June 28 & July 5, 2010
Tornado Rips WICC/WEBE
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*When a tornado hit the CONNECTICUT coastline
Thursday afternoon, its path of destruction took it across both
the studio and transmitter site of Cumulus' WICC (600 Bridgeport).
The storm wreaked havoc on downtown Bridgeport, where WICC
and sister station WEBE (107.9 Westport) share studio space in
an office building on Lafayette Square. The winds picked up an
air conditioner from the roof of the building, turning it on
its side and ripping a hole in the roof right over the WICC newsroom.
The building was quickly evacuated, leaving both stations
running on makeshift automation all through Thursday night and
into Friday morning - but for WICC, that was just the beginning
of its technical challenges. (Thanks to Danny Lyons for the pictures!)
The WICC transmitter site at Pleasure Beach sits on an offshore
island that used to be connected to the mainland by a short bridge
- but since a fire damaged the bridge in the 1990s, the site
has been reachable only by boat or by walking across the water
at low tide, which proved to be a big problem when the power
went out and the station's generator began to malfunction.
WICC ended up being off the air from the time the storm hit
until early Saturday morning, save for a brief period Thursday
evening when it was on the air (with music-only automation) on
the generator; the good news, at least, is that by Friday morning
drivetime the studios were once again accessible, allowing WEBE's
morning show to air on schedule and WICC to provide at least
Meanwhile, other stations in the market stepped up to the
plate to cover the storm; we heard good things from our ears
in the market about the coverage on WEZN-FM (99.9 Bridgeport),
as well as from News 12 Connecticut and from New York's WCBS
to TV: Waterbury-licensed channel 20 has been WTXX since 1982,
when the former WATR-TV shed its NBC affiliation, went independent
and moved its transmitter to a new site that brought its signal
into most of the Hartford-New Haven market. Tribune, which operates
channel 20 as a duopoly with Fox affiliate WTIC-TV (Channel 61),
recently rebranded the CW affiliate as "The CT" (complete
with a widely-derided new logo, at left) and now it has new calls
to match, becoming WCCT-TV.
(The nitpickers will note that there's also an unrelated WCCT-FM,
the high school station at Cape Cod Regional Technical High School
in Harwich, Mass.)
*Radio People on the Move: Slater is out at WCCC-FM (106.9
Hartford), with overnight guy "Craig the Pornstar"
moving into his former evening slot.
there's a particularly poignant obituary to offer this week:
Michael Collins was widely respected in southern Connecticut,
not only for his work as a broadcaster at the Associated Press
and at stations including WQUN (1220 Hamden) and WSNG (610 Torrington),
but for his encyclopedic knowledge of media history and his tireless
advocacy for the LGBT media community.
Collins put his media experience (including stints as general
manager of both WSNG and WQUN) to good use as an educator, teaching
at WQUN's parent institution, Quinnipiac University.
Collins had been suffering health problems in recent months;
on Thursday, police responding to a call at his home in Orange,
Connecticut found him dead.
No funeral arrangements have been announced.
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*The NEW YORK State Broadcasters Association
inducts some big names into its Hall of Fame tonight at its 48th
annual executive conference in Bolton Landing. This year's class
includes two living inductees: WHAM-TV's veteran anchor Don Alhart
(44 years and counting at the same station!) and Jim Roselle
of WJTN (1240) in Jamestown, who has even Alhart beat - he's
been with WJTN for 57 years!
the roster of broadcasters we've lost, the NYSBA is inducting
New York rock radio legend Scott Muni, Dan DeNicola of Albany's
WRGB and New York's Percy Sutton, longtime owner of WLIB and
WBLS - a worthy lineup, indeed.
Speaking of WHAM-TV, it appears that the Newport-owned ABC
affiliate is about to become the first station in the region
to produce local news in HD. Alhart and the rest of the station's
anchors moved from the old news set to the newsroom last week;
there's a promo now running featuring construction workers surrounding
the station's logo and promising "something big" this
summer - and the station's photographers have been spotted in
the field with spiffy new HD cameras.
*New York's WQXR (105.9 Newark NJ) is getting some extra management
attention from its parent organization, WNYC, which has named
a vice president specifically in charge of the classical station
it acquired. Graham Parker moves over from the executive director's
chair at the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra to take the helm at WQXR.
(The Times reports that WNYC is about two-thirds of the
way to completing its $15 million fund drive to pay for the WQXR
Up north, WSLP (93.3 Saranac Lake) is ramping up its local
news coverage, hiring Sandy Caligiore as news director. Caligiore,
who starts his new job Friday, was news director at WNBZ (1240
Saranac Lake) in the seventies and eighties, later working at
Potsdam's WPDM/WSNN and at WLPW/WIRD in Lake Placid. Most recently,
Caligiore was handling PR for the state's Olympic Regional Development
More Radio People on the Move: in the Elmira market, Kyle
McCurry's leaving WNGZ (104.9 Montour Falls) at the end of July
to go back to school - and that leaves an opening for a PD and
afternoon jock. Down I-86 in Olean, Eric Medler (late of Wyoming
and Montana) is the new PD and morning man at Pembrook Pines'
WMXO (101.5), where he replaces Tom Power. And in Poughkeepsie,
Michael Bennett moves up from overnights to evenings at WSPK
(104.7), where he replaces Brian Stylez. Bennett is also serving
as music coordinator for K104.
*It was a quiet week in MASSACHUSETTS
- nowhere more so than in the studios of CBS Radio's WODS
(103.3 Boston), where a technical glitch silenced the morning
show for more than an hour on Friday.
There's one very happy note from the Bay State: broadcast
historian, educator, programmer and good friend of this column
Donna Halper has been in the spotlight of late for one of her
first big achievements in radio. She was music director at Cleveland's
WMMS (100.7) in the early seventies when an LP from an unknown
Canadian band crossed her desk - and if you've enjoyed the music
of Rush in the decades since then, you have Donna Halper to thank
for bringing Geddy Lee and company to a wider U.S. audience.
With the release of (and her interview in) the new documentary
"Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage," Donna's been in high
demand for appearances around Boston to talk about her experiences
with the band - and over the weekend, she was in Hollywood to
speak at the dedication of Rush's star on the Walk of Fame.
*On the NEW HAMPSHIRE seacoast, community
LPFM station WSCA-LP (106.1 Portsmouth) is getting a full-power
license. Seacoast Arts and Cultural Alliance now holds a construction
permit for a 300-watt vertical-only signal on 89.5 licensed to
nearby Dover; once it's on the air, the LPFM license will be
transferred to a new licensee.
Meanwhile, it looks like a Manchester religious station may
be silent for the long term. Knowledge for Life's WLMW (90.7)
hasn't filed anything with the FCC, but its signal hasn't been
heard for well over a month now, and its antenna has apparently
been removed from its tower on Mount Uncanoonuc in Goffstown.
*VERMONT Public Radio is getting ready
to bring its classical network service to the Randolph area and
to the I-89 corridor through central Vermont. VPR closed on its
purchase of WCVR-FM (102.1 Randolph) last week, and it will relaunch
the station in early July under new calls WVXR, joining existing
full-power VPR Classical signals in the Burlington, Upper Valley
and Bennington/Manchester areas.
a silent commercial signal in the Burlington market is coming
back to life. Jeff Loper's Convergence Entertainment and Communications
(CEC) has purchased a direct mail firm, Champak Marketing, taking
Champak's principals on board as partners in the new CEC Media
Group LLC. Later this week, CEC will relaunch WNMR (107.1 Dannemora
NY), which had a brief stint earlier this year as a talker helmed
by "Corm and the Coach." WNMR's new format will be
all-sports as "107.1 the Game," featuring Sporting
News Radio network content and a local afternoon show hosted
by Rich DeLancey.
CEC is also working on a relaunch of its TV signal across
the lake in Saranac Lake, New York. WNMN (Channel 40) has been
carrying a feed of the Retro TV programming from sister station
WGMU-LP (Channel 39) in Burlington, and it's adding My Network
TV on another of its digital subchannels as well.
*Clear Channel is taking one northwest NEW
JERSEY station back into the fold. WHCY (106.3 Blairstown)
had been spun off, on paper at least, to the Aloha Station Trust
to keep Clear Channel under the ownership cap after the company
went private. But no buyer emerged for WHCY, or for WTOC (1360
Newton), the other station that went into the trust - and in
the meantime, another new station signed on in the region. The
addition of WDNJ (88.1 Hopatcong) last year pushed northwest
New Jersey into the next category under the ownership cap, allowing
Clear Channel to reclaim WHCY from the Aloha trust.
*Radio People on the move in eastern PENNSYLVANIA:
WBEN-FM (95.7 Philadelphia) PD John Cook is out, and Greater
Media hasn't yet announced a replacement at "Ben FM."
Down the street at Clear Channel, Golden Girl is out at WUSL
(98.9 Philadelphia), with The Hot Boys shifting their airtime
to take up the 10-midnight part of her shift on "Power 99."
(They now go on the air at 7, instead of 6.) Down the hall, mix
DJ Richie Rich is out at WIOQ (Q102) and WISX (My 106.1) after
18 years with the company.
The Hope Christian Church of Marlton is expanding its radio
empire again: it's been granted a construction permit for 315
watts/522' on 91.7 in West Grove, along the US 1 corridor in
Chester County. Hope already operates two full-power stations
in New Jersey, WVBV (90.5 Medford Lakes) and WWFP (90.5 Brigantine),
as well as a slew of translators across New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
Delaware and Maryland.
Out west, Cornerstone TeleVision (WPCB Greensburg/Pittsburgh
and WKBS Altoona) has named a replacement for its late chief
operating officer, Ron Hembree. The new COO is Paul Bixler, a
30-year veteran of the station and the son of founders Russ and
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*CANADA's CHUM Radio was both a buyer
and a seller last week, as parent company CTVglobemedia made
an investment in the country's biggest market and exited another
market where it had only a limited radio presence.
CHUM is buying "Flow 93.5" (CFXJ) from Milestone Radio,
whose founder Denham Jolly put the station on the air in 2001
as the first black-owned station in Canada. In 2005, Milestone
partnered with CHUM to launch an urban station in Edmonton, Alberta,
CHBN (91.7 the Bounce) - and that station, too, was on the sale
block last week, as CHUM and Milestone announced that they're
selling CHBN to media giant Rogers.
In Toronto, the Flow purchase (assuming it's approved by the
CRTC) will give CHUM a third radio outlet alongside top-rated
top-40 outlet CHUM-FM (104.5) and AM afterthought CHUM (1050),
now a fulltime relay of CTV's CP24 all-news TV channel.
CTV/CHUM is also getting out of the radio business in London,
Ontario, where it's selling "Bob FM 102.3" (CHST) to
Rogers. In a market dominated by larger Corus and Astral clusters,
102.3 has been flying solo since 2000, when the station signed
on under original owner CHUM Ltd. as "Star 102.3."
The sale separates Bob FM from its TV sister station, CFPL-TV
(Channel 10), which is also believed to be for sale to the right
No sale prices have been announced yet for any of last week's
*Speaking of Rogers, it was in the headlines last week after
blowing out a big chunk of the airstaff at its Toronto all-sports
outlet, CJCL (FAN 590). Morning hosts Don Landry and Gord Stellick
and newsman Rick Ralph are out, as well as the shows that followed
them, Mike Hogan in late mornings, Daren Millard's noon hockey
show and Jack Armstrong in middays.
Replacing the hockey show is Greg Brady, who joins FAN 590
from its sports competitor, CFMJ (AM 640), where he'd been co-hosting
with Bill Watters. Brady's on 590 from 1-4 PM, followed by the
one remaining piece of the daytime schedule, Bob McCown's Prime
Brantford, the oldies disappeared last Friday from CKPC (1380),
as new owner Evanov flipped the station to "News Country
1380," featuring (who'd have guessed?) a mixture of news
and country music. The news comes in the form of a morning all-news
block, while the country is heard the rest of the day. Evanov
recently flipped CKPC-FM (92.1 Brantford) to its "Jewel"
soft AC format.
East of Kingston, My Broadcasting Corp. is adding another
"My FM" outlet to its roster of small-town signals
around Ontario. Its new signal in Gananoque, along the St. Lawrence
Seaway, will operate with 1490 watts on 99.9, with a format that
mixes country, oldies and AC music.
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!)
June 29 & July 6, 2009 -
- Remember the days when radio was a vital part of the national
conversation? When a station like WABC or WIBG or WRKO could
cut across demographic boundaries to bring entire communities
together with music and personality? The radio industry spends
a lot of time wondering where those days went - but for a few
days late last week, it regained a bit of that old relevance
in the wake of the death of one of radio's biggest stars.
- At the height of his own career in the eighties, of course,
Michael Jackson transcended radio; it can even be argued that
the boost his groundbreaking videos gave to MTV in its early
years helped the TV network usurp the role that top-40 radio
had long played in shaping America's musical tastes. None of
that mattered, though, on Thursday evening. As word spread that
Jackson had suffered a heart attack - and, not long afterward,
of his death at the age of 50 - many radio stations all over
the region, and the nation, quickly crossed format lines and
dug out old CDs and even LPs as they launched into nonstop hours
of Jackson's music.
- "Many" stations, mind you, and not "all,"
because the timing of Jackson's death, especially here in the
east, pointed up the new reality of radio, circa 2009: when the
music and the voicetracks on a radio station were programmed
by someone miles away and hours before, it's much harder for
that station to rise to the occasion by providing listeners with
the music and the information they didn't know they needed ahead
of time. (Note the demand for Jackson music in record stores
and at online sites - a demand that radio was uniquely positioned
to meet, immediately and efficiently.) But our purpose here this
week is not to call out the stations that found themselves ill-prepared
to react to the breaking news from Los Angeles; instead, we note
just some of the ones that rose to the occasion:
- -In New York City, Jackson's music was all over the dial
within minutes of his death. Urban stations, including WBLS (107.5)
and WRKS (98.7), went wall-to-wall Jackson through the weekend;
classic hits WCBS-FM (101.1) offered several all-Jackson hours
on Thursday, followed by several songs an hour thereafter; we're
told that even a few of the city's Spanish-language stations
were playing Jackson's songs Thursday night.
- -Boston's WXKS-FM (107.9) and WJMN (94.5) are the descendants
of two of the stations that played Jackson's music most heavily
in the "Thriller" era, and both were heavy on Jackson's
music after his death. So was WODS (103.3), where Barry Scott
devoted his weekend "Lost 45s" show entirely to Jackson.
- -In Philadelphia, most of the FM dial was full of Jackson's
music Thursday night, spanning the format spectrum from AC (WISX
106.1) to adult hits (WBEN-FM 95.7) to urban (WUSL 98.9, WDAS-FM
105.3, WRNB 107.9) to oldies (WOGL 98.1).
- -In Pittsburgh, PBRTV.com's Jason Togyer reports that Jackson
music also crossed format lines, though it was oddly absent at
young-skewing top-40 competitors WKST-FM (96.1) and WBZW (93.7)
and in short supply early on at several of the city's voicetracked
FMs. (Little WKHB 620 was live-and-local with nonstop Jackson
tunes starting at 7:15 Thursday night, reports PD Clarke Ingram...)
- -Syracuse's WLTI (105.9) blew out the syndicated Delilah
show to go wall-to-wall Jackson, reports CNYRadio.com, with PD
Tom Mitchell and APD Brian Phillips rushing to get the songs
loaded into the automation system at the last moment.
- -Here in Rochester, stations were oddly slow to start playing
Jackson's music as the news broke on Thursday, but the spotlight
(and the local TV news) was soon firmly focused on locally-owned
urban WDKX (103.9). There was no need to go scrambling for songs
there; Jackson tunes have been a staple on WDKX from its earliest
days 35 years ago, and the station's phone lines were ringing
nonstop with remembrances and requests all weekend as WDKX went
wall-to-wall Jackson. (Buffalo's WBLK was also wall-to-wall Jackson,
at least on Friday.)
- As your editor observed in a Boston Globe article Saturday,
there aren't likely to be many other moments quite like this
in radio's future, if only because it's hard to imagine any other
artists who crossed rigid format boundaries to appeal to so many
listeners for so many years. But for a few days, at least, it
was refreshing to hear radio doing what it does best: being a
true mass medium in a way that no MP3 player or webcast or cellphone
can do. Is it too much to hope that some of that spark might
- In upstate NEW YORK, the Utica market's "River"
is changing directions: Mindy Barstein's WXUR (92.7 Herkimer)
is segueing from classic rock to active rock, and dropping Don
Imus from morning drive in the process. While Imus moves to sister
station WNRS (1420 Herkimer), Bill Keeler returns to morning
drive on WXUR, with Frank McBride taking over Keeler's afternoon
slot, followed by Justin Cortese at night. (And CNYRadio.com
reports that WXUR's transmitter move to Smith Hill in Utica,
giving it a class B1 signal that will make it a full-market player,
is due to become a reality as early as mid-July.)
- Another Utica-market FM station received some vindication
late last week, as FCC investigators reported they could find
no sign of excessive RF radiation around the new tower site of
EMF Broadcasting's WOKR (93.5 Remsen) in the town of Floyd, north
of Rome. Town officials say they're still trying to get some
answers about what's causing the mysterious illnesses in several
homes near the tower, which residents blamed on WOKR's April
move to the site. Neighbors tell the Utica Observer-Dispatch
that they saw workers at the American Tower-owned facility shortly
before the FCC's visit, and they remain suspicious.
- While he achieved fame in New York and later California,
Ed McMahon never forgot his roots in the Merrimack Valley of
MASSACHUSETTS, and so we remember him this week not only for
his many years alongside Johnny and Doc, or for his career as
a TV pitchman and host, but also for his earliest years in the
business at Lowell's WLLH. McMahon's voice was heard on WLLH
doing station IDs in the 1980s, and he returned to Lowell in
1994 to be honored with a live broadcast on WLLH (alongside then-morning
host Paul Sullivan) - and with a park bench at Middlesex Community
College, too. McMahon died last Tuesday (June 23) at 86.
- Another obituary overshadowed by the week's big celebrity
deaths leads our PENNSYLVANIA news this week: Irv Homer began
his talk career by leasing time on WXUR (690/100.3) in Media
in the late 1960s, then moved on to WEEZ (1590) in Chester before
hitting the big time in 1975 with a slot on WWDB-FM (96.5), where
he became a staple of Philadelphia talk radio for a quarter of
a century. After WWDB exited the talk format, Homer continued
to host a show on suburban WBCB (1490 Levittown-Fairless Hills),
where he was still working at the time of his death last week.
Homer, 86, suffered a heart attack while speaking at Eastern
University Wednesday night. He died shortly afterward at Bryn
June 27, 2005 -
- The latest chapter in the ongoing saga of one of New England's
longest-running unlicensed stations unfolded early last Wednesday
morning in Brattleboro, VERMONT, when federal agents entered
the unoccupied Main Street studios of Radio Free Brattleboro
(or, as they prefer, "rfb") and seized much of the
station's equipment, silencing the station's signal at 107.9
and its web stream.
- The move came amidst what amounts to a turf war among federal
officials in the Green Mountain State. In Brattleboro, Judge
J. Garvan Murtha has been slowly working through a civil case
filed against the station by the FCC, and it appears that the
Commission grew tired of waiting for action there. The FCC filed
a motion for summary judgment in that case last month, but in
the meantime, the assistant U.S. attorney handling the case obtained
a warrant Tuesday from a federal magistrate in Burlington to
enter the station's offices.
- Photos posted later that morning on the community website
ibrattleboro.com showed the studio missing its control board
and other equipment, with scattered wiring and a lone microphone
- In Bellows Falls, the Great Falls Community Broadcasting
Company put WOOL-LP (100.1) on the air Saturday, providing a
community voice to a town whose only licensed full-power signal
is a simulcast from White River Junction. Check "Wool Radio"
out - they stream, too - at www.wool.fm.
- A small NEW HAMPSHIRE AM station is changing hands again,
as Bill Sheehan's Balance View LLC files to sell WSNH (900 Nashua)
to Absolute Broadcasting LLC, headed by Tom Monaghan, for $925,000.
Absolute has been programming the "ESPN 900" sports
format on WSNH since last year.
- As the construction permit for a Down East MAINE FM station
approaches expiration, owner Lyle Evans is trying to salvage
his WRMO (93.7 Milbridge) in at least a reduced form. WRMO's
construction permit was granted July 17, 2002, calling for a
class B facility with 50 kW/64 meters. But with the CP set to
expire July 17, 2005, Evans is asking the FCC to approve a much
smaller WRMO, just to get the station on the air. As a minimum
class A facility, WRMO would sign on with 130 watts at 2 meters
from the center of Milbridge, just to get on the air before the
deadline and to buy some time to build out a more powerful facility.
- In MASSACHUSETTS, rumor became reality as WRKO (680 Boston)
announced a multi-year deal with the Boston Celtics, who'll move
over next season from WWZN (1510), their flagship for the past
four years. Meanwhile, WRKO and executive producer Rich Carbery
have parted ways after several years together; no word yet on
his next move.
- We're now hearing "mid-July" as the projected launch
date for ESPN radio on WAMG (890 Dedham) and WLLH (1400 Lowell
& Lawrence); new owner J Sports closed on the $9 million
purchase from Mega last week, but Mega's Spanish programming
continues to run while the new ownership gets its programming
ready to roll.
- In the Catskill Mountains of NEW YORK, a venerable pair of
community stations is changing hands, as the Blabey family sells
WVOS (1240 Liberty) and WVOS-FM (95.9 Liberty) to Scott Kaniewski's
Watermark Broadcasting for $1.7 million. The sale will put the
WVOS stations under the same roof as longtime competitor WSUL
(98.3 Monticello), which Watermark bought last year; the three
are the only commercial stations originating programming in Sullivan
- In New York City, fans of the oldies at WCBS-FM (101.1) aren't
going quietly - about 150 of them turned up outside the station's
Times Square studios last Tuesday to call for a return to the
- A station sale leads off our PENNSYLVANIA coverage this week,
and it's once again in the State College market, where Nick Galli's
2510 group sheds WBLF (970 Bellefonte). The station, formerly
a simulcast of talker WRSC (1390 State College) and more recently
simulcasting oldies WOWY (97.1 University Park), goes to Magnum
Broadcasting, which owns WPHB (1260 Phillipsburg) and WUBZ (105.9
- And we're delighted to report that the oldest high school
station in the country, WHHS Havertown, is back on the air at
its new home of 99.9. WHHS was displaced from its spot at 107.9
by the debut of WRNB (107.9 Pennsauken) last year, but with the
help of WRNB owner Radio One (and alumnus Steve Hemphill, the
engineer who built the WA2XMN transmitter at the Armstrong Tower),
it's won special temporary authority from the FCC to get back
on the air at 99.9 while it waits for its application for a license
at that frequency to be granted.
- The big news out of CANADA came from Ottawa, where the CRTC
is granting four new licenses in the National Capital Region.
Newcap, which already has top 40 CIHT ("Hot 89.9"),
gets 5.2 kW on 88.5 for a modern rock station. Evanov (aka "CKMW")
will put "The Jewel" on the air with 700 watts at 98.5,
playing a mix of standards, easy listening and folk that's supposed
to be similar to the company's "Foxy" CKDX (88.5) in
the Toronto market. Radio Nord (which has CHOT-TV, CFGS-TV and
CHLX-FM) gets a French pop-rock/urban station, with transmitters
at 96.5 (1750 watts) in Gatineau and 107.5 (250 watts) in Buckingham.
And Jack McGaw and Robert Stopells were granted a low-power tourist
information station, though they need to find a new frequency.
(It's getting to be a crowded dial up there...)
June 30, 2000 -
New England Radio Watch, June 22-23, 1995
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- From our "Huh?!??!?" file this week: Wednesday
morning (6/21), WCLB 105.7 Framingham-Boston switched calls very
abruptly...to WKLB. Nothing has changed with the station's country
format, or with the on-air team (though they are running the
satellite-delivered "After Midnight" all-night show
now). A call to WCL-- er, WKLB late last night produced the response,
"We did research that found out people were getting confused
by the "C," so we changed it to "K.""
Mm-hmmm. My guess is that the confusion was in the ratings diaries,
between WCLB and classical WCRB...and maybe even with similar-sounding
suburban country WCAV-FM. The official calls, btw, have to be
WKLB-FM, since WKLB(AM) is 1290 in Manchester KY.
- AM 550 in Pawtucket (Providence) RI remains off the air.
I last noticed them on the air around May 30, so that means they're
coming up on 3 weeks dark. Back Bay Broadcasters (WBNW 590 in
Boston, WARA 1320/WWKX 106.3 in the Prov. market) is buying 550
and reportedly plans to change calls from WICE to WPNW,
simulcasting WBNW's Bloomberg news/biz talk format. WMBR (88.1)
in Cambridge was briefly off the air early this week, but returned
Tuesday afternoon June 20 from its new directional antenna on
the MIT campus. The power increase from 360 to 720 watts will
reportedly happen very soon.
- WUAE 99.7 Wakefield has applied for the WDGE calls, to fit
their tagline "The Edge." I have a WUAE legal on tape,
so they're welcome to change whenever they'd like :-)
- Just barely off-topic: WSBK-TV in Boston is ending its 10pm
newscast effective August 6. The newscast debuted in 1993, and
was produced at WBZ-TV. WSBK is now a UPN affiliate, and owner
Viacom thought the presence of a WBZ-branded newscast was diluting
the station's new "UPN 38" identity. Rumor has New
England Cable News switching from producing a 10pm cast for WFXT-Fox
25...to doing one
for WSBK, bearing the "UPN 38 News" identity.
- And finally, a death to report: Many of you have heard or
heard of John Garabedian, the host of the syndicated "Open
House Party" and one-time owner of WGTR Marlboro MA. His
father, John N. Garabedian, died June 8 at age 94. John N. worked
for his son at WGTR as the station's treasurer, after retiring
as vice president of John H. Pray and Sons.
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2010 by Scott Fybush.