June 27, 2011
Stay tuned to our Twitter
and Facebook feeds for breaking-news updates as they happen!
to make every message-board server in NEW YORK melt down
from a deluge of speculative posts? It's easy, really - just
spread the word that former Jacor/Clear Channel/Tribune honcho
Randy Michaels is coming back into radio in a big way, partnering
with an investment firm to take over three of Emmis Communications'
biggest stations, including the struggling WRXP (101.9 New York).
That's just what happened last week, of course, and it's a
tribute to the IT staffs of the various radio discussion sites
that they haven't crashed under the crush of rumor and wishful
thinking that's surrounded the first few days of the new Merlin
Media LLC, Michaels' partnership with the GTCR private equity
firm and Emmis itself, which will continue to hold a minority
stake in WRXP and its Chicago sister stations, WLUP (97.9) and
Merlin's not yet saying what it plans to do with the stations,
but the speculation (based on domain-name registrations and one
of the company's first big hires, former WINS general manager
Greg Janoff, now Merlin's executive VP of revenue) is that the
rock format in New York is on the way out, to be replaced by
some sort of spoken-word format that would provide an FM challenger
to CBS Radio's lucrative AM trio of WCBS/WINS/WFAN and Citadel
talker WABC. Unless, of course, the rumored new calls, "WYNY,"
are actually pointing toward a revival of country music in a
market where that format has been absent for years.
perhaps, everything we're seeing so far (including a promo that's
been making the rounds for an all-news format on what's now WKQX
in Chicago) is just a smokescreen, and the canny Michaels and
his new Merlin crew are simply doing what Michaels has always
done best: getting people talking about him and his stations
- and in the process, getting people to pay attention to radio,
which the industry desperately needs right now.
So what is in store for WRXP and its sister stations?
"We have almost ruled out polka," Michaels tells NERW
- but we'll have to stay tuned, of course, to find out what's
really in the works.
*While we wait to find out what Michaels is up to, we know
a little more this week about the fate of the last open FM channel
in the radio market where Michaels' career took off. Way back
in 1996, Dick Greene's Culver Communications petitioned the FCC
to allocate a class A signal on 92.1 in Lockport. In 1999, the
FCC shifted the allocation to the Buffalo suburb of Amherst,
and in 2004 it was reserved for noncommercial use. And seven
years later, the channel finally has a "tentative selectee"
to build and operate it - or rather, a trio of tentative selectees,
thanks to current FCC policy that eliminates comparative hearings
in favor of a complex and arcane points system that now often
results in ties.
And those ties - like the one that the FCC determined now
exists among the applications of Medaille College, Calvary Chapel
of the Niagara Frontier and the Lockport Seventh-Day Adventist
Church - are now resolved by an FCC dictum that the tied selectees
should share time on their frequency.
But there's a reason they're called "tentative"
selectees: just as broadcasters and their consultants and lawyers
have learned how to navigate the points system to yield so many
ties, they've also learned that a more detailed examination of
the documentation submitted with those applications can often
bring about a Commission re-examination of its points decisions,
overturning those tentative selections. It's likely that there
will be challenges to this three-way share-time, which would
result in one of the largest markets served by alternating operators.
(And it's not the only share-time decision the FCC handed out
this week - we'll have others later in the column, too.)
If the decision isn't challenged or overturned, and if none
of the groups drop out, as has happened elsewhere, Buffalo listeners
will end up with a decidedly split personality on 92.1: college
radio from Medaille for part of the day, preceded and followed
by religion from Calvary Chapel (likely to end up, at least partially,
as a repeater of the national CSN network) and the Seventh-Day
Adventists (likely to end up, at least partially, as a repeater
of the national Three Angels network). It's not even clear that
all three stations will share a common transmitter and antenna:
while Medaille and Calvary proposed use of a site at the WBFO
(88.7) tower near the University of Buffalo north campus, the
Lockport group applied to use the Time Warner Cable tower on
LaSalle Avenue in Buffalo.
The three-way share in Buffalo won't even be the most complex
arrangement on the Empire State dial: for that, we turn to the
Hudson Valley, where the FCC points system resulted in a four-way
tie among religious broadcasters Birds of a Feather Media, Calvary
Chapel of the Hudson Valley, Christian Media Associates and Somos
la Llave del Futuro, all of whom will have to share a class A
facility on 102.5.
No share-time was needed to resolve a third disputed channel:
the gears of the FCC's points system ground out a single tentative
selectee for 93.3A in Susquehanna, PA, just over the line from
Binghamton: the Broome County Urban League gets that one for
a much-needed voice for the black community in Binghamton, which
has been lacking a radio outlet since WUCI (91.5) folded many
*There's a third big story in New York this week, and it comes
out of Albany. While lawmakers made big headlines with some of
their other votes at the end of their legislative session, another
bill made it through both the Assembly and State Senate without
much attention. "An act to amend the penal law, in relation
to unauthorized radio transmissions," aka Bill
A326B, makes New York the latest state to criminalize pirate
radio at the state level, making it a class A misdemeanor to
"knowingly make or cause to be made a radio transmission...on
a radio frequency assigned and licensed by the FCC [between 530-1710
kHz AM or 88-108 MHz FM] without authorization or having first
obtained a license from the FCC or duly authorized federal agency,
in violation of federal law."
We'd expect some celebratory words about the bill's passage
(after having passed the Senate, but not the Assembly, during
several recent sessions) when the New York State Broadcasters
Association holds its annual Executive Conference tonight in
Bolton Landing. NERW will be on hand for the event, which will
honor NBC's Brian Williams as Broadcaster of the Year. Hall of
Fame inductees this year include Regis Philbin, Rod Wood and
Carrie Lazarus of Syracuse's WSYR-TV, Buckley Broadcasting owner
Rick Buckley, former WHEC-TV Rochester GM Arnold Klinsky, the
late William B. Williams of WNEW and retiring NYSBA leader Joseph
*Radio People on the Move: Dem Jones departs Entercom rocker
WBZA (98.9 the Buzz) in Rochester after seven years with the
station, the last four as PD and afternoon jock. No replacement
has been named yet.
In the Albany area, two of Brian Larson's Northeast Gospel
Network FM translators are on the move, both displaced by the
move-in of WNYQ (105.7, now WQSH) to Malta: W288BF (105.5 Troy)
wants to move to 99.1, while W290CC (105.9 Scotia, actually operating
from a site south of Amsterdam) hopes to relocate to 95.1.
Out on Long Island's East End, there's another call change:
Hamptons Community Radio just moved the WPKM callsign from 88.7
Montauk to 90.7 Easthampton Village, swapping the WEER calls
from 90.7 to 88.7. Now 90.7 is flipping again, becoming WEEG
to better match its sister station.
an interesting clause in the $1 contract that will transfer unbuilt
WYNY (1400 Middletown) from Bud Williamson's Digital Radio Broadcasting
to his wife, Juli, extending the life of a construction permit
due to expire at the end of August: the deal doesn't include
the WYNY calls, which will stay with Digital Radio. Could those
calls indeed be heading down the Thruway to Merlin's 101.9 in
New York? (See the first four paragraphs of this week's column
for our answer...)
And we got news late in the week of a plane hitting a tower
in the Buffalo area - but look at the picture before you get
too worried about the aftermath. That radio-controlled plane
flew into the tower of Dick Greene's WECK (1230 Cheektowaga),
somehow wedging itself between the folded unipole antenna and
the tower itself; engineer Mark Humphrey, who shared the picture
with us, reports that the plane's owner "has made arrangements
with a rigger to retrieve it."
*From the obituaries: Ira Kleinman's forte was sales, and
he pursued that calling at a series of media jobs that included
WABC-TV (Channel 7) and Warner Brothers Television before going
into management in the late 1970s as sales manager at WMCA (570).
In later years, Kleinman was general manager at Westchester stations
WFAS (1230/103.9 White Plains) and WXPS (107.1 Briarcliff Manor).
He also hosted several weekend travel and entertainment shows.
Kleinman died last Sunday at 74.
*There was big news out of the NEW JERSEY
legislature, too, as lawmakers in the state assembly voted,
45-30, to reject Governor Chris Christie's plan to hand over
management of the NJN public television system, along with about
$2 million in income from federal subsidies and tower rental,
to New York's WNET and political broadcaster Steve Adubato Jr.
NJN to New York makes no sense," assemblyman Patrick Diegnan
told the Star-Ledger before the vote.
The 15-day period during which lawmakers can stop the deal
ends on Tuesday, and the state Senate could vote today to join
the Assembly in quashing the deal. It's not clear exactly what
would happen to NJN if the deal isn't consummated: the state
employees now operating NJN from its Trenton headquarters have
already been notified that their jobs will end on Thursday, and
state treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff told lawmakers that those
layoffs will go ahead as planned, essentially causing NJN to
"cease to exist."
But that doesn't mean the network would actually go off the
air: the state has committed to meeting the minimum FCC requirements
to keep the licenses alive, and some of the Democratic lawmakers
behind the vote to defeat the Christie plan say there's actually
money in the state budget that could be used to keep NJN operating
- at least on television. (The sale of NJN's nine radio stations
to New York's WNYC and Philadelphia's WHYY is moving through
the legislature without opposition, and it's expected to be complete
*More big Garden State news: one of the best-known broadcast
teams from "New Jersey 101.5" (WKXW-FM Trenton) is
coming back to the Millennium Radio talk station. Jeff Deminski
and Bill Doyle made big headlines during their 1993-1999 run
as the afternoon team before departing for Detroit and CBS Radio's
WKRK (97.1, now WXYT-FM) and then Greater Media's WCSX (94.7),
where they did mornings until 2010. Deminski and Doyle have been
doing fill-in shifts on talk stations including Philadelphia's
WPHT (1210), and last week they announced they'll be back on
the air in afternoons at New Jersey 101.5 on July 5.
That, in turn, means "The Jersey Guys" are out of
a job as their contracts go unrenewed. Ray Rossi had been part
of the team since its debut in 1999; after his co-host Craig
Carton moved to New York's WFAN, Rossi was co-hosting wth Casey
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*Our New England news this
week starts in Providence, RHODE ISLAND, where the state's
proximity to MASSACHUSETTS still doesn't translate into
immediate acceptance of air talent from the much larger Boston
market less than an hour away.
Clear Channel found that out last week when it pulled the
plug on its two-year carriage of the "Matty in the Morning"
show on WSNE (93.3 Taunton MA). "Coast 93.3" hadn't
exactly been simulcasting Matt Siegel and his crew from their
home base at Boston's "Kiss 108" (WXKS-FM 107.9 Medford),
swapping in its own AC playlist for the top-40 of Kiss, but it
was hardly a local morning show in a market that treasures its
Of course, Matty's replacement on WSNE is even less local:
he's Toby Knapp, afternoon jock at Clear Channel's WIHT (99.5)
in Washington, DC and a prolific voicetracker who's heard on
many of the company's stations around the country. Combined with
Ryan Seacrest in the afternoon, that leaves Coast with only one
"local" airshift, and Kristin Lessard's midday shift
on WSNE is tracked after her live morning gig down the hall at
sister station WWBB.
*Boston, of course, is big on its own local personalities
and stories, and there have been few stories as long-lasting
as the hunt for fugitive South Boston mob boss "Whitey"
Bulger, which came to an end at just about the worst possible
time for any news operation. The news of Bulger's capture in
California broke a few minutes after midnight on Thursday, after
the early editions of the morning newspapers were already put
to bed and the TV newscasts had signed off.
But while the Globe and Herald hurriedly
remade their front pages, at least one local media outlet was
live and local. If the powers that be at WBZ (1030) still had
any doubts about the wisdom of returning Steve LeVeille to his
overnight talk slot after the brief "Overnight America"
experiment in 2008-2009, the broadcast more than proved its value
early Thursday morning as LeVeille provided ongoing updates of
the breaking news from the west coast, aided immeasurably by
Dan Rea, the 8 PM-midnight WBZ radio host who was a WBZ-TV reporter
during the Bulger era. By about 2:30, morning news anchor Joe
Mathieu was in place as well, replacing the pre-recorded (and
pre-Bulger-news) local news updates that ran at 1 AM and 2 AM.
And of course the capture of Bulger was big news for another
Boston AM station as well: WRKO (680) afternoon talker Howie
Carr literally wrote the book on the story ("The Brothers
Bulger," published in 2006), and in addition to his own
shows on Thursday and Friday, Carr was ubiquitous on national
TV in the days following the arrest.
*We're still learning about the extent of the damage to broadcast
facilities in western Massachusetts from the June 1 tornadoes
that ripped across the region, and while most of the region's
commercial stations survived largely unscathed, one college station
wasn't as lucky. Springfield College took an intense hit from
one tornado, and Mike Fitzpatrick of NECRAT.us
stopped by the WSCB (89.9) facility over the weekend and shared
his photos of the damage atop International Hall with us. WSCB
remains off the air, and it's not clear when it might be able
to return to the air, since the building itself also suffered
heavy damage, losing most of its windows to the storm.
*A new noncommercial channel on Martha's Vineyard will be
shared by two religious broadcasters if the FCC's tentative selection
holds: Calvary Chapel of Cape Cod and Cape Cod Catholic Radio
will share the class A 104.3 signal at West Tisbury; among the
applicants they beat out were the operators of low-power community
station WVVY (93.7) on the Vineyard, who'd sought a larger signal.
While we're out in the Cape and Islands, we note that WCIB
(101.9 Falmouth) now has a translator to better serve the Lower
Cape. W264BA (100.7 Harwich) is operating with 80 watts and has
an application pending to increase its power to 220 watts. (The
translator is owned by Jeff Shapiro's Nantucket Public Radio
and was relaying WNCK from Nantucket, which is itself now a relay
of Boston's WCRB.)
*A call change in NEW HAMPSHIRE: WCNH-LP
(94.7 Concord) becomes WNHN-LP; its classical format and calls
are in the process of migrating down the dial to the new WCNH
(91.5 Bow), and the LPFM will go to new owners.
*On the MAINE coast, Light of Life
Ministries is transferring the construction permit for WJVH (91.5
Belfast) to the Word Radio Educational Foundation, thus buying
more time for the 50 kW CP that was due to expire in August.
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*Your NERW editorial team spent the weekend
in western PENNSYLVANIA, and while we'd like to say that
the lead story from the area was daughter Ariel's appearance
Saturday morning on the "Saturday Light Brigade" show
heard on WRCT (88.3 Pittsburgh) and other fine noncommercial
outlets around the region, the real story is happening just up
the dial at 90.5.
That's where Duquesne University will transfer operation of
WDUQ to Essential Public Media at the end of the day on Thursday,
amidst lots of questions about what comes next.
Here's what we know
for sure: while all but two of the more than 20 employees at
the current WDUQ will lose their Duquesne jobs when the LMA (and
eventual sale) to Essential takes effect Friday morning, 11 of
them will be working, either as paid staffers or on-air volunteers,
for the new 90.5 operation. Jazz hosts Bob Studebaker and Helen
Wigger will host the jazz format that will be heard on 90.5's
HD2 channel, with Wigger also serving as operations director.
Larkin Page-Jacobs will continue as "All Things Considered"
local host and as a news reporter, and much of the rest of the
news staff (excepting "Morning Edition" local host
Alexandria Chaklos) will be making the move as well. Two of WDUQ's
specialty shows, "Music from India" and the syndicated
"Rhythm Sweet & Hot," will continue as well; Dr.
Vijay Bahl and Harish Saluja were already volunteers, and "Rhythm"
host Mike Plaskett, who'd been membership manager at WDUQ, will
keep the show going at the new 90.5 as a volunteer, alongside
co-host Bob Abraham.
But other key players in the existing WDUQ won't be moving
across the river to the South Side studios of WYEP (91.3), which
is partnering with Essential Public Media to operate the new
90.5. WDUQ general manager Scott Hanley, who led the unsuccessful
Pittsburgh Public Media bid to buy the signal from Duquesne,
has already departed for a new nonprofit job, and the station's
director of engineering and IT, Chuck Leavens, was among the
WDUQ staffers not offered a job at the new 90.5. (Fear not: he'll
continue to run the Pubtech and Pubradio listservs that have
become essential parts of the public radio universe.)
Tony Mowod, the signature voice of jazz on WDUQ and its syndicated
JazzWorks service (and of jazz in Pittsburgh in general), tells
the Post-Gazette he was offered a job with JazzWorks
at its new home, but chose not to accept the offer, instead staying
at Duquesne as an adjunct music professor and working with his
own Pittsburgh Jazz Society to keep the music alive.
It's still not clear where 90.5 will be operating from on
Friday morning, nor who'll be hosting "Morning Edition";
the station will eventually move to WYEP's "Community Broadcast
Center" on the South Side, but it seems likely that the
studios will remain at their temporary Duquesne University home
for at least the start of the LMA period. And we're told the
WDUQ calls will stay in place as well, at least until the LMA
is converted to a $6 million sale to Essential Public Media.
*On our way back home from Pittsburgh, we caught something
that will soon be history: the triple ID on K-Love outlet WLVX
(107.1 Greenville). When the former WEXC was sold to EMF Broadcasting
last year, the "K-Love" company said it really wanted
only the FM signal and would put its two AM sisters, WLOA (1470
Farrell) and WGRP (940 Greenville) up for sale - and now the
two little AMs have sold.
Media Watch reports, the new owner is no big surprise: it's
Joe Vilkie's Vilkie Communications, which had leased the WGRP
signal a while back to simulcast Meadville-market oldies signal
WMVL (101.7 Linesville). Vilkie is paying EMF $50,000 for WGRP
and Youngstown rimshot WLOA, and OMW speculates that both stations
will end up running the same "Cool" oldies now heard
on WMVL. Pittsburgh-based broker Ray Rosenblum handled the sale
of the AMs.
*In addition to the Susquehanna-licensed, Binghamton-market
93.3 we mentioned earlier, there's one other Keystone State noncommercial
FM signal on the FCC's latest list of tentative selectees: north
of Williamsport, a new class A allocation on 107.5 goes to Williamsport
Guardian, Inc., the alternative-newspaper publisher that just
put WXPI (88.5 Jersey Shore) on the air. The Guardian group
prevailed over an application from Scranton's WVIA public radio
and several religious broadcasters.
*The Montreal Canadiens weren't even the
most successful hockey team in CANADA this past season
(not that Lord Stanley's cup is hanging out in Vancouver at the
moment, either) - but the Habs will have a new English-language
radio home as they make another run for the trophy this fall.
After many years on CJAD (800), the team has signed a seven-year
deal with Bell Media's CKGM (Team 990), starting this fall.
More moves among Montreal institutions: Terry DiMonte, a veteran
of CJAD, CHOM (97.7) and (briefly) CFQR (92.5) is coming back
to the city after more than three years of wakeups at CFGQ in
Calgary. DiMonte will be back on the air doing mornings at CHOM
once a contract issue with current employer Corus is worked out,
reports the Montreal Gazette.
*More Radio People on the Move in Ontario: After less than
a year at CJCL (The Fan 590) in Toronto, Andrew Krystal is off
the air, replaced in early afternoons by Eric Smith; he's reportedly
being reassigned to other duties with station owner Rogers. In
Ottawa, Milkman UnLimited reports Neil Headly is out as
morning man at CJOT (EZ Rock 99.7).
And on TV, CTV wants
a stronger signal in Hamilton and on the Niagara peninsula when
it relaunches the "A" stations as "CTV2"
It's applying for digital relays of Barrie-licensed CKVR (Channel
3) on RF channel 35 in Hamilton, on the CHCH-TV tower, and on
RF channel 42 in Fonthill, on a Bell wireless tower. CTV says
it will continue to not sell local ad time in the Toronto/Golden
Horseshoe market, but by being on the air in Hamilton and Niagara
it can force cable companies to "simsub" the CKVR/CTV2
signal, complete with regional and national ads, over Buffalo
stations that are carrying the same shows.
the NERW Archives
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.
One Year Ago: June 28/July 5, 2010
- 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.
- 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 a webcast.
- 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! From 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.
- 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
Five Years Ago: June 26, 2006 -
- It was originally slated to go to Pamal, but the Albany move-in
signal of WNYQ (105.7 Malta) will instead go to Regent Communications,
which announced Monday that it's buying the station from Vox.
No purchase price has been announced yet for the deal, which
will put now-silent WNYQ in a cluster with sports WTMM (1300
Rensselaer), rock simulcast WQBJ (103.5 Cobleskill)/WQBK (103.9
Albany), hot AC WABT (104.5 Mechanicville) and country WGNA (107.7
- And in Boston, Nassau has confirmed that it's negotiating
with Greater Media to acquire the signal of WKLB (99.5 Lowell)
and the intellectual property of WCRB (102.5 Waltham). The company
tells the Globe that it intends to keep the classical music going
on 99.5 once the deal is completed. Stay tuned...
- If you go looking for the most crowded FM dial in the country,
the odds are you'll end up in NEW JERSEY. So it's always pretty
big news when a station in the Garden State manages to make a
significant signal upgrade, as Press Communications did last
week when it turned on the new 106.5 Bass River Township signal
for WKOE, the station that was formerly at 106.3 in Ocean City.
The new 106.5 signal, broadcasting with 1450 watts at 683' above
average terrain from the WWSI (Channel 62) tower in Tuckerton,
covers a good chunk of the Jersey Shore from southern Ocean County
well into Cape May County, and it's on a clear enough channel
to get west almost to Philadelphia on a good car radio, too.
- In place of the "Breeze" soft AC simulcast that
had been on WKOE at 106.3, Press is using 106.5 to simulcast
"G Rock Radio" from WHTG-FM (106.3 Eatontown), creating
a two-signal adjacent-channel simulcast that blankets nearly
the entire shore. G Rock had been heard on WBBO (98.5 Ocean Acres)
in Ocean County, and the WBBO calls will soon be swapped with
- The Albany, NEW YORK TV market is about to get its first
formal duopoly, as Tribune exits the market and sells its WB
(soon to be CW) affiliate, WCWN (Channel 45, formerly WEWB),
to Freedom Communications. Freedom owns CBS affiliate WRGB (Channel
6), and for the last few years it's provided some programming,
promotions and sales services to UPN (soon to be My Network TV)
affiliate WNYA (Channel 51), which is owned by Venture Technologies.
Freedom will pay $17 million for Channel 45, which is actually
$1.5 million less than Tribune paid for the signal in 1999, when
it purchased what was then noncommercial WMHQ. The station began
as a commercial operation, under the calls WUSV, before becoming
a secondary public TV outlet in the late eighties. Under Freedom,
it's likely to add a 10 PM newscast this fall - and we wouldn't
be at all surprised if it picks up the WRGB-produced 7 AM newscast
that now airs on WNYA. (In fact, we won't be a bit surprised
if management of WNYA ends up passing to another Capital District
broadcaster to avoid market-concentration issues.)
- In CANADA, television visionary Moses Znaimer now has his
eye on Toronto's classical radio station. Moses Znaimer, who
founded CITY-TV, MuchMusic and several other TV networks, is
applying to the CRTC to buy CFMX from Martin Rosenthal's Trumar
Communications for C$12 million. "Classical 96.3" operates
on 103.1 in Cobourg (its original frequency, which Rosenthal
bought out of bankruptcy in 1983) and on 96.3 in Toronto, where
the station's studios are now located. Znaimer tells the CRTC
he intends to keep the classical format. He'll make his case
at an August 1 hearing.
10 Years Ago: June 25, 2001 -
- We know a bit more about those AM applications in MASSACHUSETTS
we mentioned last week: an FCC typo put WSRO (1470 Marlborough)'s
new site in the wrong spot. In reality, the station would move
to the Lexington site of WAMG (1150 Boston) when it changes its
COL to Watertown.
- Talker WRKO (680 Boston) has a new PD. Jay Clark is heading
to the Entercom station to replace the departed Al Mayers; Clark
had been VP/GM of the now-defunct Comedy World network.
- Radio Disney is back to a single signal in RHODE ISLAND;
Hall Communications flipped WWRI (1450 West Warwick) away from
the Mouse on Wednesday night (6/20), changing to a simulcast
of the urban oldies it's programming on WNBH (1340 New Bedford).
- The new Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League
will have plenty of radio coverage when they begin play this
fall. WGIR (610 Manchester) will be the team's flagship, with
outlying areas hearing the games via WGIR relays WGIN (930 Rochester)
and WGIP (1540 Exeter), as well as WTSL (1400 Lebanon), all part
of Clear Channel's New Hampshire group. We'll still be rooting
for the Rochester Amerks, thanks...
15 Years Ago: New England Radio Watch, June 25, 1996
can sponsor this weekly feature! Click here for information!
- There's a new radio station on the air in New Hampshire's
largest market. WAEF, 96.5 FM, took to the airwaves at 5pm on
Thursday, June 27, after a day of recorded heartbeat noises.
"96.5 the Fox" is promoting itself as "Rock without
the hard edge," and what it appears to be is a broad- based
mixture of rock...everything from the Beatles to Crosby, Stills,
and Nash, all the way to the Dave Matthews Band. WAEF is one
of that shrinking breed, a singly-owned station. Donna MacNeil
fought tooth and nail for this CP against some much bigger competition,
and now she's up against two well-established AM-FM combos, Saga's
WFEA/WZID and Knight's WGIR AM-FM (along with another standalone,
Bob Bittner's easy-listening WKBR 1250).
- A small Connecticut AM signal has been sold. WXCT 1220 in
Hamden, a suburb of New Haven, is being sold by Milstar Broadcasting
to Quinnipiac College in Hamden. Reported price, according to
Broadcasting and Cable, is $500,000. WXCT has a long and colorful
history, including stints as WDEE, WCDQ, WOMN (targeted at WOMeN!),
WSCR, and WNNR...and just about every format in the book, including
multiple tries at top 40, country, and oldies. Most recently,
WXCT has been a Spanish-language broadcaster.
- Up in Vermont, Pathfinder Broadcasting is building a two
FM-one AM combo, with the purchase of WFAD 1490 Middlebury VT,
WMNM 92.1 Port Henry NY, and separately, WGTK 100.9 Middlebury
VT. WMNM (Oldies 92) and WGTK (K-101 Classic Rock) both serve
the Burlington area; WFAD is a local class IV for Middlebury.
WMNM, by the way, is the latest incarnation of what began as
WHRC, Peter Hunn's one-man station that he documented in a book
some years back. NERW contributing editor Garrett Wollman passed
through the Burlington area earlier this week; he reports that
WWGT 96.7 Vergennes-Burlington was not heard, although they had
been testing earlier in the week. Also not on yet was WRJT 103.1
- A snag for WKOX 1200 Framingham-Boston in its plans to increase
power: The Boston Globe reports that selectmen (that's the town
council to you non-New England types) in the town of Sudbury
have rejected WKOX's plans to build three 199-foot towers on
8 acres of town-owned land. The reason (what else) was that the
towers might alter Sudbury's "rural character." The
"rural" site on which the towers were to have been
built? A former Unisys plant on a busy highway...go figure! The
Sudbury site was a backup plan for WKOX, which has been stalled
in its attempts to go to a dual-site operation, with nights at
the current site in Framingham and days as 50kw ND from the WNTN(AM)
tower in Newton. Framingham officials approved WKOX's request
to tear down its two 400-foot towers and replace them with three
199-footers...but the daytime side of the plan is reportedly
on hold. I believe, but am not certain, that the Sudbury site
would be used for daytime directional operation with a strong
lobe towards Boston.
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2011 by Scott Fybush.