In this week’s issue… Morning swap creates buzz in Rochester – Clues to Howie’s next move? – Remembering Rivers, Donovan, Leonard – Quinn and Rose turn down a broadcast slot


*How many top-40 morning hosts get to say they’ve woken up two generations of radio listeners? There’s the amazing run of Matty Siegel in Boston, of course, and Scott Shannon’s long tenure across several New York City stations. And here in Rochester, there’s Scott Spezzano, whose time at WPXY (97.9) started when your editor was in high school in the mid-1980s and lasted long enough for your editor’s daughter to be hearing Spezzano and co-host Sandy Waters when her alarm goes off each morning.

Spezzano, Waters and the NERW Offspring, 2012
Spezzano, Waters and the NERW Offspring, 2012

That changes a week from today: after some 25 years on 98PXY (with a stint in the middle across town at WDKX), Spezzano and Waters will move down the hall next Monday to the vacant morning slot on Entercom sister station WBZA (98.9 the Buzz). That’s where former “Breakfast Buzz” hosts Kimberly Ray and Barry Beck flamed out back in May, leaving a void all summer (and sparking a brief rumor of their return on social media last weekend.)

Instead, the new “Breakfast Buzz” with Spezzano and Waters will launch September 15 on WBZA, following a WBZA-WPXY simulcast in morning drive on Friday that will introduce PXY listeners to their new morning show, #TeamPXY, featuring current afternoon jock/music director Megan Carter and new import Corey James, inbound from WVHT in Virginia Beach.

Can Entercom move Spezzano and Sandy’s longtime fans up the dial without hurting WPXY too much? And with veterans like Spezzano and Shannon now on signals aiming at older audiences, how long will Boston’s remarkable Siegel hold out in the world of CHR? (As long as Kiss 108 stays on top of the ratings, the answer there is probably, “as long as he wants.”)

*More late-breaking news: in the Hudson Valley, Clear Channel has rebranded WRNQ (92.1 Poughkeepsie), dumping “Lite 92.1” (and the last remnant of what was once a chain of Lites stretching north from WLTW in New York) in favor of a return to its former moniker, “Q92.1.”


*It’s that season again – no, not autumn, which is still a few weeks away, but rather Howie Carr speculation time. As recently as two years ago, Carr probably thought the end of 2014 would be the moment he’d been awaiting for years. While Entercom had forced an unwanted contract extension on him, binding him to afternoons on WRKO (680 Boston), that deal is finally drawing to a close. But the man who may still be New England’s most influential talk host is finding out that unlike in 2012, “influential” in talk radio suddenly doesn’t mean as much as it used to.

wrko-carr-smBack then, of course, Carr was all but punlicly proclaiming that he was on his way from WRKO over to the FM dial, where he’d become the star talker at Greater Media’s FM outlet, WTKK (96.9). And if WTKK and Greater Media didn’t want to meet his terms, Clear Channel’s WXKS (1200) at least offered another negotiating partner.

Alas for Carr, those doors are now firmly shut: WTKK, of course, ditched talk at the end of 2012 for “Hot” rhythmic top 40 as WBQT, pulling away the best card he had in his deck. WXKS is gone, too: not only did Clear Channel lease the station out to Bloomberg, it’s taking a company-wide swing away from the sort of political talk radio Carr’s been doing for decades. (Just this past week, it handed off Rush Limbaugh to a Cumulus station in San Francisco and killed off the last station still branded with the “Rush Radio” tag that WXKS once used.)

So what’s a talk host to do? Carr is already covering his bets: he’s signed on with a new syndicator, Global Media Services, to try once again to expand his network reach beyond the handful of New England outlets that carry his show. That deal appears to apply no matter where Carr is headquartered in Boston, so he can keep doing the show for syndication even if he leaves WRKO.

wufcBut if his long-held wish to break free from WRKO comes true, then what? One clue may have emerged this week, when the heretofore web-only Boston Herald Radio announced a deal to put the 9-10 AM hour of its “Morning Meeting” show on upstart talker WUFC (1510 Boston). When the Herald started the radio service last year, it was widely suspected that it was designed to provide a fallback position for the paper’s star columnist if the need arose. For now, Carr still isn’t a part of the webcast, nor will he be heard on the Herald Radio simulcast over WUFC. And it’s awfully hard, of course, to argue that any combination of a Herald webcast and WUFC’s painfully limited visibility will equal the reach Carr enjoys now at WRKO, reduced even as that has been by the slump of the talk format.

Could Carr’s best remaining move be the one he’s fought for so long – remaining in place at WRKO? As we’ve chronicled in NERW, the talk station’s glory years are pretty clearly behind it; the lineup of Jeff Kuhner’s sharply political morning show, Barry Armstrong’s money talk, Limbaugh’s declining influence in middays and then Carr at night doesn’t come close to the ratings or influence the station once enjoyed. In his afternoon slot, Carr would continue to have the same gripes he’s always had about the AM directional pattern once winter’s early sunsets hit. But if the best plan B for Carr is a webcast with a 1510 simulcast, does WRKO look as bad all of a sudden?

There’s every reason, meanwhile, to expect that Entercom would gladly re-up with Carr. Even as it’s gone through management changes at its Boston cluster, the company has tried to stick with what’s already working, as witness the recent renewals for the morning team of Dennis and Callahan down the hall at WEEI-FM (93.7). There’s no local bench at all on which WRKO could draw to replace Carr, which means his departure would likely lead to more syndication in afternoon drive, in a market that’s never warmed to syndicated talk.

After so many years of badmouthing WRKO, could Carr’s ego handle a renewal (especially at what’s likely to be a lower salary)? Or would a new slot at 1510 be an even bigger blow? We’ll be watching with interest to see how this chapter plays out.

*In addition to its home base on WRKO, Barry Armstrong’s “Financial Exchange” is partnering with Clear Channel to extend its New England reach. The financial talk show gets the mid-morning slot on WTAG (580 Worcester), WHYN (560 Springfield), WELI (960) in New Haven, CONNECTICUT and in NEW HAMPSHIRE on WGIR (610 Manchester) and WQSO (96.7 Rochester). That displaces the show from its current slots in two of those markets, on WCRN (830 Worcester) and WTSN (1270 Dover NH).

Clear Channel has filled out the local lineup on WBWL (101.7 Lynn), naming Jessica Callahan as the new afternoon jock on “The Bull.” She returns to Boston tomorrow from the midday shift up in VERMONT at WXXX (95.5 South Burlington); she’s also been tracking afternoons for WHYA (101.1 Falmouth) out on Cape Cod.

wnac-leonard*Roy Leonard is being mourned in Chicago for his many decades as an entertainment reporter and talk host on WGN radio and television – but before he became a Chicago icon, Leonard was a New England broadcast institution, too. The Emerson College graduate started out in radio at WKOX (then on 1190) in Framingham in 1953, but soon moved to the big time as an announcer on WHDH (850) and soon on its new sister station, WHDH-TV (Channel 5). Leonard then moved across town and became a mainstay at WNAC (680) and WNAC-TV (Channel 7), anchoring TV newscasts and hosting radio shows right up until the day in 1967 when RKO General replaced full-service WNAC with top-40 WRKO. That’s what sent him off to Chicago and WGN; he died in Chicago on Thursday, at age 83.

Dan Donovan also parlayed a Boston radio stint into a long career elsewhere: he got his airname from his time at WMEX (1510), where the jock born Blaine Harvey hung on to the house name that had been used by lots of other “Dan Donovans” before he arrived in the mid-1960s. Under his real name, Harvey had worked in Providence (WICE 1290) and his native Pennsylvania (WGET 1320 Gettysburg and WSBA 910 York) before coming to Boston. Later, he moved to Baltimore and then to Philadelphia and WFIL (560) before settling down in Minneapolis, where his career at KSTP-FM and KQQL spanned several decades.  He died August 31, at age 73.

Jay Gordon’s “Elvis Only” was a weekend staple on the former “Oldies 103,” WODS, and it survived the demise of that format as a syndicated offering. But after 26 years on the air, Gordon says he’s retired the show. “I began Elvis Only as just a fan. And that’s where I cross the finish line, thankyouverymuch” he wrote in a note to his listeners. As the oldies format has largely abandoned 50s and even 60s music, Gordon’s affiliate base had dwindled; at the end, his NERW-land lineup included CKOC (1150 Hamilton), WROW (590 Albany), WSEN (1050 Syracuse), WJPA-FM (95.3 Washington PA) and WKMC (1370 Roaring Spring PA).

Congratulations to Tim Coco and the gang at in Haverhill: after building success as a webcast and Part 15 AM outlet, the modern-day reincarnation of the old WHAV (1490) says it received word last week that it’s the FCC’s tentative selectee for a low-power FM license. If all goes well, WHAV-LP will soon be on the air in Haverhill and vicinity at 98.1. (Much more next week on the outcome of the settlement window for contested LPFMs in much of the region which opens today.)

In case you missed it in our midweek update, there’s a new callsign along Route 2: after its ill-fated branding as WWBZ, the Orange-Athol licensed station at 700 on the dial has now settled on WFAT as its new identity.

*In MAINE, Blueberry Broadcasting has returned WAEI (910 Bangor) to the air, at least temporarily. The venerable Bangor station (formerly WABI) had gone silent last September 2 as Blueberry tried to sell the license. With no buyer in place yet, WAEI is back as a simulcast of “Big 104” WABK (104.3 Gardiner)/WBAK (104.7 Belfast) to keep the license alive.

*Carolina Bermudez is back in NEW YORK radio, two years after she departed Elvis Duran’s WHTZ (Z100) morning show to take a TV gig on “Live from the Couch,” the offbeat morning show CBS launched when it bought independent WLNY (Channel 55) in the New York market. The Couch went to the curb earlier this year, and after doing some fill-in radio work, Bermudez is now back at Clear Channel, this time down the hall at WKTU (103.5) alongside Cubby Bryant on the morning show. Her arrival at KTU displaces Cindy Vero from the co-host slot alongside Cubby Bryant.

Back in July, we reported on the possible arrival of a new translator on the Manhattan radio dial – and now California-based Living Way has a CP in hand for 91.9 from the Empire State Building. W220EJ will be a 10-watt relay of religious KTLW from Lancaster, California, assuming it’s not sold before it hits the air.

*Joan Rivers is being remembered, quite rightly, for the way she changed the world of stand-up comedy. But Rivers, who died Thursday at age 81, also made a mark in broadcasting during her long career. On TV, of course, Rivers’ long run as the designated fill-in for Johnny Carson gave way to her ill-fated role as the very first Fox network host in 1986. On radio, her nightly show based at WOR (710) from 1997 until 2002 was also syndicated over WOR’s network; a year later, her former WOR program director David Bernstein brought her to Providence, RHODE ISLAND to fill in on Rush Limbaugh’s timeslot at WPRO (630) while Limbaugh was out for rehab. (WPRO remembered her stint there, here.)

Out on Long Island, Astra is gone from WBLI (106.1 Patchogue) after eight years on the night and then midday shifts; the Cox top-40 outlet is now looking for a replacement as Astra heads off to a new, yet-to-be-announced gig elsewhere.

Dawn Wheeler has departed WAWZ (99.1 Zarephath), where she’s been hosting middays for 11 years.

wmsxIn Buffalo, our post-Labor Day update brought you news of Townsquare’s big change: WMSX (96.1 Buffalo) is the new “Mix 96.1” identity for the station that had been known since 1979 as WJYE. It’s only the third set of calls in more than half a century on the air for the station that started off as WBNY; it’s also the third time a Buffalo station has tried branding as “Mix.” (The earlier entries were WHTT 104.1, in its Citadel days, and a brief “Mix” stint for WBUF 92.9, when CBS Radio owned it and WJYE.)

Back here in Rochester, Evan Dawson’s “Connections” talk show is adding another signal today: in addition to WXXI (1370 Rochester) and the recent addition of a Finger Lakes simulcast on WEOS (89.5 Geneva), the show will be heard weekdays from noon-2 PM on WRUR (88.5), the University of Rochester-owned station that WXXI operates. “Connections” replaces “All Weather Lunch,” the AAA music show that had bridged the gap between “Open Tunings” in late morning and World Café from 2-4. WRUR also continues to simulcast NPR newsmagazines from WXXI in morning and afternoon drive.

Galaxy Broadcasting is modifying its plans to move WKRH (106.5), the Oswego-area relay of its Syracuse-based “K-Rock.” In order to stay under the FCC’s ownership caps after a change in its ownership structure, Galaxy already has a CP to move WKRH from Minetto (and the current Galaxy transmitter site south of Oswego) to Fair Haven, just over the Cayuga County line and out of the Syracuse radio market. But instead of locating the moved WKRH on the tower of public broadcaster WRVO (89.9 Oswego), Galaxy is now proposing to put the relocated 106.5 signal on a communications tower a mile or so south of WRVO’s tower.

Up north, WNMR (107.1 Dannemora) has been silent since an LMA ended in 2011, with the exception of brief returns to the air to keep the license alive. Owner Radioactive LLC put the station back on the air again last week with polkas; we’re told a more permanent return may be in the offing.

*Fans of Jim Quinn and Rose Soma Tennant in western PENNSYLVANIA apparently won’t be hearing them back on the air just yet. The former WPGB (104.7 Pittsburgh) morning talkers reported on their website last week that they’d turned down an offer from WJAS (1320) to join the rest of the old WPGB talk lineup on Frank Iorio’s new AM talker. At issue, apparently, was streaming: WJAS uses Clear Channel’s iHeart platform, which is free to listeners, but Quinn and Rose reportedly wanted to put their stream behind a paywall. Is a streaming-only version of their “War Room” show the next step?

wlpafmNear Lancaster, Hall has completed its flip from rock to ESPN sports at the former WKZF (92.7 Starview). It’s now WLPA-FM, mostly simulcasting ESPN Radio from its AM sister WLPA (1490 Lancaster) but breaking away when the AM carries the Phillies and other play-by-play. That’s because the FM signal reaches into adjacent markets where the team’s rights are already claimed.

And there’s some sad news from the Philadelphia suburbs, where Radio Survivor reports Widener University in Chester has returned the license of 10-watt WDNR (89.5 Chester) to the FCC for cancellation. The station had started with carrier-current in the 1960s and had been on FM since 1977.

*It was a mostly quiet post-holiday week in CANADA, at least in radio. It’s another story on the TV side, where the CRTC is engaged in a massive hearing process to help determine the future of broadcast TV north of the border. Steve Faguy, as always, offers an excellent summary of what’s at stake – including, potentially, whether there will continue to be any significant over-the-air TV in a nation increasingly dominated by satellite and cable delivery.

On radio, Faguy also caught the studio move at CKRK (103.7 Kahnawahke), the tribal station south of Montreal that just relocated to nicer new digs after three decades in an aging walk-up facility on the reservation.



We have shipped piles of our 2021 Tower Site Calendar, and we’ll keep on shipping until it’s gone.

This is the 20th year we have been publishing our calendar. In addition to the beautiful cover shot of WEJL, we have photos from New Jersey, Nebraska, Texas, and much more!

You can get the regular calendar, or you can order a storage bag for it if you keep them, or you can get it signed by Scott (and get a complimentary bag).

And when you’re purchasing your calendar, don’t forget to take a look at the other great products in our store.

Prime ad space that’s easy on the eyes

2015FybushCal_reader_1_fullcover2 More than half a million impressions from one calendar? How is that possible?

Here’s how an ad in our calendar has better exposure than one in a magazine:

1. Magazines issues are designed to be looked at for a period of weeks or months. Calendars are designed to be looked at for a whole year.

2. Magazines are read or glanced at, then placed in a drawer or in a pile. Calendars are hung on a wall.

3. Magazines usually don’t get read more than once. Calendars are looked at between four and eight times each day. (Promotional Products Association International; Advertising Specialty Institute)


Plus, people don’t usually walk into someone’s office, pick up a magazine and start to read it. But they do walk into someone’s office and see a calendar hanging there.

Let’s do the math: four impressions or views a day (conservatively), five days in a work week (at minimum), 260 work days per year. That’s just over 1,000 impressions per year. We sell around 600 calendars each year. That’s 600,000 total impressions for the year!

A 4-by-1-inch banner ad on each month’s page costs only $2,500. That’s less than one penny for each impression your ad makes on a broadcast-industry professional.

The Tower Site Calendar has become THE prestige print product of the broadcast industry. Since 2002 it has become a must-have for engineers and engineering managers in stations big and small, all over North America.

Give us your layout and we’ll give you the exposure.

We’re ready to work with you! Call us at 585-442-5411 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET, or email

From 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, fifteen and – where available – twenty 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: September 9, 2013

AM 1520 in Buffalo, NEW YORK once proudly boasted that it was “one of America’s two great radio stations,” back in the days when it was top-40 WKBW and its lineup of stellar talent burned a big hole in the ionosphere over a huge chunk of the East every night. Today, as WWKB, it’s a pale shadow of its former self – but it still made headlines last week when the Entercom-owned 50,000-watter flipped formats from progressive talk to ESPN sports.

wwkb-espnMessage boards lit up, as they so often do, with earnest pronouncements about what the development meant or didn’t mean for the survival of the struggling progressive-talk format; from where we sit 70 miles away at NERW Central, the answer, we think, is “nothing much at all.”

The explanation lies in the strange role WWKB now plays in the Entercom cluster in Buffalo, where it’s little more than a flanker to the two big AMs in the group, news-talk WBEN (930) and sports WGR (550). By holding on to 1520, the only other viable full-market AM signal in Buffalo, Entercom has long prevented competitors from encroaching on its valuable spoken-word turf. For years, that’s meant keeping talk competition away from WBEN, but with that job accomplished, Entercom now wants to throw an additional punch against Cumulus’ WHLD (1270 Niagara Falls), which has been challenging WGR’s dominance with its own sports format driven mainly by CBS Sports Radio. By adding a full-time ESPN Radio outlet to the ESPN product that already fills non-local slots on WGR, Entercom provides some protection to its big gun in town.

While there won’t be any local weekday talk on “ESPN 1520,” WWKB will continue to carry Buffalo Bisons minor-league baseball, as it’s been doing for years; it will also simulcast Sabres games with WGR, giving the Sabres a nice clear-channel AM voice for their night games.

*It’s tough to fight Comcast, at least if you’re an LPTV station in NEW HAMPSHIRE. Despite enlisting local politicians in its fight to retain cable carriage, WYCN-LP (Channel 13) in Nashua lost its spot on area Comcast systems at the end of August, and without cable visibility in an area of very low over-the-air usage, station managers Carolyn Choate and Gordon Jackson say they can’t keep going with their local programming, which came to at least a temporary end when the station left the cable dial. (While WYCN won’t say so publicly, its long-term future has been in question anyway since spectrum speculator OTA Broadcasting bought the license from Bill Binnie.)

*A radio sale in northern NEW JERSEY: WXMC (1310 Parsippany-Troy Hills) is changing hands, going from James J. Chladek to Edison-based World India Radio, led by Hasmukh Shah. World India Radio is paying $30,000 for the license to the station, which will presumably change format from its present Spanish tropical programming to an Indian-oriented format. (WXMC’s studio and transmitter real estate is held by True Love Productions, Inc., which is selling it to Shah in a separate transaction.)

*There’s an airstaff now at CANADA‘s newest big-market station. Central Ontario Broadcasting’s “Indie 88” (CIND 88.1) introduced its full lineup to Toronto listeners last week, starting with the “Indie88 Mornings with Brian, Matt and Candice,” hosted by Brian Bailey, Candice Knihnitski and musician Matt Hart. Music director Raina Douris will be heard weekday afternoons, Carlin and LoriAnn will handle middays and weekends, and Dave “Bookie” Bookman will host a Sunday night show.

Five Years Ago: September 7, 2009

[no issue]

Ten Years Ago: September 8, 2004

*The “Station of the Stars” is no more in eastern PENNSYLVANIA. Greater Media pulled the plug on the standards format on WPEN (950 Philadelphia) last Wednesday morning (Sept. 1) at 8, replacing it with a “Real Oldies”-style format that focuses on 50s and 60s pop. Charlie Bennett’s doing mornings, followed by Kim Martin in middays and Philly radio legend Jim Nettleton in afternoons. The new WPEN also includes “the Geator,” Jerry Blavat, with a show at noon on weekdays and a longer shift on weekends.And Philadelphia is getting closer to having a new AM signal: out in McConnellsburg, WVFC (1530) changed calls to WFYL last week, a sign (we think) that its move to 1180 in King of Prussia (and a new life as a 510-watt daytimer) is impending. (An interesting note: WFYL’s calls are quite similar to those of Salem’s WFIL in Philadelphia, just as sister station WPYT 660 Wilkinsburg’s are to Salem’s WPIT in Pittsburgh. Is something in the works there?)

Out at the other end of the Keystone State, Magnum Broadcasting (owner of WZYY 106.9 Renovo PA) is buying WUBZ (105.9) and WPHB (1260) in Phillipsburg (just outside State College) for a reported $2 million.

Dan Vilkie’s Vilkie Communications is buying WGRP (940 Greenville) outright for $50,000. And we can now put a price tag on Mercyhurst College’s purchase of what’s now WYNE (1530 North East) from Corry Communications – $110,000, of which Mercyhurst pays $30,000 in cash, with the rest being considered an $80,000 gift to the college.

*CONNECTICUT Public Broadcasting is making the big move from its longtime home at 240 New Britain Avenue in Hartford to its new digs at 1049 Asylum Avenue. The new studios will double the amount of studio space available to Connecticut Public TV and “WNPR,” Connecticut Public RadioIn RHODE ISLAND, Ernie Anastos is selling off WNRI (1380 Woonsocket), which changes hands to Roger Bouchard’s Bouchard Broadcasting for $900,000.

*Robert Fuller is getting out of broadcast ownership by selling off his last remaining station, WNBP (1450) in Newburyport, MASSACHUSETTS.

Fuller is selling the station to another local North Shore operator, Todd Tanger, who also owns WBOQ (104.9 Gloucester). While WBOQ’s soft AC/oldies format isn’t all that far afield from WNBP’s standards/full service format, Tanger says there won’t be major changes to WNBP’s staff or programming.

*One of Radio-CANADA‘s national French-language radio networks has a new identity this week. The former “chaine culturelle,” the old Radio-Canada FM Stereo service, is now branded as “Espace Musique,” reflecting the change of programming away from cultural talk and towards an all-music format that includes heavy doses of jazz and rock along with classical music.

Fifteen Years Ago: September 10, 1999

We’re back from vacation (about which much more later), only to find yet another media mega-deal awaiting us: the CBS-Viacom merger, undoing the 1970 spin-off that created Viacom in the first place.

From our narrow Northeast broadcasting perspective, this has just one immediate effect: assuming all the appropriate regulatory approvals, it creates Boston’s first TV duopoly, pairing CBS’ WBZ (Ch. 4) with Viacom’s WSBK (Channel 38, and its Providence LMA, WLWC 28 New Bedford). The rumors are already aswirl about what a duopolized channel 38 could look like, especially if (as expected), CBS/Viacom is forced to spin off the UPN network. Could the market see a return of “WBZ News 4 on TV 38”? (And what of Detroit, where CBS’s WWJ-TV has no news department, but Viacom’s WKBD is the company’s only station that still has nightly news?)

As with all the big deals, we’ll be following this one closely, with updates to follow as required.

“FM Talk 96.9” is finding its legs on (mumble it quickly now, 10 dB under the music bed!) WSJZ Boston. Local programming kicked off this week with San Diego’s Stacy Taylor following Don Imus at 10AM (along with, at least the first day, CNN network feeds that weren’t properly potted down!), one day’s worth of Mike Barnicle, and former WRKO night guy Jay Severin, among others. It’s now sounding as though Taylor, anyway, is only a temporary host, and we suspect we’ll have more programming changes to talk about soon as 96.9 settles in.

Established talker WRKO (680) isn’t taking all this lying down — it’s bolstering its local identity by dropping Metro Networks news service to return to in-house news, led by market veteran Rod Fritz. He’s coming back from exile in the land of PR to head up a morning news block to replace the Jeff Katz/Darlene McCarthy show. We also hear Andy Moes and Lori Kramer will have roles to play in ‘RKO’s latest reincarnation.

Up in NEW HAMPSHIRE, Manchester’s WKBR (1250) is getting yet another new identity, dropping One-on-One Sports to go country. Most of the day will come from ABC’s “Real Country,” but we hear Sean Sullivan from WYRY (104.9 Hinsdale) is joining the station to do mornings and serve as station manager. We hear WKBR will continue to originate from the studios of WXRV over in Haverhill, Mass. — and we wouldn’t be one bit surprised to hear “K-Bear 1250” as the non-ID.

A station sale tops VERMONT news this week, with Excalibur Media adding WCVR (102.1) and WWWT (1320) in Randolph to its existing group of WZRT (97.1)/WSYB (1380) Rutland and WXNT (92.1) Port Henry NY. Under current owners Ed and Margaret Stokes, the stations had been running ABC’s Real Country format.

Tons of news from NEW YORK over the last two weeks, and we’ll tackle it from west to east, starting in Buffalo. That’s where Mercury Communications is paying $535,000 to add WHLD (1270 Niagara Falls) to its station group (which includes ethnic WMNY, rock WGRF, modern rock WEDG, and oldies WHTT). Observant readers will recall that WHLD holds a CP to move from Grand Island to the WNED (970) site south of Buffalo, pumping a directional signal right over the heart of the city, and we’ll be not one bit surprised to see some of the leased-time programming now on WMNY move to the stronger signal.

Down to greater Elmira for a moment, to note a call change at WGMF (1490) in Watkins Glen. The little AM is shedding the only calls it’s ever had (they date back to the old AM 1500 daytime days and stand for “Watkins Glen – Montour Falls”) in favor of WBZD, which apparently stands for nothing in particular. A field trip to the Glen will no doubt follow to check this one out…

(As long as we’re down that way, two call changes across the Pennsylvania line: WHGL 1310 in Troy changes to WTZN, and we suspect an end to the simulcast with FM 100.3 in the process; and in the Williamsport market, WHTO 93.3 Muncy has dropped the hits and “Hot 93” to go oldies as WBZD-FM — and yes, it’s co-owned with the new WBZD(AM) up in Watkins Glen. Call warehousing, perhaps?)


  1. Scott:
    Just FYI Blueberry Broadcasting’s “BIG 104” is also simulcast on WBKA 107.7 Bar Harbor/Ellsworth. WAEI is indeed on air on 910, But still has yet to be included in their hourly IDs. Just the 3 FMs are ID’ed.

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