October 11, 2010
Islanders Play on College Radio
*The NEW YORK Islanders came within
days of starting the NHL regular season with no radio voice,
but when the puck dropped, the Isles were once again on the air
- via college radio.
For the last two seasons, the Islanders split their schedule
between two Long Island stations, WMJC (94.3 Smithtown) at night
and WHLI (1100 Hempstead) by day, but that deal didn't get renewed
for this year, leaving the team seeking a new home. There's no
all-sports station on Long Island (save for WLIR out on the East
End, a relay of New York's WEPN), and the island's music stations
were loath to disrupt their formats for hockey.
Enter Hofstra University's
WRHU (88.7 Hempstead), which brought the Islanders a fairly potent
Nassau County signal (plus streaming audio, thanks to the NHL's
relatively liberal streaming policy) and a broadcasting program
full of students eager to assist in broadcasts while learning
the ropes of sports radio. Isles broadcaster Chris King will
produce the radio broadcasts and provide play-by-play.
(We'll hit the rest of the NHL lineup at the end of this week's
*Elsewhere in the Empire State, the week's news was all about
Radio People on the Move, and especially in the Hudson Valley.
Jack Hammer and Andre Kane are gone from mornings at Pamal's
WBPM (92.9 Saugerties), and while Kane's still on the Pamal payroll,
Hammer's moving across town next week to take over mornings at
Cumulus' "Wolf," WKXP (94.3 Kingston)/WZAD (97.3 Wurtsboro),
where he takes over from Eric Hopkins, who's now down the hall
at WRRV/WRRB doing middays. (Meanwhile, J.J. Carter - aka "Skywalker"
in afternoons on WSPK - shifts from tracking middays to live
mornings on WBPM while they look for a permanent replacement
for the now-defunct "Jack and Andre Morning Show.")
Speaking of Pamal, its regional VP of programming is moving
on. Kevin Callahan's heading west to become PD at KSON (97.3)
in San Diego.
Out on Long Island, the troubled transition of WLIU (88.3
East Hampton) from Long Island University to Peconic Public Broadcasting
will come with an additional price: $5,000 "voluntary payments"
from both LIU and PPB to the U.S. Treasury as part of a consent
decree in an investigation into allegations of improper transfer
of control of the station. The FCC says it had received complaints
that LIU transferred complete control of WLIU to Peconic long
before the FCC approved the sale of the station; under the consent
decree, both LIU and PPB will establish compliance programs and
file regular reports to the FCC for the next three years.
In Syracuse, WNTQ (93.1) night guy Mike Cauchon is reportedly
heading east for a new gig in Portland, Maine - and that means
operations manager Tom Mitchell is looking for a new night jock.
Cauchon had been with 93Q twice, working weekends from 1999-2001
and nights for the last three years. Got what it takes for nights
in the Salt City, Mondays through Saturdays? Get with Tom at
In Ithaca, "Anthony from the Deli" is the new night
jock at WFIZ (95.5 Odessa), moving north from WAPE in Jacksonville
(and before that, weekends on Long Island's WBLI). He replaces
Mikey V, who left Z95.5 for Radio Now in Indianapolis a few weeks
St. Bonaventure University's
WSBU (88.3), another of the stations whose licenses were cancelled
last week by the FCC, is also off the air as it sorts out the
situation. A notice on the WSBU website says that "due to
a possible mix-up on the part of the F.C.C., notification about
the renewal was never received by the station," which is
still webcasting while it works out a return to the airwaves.
And we send our best wishes to Albany radio veteran Joe Condon,
who's recuperating after being hospitalized last week.
CALENDAR 2011 - JUST ABOUT HERE!
The production process was a little more complex
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an annual radio tradition.
The new calendar is now back from the printer,
complete with more than a dozen exciting new images including
that nifty cover shot of Mount Beacon, N.Y.
And if you order now, you'll have the 2010
calendar in your hands long before the holiday rush!
But wait - there's more! We now have a
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as well as a limited supply of Tower Site Calendar 2010
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*In eastern MASSACHUSETTS, there's
a new morning host at WGBH (89.7 Boston), where Bob Seay moves
north from Providence's WRNI, where he's been hosting "Morning
Edition" since 2006. Seay's long career in New England radio
has also included stops on Cape Cod at WOCB, WVLC/WLOM, 17 years
as news director at WQRC and nine years as station manager of
WOMR. More recently, he was with Boston's WBUR before joining
WRNI in 2006. At WGBH, Seay will host the morning block that
includes both "Morning Edition" and "The Takeaway."
FCC is hitting two Boston-area pirates with higher fines than
usual: it says Lloyd Morris and Robert Brown are repeat offenders
with their operation on 99.7. "Datz Hits" has prompted
numerous complaints to the Commission from listeners trying to
hear classical WCRB on 99.5, one notch down the dial. Morris
and Brown allegedly admitted to operating the pirate after an
October 2009 visit to the site at 61 Ormond Street in Mattapan;
it was on the air again when the FCC stopped by in February,
prompting the $15,000 notices of apparent liability the FCC issued
against each operator last week - and it's reportedly still on
the air even now.
Where are they now? Former WVNE (760 Leicester) chief engineer
Steve Tuzeneu is moving east again; he'd been out in Colorado
Springs with the Way-FM group, but he's now in Washington, D.C.,
working for Salem's WAVA (780/105.1) and WWRC (1260).
*In MAINE, Dan Priestly is shuffling
some of his unbuilt construction permits around Bangor. WGUY
(1230 Newport) changed calls to WDME last week - but don't expect
to hear those calls on the air, because Priestly has also applied
to move another unbuilt CP closer to Bangor. The WGUY calls now
reside on the CP for 1240 in Ellsworth, which now has a pending
application to move to 1230 in Veazie, where it would be diplexed
with Priestly's WWNZ (1400 Veazie), while the Newport CP would
(An interesting irony here: it wouldn't even be possible to
put a new 1230 in the Bangor market if the original WGUY hadn't
gone away. It was on 1250, and later on 1200 before going dark
two decades ago.)
*The VERMONT Association of Broadcasters
has named two more inductees to its hall of fame: WDEV (550 Waterbury)
afternoon host Jack Donovan, who's been with the station since
1972 and Mark Brady, former owner of WFAD (1490) and WCVM (100.9,
now WWFY) in Middlebury, will be inducted at a banquet November
20 at the Burlington Hilton. The VAB will also honor WCAX-TV
(Channel 3) chief photographer Jim Oliver and WPTZ (Channel 5)
meteorologist Tom Messner with distinguished service awards.
Speaking of WPTZ, one of its anchors is making a big move:
evening anchor Gus Rosendale will leave the station at the end
of November to take an anchor job at a much bigger channel 5,
KSTP-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Rosendale started at WPTZ in
2000, left to go to Pittsburgh's WTAE in 2005, and returned to
WPTZ as 5, 6 and 11 PM anchor in 2008.
next-to-last of CONNECTICUT's TV news operations that
was still doing news in standard-definition has gone HD. New
Haven's WTNH (Channel 8) flipped the switch last week, leaving
only CBS affiliate WFSB (Channel 3) broadcasting its news in
SD. Speaking of WFSB, Mike Hydeck, who left the morning anchor
chair there last month, has a new job in a bigger market: he
starts next week as morning co-anchor at Washington's WUSA-TV
On the radio dial in Hartford, WQTQ (89.9) is silent for now
as it awaits resolution of its license-renewal issues; as we
told you last week, the FCC cancelled its license and those of
several other stations, including WPRX (1120 Bristol), for apparent
failure to submit renewal applications in 2005. WPRX remains
on the air at last check.
For fans of Bob Radil's Friday-night oldies show, it has a
new home. After being displaced from WNHU (88.7 West Haven),
Bob has landed on Allan Sniffen's Rewound
Radio stream, where he's now broadcasting live on Friday
nights, beginning at 6.
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*In western PENNSYLVANIA, morning
man Jim Merkel is gone from Clear Channel's 3WS (WWSW-FM 94.5),
and without any kind of farewell - he just disappeared from the
website and the airwaves last week, as did morning-show producer
Theresa Colaizzi. Merkel had been with 3WS even before it was
3WS, joining then-WPEZ in the late seventies and doing nights
in the early days of 3WS before moving to mornings in 1988. No
replacements have been named.
In addition to this week's "Hockey on the Radio,"
there's a bit of baseball news, too: CBS Radio's WPHT (1210 Philadelphia)
has signed the Phillies for an additional year, quashing (for
now) rumors of a bid by Greater Media's "Fanatic" WPEN-FM
(97.5) for the broadcast rights. In addition to its big 50,000-watt
AM signal, WPHT is now also being heard on the HD3 channel of
sister station WOGL (98.1).
*Is Rogers planning a format flip in CANADA's
capital? There's certainly something going on at CIWW (Oldies
1310) in Ottawa, where "Brother Bob" Derro is gone
from the morning shift after nearly a decade there. The buzz
in the market suggests something big will happen at 1310 on Tuesday,
after the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday - and perhaps that CIWW
will re-emerge as "1310 News," patterned after Rogers'
successful "680 News" (CFTR) in Toronto and "1130
News" (CKWX) in Vancouver.
In St. Catharines,
CHSC (1220) is now history. A federal appeals court declined
to hear an appeal from owner Pellpropco, Inc. to the CRTC's decision
to revoke the station's license after a long history of violations
- and that meant the end of a stay that had prevented the CRTC
from enforcing its order that CHSC shut down at the end of August.
In the end, CHSC faded away quietly, apparently signing off sometime
late on Sept. 30 or early Oct. 1; its "Radio Uno" Italian-language
programming continues, at least for now, on the web.
In Toronto, there's a new afternoon jock at "Virgin Radio
999," as "Special Ed" moves from CJCH (101.3 the
Bounce) in Halifax to CKFM.
And speaking of Halifax, Evanov's new "Live 105.1"
(CKHY) is asking the CRTC to allow it to change transmitter sites,
moving from 45 kW/224.5m DA to 100 kW/185.1m, non-directional.
*We close this week with the first part of our annual look
at where to find Hockey on the Radio, and aside from the
Islanders' new home, there's not much change from last year.
The Montreal Canadiens are the big draw keeping CKAC
(730) alive as a French-language all-sports signal and the last
major Francophone AM outlet in Montreal; just up the dial, they're
a big part of the continued dominance of CJAD (800) in the Anglophone
The Ottawa Senators continue on CFGO (Team 1200) in
English and on CJRC (104.7) in French; there's also a small network
of English affiliates stretching out to Pembroke, Cornwall, Kingston
(on US-licensed WLYK 102.7) and Perth.
The Toronto Maple Leafs keep listeners tuned in to
CFMJ (AM 640) and a half-dozen or so stations on the Leafs Radio
Network across southern Ontario; CHML (900 Hamilton) brings the
games to a fairly wide listening area on the U.S. side of the
The Buffalo Sabres and WGR (550) remain partnered,
with Sabres games also airing on a half-dozen other stations
The Pittsburgh Penguins' deal with Clear Channel continues
as the team moves to its new arena; games air on WXDX (105.9)
and WBGG (970) in the Steel City and an extensive network of
two dozen stations around the region, plus the full-time Pens
signal on WXDX's HD2 channel.
The Philadelphia Flyers remain on WIP (610), the New
Jersey Devils on WFAN (660) and the New York Rangers on
WEPN (1050), none of them with much by way of networks that we
And the Boston Bruins enter their second season on
WBZ-FM (98.5), with "The Sports Hub" feeding the 10-station
network stretching from Maine to western Massachusetts.
Next week, we'll list the AHL radio outlets!
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.
October 12, 2009 -
- More than 65 years of radio ownership by the New York Times
came to an end just after 8 o'clock Thursday night, as WQXR-FM
(96.3 New York) signed off from its Union Square studios, handing
its powerful class B signal to Univision Radio's WCAA (105.9
Newark NJ) and its intellectual property to public broadcaster
WNYC, which also acquired the class B1 105.9 facility from Univision.
Seconds later, 105.9 came to life again as the new WQXR, now
a noncommercial classical station operating from WNYC's Varick
Street studios, starting a new era of classical radio in New
- Behind the scenes, there was plenty of drama in the final
days before the transition, on both the engineering and programming
- On the programming side, it appears that WNYC's plans for
its new acquisition came together at the last minute - especially
when it came to the decisions on which of the "old"
WQXR's airstaff would be hired by WNYC for the "new"
WQXR. It was only in the last hour of Times operation of WQXR,
as staffers made their on-air farewells, that listeners learned
that midday host Annie Bergen would be heard on weekends on 105.9.
And even as the Times was saying farewell to WQXR with an audio
montage of station IDs going back to the earliest days of W2XR
experimental operation in the 1930s, Univision was readying some
big changes for its $33.5 million acquisition of the 96.3 spot
on the dial. While initial reports had suggested that the "La
Kalle" format long heard on 105.9 would be making a smooth
transition down the dial to 96.3, it now appears that Univision
is instead launching a new station identity on its new frequency.
- "La Kalle" vanished from the airwaves around 5:00
on Thursday afternoon, leaving the last three hours of WCAA operation
on 105.9 to be filled by a repeating loop advising listeners
that "this number has changed" - and when the loop
ended, a few seconds after it was moved to 96.3, listeners heard
several dance tunes that were very much unlike "La Kalle."
Even after the usual Spanish-language musical fare returned,
it was running jockless, with repeated announcements to "mark
your calendar with an X for October 15." What's more, the
RDS display on 96.3 began showing "X 96" on Friday
morning, strengthening speculation that a new format was on the
way, along with new calls. On Thursday, Univision filed a request
for "WXNY-FM" for 96.3, meaning those "WCAA New
York" legal IDs now running will soon be collectors' items.
- On the HD Radio front, the new WQXR programming showed up
on the HD-2 subchannel of the more powerful WNYC-FM (93.9) signal,
replacing the more esoteric classical fare that's now being offered
as "Q2" on 105.9-HD2.
- On the technical side, even the New Yorker noticed the flurry
of activity surrounding the signal swap; a "Talk of the
Town" item in the October 12 issue visited WNYC engineering
director Jim Stagnitto as he worked on moving the 105.9 transmitter
from Univision's 81st-floor room at the Empire State building
to WNYC-FM's 79th-floor room. The new WQXR.org website also offered
video of Stagnitto turning on the 105.9 signal on Thursday night
- but that was just the conclusion of a longer, more complex
transition process that took several days of nearly nonstop work
by Stagnitto and WNYC chief technology officer Steve Shultis,
as well as Univision's Richard Ross and corporate engineer Mark
Stennett, who came up from Texas to assist in the move. While
they were relocating 105.9's main transmitter downstairs to the
WNYC room, and while WNYC was preparing WQXR's new studios on
Varick Street, WCAA remained on the air in its final days on
105.9 from an auxiliary transmitter a few blocks away at Four
Times Square. It was that Four Times Square transmitter that
remained on the air with the "move to 96.3" loop Thursday
afternoon - and by Friday, preparations were underway to move
that auxiliary transmitter out of Univision's room upstairs to
WNYC-FM's own auxiliary room at Four Times Square. Once that
move is complete, Univision will move the 96.3 auxiliary transmitter
from West Orange, N.J. to Four Times Square, adding 96.3 to the
combiner system there.
- WQXR wasn't the only New York station making a big move in
the last few days: Friday was the last day for CBS Radio's WFAN
(660) at its longtime studio home deep in the bowels of the Kaufman
Astoria studio complex in Astoria, Queens, several floors below
the "Sesame Street" studios. WFAN's move out of Kaufman
Astoria came 22 years almost to the day after the pioneering
all-sports format signed on from that space, though it was on
1050 AM back then. (Indeed, the studios even predate WFAN on
1050, having been built in 1986 for what was then WHN and sister
FM station WAPP 103.5.) We hear the Astoria space will remain
in CBS Radio's hands, to be used as an emergency backup studio
should the new space in lower Manhattan that WFAN now shares
with four other CBS stations become unusable.
- Out on Long Island's East End, Long Island University has
picked a buyer for its public radio station - and to nobody's
great surprise, it's the local group called Peconic Public Broadcasting,
led by the current management of WLIU (88.3 Southampton) and
WCWP (88.1 Brookville). Peconic's bid, said to be in the $2 million
range, reportedly beat out at least two other offers, which were
apparently from rival public broadcasting groups, not religious
broadcasters, as had originally been reported. The next steps
for Peconic will be both challenging and speedy: the group has
to turn its celebrity endorsements from names such as Alec Baldwin
and Jann Wenner into hard financial committments from listeners
- and it has just a few months to get WLIU's studios off the
former Long Island University campus in Southampton (now part
of SUNY Stony Brook) and into new space in Wainscott.
- Greater Media jumped on the FM sports bandwagon in eastern
PENNSYLVANIA Friday afternoon, with a surprise format change
that pulled the plug on AC "Now 97.5" (WNUW Burlington
NJ) before that format had even reached its first anniversary
on the air. In its place, as of 5 o'clock Friday, is the Philadelphia
market's first all-sports FM signal, "97.5 the Fanatic,"
picking up the programming that's been struggling to find an
audience on Greater Media's lone Philly AM signal, WPEN (950),
which has long been an also-ran against CBS Radio's sports behemoth,
WIP (610). The new "Revolution" lineup includes ESPN's
"Mike and Mike" in morning drive, followed by a yet-to-be-named
local show from 10-noon (ESPN's Steven A. Smith and Dan Schwartzman
will be guest-hosting the shift this week), Harry Mayes and Vai
Sikahema from noon-2, the flagship Mike Missanelli show from
2-7, a series of specialty shows at night, and ESPN's programming
filling out the schedule.
October 10, 2005 -
- NEW YORK - It's been a banner year for the memory of Major
Edwin Howard Armstrong, the legendary inventor of the superheterodyne
receiver and of FM radio. On the heels of the successful commemoration
of his life at the Alpine tower site in June, the Audio Engineering
Society hosted a panel discussion on the Major last night at
its convention here, with your editor having the distinct honor
of serving as moderator. The discussion ranged widely across
Armstrong's long career and his legacy, with the added bonus
of personal recollections from Brecht of his imposing great-uncle
and of the long and fascinating life that his great-aunt Marion
Armstrong led after the Major's death. Thanks to Houck and Katzdorn,
attendees were also able to view many Armstrong artifacts, including
original logbooks from Alpine and the breadboard modulator from
the early Empire State Building experiments. Hemphill's experimental
low-band FM station at Alpine, WA2XMN (42.8 mc/s), was on the
air much of the day with archival audio and music, with Bob Bartola
volunteering to play master control operator for the broadcast.
The panel discussion will be rebroadcast over WA2XMN in the weeks
to come, and it will be available on the web as well...stay tuned
- Elsewhere in the Empire State, it looks like Alan Chartock's
WAMC public radio empire will soon add another link. WAMC filed
an application back in 1998 for a new station on 90.3 in Remsen,
but it was mutually exclusive with another application for 90.3
in Utica from Souls Harbor Pentecostal Church. The FCC took seven
years to deal with its backlog of applications from that 1998
window, but last week it ruled that the WAMC application is entitled
to a "tentative preference" for the construction permit,
since it will provide new noncommercial service to more listeners.
If no objections are received in the next 30 days, WAMC will
get the construction permit - and Chartock will have a Utica-market
FM to add to its recent purchase of WRUN (1150 Utica).
- There's good news for WKOX (1200 Framingham) in its long
fight to move to Newton and boost its power. The city's board
of aldermen rejected a building permit for WKOX's move last year,
but the Clear Channel station (along with WRCA 1330, which also
hopes to move to the site, and WUNR 1600, which wants to replace
its two-tower array at the Oak Hill site with five towers shared
with WRCA and WKOX) appealed to the state's Land Court and won.
The city of Newton holds a public hearing tomorrow on the application,
after which it's required to issue the building permit within
14 days. An appeal is, of course, already underway.
- WGBH (89.7 Boston) morning host Ron Della Chiesa is leaving
his part-time gig as host of the station's "Classics in
the Morning." The 35-year WGBH veteran will remain with
the station as the announcer for the Boston Symphony Orchestra
and the host of the Sunday "Jazz Songbook" program;
he'll be replaced in mornings by Cathy Fuller, who already hosts
the show on Mondays and Fridays. (Della Chiesa's weekend shows
on WPLM in Plymouth, including the long-running "Music America,"
will continue as well.)
- In Scranton, former WWDL/WICK-WYCK owner Doug Lane was sentenced
last Tuesday for sexually abusing minors and possessing child
pornography. Lane, who's 61, will serve at least 14 and possibly
up to 30 years in prison. The stations are now being operated
by Bold Gold Media Group, which is awaiting FCC approval of a
deal under which it will purchase the stations, with the proceeds
going to victims-assistance programs.
- And there's late word just in to NERW that Toronto Blue Jays
announcer Tom Cheek, who called the team's first game in 1977
and didn't miss a game for the next 27 years, died Sunday at
age 66. Cheek had been recuperating in Florida after surgery
for a brain tumor. We'll have more on his legacy next week.
October 9, 2000 -
- Six months after announcing its $185 million purchase of
Aurora's cluster of nine stations in suburban New York City and
Connecticut (NERW, 3/31/00), Nassau Broadcasting received a letter
from Aurora this week saying the deal is off. A withdrawn IPO
stalled Nassau's attempts to finance the purchase, and while
the company announced a few weeks ago that it would attempt to
find private financing, Aurora says the previously-agreed deadline
for closing the sale has passed. Aurora gets to keep Nassau's
$7 million deposit, and Nassau officials are telling industry
newsletters that they'll try to find a way to revive the deal
somehow. The stations involved: WICC/WEBE in Bridgeport, WRKI/WINE/WPUT/WAXB
in the Danbury market, and WFAS AM-FM/WFAF in Westchester.
- Meanwhile, Nassau announced a change in another pending sale.
While the company still plans to add WEEX (1230) and WODE (99.9)
in Easton, PA to its cluster, it's reworking the way in which
Clear Channel will spin off the two stations. Instead of Nassau
paying $30 million cash, it will pay $12 million and give Clear
Channel four stations in northwestern New Jersey: WNNJ (1360
Newton), WNNJ-FM (103.7 Newton), WSUS (102.3 Franklin), and WHCY
(106.3 Blairstown). Nassau also LMAs its WTSX (96.7) and dark
WDLC (1490) in Port Jervis NY to Clear Channel, with an option
for Clear Channel to buy the stations.
- # Around New England...CONNECTICUT's WLAD (800 Danbury) is
looking for a new news director, as Lisa Romanello moves on up
to anchor work at New York's WOR (710). Over in Hartford, WTIC-FM
(96.5) adds the syndicated "Loveline" at night. Former
RHODE ISLAND PD Bill Weston lands in Richmond, Virginia as PD
of WKLR (96.5 Fort Lee). Who's the Daniel Priestly who applied
for three new AMs in MAINE? Our ears up there point out that
he's the former owner of WGUY-FM (102.1 Dexter).
- A quiet week in NEW YORK, too, although one former New England
name popped up: Bill George, who programmed Boston's WSJZ and
WSSH, as well as the Citadel Providence cluster, is coming back
east after a stint as PD of KUCD in Honolulu. George will move
to Long Island later this month as director of operations and
programming at Barnstable's cluster (WBZO, WKJY, WMJC, WGSM/WHLI).
New England Radio Watch, October 12, 1995
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- Providence's "WHIM Country" has moved off its longtime
1110 frequency for the second time. Regular observers of the
radio scene in the Ocean State (and I'm sure I'll find one eventually)
will remember that the country format and "Whim" slogan
disappeared from WHIM-1110 East Providence in 1992, when that
station became all-news WWRX, "1110 CNN." "Whim"
took up temporary residence at Pawtucket's
WICE (550), but when 1110 CNN folded, the country format and
WHIM calls returned to 1110. Now they're gone again, this time
to 1450, the former WKRI in West Warwick. WKRI had been standards
during the week, and Spanish on the weekends. The Spanish has
moved to 1110, which will be known as WPMZ once the call change
goes through. 1110 will be sold to Video Mundo Broadcasting;
1450 to Providence Broadcasting Co., which I believe is the same
Philip Urso-owned group that also owned 1110. The 1450 signal
does not have great coverage into Providence, and I wonder how
well WHIM will be able to compete there.
- Very very longtime observers of the Providence radio scene
will recall that WHIM was the only country station in Rhode Island
for years -- until 1989, when WMYS 98.1, a 50kw FM in nearby
Fall River, Massachusetts went country as WCTK. WHIM once had
an FM on 94.1, the present-day WHJY. The 1110 transmitter is
still at the studio location of WHJY-FM and its current sister
AM, 920 WHJJ.
- Newport RI could have a new classical signal soon. An application
is pending at the FCC for a new 55-watt translator there on 96.5,
for WCRB 102.5 Waltham-Boston. Classical music is in short supply
in Newport, since it's very much in the fringes of WCRB, and
even the 100kw signal of Boston's WGBH 89.7 is spotty in areas.
- New Hampshire could have much more classical music on the
radio within a few years. New Hampshire Public Radio wants to
expand to a second network. Currently, they operate WEVO 89.1
in Concord, with satellite stations WEVN 90.7 Keene and WEVH
91.3 Hanover, along with WEVO translators in Nashua and Dover.
Now they're getting ready to apply to the FCC for a new FM to
serve the Concord-Manchester-Nashua area, to be the flagship
of a news-and-information service, allowing WEVO to become an
all-classical outlet. There's not much FM space left, although
since the 88.3 CP in Nashua was deleted last year, NHPR might
make a bid for that channel. Southern New Hampshire already gets
good signals from Boston's WGBH 89.7 and WBUR 90.9, the Seacoast
is served by Maine Public Radio's WMEA 90.1 Portland, and Vermont
Public Radio's WVPR 89.5 Windsor covers much of the western part
of New Hampshire...so the new service would really be a third
or fourth service for most listeners. NHPR is also trying to
improve its WEVO service to northern New Hampshire, with an application
for 102.3 in Lancaster NH. That channel was once home to the
now-defunct WLGW-FM. At
least one other competing application has also been filed.
- Wickford, Rhode Island's little WKFD-1370 has been dark since
1990...but the M Street Journal reports it will be back on the
air in November. The 500/160 watt station was destroyed by a
fire, and when I was last by their old site on Updike Ave.
in Wickford, the tower was gone and the building was heavily
damaged (there was also a nasty-looking wasps' nest there, so
I didn't inspect too carefully.) I don't know whether they'll
return to the old site, or find a new one.
- Not quite New England, but you'd never know it to listen
after dark: WPTR in Albany, the 50kw signal on 1540, is about
to get rid of its historic calls, the only ones the station has
ever had. Crawford Broadcasting has closed on its purchase of
the station from Albany Broadcasting (WROW-590/WFLY-92.3/WYJB-95.5),
and the new calls will be WDCD. Crawford has a history of trashing
historic calls...they killed off the WFBL calls in Syracuse in
1993, turning the 1390 signal there into WDCW. The WFBL calls
dated back to 1922. Thankfully, they found a home on the former
WSEN(AM) 1050. Perhaps someone in Albany is already planning
to resurrect the WPTR calls. One can hope... (2010
update: Crawford eventually resurrected the WPTR calls on FM
in Albany, and the WFBL calls came back to Syracuse when 1390
changed ownership again a few years later.)
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2010 by Scott Fybush.