May 17, 2010
Contract Dispute Ousts WPDH's Tobin
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*A familiar morning voice in NEW YORK's
Hudson Valley is once again off the air at WPDH (101.5 Poughkeepsie).
John Tobin left WPDH in 2001 to move north to Albany, where he
worked at WPYX (106.5) and WOFX (980), but he came back to Poughkeepsie
in 2006, where he's most recently been half of the "Coop
and Tobin Morning Show" alongside Mark Cooper.
resigned from the station last Monday morning after the show,
later writing on a Facebook fan page that he'd "been without
a contract since June of 2008 because of corporate game-playing"
- and that he "was being paid the same as I was in 2006
even though the ratings were in the stratosphere."
For now, Cooper's handling the morning show along with sidekicks
Kricket and Deuce while WPDH searches for a new co-host.
*There's a schedule change on the New York City talk dial,
as Alan Colmes disappears from evenings on WWRL (1600), leaving
him with no hometown outlet for his Fox radio show. Replacing
Colmes at WWRL are Bev Smith from 10 PM-midnight and Leslie Marshall
from midnight until 1 AM.
In other New York changes, Brian D'Aurelia has now been promoted
twice in one month: his airshift at WRXP (101.9), where he's
half of the "Brian and Chris" show, was just moved
up from overnights to evenings - and he's just been promoted
from director of marketing and digital media to operations manager
of WRXP and its Emmis sister stations, WQHT (Hot 97) and WRKS
(98.7 Kiss FM).
Behind the scenes at WCBS-FM (101.1), there's a big departure:
Maria Martello-Angelo, CBS-FM's programming coordinator, is leaving
the station to stay home with her new baby, and word is she'll
be very much missed. (Dad is CBS-FM production director Chris
*Upstate, there's another set of farewells in the works: Clear
Channel Rochester's vice president/market manager Karen Carey
will be leaving the cluster next month (for family reasons, we're
told), ending seven years in that post and 14 years with the
time at the helm, Carey presided over some big changes: she negotiated
the contract that brought Brother Wease back to the Rochester
airwaves on WFXF (95.1 the Fox), and she oversaw the move of
the seven-station cluster from the now-shuttered Midtown Plaza
into the former CBS Radio space across the street at the HSBC
No replacement has been named so far.
*For public radio listeners in Ithaca, changes are coming
fast and furious this month: in addition to the impending launch
of WITH (90.1), the new joint venture of Geneva's Hobart and
William Smith colleges and Rochester's WXXI, the signal of Hobart's
own public radio voice, WEOS (89.7 Geneva) disappeared for many
Ithaca listeners on Thursday.
That's when Ithaca Community Radio, the local group that has
been relaying WEOS over translator W201CD (88.1 Lansing), switched
the translator's feed to WSQX (91.5 Binghamton), the secondary
service of public broadcaster WSKG. The WSQX program lineup,
which mixes jazz with some talk programming (including Ithaca
favorite "Democracy Now"), had already been available
to Ithaca-area listeners with HD radios via the HD2 subchannel
of WSKG's local signal, WSQG (90.9 Ithaca).
says it's only carrying WSQX as a temporary measure - it expects
to lose off-air reception of WEOS once WITH signs on at full
power later this month, and it's building local studios in anticipation
of the launch of its own station, WINO (89.9 Odessa), later this
year. WINO will also be heard on the 88.1 translator in Ithaca
once it signs on.
(Enhanced usual disclaimer: your editor works for WXXI, and
- here's that "enhanced" part - will be pitching for
membership dollars this afternoon on WEOS.)
Family Life Network has signed on its newest signal: WCIJ
(88.9) is now on the air in Unadilla, extending the network's
coverage north and east from Binghamton.
We can now attach a price tag to Sound Communications' purchase
of the former Route 81 cluster in Elmira and Corning: the owners
of Fox affiliate WYDC-TV (Channel 48) are paying $1.425 million
for the six radio stations now owned by WS2K Radio Group. (The
cluster includes AM news-talk simulcast WENY/WENI, sports outlet
WCBA, AC "Magic" simulcast WENY-FM/WENI-FM and oldies
WGMM.) As we noted in our May 3 edition, that's a steep discount
from the $4.5 million that Route 81 had paid prior owner Eolin
for the stations back in 2003.
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*RHODE ISLAND Public
Broadcasting is adding another signal. The FCC last week granted
RIPR a construction permit for 88.1 in Newport, where it will
run 100 watts/157' from a water tower on Reservoir Avenue, east
of downtown. RIPR's application had originally been dismissed
due to potential interference with WKIV (88.1 Westerly).
When it signs on, the new Newport signal will be RIPR's third
broadcast outlet, joining WRNI-FM (102.7 Narragansett Pier) across
Narragansett Bay and WRNI (1290) in Providence.
*Radio People on the Move in VERMONT:
Burlington veteran Louie Manno has signed on with Jeff Loper's
Twin Valleys New Media Network, where he's now director of programming
and content for the chain of Retro Television-affiliated TV stations
that includes WGMU (Channel 39) in Burlington and WNMN (Channel
40) in Saranac Lake.
Our goal is to break the mold when it comes to serving
our local communities. We want to involve our audience and our
advertisers and to have fun while doing it, Manno says
of his new role overseeing local programming for the stations.
Meanwhile, Mike Luoma is the new music director at WNCS (104.7
Montpelier) and its "Point" network of stations across
*Radio People on the Move in MASSACHUSETTS:
Bernice Corpuz, whose resume includes afternoon news at WZID
(95.7 Manchester NH) and more recently morning news anchoring
at WCAP (980 Lowell), is leaving the Lowell station to become
a full-time member of the news staff at Boston's WBZ (1030).
In a particularly classy move, WCAP owner Clark Smidt is running
on-air promos congratulating Corpuz on her move to the bigger
station...and how often do you hear that?
(Your editor is thinking he was the last to make that WCAP-to-WBZ
move, some 18 years ago; there were quite certainly no on-air
promos about it at the time.)
*One Radio Person on the Move in CONNECTICUT:
Chad Erickson is leaving Clear Channel Hartford after seven years
as its creative director; he's going full-time with his voiceover
business at ChadErickson.com.
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*An odd move in western PENNSYLVANIA:
ESPN Radio's WEAE (1250 Pittsburgh) cut six staffers loose last
week, with a curious explanation from VP/GM Mike Thompson to
the Post-Gazette: "We're in the position where we're
very strong. Sometimes you do these decisions when you're in
a position of strength," he told the paper.
In any event, "1250 ESPN" will somehow have to now
maintain that "position of strength" without PD Jim
Graci (Thompson will take on the PD role), production director
Larry Gerson or sports update anchors Eartha Jackson and Joe
DeStio. Gerson, Jackson and DeStio were all veteran employees
at the station, going back to the days when it was still WTAE,
a full-service outlet owned by Hearst.
*Near Scranton, two noncommercial FMs have swapped calls:
WCIN (91.3 Carbondale) and WFUZ (90.9 Laporte) are now WFUZ and
WCIN, respectively. The Laporte signal is an unbuilt CP belonging
to Family Life Network (which likes those WCI_ calls for its
stations), while the Carbondale signal belongs to Kevin Fitzgerald's
Telikoja Educational Foundation, though at least for now it's
still carrying programming from FLN, its former owner.
*Our news from CANADA begins with
a proposed frequency change in Montreal: Canadian Hellenic Cable
Radio is asking the CRTC to let it move CKDG ("Mike FM")
from 105.1 to 106.7, the frequency that was recently vacated
by Aboriginal Voices Radio when it shuttered its Montreal operation
move would allow CKDG to increase its power from 224 watts to
1.2 kW DA/638', doubling the population within CKDG's 3 mV/m
contour; it will also put CKDG right next to its new sister station
on the dial, CKIN (106.3), which is due to debut this summer.
When the CKIN license was granted back in 2007, it included a
condition that required a frequency change if there was interference
to AVR's signal at 106.7. That condition was removed when AVR
surrendered its license; if the CKDG application is granted,
it will be up to Canadian Hellenic to resolve any interference
between its own pair of second-adjacent signals.
*On TV, the CBC and Radio-Canada want to swap out some of
the satellite feeds that now provide programming to remote corners
of the country. For several decades now, Montreal's CBMT (Channel
6) in English and, to a lesser extent, CBFT (Channel 2) in French
have been seen in places as remote as Newfoundland and northern
Manitoba, a relic of the days when the Montreal feeds were the
only full-time satellite feeds available for relay. That's long
since changed, and now the CBC is asking the CRTC for permission
to put more appropriate regional feeds on some of those transmitters.
In Newfoundland, Radio-Canada wants to alter its licenses
to allow it relay CBAFT from Moncton, New Brunswick over CBFJ
(Channel 4) in St. John's and CBFNT (Channel 13) Port-au-Port,
replacing the CBFT Montreal feed that's been licensed over those
transmitters. (It appears that Radio-Canada may have been using
the CBAFT feed on the Newfoundland transmitters for a few years,
regardless of what the CRTC licenses say.)
In northern Ontario, CBLIT (Channel 10) in Armstrong would
pick up CBLT from Toronto instead of CBMT from Montreal; CBMT's
feed to several small towns in northern Manitoba will be replaced
by CBWT from Winnipeg.
And an odd addition to our "Baseball on the Radio"
listings: the Toronto Blue Jays have never had any French-language
radio broadcasts (or, as best we can tell, any Francophone following
at all), but Montreal's CKAC (730) has signed on to do eight
Jays games en francais this season. The first two, with
Jeremy Filosa and Alex Agostino behind the mic, aired from Rogers
Centre in Toronto over the weekend.
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!)
May 18, 2009 -
- A western PENNSYLVANIA radio institution is succumbing to
the economy. For nearly half a century, the call letters "WAMO"
- which officially stand for the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio
rivers that meet in Pittsburgh - have been synonymous with programming
for the region's black community, and it was that community that
was stunned Friday by the news that Sheridan Broadcasting, which
has owned the WAMO stations for more than 35 years, had reached
a deal to sell them to an organization called Saint Joseph Missions,
bringing an end to the urban-oriented formats on the stations.
- What Saint Joseph gets for its money is a relative bargain:
for $8.9 million, it gets the current incarnation of WAMO-FM,
a class B facility on 106.7 licensed to Beaver Falls and serving
the northern half of the Pittsburgh market with R&B from
a transmitter site in Wexford, as well as two AMs - urban talk/R&B
oldies WAMO (860 Millvale), with 1000 watts by day, 830 watts
at night and a solid signal over the core of the market, and
gospel WPGR (1510 Monroeville), a 5 kW daytimer serving primarily
the eastern side of the market.
- So who is Saint Joseph Missions? According to the statement
the nonprofit filed in a 2007 application (still pending) for
a new noncommercial signal on 91.7 in Ligonier, it's "organized
exclusively for religious, educational, and charitable purposes,"
in particular those of the Catholic Church. There's little question,
then, about what format Pittsburgh listeners will be hearing
on 106.7, 860 and 1510 once the sale closes - and no small bit
of irony there, since another Catholic broadcaster, Relevant
Radio, apparently couldn't make a go out of its lease of a much
smaller local signal, WZUM (1590 Carnegie), which has been cycling
through several temporary formats in the last few days.
- NEW YORK's Pacifica outlet, WBAI (99.5), is no stranger to
management turmoil, and that seemingly endless loop is making
another cycle this spring. Pacifica national management removed
GM Anthony Riddle from his post earlier this month, and station
veteran Bernard White says the 10-day suspension he's serving
amounts to an ouster from the PD chair he was occupying. Lavarn
Williams is serving as acting general manager as the national
Pacifica board tries to get the station back on sound financial
- There's a callsign change in the Catskills: WXHD (90.1 Mount
Hope), the relay of New Jersey's freeform WFMU (91.1 East Orange),
has changed its calls to WMFU, an anagram of the mothership's
callsign. Yes, the station is well aware of the potential fun
that those with filthy minds (In radio? Never!) might have with
the new callsign - and it's already fielding potential guesses
as to what the WMFU calls really ought to stand for. (Our favorite
among the early entries: "We Must Forget Upsala," a
reference to the now-defunct college that was WFMU's original
- Over in Utica, we'll know this morning how serious Roser
Communications is about the "format change" it's been
heavily promoting at its pair of "Kiss FM" top-40 stations,
WSKS (97.9 Whitesboro)/WSKU (105.5 Little Falls). The stations
garnered lots of publicity late last week when they announced
that "financial constraints" were forcing them to flip
to a new format at 7:30 Monday morning - but since Kiss is also
promising that its airstaff won't be affected, and since there's
no mention of the "changes" on its website, it certainly
has that "stunt" scent to us. Stay tuned; we'll be
listening Monday morning to see what, if anything, happens.
- MONDAY MORNING UPDATE: After a series of tearful "goodbyes"
from the airstaff, the stations "relaunched" at 7:30
with the soft AC format from sister station WUTQ (1550) as "Beautiful
Music 97.9 & 105.5," and nearly 20 minutes later, it's
still smelling stunt-y, what with the jock complaining on-air
about the "new format" and all... (And sure enough,
just before 10 AM, "Kiss FM" returned to its old format,
with new morning man Eric Thomas having used the "Beautiful
Music," followed by "Whatever FM," as his way
of introducing himself to the market.)
- A former CONNECTICUT callsign is back on the air in the Hartford
market. Now that John Fuller's Red Wolf Broadcasting has taken
control of WURH (104.1 Waterbury), the station is returning to
the WMRQ, "Radio 104" identity it used from 1995-2003.
May 16, 2005 -
- A PENNSYLVANIA morning team returns to the air today after
a contentious absence. The "Preston and Steve" show
has been off the airwaves since February 24, when Radio One pulled
the plug on modern rock "Y100" (WPLY 100.3 Media),
sending Preston Elliot and Steve Morrison packing along with
the rest of the staff. Elliot and Morrison had already reached
a deal to move to Greater Media's WMMR (93.3 Philadelphia) before
the end of Y100, and the station's demise sent the duo to court
to try to get out of their six-month noncompete deal with Radio
One, a wish that was granted last week.
- With Preston & Steve's arrival at WMMR comes the departure
of the "Philly Guys" morning show; in a note to listeners
on WMMR's website, PD Bill Weston writes, "We recognize
the individual talents that made up the Philly Guys. Its
also the right combination of talents that is key to a successful
morning show. This chemistry and/ or complementary
aspect was lacking in the Philly Guys." Philly Guys cast
member Joe Conklin stays with WMMR to produce comedy bits, while
Gina Crash and Vinnie the Crumb are out the door.
- And there's a call change in Scranton that marks the end
of a very long tradition in the market: Entercom flipped WGBI
(910 Scranton) to WBZU last week, the first call change for that
station in some 80 years. The WBZU calls are being parked as
the result of a format change in Madison, Wisconsin (where the
former WBZU 105.1 is now "Charlie" WCHY), much as sister
station WKZN (1300 West Hazleton) is parking calls last used
in New Orleans. For listeners, WBZU and WKZN will still be known
as "WILK," simulcasting the "WILK News-Talk Network"
from WILK (980 Wilkes-Barre); it's been quite a few years since
the WGBI calls made much impact in the market.
- In NEW YORK, WXRK (92.3 New York) overnight jock Lee "Crazy
Cabbie" Mroszak is going to prison for 12 months for tax
evasion. "Cabbie" is a frequent guest on the Howard
Stern show, and he made a big chunk of money in 2001 in an amateur
boxing match with former Stern cast member "Stuttering John"
Melendez. That wouldn't have been a problem - except that Mroszak
never paid taxes on his winnings, and bragged about it on the
Stern show. Mroszak pleaded guilty in December; by the time he's
out of prison, Stern will be history on K-Rock, and it'll be
interesting to see if there's a K-Rock for Cabbie to return to
- Over at troubled sister station WNEW (Mix 102.7), Rick Stacy
was sent packing at week's end. Stacy had survived a succession
of formats at WNEW going back to the early days of "Blink."
- On the TV dial - or is that radio? - WNYZ-LP (Channel 6)
began testing from its Long Island City transmitter site last
week, with its audio carrier (at 87.76 MHz - an eagle-eyed NERW
reader points out that the station has a 10 kHz plus offset on
its frequency) being widely heard throughout the metro area,
so far just with tones. WNYZ-LP will be leasing time to Spanish-language
programmers when it begins regular operation.
- In MASSACHUSETTS, Entercom's WEEI (850 Boston) has signed
the Boston Red Sox for the 2006 season, in a deal expected to
be worth between $8-12 million. The rights deal will, as expected,
move the Sox affiliation in Providence from WPRO to Entercom's
WEEI-FM (103.7 Westerly).
- Radio (and TV) People on the Move: Jon Keller has started
his new gig as a political commentator at WBZ-TV (Channel 4),
returning to WBZ (where he was the producer of the David Brudnoy
Show on the radio side) after many successful years on WLVI (Channel
56). Over at Greater Media, Kevin Redding joins WROR (105.7 Framingham)
for afternoons; he'd been at WAAF most recently, doing weekends
and vacation fill. And in Plymouth, WPLM-FM (99.1) operations/production
manager Pat Cronin is leaving the station, effective June 1.
- The new schedule on WGBH (89.7 Boston) takes effect May 31,
and it creates a bit more duplication with rival public radio
outlet WBUR-FM (90.9 Boston), as WGBH adds a third hour of Morning
Edition from 8-9 AM weekdays, cutting an hour off its classical
music programming. The jazz on "Eric in the Evening"
will start an hour later as well, as WGBH adds Christopher Lydon's
new "Open Source" talk show.
May 19, 2000 -
- Boston's daytime-only urban AM station, WILD (1090), is about
to join the fastest-growing urban station group in the country.
Radio One, which entered the market last year with its purchase
of Brockton's WBOT (97.7), is entering a time-brokerage agreement
that will put WBOT under WILD's Dudley Square roof.
- WILD's owners, the Nash family, have fought valiantly to
keep a successful music format on the 5 kilowatt daytimer in
the face of competitors like Clear Channel's WJMN (94.5) and
now WBOT. Despite occasional rumors about deals that would give
WILD an FM presence, until now the station has remained AM-only.
The deal with Radio One keeps the station's license in the hands
of the Nash family, honoring Bernardine Nash's promise not to
sell the station after the death a few years back of her husband.
It is, however, expected to allow Radio One to change the calls
of 97.7 to "WILD-FM," putting the well-known "WILD"
brand where most of the format's listeners now tune. As for format
changes on AM 1090? NERW expects the station's music to start
skewing a bit older, with more talk mixed in, but with no real
change to the station's mission of serving Boston's black community.
WILD becomes Radio One's 50th station nationwide.
- Elsewhere in MASSACHUSETTS, an unusual partnership is in
the works between a commercial broadcaster, Aritaur's WMVY (92.7
Tisbury) on Martha's Vineyard, and a public broadcaster, WGBH's
WNAN (91.1 Nantucket). Aritaur will serve as the exclusive local
underwriting representative for WNAN (as well as for WCAI 90.1
Woods Hole when it makes its debut later this summer), thereby
saving WCAI/WNAN the trouble of looking for underwriting on its
own (and, really, it makes sense -- after all, the same upscale
audience that listens to WMVY's AAA format is likely to be CAI/NAN's
type as well).
- An affiliation change in New Bedford: WLWC (Channel 28) is
shifting from being the WB affiliate for Providence to the UPN
affiliate -- but fans of "Felicity" needn't fear. While
UPN takes over the 8-10 PM prime hours on WLWC (and it's only
fair; the station is owned by UPN parent Paramount), WB shows
will air weeknights from 10-11 and on weekend afternoons and
- The staff at one VERMONT TV station didn't have to go far
to cover a fire on Wednesday. That's because it was WNNE (Channel
31)'s studio that was on fire! The Rutland Herald reports a discarded
cigarette started a fire in some wood chips alongside the building
in White River Junction, and the flames soon spread to the siding
of the WNNE studios. Nobody was hurt and the fire was quickly
extinguished, with no damage to the station's equipment.
- It's been a big week in CANADA, as the CRTC hands out licenses
for several new stations in Ontario. In Hamilton, Doug Kirk and
Rae Roe get the go-ahead for a new smooth-jazz outlet on 94.7.
The station will operate with 1880 watts (in true Canadian fashion,
no tower site or height is specified), and the CRTC is hoping
it will provide competition for the market's other owners, Telemedia,
WIC (selling to Corus/Shaw), and Affinity. Affinity and NewCap
also applied for the frequency but were turned down (and now
we hear Affinity may sell its CHAM 820 to Kirk and Roe and leave
the market entirely). Speaking of Affinity, we're also hearing
about some big personnel cuts at its other Southern Ontario outlets,
as in 17 people in one day at CKTB (610 St. Catharines).
- Up in Barrie, Rock 95 Broadcasting (CFJB 95.7) levels the
playing field against Shaw/Corus, which owns CHAY (93.1) and
CIQB (101.1), by getting a second FM. The CRTC turned down applications
from CHUM Ltd. and from Larche, granting 107.5 to Rock 95 for
a new CHR station.
New England Radio Watch, May 18, 1995
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2010 by Scott Fybush.