March 15, 2010
Joey Reynolds Off the Air - For Now
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MONDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Legendary
WABC jock Ron Lundy died this afternoon. Lundy had a series of
mini-strokes a couple of weeks ago, his wife Shirley tells Ted
David - and Ted tells the New York Radio Message Board that Lundy
went into cardiac arrest after becoming dehydrated. Lundy was
put on a ventilator; he rallied briefly on Sunday, but suffered
another heart attack on Monday. Lundy was 75.
*Back in the sixties, when Joey Reynolds
was fired from his high-profile job doing nights at Buffalo's
WKBW (1520), he supposedly said his farewell to the station -
and his hometown - by nailing his shoes to the door of the PD's
office with a note marked "fill these!"
were no shoes tacked to any doors in NEW YORK last week
when Reynolds lost his most recent job as overnight host on WOR
(710); this time, the job was already filled thanks to a shift
in the city's talk syndication scene. The dominoes started to
fall a couple of weeks ago when Citadel took its overnight hours
on WABC (770) in-house, replacing Premiere's "Coast to Coast
AM" with Doug McIntyre's "Red Eye Radio," based
at sister station KABC in Los Angeles.
Premiere wasn't about to let one of its flagship shows go
without an affiliate in market number one, and its options were
relatively limited: there was apparently some talk with Salem's
new talker, WNYM (970 the Apple), but the much more desirable
option was Buckley's much larger signal at WOR, which will become
the new home for George Noory's 1-5 AM show beginning April 5.
And that in turn knocked Reynolds out of his overnight
hours after 14 years at WOR, where he'll do his last show the
night of April 2.
For Reynolds, there's already something new on the horizon:
he'd been planning to take his show to TV. There's already a
website up for "All
Night with Joey Reynolds," which will be broadcast "from
Times Square" and seen on NBC's "New York Nonstop"
channel, WNBC-DT 4.2, "starting March 2010." (This
is hardly Reynolds' first go-round with a station called "WNBC";
he was a star personality on the old WNBC radio in the eighties,
The website still promises a radio simulcast "on WOR-HD,"
but that was apparently there before WOR changed overnight directions
- and contrary to what some trade publications and message boards
are saying, Reynolds won't be heard on an HD subchannel of WOR,
since there are no subchannels on AM HD.
Will Reynolds show up elsewhere on the New York AM dial? It's
hard to imagine otherwise, especially with the TV simulcast for
cross-promotion. What's less clear for now is what becomes of
Reynolds' affiliates in other markets, where he's been heard
via the WOR Radio Networks. (Ironically, those affiliates include
WWKB in Buffalo, descendant of the very same KB Radio where Reynolds
nailed his shoes to the door all those years ago.)
*ESPN Radio's WEPN (1050 New York) is shuffling its schedule
to work around some of ESPN's national programming changes. Colin
Cowherd's national show will now be heard from 11 AM-1 PM in
New York, preceded by a new "ESPN New York" hour with
Seth Everett at 10 AM and followed by two local hours with Jody
McDonald and Brandon Tierney from 1-3 PM. That in turn takes
an hour off Michael Kay's show, which now runs 3-7 PM.
*Out on Long Island, Barnstable finally began simulcasting
WKJY (98.3 Hempstead) on WKJI (96.1 Center Moriches, ex-WLVG)
last week, ten days behind schedule. The "K-JOY" AC
simulcast sets up Barnstable as a more potent competitor to Clear
Channel's big gun, WALK-FM (97.5 Patchogue), but WALK still enjoys
superior coverage in western Suffolk County, where the two K-JOY
signals don't quite fully overlap.
in the Hamptons, Peconic Public Radio has found a new home for
public station WLIU (88.3 Southampton), and it's now rushing
to get the station's studios out of their longtime home on the
former Long Island University Southampton campus. The station
signed a one-year lease for space in an office complex at 71
Hill Street in Southampton on Tuesday night, and by the next
morning equipment was already being moved to the new studio.
Because of the hurried move, WLIU's local programming is temporarily
off the air; the station says it hopes to have the local hosts
back in place within a couple of weeks, all as it works to raise
the remaining $700,000 it needs to pay Long Island University
by the end of June to take over the license.
*After more than 40 years at Oswego's WRVO (89.9), general
manager John Krauss is retiring, effective April 1. Krauss was
the first voice heard on the station when it signed on as a 10-watter
back in 1969, and he worked his way up through the ranks as morning
host and news director before becoming general manager in the
nineties. No replacement has been named yet. Krauss will be honored
at a series of WRVO events, including a June appearance by another
recent public radio retiree, NPR's Carl Kasell.
Up north, the oldies on WGIX (95.3 Gouverneur) are history:
the station flipped from "Oldies 95.3" to country last
week as "The Wolf," with new calls WLFK in place.
There are call letters for St. Lawrence University's new Lowville
outlet of the North Country Public Radio network: it will be
WXLD on 89.7. (Meanwhile, CNYRadio.com reports that the former
NCPR translator on 91.7 in Boonville, which has been replaced
by WXLB on the same frequency, is now on the air at 105.9 and
relaying WBRV 900 AM.)
CNYRadio.com also reports
a departure in Syracuse: Alex Silverman is heading to Seattle's
KIRO-FM (97.3) after two years anchoring at WSYR (570 Syracuse).
Silverman won't make the move until June...because he still has
to finish up his undergraduate degree at Syracuse University,
which he's been pursuing while doing morning-drive news at WSYR.
Silverman's last day at WSYR was Friday, though he hadn't been
anchoring morning news for a few weeks, apparently.
In Ithaca, Saga's WQNY (103.7) has become the second station
in the cluster to add HD Radio - and like WYXL (97.3), it's using
both HD-2 and HD-3 subchannels. While WYXL's HD subs serve as
the nominal primaries for two Ithaca translators ("Hits
103.3" on 97.3-2 and "98.7 the Vine" on 97.3-3),
the WQNY subs are relaying Saga's AM signals. WNYY (1470) is
on 103.7-2, while WHCU (870) is on 103.7-3.
in Rochester, WITR (89.7 Henrietta) has a new website at witr.rit.edu,
complete with a new logo and a new slogan, as "The Pulse
of Music" replaces the longtime "Modern Music and More"
tagline. The changes come as part of a shift that's de-emphasized
community programming and played up student involvement in the
And an obituary from Wayne County: Ken Synesael, who spent
20 years at WACK (1420 Newark) as morning host, died March 6
of ALS ("Lou Gehrig's disease"). Synesael, who'd also
worked in radio in Geneva and in Florida, was just 56.
Click on the banner above
to visit's NERW's 15th annual Year in Review, brought to you
this year by these nice folks:
*It's been a rough winter
along the Atlantic coast, and the latest weekend storm to bring
high winds and heavy rains to the region knocked out power at
several stations in CONNECTICUT, NEW JERSEY and
In Fairfield County, the storms silenced WFOX (95.9 Norwalk),
but sister stations WSTC (1400 Stamford) and WNLK (1350 Norwalk)
were on the air Saturday night with live storm coverage, we hear.
WFDU (89.1 Teaneck NJ) was off the air due to weather damage,
and so was WPST (94.5 Trenton). And with the Raritan River at
seven feet above flood stage, we're waiting to hear how WGHT
(1500 Pompton Lakes NJ) rode out the storm; it was off the air
over the weekend as well. Power outages affected stations to
the north, too: WAMC-FM (90.3 Albany) was off the air Sunday
after National Grid lost service to its transmitter site (shared
with WCDC-TV) on Greylock Mountain in western Massachusetts.
Back to the Nutmeg State: there's a new morning co-host at
WEZN (99.9 Bridgeport), as former Providence talent Tad Lemire
joins Marit Price and Tommy Edison on "Star."
*In eastern MASSACHUSETTS, the transition
to "Rush Radio 1200" at WXKS (1200 Newton) went pretty
much without a hitch...well, unless you ask the poor receptionist
at Limbaugh's former affiliate, WRKO (680 Boston). Word is that
the front desk at Entercom Boston was deluged with callers who
apparently hadn't gotten the word about the show's new home up
the dial - and that they weren't especially polite about it,
One other bit of Entercom news: WEEI is finally getting a
Boston FM home - but only for listeners who own HD radios. The
sports talk will soon be appearing on WMKK (93.7 Lawrence)'s
HD3 channel, complete with Red Sox play-by-play. (Which reminds
us: "Baseball on the Radio" begins next Monday right
here on NERW...)
In Waltham, the old WRCA (1330) transmitter site is coming
down. The two 306-foot towers were the last remnant of broadcast
activity at 750 South Street, the longtime home of WCRB. But
with WCRB-FM (now on 99.5 Lowell) having moved its studios into
the WGBH complex in Brighton, and with the AM station having
moved its transmitter to the new 1200/1330/1600 triplex in Oak
Hill, Newton, there was no longer a need for the Waltham towers.
One tower was mostly dismantled last week; the other was to have
come down over the weekend, but bad weather delayed that work.
*Two VERMONT stations are changing
hands. WCVR (102.1 Randolph) and WTSJ (1320 Randolph) were part
of Clear Channel's 2008 sale of its Burlington cluster to Ken
Barlow and Bruce Danziger's Vox group, and the stations were
supposed to then be transferred to their former partner Jeff
Shapiro. But that $700,000 sale was never consummated - and now
the Randolph signals are going their separate ways.
Vermont Public Radio will pay $435,000 for WCVR's class B1
FM signal, which fills a hole in the statewide network's coverage
along I-89 between the Upper Valley and Barre. (VPR also gets
WCVR's translator in Hanover, N.H.)
The AM station, with 1 kW by day and 66 watts at night, is
going to Bob Vinikoor's Koor Communications, which pays just
$70,000 for the signal - and it's already changed formats, flipping
from a simulcast of Vox's WEAV (960 Plattsburgh NY/Burlington
VT) to Citadel's "Real Country."
*A call swap in NEW HAMPSHIRE
and MAINE: New Life Media has swapped the calls on
what were WMTP (88.3 Conway NH) and WPHH (91.1 Kennebunkport
ME); both stations are unbuilt construction permits for now.
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*In western PENNSYLVANIA, WDUQ (90.5
Pittsburgh) is taking the next steps toward independence from
its longtime owner, Duquesne University. The Post-Gazette
reports that a new nonprofit, Pittsburgh Public Media, has
been formed by WDUQ's current management team, working with the
Pittsburgh Foundation and Public Media Capital to raise money
to buy the WDUQ license from Duquesne. The P-G reports
that an assessment of WDUQ by CMS Station Brokerage valued the
station at $12 million.
An update on the WKVE (103.1) move: Bob Stevens' station signed
off for the last time from Waynesburg on Tuesday, and is now
testing from its new Mount Pleasant facility.
Meanwhile, another Steel City station has fallen silent: WZUM
(1590 Carnegie) went into dead-air mode a few weeks ago, and
as of last week it's off the air completely, evidently due to
Call changes: Gospel Tabernacle has chosen WLPJ for its new
88.5 in Coudersport; in Hustontown, west of McConnellsburg, the
unbuilt WZXF (91.7) changes calls to WRJV as it changes hands
from Four Rivers Community Broadcasting ("Word FM")
to Invisible Allies Ministries ("Rev FM").
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*CANADA's broadcast regulators are
losing their patience with three Toronto-area radio stations,
and the result may be a very interesting public hearing in Mississauga
on May 12. Among the items on the CRTC's agenda are potential
license-revocation actions against CKLN (88.1 Toronto), CHSC
(1220 St. Catharines) and the remaining stations of the Aboriginal
Voices Radio network, including CKAV-1 (106.5 Toronto).
All three stations have had run-ins with the CRTC in recent
years: AVR ended up surrendering several of its licenses, including
its Montreal station and an unbuilt Kitchener/Waterloo facility,
to satisfy CRTC concerns about a lack of stable funding for the
network; Pellpropco's CHSC has faced CRTC sanctions for improperly
relocating its studio to Woodbridge, near Toronto, and for broadcasting
in Italian instead of English; and CKLN has been the subject
of previous complaints to the CRTC about programming irregularities
and frequent off-air spells.
While the CRTC is unlikely to go so far as to pull licenses
at the May hearing, it's not happy with what it's seeing from
any of these operators. At CKLN, the big concern appears to be
improper transfer of control; while the station is licensed to
"CKLN Radio Incorporated," a community group, the CRTC
says the student union at Ryerson Polytechnic Institute, where
CKLN is based, locked out community volunteers from accessing
the station's studios or its transmitter for several months running.
The CRTC says it has received complaints that CKLN "has
been experiencing ongoing difficulties with its governance structure,
day-to-day management and operations, programming and ability
to remain on-air," and that the station has apparently been
silent for long stretches of time.
The big concern for AVR is the network's programming: it's
supposed to contain at least 25% local content at each of its
five stations in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver,
and the CRTC says it's not living up to that promise. The CRTC
says it also wants to talk to AVR about "the current staff
levels of the stations, the stations funding, the local
newscasts, the continuity of the original proposed AVR service
and the quality of that service provided in the markets."
there's CHSC, which was hit with a slew of CRTC "Mandatory
Orders" a year ago in an attempt to resolve those problems
with the station's studio location and format. The CRTC says
CHSC has complied with most of the orders, but there's still
a question about whether it's doing the local weekend news it
promised to provide. The CRTC says Pellpropco has also failed
to file the annual financial reports required by the mandatory
orders. And the CRTC says it "will also wish to clarify
certain programming and technical issues related to the operation
of CHSC, including its programming service to the residents of
St. Catharines and the Niagara region, its transmission facilities
and the status of CHSCs studio facilities in the St. Catharines
market." (NERW hears that much of CHSC's programming continues
to come from a makeshift studio at the station's rural transmitter
One other CRTC note: the agency has approved My Broadcasting's
application for a Port Elgin relay of its CIYN (95.5 The Coast
FM) from Kincardine. The new Port Elgin signal will run 3100
watts/155' on 90.9.
*Over in the Rogers management suites, Julie Adam is moving
up, yielding one of her two PD gigs at Toronto's CKIS (92.5 Kiss
FM) and CHFI (98.1) to become VP/programming and national PD
for Rogers Radio. National PD Chuck McCoy becomes VP/cluster
manager for Toronto and Kitchener; a new PD for either CKIS or
CHFI will be chosen soon.
*And in Montreal, former CJAD (800) host Rod Dewar has died.
Dewar came to CJAD in 1957 and quit abruptly in 1970 when the
War Measures Act made his on-air criticism of Quebec politics
illegal. Dewar went to the BBC for a few years, returned to CJAD
in 1975-76, came back in 1990, and remained at CJAD as a commentator
until his job was cut last summer. Dewar was diagnosed with prostate
cancer just six weeks ago; he died Tuesday (March 9) in Montreal
at age 83.
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 16, 2009 -
- There's a good old-fashioned top-40 war underway in NEW YORK
for the first time in many years - or at least a good new-fashioned
top-40 war, the kind with a bare minimum of air personalities
and a distinct lack of street promotions.
- In one corner, of course, is veteran Clear Channel outlet
WHTZ (100.3 Newark) - and its upstart competitor, CBS Radio's
WXRK (92.3 New York) didn't miss a chance to emphasize Z100's
26-year history in the format as it relaunched itself last Wednesday
at 5 PM as "92.3 Now." Just as CBS hot AC station WWFS
(Fresh 102.7) built much of its initial imaging around the idea
that Clear Channel's WLTW (106.7 Lite FM) was "old,"
the opening montage on "Now" was heavy on the idea
that Z100 was a force to be reckoned with - back in the eighties,
that is, when laser sound effects were all the rage. The attempt
to pick a fight with Z100 continued on Friday afternoon, when
the first "Now" air talent debuted. Afternoon jock
Tic Tak comes to New York from Detroit's WKQI, and before that
at Philadelphia's WIOQ (Q102), and he cracked the mike for the
first time in New York by calling on Z100 operations manager
Tom Poleman to, er, "resign."
- So far, only one other "Now" air talent has been
announced: Lisa Paige, late of middays at Q102, moves up to New
York to start her shift today. There's still no word on a morning
show at "Now" - just the word that Chris Booker, who'd
been rumored to be waiting for a flip to CHR while doing afternoons
at WXRK in its "K-Rock" incarnation, wasn't kept on
for "Now." Indeed, it appears that the entire K-Rock
airstaff is out of work, though middayer Nik Carter already has
a new fill-in gig at Emmis' WRXP (101.9 New York), where he'll
reportedly be covering afternoons for a while, filling the slot
left vacant by music director Bryan Schock's return to the west
coast. Carter and former K-Rock afternooner Matt Schwenker visited
with WRXP's Matt Pinfield Thursday morning to talk to listeners
and to promote the Emmis rocker as an alternative to the now-defunct
K-Rock. (Well, mostly defunct - the rock will live on, for now,
as an automated HD2 subchannel on WXRK, displacing the "K-Rock2"
automated modern rock that had been on 92.3-HD2.)
- Oh, and as for those WXRK calls? Despite what you might read
elsewhere, they're staying in place, at least for "now"...
- Elsewhere on the New York dial, it was a busy week for noncommercial
FM stations looking to relocate to Manhattan from the outer boroughs
- or even across the Hudson, where WBGO (88.3 Newark NJ) is now
eyeing a move to New York City. After nearly thirty years of
operating from the National Newark Building, the tallest structure
in downtown Newark, WBGO has applied to move its transmitter
to the Trump World Tower apartment building just north of UN
headquarters on Manhattan's east side. From there, WBGO would
run 2500 watts/869', using a complex directional antenna to prevent
any new interference, at least on paper, to adjacent-channel
WXBA (88.1 Brentwood) on Long Island and WNJP (88.5 Sussex NJ).
Will the Long Island station - which has long enjoyed a sort
of artificial "terrain protection" from WBGO's Newark-based
signal thanks to all those tall Manhattan skyscrapers in the
way - object to the move? Stay tuned...
- Meanwhile, city-owned WNYE (91.5 New York) has completed
its move from its longtime (70 years!) home atop Brooklyn Technical
High School to its new transmitter site at Four Times Square
in Manhattan. From there, it's running 2 kW/922', providing somewhat
less signal to Brooklyn than the old 18 kW/430' from Brooklyn
Tech did, but with a much improved signal over Manhattan and
the Bronx. The Brooklyn Tech site will be retained as an auxiliary
transmitter location for WNYE.
- And one more note from the bottom of the dial: even as Mega
Media struggles to find financial success with the audio carrier
of its pseudo-FM station WNYZ-LP (Channel 6), which it operates
as dance outlet "Pulse 87," it's now looking to expand
the "Pulse" concept to other big markets. Mega has
signed a deal with LPTV operator Venture Technologies to lease
two other channel 6 outlets - WLFM-LP in Chicago and KSFV-CA
in Los Angeles - which will soon begin operating as "Pulse
87" as well.
- In PENNSYLVANIA, the biggest media headline of the week comes
from WBEB (101.1 Philadelphia), where owner Jerry Lee says he's
pulling the plug on the station's streaming audio to protest
the new music licensing fees from SoundExchange, which he says
"no longer make streaming a viable option." By 2015,
Lee says, nearly half the station's revenues from streaming audio
would go straight to SoundExchange, destroying a potential "growth
business opportunity" for both stations and musicians.
March 14, 2005 -
- Is a third all-sports station on the way to eastern MASSACHUSETTS?
It certainly appears that way as we learn more about the impending
sale of WAMG (890 Dedham) and WLLH (1400 Lowell and Lawrence)
from Mega Communications to a new entity called "J-Sports."
We've already reported theat the sale is financially backed by
WallerSutton, the investment house that backed the Route 81 Radio
acquisitions in Pennsylvania and upstate New York last year.
But Route 81 doesn't appear to be involved this time, as it turns
out. Instead, the key player is one Jessamy Tang, an MIT graduate
who served as general manager of Pittsburgh ESPN affiliate WEAE
(1250) until departing in 2002 "to pursue other interests."
- Those interests appear to involve a flip of WAMG and WLLH
from their present Spanish tropical format to ESPN Radio, presently
heard late at night and weekends on WEEI (850 Boston). And we
hear that WEEI is dropping ESPN (we're guessing Fox Sports Radio
will replace it), clearing the way for an ESPN move up the dial
to 890, which was once the Boston flagship of the defunct Prime
Sports Radio, circa 1995-96.
- (One other note on the $9 million deal: it seems the FCC's
as uncertain as anyone about the status of WLLH's synchronous
transmitter in Lawrence. The sales documents describe the Lawrence
transmitter, on the air since 1937, as an "amplifier,"
and they explain that there's no formal renewal of that transmitter
shown in FCC documents, since it's been considered an "auxiliary
service," renewed along with the main WLLH license. One
condition of the deal is that the Lawrence transmitter get a
formal license renewal - and a clarification of its power increase
to 1000 watts, which was apparently done on the basis of a verbal
approval from the FCC - and it appears that that renewal may
be for a short term only. Stay tuned!)
- We can tell you more this week about Christopher Lydon's
return to the public radio airwaves. The former WBUR (90.9) talk
host will indeed be hosting a show on UMass Lowell's WUML (91.5
Lowell), but he'll be heard far beyond the Merrimack Valley.
When "Open Source" debuts May 30, it will be produced
at Boston's WGBH (89.7), which will also air the hourlong show
Monday-Thursday at 7 PM, bumping back the start of the "Eric
in the Evening" jazz show by an hour. Starting July 4, "Open
Source" will also be syndicated via Public Radio International,
which distributes WGBH's "The World" as well. And when
new studios are ready at UMass Lowell in a year or so, Lydon
will move production of the show up there.
- There's a big change of scenery on the way for WBCN (104.1)
- it's one week away from leaving behind the Fenway studios,
at 1265 Boylston Street, that the station has called home for
the last two decades and change (ever since moving from the penthouse
of the Prudential Tower). The Infinity modern rocker will join
sister station WODS (103.3) in the former Channel 38 facility
at 83 Leo Birmingham Parkway in Allston, and we believe WZLX
(100.7) will eventually move there as well from its digs in the
- As expected, Nassau unleased its "Wolf" country
format on VERMONT last week, putting the name (also in use in
Concord, N.H. and Portland, Maine) on what had been "Bob
Country" WSSH (95.3 White River Junction) and WZSH (107.1
Bellows Falls). The stations are now WXLF and WZLF, respectively.
(And there are rumors that Nassau's "Frank" hot AC/classic
hits blend, also in use in Portland, is en route to New Hampshire's
- Long Island's most powerful AM station is staying put in
NEW YORK state. WGSM (740 Huntington) was in the headlines last
year when it applied, during the FCC's AM major-change window,
to move to Mount Olive, N.J., where it hoped to build a big directional
array and aim 50,000 watts back at New York City. But applicants
who submitted proposals during that window that turned out not
to be mutually-exclusive with other applications (as WGSM's was)
had to follow up with full-fledged applications (and filing fees)
by a certain deadline. Perhaps it was the pending sale of the
station, or perhaps it had something to do with the almost certain
opposition that the application would encounter both from the
locals out in Warren County and its neighbors on the dial at
710 and 770; in any case, WGSM didn't follow through, and the
Mount Olive application is now officially dead. (Also off the
table are proposals for new stations on 1550 in Nantucket MA,
1060 Montpelier VT, 830 Bangor ME and 1230 Fort Fairfield ME.)
- Our top PENNSYLVANIA story continues to be the merry-go-round
of formats, calls and ownerships in the Johnstown and State College
markets between Forever Broadcasting and Nick Galli's 2510 Communications
in the wake of 2510's acquisition of the former Dame stations.
- We'll start with the ownership swaps: 2510 is selling WGLU
(99.1 Ebensburg), WQKK (92.1 Johnstown), WRSC (1390 State College)
and WBUS (93.7 Boalsburg) to Forever for a total of $6.65 million
($4 million for WGLU/WQKK, $2.65 million for WRSC/WBUS). And
Forever is selling WSPO (1490 Johnstown), WUZI (97.7 Somerset)
and WUZY (105.7 Portage) to 2510 for $2.5 million. WGLU already
has a new format - or at least slogan - as it prepares for its
new Forever ownership, ditching its former "Power 99"
identity to become "Hot 99" sharing a morning show,
music playlists and perhaps some other air talent with what's
now "Hot 103" in State College (the former WBHV 103.1,
soon to be WJHT) and with Forever's WPRR (100.1 Altoona), which
also becomes "Hot 100."
- So as best we can piece things together, here's how each
company's station lineup now looks: On the Forever side, it's
news-talk WRSC and talk WMAJ (1450) in State College, along with
classic rock WBUS, AC "Lite" WLTS (94.5 State College),
"Quick Rock" WQWK (98.7 Mill Hall), "Hot 103"
and the eventual Centre Hall move-in of WXMJ (99.5 Mount Union,
now simulcasting WPRR), too. In Altoona, the company has talk
WFBG (1290), sports WVAM (1430), country WFGY (98.1), WPRR, oldies
WALY (103.9 Bellwood) and active rock "Rocky" WRKY
(104.9 Hollidaysburg). And in Johnstown, Forever has talk WNTJ
(850)/WNTW (990), country WFGI-FM (95.5) and AC WKYE (96.5),
along with WGLU and rocker WQKK. Galli's 2510, meanwhile, has
a State College cluster that includes oldies WOWY (97.1 University
Park), WBLF (970 Bellefonte, temporarily simulcasting WOWY) and
the former WJHT (107.9 Port Matilda), which will apparently be
spun off under new calls WCNU. And in Johnstown, it has sports
WSPO, southern gospel WYSN (1330 Somerset), the "Wuzz"
classic rock combo of WUZI/WUZY and oldies WCCL (101.7 Central
- If your head is spinning, you're not alone - these swaps
follow hot on the heels of Forever's acquisition of Clear Channel's
Johnstown cluster and subsequent format flips. And there's no
question that these two companies now control a huge share of
the central Pennsylvania listening audience (and radio revenue
pie) between them.
March 17, 2000 -
- The Clear Channel/AMFM merger has produced one group sale
in NEW YORK. Most of the stations that Clear Channel would have
picked up from AMFM will instead go to Regent Communications,
the same group that bought the Forever stations in Utica and
Watertown last year. Regent gets active rock WQBK (103.9 Rensselaer)
and WQBJ (103.5 Cobleskill); country WGNA AM-FM (1460/107.7 Albany);
sports WTMM (1300 Rensselaer); and rhythmic oldies WABT (104.5
Mechanicville), in addition to three FMs in Grand Rapids, Michigan,
in exchange for 11 Regent stations in Ohio and California and
$67 million in cash.
- NERW says: The big prize here is WGNA, consistently among
the top three stations in Albany. The others are either signal-impaired
or consistent ratings has-beens. What Clear Channel ends up keeping
from AMFM is oldies WTRY (98.3 Rotterdam/980 Albany) and mainstream
rocker WPYX (106.5 Albany), to go along with the former Dame
group of WGY (810 Schenectady), modern AC WHRL (103.1 Albany),
and adult rock WRVE (99.5 Schenectady), along with the former
Arcara property of WXCR (102.3 Ballston Spa), doing classic rock.
- A TV note from Binghamton: WBGH-LP (now on channel 8, but
applying for a move to 20) has applied for a transfer from Smith
Broadcasting (owners of Elmira NBC affiliate WETM, which WBGH
relays) to "CNY News, Inc.", aka Ackerley, which owns
four ABC affiliates in the region, including Binghamton's own
WIVT (Channel 34). More on this as we find it out...
- This was the first sound listeners on Cape Cod heard on 91.1
this week: "Listen." With that word, Jay Allison signed
on the newest station in MASSACHUSETTS, WNAN (91.1 Nantucket,
at 6 Wednesday morning (3/15). Within a few months, WNAN will
be joined by WCAI (90.1 Woods Hole), in what Allison says are
the only two public-radio sign-ons anywhere in the country in
- CONNECTICUT gets a powerful radio/TV combination as part
of the merger of Tribune and Times Mirror. If the deal goes through,
it will unite Times Mirror's Hartford Courant with Tribune's
WTXX (Channel 20) and WTIC-TV (Channel 61). It would do the same
in New York City and Long Island, with Tribune's WPIX (Channel
11) and Times Mirror's Newsday on the Island.
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- Cape Cod FM duopoly WFXR 93.5 Harwich Port - WFAL 101.1 Falmouth
has switched from simulcasting a satellite hot country format
to the "Underground Network," based at WDRE in Garden
City, Long Island. This is the first modern rocker on the Cape...although
Providence's WBRU 95.5 can be heard in the western reaches of
the Cape. WFAL dropped its AC format to begin simulcasting WFXR's
AC format a few years back. The two class A stations manage to
cover the whole Cape, with substantial overlap in the Middle
Cape (Hyannis area). The stations switched to country in '93,
and outlasted 50kw FM blowtorch WCIB-101.9 Falmouth, which also
switched to country in '93, but then went back to its AC format
in early '94. In early '94, heritage Cape FM WCOD-106.1 bought
WFXR/WFAL, and today all three stations operate from WCOD's facility
on Stevens St. in Hyannis. New calls are WUNZ for 93.5, WUNX
- WKPE (FM 104.7, AM 1170) in Orleans, MA (Cape Cod market)
has ditched oldies...and is in an interim format now while they
choose a new one.
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2010 by Scott Fybush.