!)
March 2, 2009 -
- In a decade and a half of doing this column, we've shied
away from repeating rumors and spreading gossip. But sometimes
the drumbeat is so loud, and so clear, that it's hard to ignore
- and that's the case, this week, with CBS Radio's NEW YORK cluster.
Even as salespeople for WXRK (92.3 New York) settle in as the
first tenants of the cluster's new home downtown at 345 Hudson
Street, well-placed sources tell NERW that managers are looking
for a new request line number that ends with the letters "H-I-T-S."
That, needless to say, doesn't fit the rock format of "K-Rock"
or the AC format of its eventual neighbor at Hudson Street, "Fresh"
WWFS (102.7). But it does track with the big flip out in Los
Angeles last week that transformed FM talker KLSX (97.1) into
top-40 "AMP Radio."
- Despite rumors that have suggested "AMP" clones
showing up everywhere from Boston to San Francisco, we're hearing
that the eventual flip in New York - whether at WWFS or WXRK
- won't carry the "AMP" branding, which will apparently
remain unique to L.A. So which signal will end up flipping in
New York, and when? That remains a well-guarded secret for now,
though with the contract for morning men Opie & Anthony just
a couple of months from expiration, it certainly would seem that
WXRK is more obviously poised for a flip than WWFS, which has
been surprisingly successful with its "Fresh" format
after many years of instability and repeated format flips as
- We now know the outcome of this morning's big meeting in
Syracuse - and it ends up being the opposite of what we'd surmised
- Barrington Broadcasting's NBC affiliate, WSTM (Channel 3),
is taking over operations of Granite's CBS affiliate, WTVH (Channel
5), under a shared-services agreement. There was no noon newscast
on WTVH, and it appears much of that station's staff may be out
as operations of the CBS station move two doors down to WSTM's
studios. We'll have much more on this developing story in next
- The news out of MAINE is all about call changes: WKCG (101.3
Augusta) has become WVQM, to match its news-talk simulcast with
WVOM (103.9 Howland) in the Bangor market. Meanwhile, Bangor's
WABI (910) sheds the calls it's had for more than eight decades
- it's now WAEI, matching its WEEI-simulcast FM sister, WAEI-FM
(97.1 Bangor). The WABI calls live on over at WABI-TV (Channel
February 28, 2005 -
- If the measure of a man is in the lives he touched, then
the late David Brudnoy lived a full life indeed. On Sunday afternoon,
Brudnoy's friends - and even his casual listeners on WBZ (1030)
counted themselves as friends - lined up around the block to
fill the Cutler Majestic Theater for a tribute to one of the
most eclectic personalities ever to grace a microphone. For two
and a half hours, the crowd - including Boston mayor Tom Menino
and other local notables - heard from friends and family across
the many facets of Brudnoy's life.
- "He did all things all the way," said Peter Meade,
Brudnoy's close friend and former WBZ host, as he introduced
the speakers. To judge from the stories Brudnoy's family shared,
that was a trait that distinguished David as far back as his
childhood in Minnesota. His cousin Rachel Brudnoy shared the
tale of how a 12 year old Brudnoy worked the phones and persuaded
a Minneapolis hotel, a car dealer and a luxury restaurant to
prepare for the state visit of a fictional "Grand Emir of
- Brudnoy's doctors spoke of the incredible strength that brought
him back to life after the 1994 illness that left him all but
dead. Several of his students at Boston University spoke of the
energy, enthusiasm and wit he brought to the classroom, including
his attack on the use of the word "like" in students'
speech. In the last years of his life, Brudnoy was adopted by
the Emerson College chapter of the Phi Alpha Tau fraternity,
whose members were in turn adopted by "Brother Bruds,"
who brought them into the whirl of what student Roman Sturgis
called "the Brudnoy-centric universe."
- Brudnoy's former producer, Kevin Myron, shared the nickname
that the erudite, scholarly Brudnoy bestowed on him ("Yo"),
saying Brudnoy's direction to him when planning the memorial
service was,"Yo, make it something I'd like to be at."
There's no question that Brudnoy ("whose favorite topic
was David Brudnoy," as one speaker said) would have laughed
and cried along with the crowd at the Majestic, especially as
his longtime partner Ward Cromer closed out the afternoon with
his stories of life and travel with Bruds. One of Brudnoy's few
unfulfilled wishes in a life he lived with incredible fullness
was to visit India and the Taj Mahal, a wish Cromer said he'll
fulfill later this year when he travels there to sprinkle some
of David's ashes at the site.
- And in thanking those who mattered most to David, it's worth
noting that Cromer singled out the callers, the "vox populi"
who carried on a dialogue that lasted for decades. Cromer spoke
movingly of Brudnoy's final show on WBZ the night before his
death, when Meade took calls from listeners while Brudnoy listened
intently from his hospital bed at Mass General. Of one such call,
from a listener named Keri who credited David for getting her
started in radio (and that would be NERW reader Keri Rodrigues
of WHJJ in Providence), Cromer said "callers such as Keri
meant the world to David."
- David, in turn, meant the world to so many of us, who miss
his voice every night on the radio and the joy of his presence,
and you'll forgive your editor for the personal aside, I hope,
in saying just how much it meant to be in the company of so many
of those who loved David Brudnoy.
- There's some good news out of WBZ to report: Paul Sullivan,
heir to Brudnoy's evening hours, is recovering from his treatment
for a brain tumor. Sully was greeted with hearty applause when
he stepped on stage at the Brudnoy memorial, and he confirms
that he'll be back in his 8-midnight slot Monday night, followed
by the return of Steve LeVeille to his usual overnight slot after
months of filling in in the evenings. With that, WBZ will finally
have a "normal" nighttime talk schedule for the first
time since Brudnoy's death, and we're sure PD Peter Casey (who
deserves tremendous appreciation for the work he put into planning
Sunday's memorial) is breathing a sigh of relief.
- Speaking of Sullivan, the radio station where he got his
start is about to change hands. WLLH (1400 Lowell and Lawrence)
and WAMG (890 Dedham) have spent the last few years doing Spanish
tropical under the ownership of Mega Communications, but Mega's
been selling off many of its facilities, and now the company's
exiting New England completely. The investment firm of Waller
Sutton is backing the $9 million purchase, but so far we know
nothing about who'll be running the stations or what happens
next. Stay tuned...
- WEEI (850 Boston) has found a replacement for Bob Neumeier
alongside Dale Arnold in middays. Former Boston Globe sportswriter
Michael Holley joins Arnold on the renamed "Dale and Holley"
just in time to talk about the start of spring training for the
World Champion Boston Red Sox. (Sorry - it still just feels so
good to type that...)
- And with that we come to PENNSYLVANIA and the week's other
top story. It was no secret that WPLY (100.3 Media) was losing
the Preston and Steve morning show at the end of February; after
sitting out a six-month noncompete, the pair will reappear this
fall on Greater Media's WMMR (93.3 Philadelphia). But it was
something of a surprise even to Y100's staffers when the end
of the Preston & Steve show Thursday morning was followed
just hours later by the complete demise of the station's modern
rock format. The duo's final Y100 show was peppered with clues
about the impending end, including their last song, "Alive"
by Pearl Jam, which was the last song played on the old WDRE
(103.9 Jenkintown) before it dropped modern rock in 1997.
- There's a powerful irony at work: upon its purchase by Radio
One, 103.9, of course, went urban as "the Beat," WPHI
- and now those calls and that format are being heard on the
more powerful 100.3 facility. Two hours after Preston and Steve
signed off, dropping a mention of a new website at y100rocks.com,
middayer Bret Hamilton noted "it's my last day, too,"
and at noon became the last live voice heard on Y100. After not
quite 12 hours of automation, WPLY went to dead air at 11:55
Thursday night, resurfacing minutes later as "the Beat."
Over the weekend, 103.9 was running liners sending listeners
down the dial to 100.3, but it starts the new week with the black
gospel format that was widely rumored to be coming to Radio One's
other Philadelphia-market station, WRNB (107.9 Pennsauken NJ).
You may recall that the 107.9 facility tested last fall under
the calls WPPZ (quickly withdrawn, we hear, over concerns that
it was tipping off competitors to the planned black gospel format)
- and now those WPPZ calls have been applied for on 103.9. (The
call changes will take effect Thursday.)
March 3, 2000 -
- We begin this week in NEW YORK's scenic Finger Lakes region,
an area we don't usually talk about much in this column for the
simple reason that radio there tends to just chug along without
much change or disruption -- until now.
- George Souhan, the 70 year old owner of Seneca Falls' WSFW
(1110) and WSFW-FM (99.3), announced last week that he's selling
the stations that his family has owned (except for an 8 year
interregnum) since they signed on the air decades ago.
- Here's how the deal shakes out: Souhan will sell the stations
to Family Life Ministries of Bath, which operates an extensive
noncomm network of religious FMs across upstate New York and
northern Pennsylvania. Family Life will then trade WSFW AM/FM
to George Kimble's Radio Group for Kimble's WLLW (93.7 Clyde),
which serves the eastern Finger Lakes from studios in Auburn.
From a programming standpoint, WLLW's rock format and calls will
move from 93.7 to 99.3, Family Life will take 93.7 religious
under new calls, and WSFW(AM) will switch from satellite classic
country to satellite adult standards (the same format Kimble
now runs on WAUB 1590 in Auburn).
- So why is this being treated as a big deal in Seneca Falls?
Simple: WSFW was an unusually community-oriented radio station.
From the little downtown storefront with the big radio dial over
the window, WSFW was the voice for community events and information
in Seneca County. The county has no daily newspaper of its own,
and its only other radio station is WNYR (98.5 Waterloo), which
is owned by none other than George Kimble and runs a mostly-satellite
AC format from studios in Geneva, Ontario County. Once this deal
closes, Kimble will own a string of Finger Lakes stations from
WCGR Canandaigua to WGVA Geneva to WNYR to the new WSFW/WLLW
combo to WAUB -- and his only commercial radio competition in
the northern Finger Lakes will be WFLK (101.7 Geneva) and WYLF
(850 Penn Yan), owned by his brother Russ Kimble.
- In fairness to George Kimble, he's trying to make the best
of the situation -- he tells NERW no decision has been made yet
about whether the Seneca Falls studios will be closed, and he
says he'll try to keep as many WSFW employees as he can afford.
And we're certainly happy to see the stations stay in the hands
of owners based in the region. It's just hard to imagine that
the state of affairs in Seneca County will be helped any by the
inevitable decrease in local programming that will follow WSFW's
farewell broadcast next Friday...
- Moving along to New England, the big news this week comes
from NEW HAMPSHIRE, where the classic rock of "Arrow"
(WXBB 105.3 Kittery ME and WXBP 102.1 Hampton NH) gave way to
a repeating loop of bad "Stairway to Heaven" covers
and the theme from "Jaws" Wednesday night, with a promise
of something new Friday morning at 6. Unfortunately for Citadel,
the secret got out a bit early, thanks to the folks at broadcastmusic.com
who handled WXBB's Web streaming. Visits to their WXBB site on
Thursday showed the logo and calls for "WSHK, The Shark"
-- and sure enough, that's what launched this morning as the
repositioned, male-oriented version of the station's classic
rock format. (Visits to the shark1053.com site before the launch
were greeted by the words "Go Away.")
- A quiet week in MASSACHUSETTS, but expect things to get a
bit noisier by next weekend. That's when Steve Provizer will
turn on his newest venture in community broadcasting, "Allston
Brighton Free Radio," running Part 15-compliant at 1580
kHz. Sign-on is set for Friday, March 11; more next week.
- From CANADA this week comes word that Cornwall's AM 1220
could soon return from the dead. TRI-CO Broadcasting, which moved
CJSS from 1220 to 101.9 FM last year, has applied to the CRTC
to reactivate the 1220 frequency, again with 1 kilowatt, running
a nostalgia format. Will the CRTC approve? We'll find out at
a May 9 hearing, at which they'll also consider applications
for a new FM up the river in Kingston.
New England Radio Watch, March 3, 1995
can sponsor this weekly feature! Click here for information!
NorthEast Radio Watch is made possible by the generous
contributions of our regular readers. If you enjoy NERW, please
click here to
learn how you can help make continued publication possible. NERW
2010 by Scott Fybush.