By SCOTT FYBUSH
Welcome to part two of this week’s NorthEast Radio Watch coverage, wherein we summarize the first full week of the FCC’s “AM Improvement” filing window that allows owners of class C and D AM signals to buy translators as far away as 250 miles and relocate them to sites and frequencies in their own markets. (Missed Monday’s regular NERW edition? It’s right here.)
It was, in some ways, a much quieter week than we’d expected. The first day of filings, which we chronicled in last week’s NERW Extra, brought in about 400 applications nationwide, which means one of every ten AM stations found a translator and a frequency and filed. As we noted last week, only a small fraction of those applications in our region were mutually exclusive to others filed in the window, and in this week’s report we start to see how some (but not all) of those MX’d applicants are sorting things out.
And with our brokerage/consultant hat on, we’d note that for many class C and D signals that still haven’t applied, there are still opportunities out there. Come see us at TranslatorSale.com and let’s talk about what Fybush Media can do for you!
On with the applications…
*A modification in upstate NEW YORK will clear up an MX situation in the northern Finger Lakes, where Calvary’s WSFW (1110 Seneca Falls) applied for 106.3 and Craig Fox’s WMBO (1340 Auburn) applied for 106.1. Calvary has now applied to move its proposed Seneca Falls translator, co-owned W277CI (103.3 Erie PA), to 106.5 instead.
North of Albany, Northeast Gospel Broadcasting is getting $65,000 each for four translators headed to Gois Broadcasting. Assuming they clear MX situations, W278AN Tupper Lake NY will rebroadcast WNEZ (1230 Manchester CT), W234AL North Adams MA will go to WLLH (1400 Lowell MA) and W254AM Berlin NY will go to WKND (1480 Windsor CT). Where will W244BG Lanesborough MA go? We’ll likely find out in July.
Saranac Lake Radio LLC’s W219AU Tupper Lake sold for $35,000 to Red Wolf Broadcasting; it’s headed to Springfield to relay WSPR (1270) once the class B window opens in July.
On Long Island, $75,000 is JVC Media’s selling price for W271BZ Tiana, which will move to Freeport on 95.9 for WGBB-AM, Inc’s WGBB (1240).
*WYRS Broadcasting is getting just $10,000 from Aztec Capital Partners for W273CM (102.5), which will move from Clayton, NEW JERSEY to Philadelphia to relay WHAT (1340). What’s more, all but a dollar of that fee will go not to Aztec itself but to Four Rivers’ Charlie Loughery for engineering services.
*A three-way MX in western PENNSYLVANIA is down to two, thanks to a goof on the part of one would-be translator mover. Laurel Highland Total Communications paid $315,000 for two AMs (WASN 1500 and WGFT 1330) in Youngstown, Ohio, plus WGFT’s translator on 94.7, which was to have gone to Latrobe to relay LHTC’s WCNS (1480). LHTC first applied for 93.3, then modified that application for 105.1 after finding itself in a MX situation.
But WCNS is a class B AM signal, and they’re not eligible to file until the next window opens in July, so its application was dismissed. In theory, the FCC’s rules say that should have been WCNS’ only chance to apply – but we’ll see what happens in July.
In the meantime, that still leaves Colonial Media + Entertainment’s WAVL (910 Apollo) and Bob Stevens’ WEDO (810 McKeesport) applying to use 93.3 in the Pittsburgh area, with no resolution thus far. (As for WAVL, we now have a purchase price: Colonial is paying Evangel Heights Assembly of God $50,000 for the AM and then moving its own W230BO translator from Olean, NY.)
We can pit a price on Family Life’s sale of three translators to Renda: the Oswego, Berwick and Mansfield translators that are headed to Indiana, Homer City and Punxsutawney sold for a total of $120,000.
At the northeastern corner of Pennsylvania, we can put a price on two translators headed up I-84 to Danbury, CONNECTICUT. Irv Goldstein’s Berkshire Broadcasting is paying $215,000 for W286CJ and W290CK in Milford. W286CJ will move to 94.5 in Danbury to relay WAXB (850 Ridgefield); W290CK will presumably file in July to rebroadcast WLAD (800 Danbury).
And a translator sale that’s not AM-related: WDAC Radio Company is paying Four Rivers Community Broadcasting $80,000 for W284BF (104.7 New Providence PA), which will relay WDAC (94.5 Lancaster).
*We know what VERMONT Public Radio is getting for the first three of its translators to sell: Steve Silberberg’s Radio Broadcast Services is paying a total of $165,000 for the signals it’s moving to WFAD (1490 Middlebury), WSKI (1240 Montpelier) and WFAT (700 Athol MA). (Fybush Media served as VPR’s broker for this sale.)
*In NEW HAMPSHIRE, Brian Dodge’s – er, “Tamara Thayer’s” – Harvest Translators files an oddly exclamation-point-laden pair of applications to sell two translators to Thomas Monahan’s Absolute Broadcasting. W257AU (99.3 St. Johnsbury VT) would move to 93.3 in Nashua to rebroadcast WGHM (900), while W232AJ (94.3 Greenville) would make a minor move to rebroadcast WGAM (1250 Manchester). It appears Monahan would pay Dodge $150,000, but not all the paperwork was filed with the application, so we’ll know more (maybe) next week.
*We can also put some prices on translator sales in MAINE, all of them from Light of Life Ministries. Winnipesaukee Radio Station LLC is paying $35,000 for W230BJ from Island Falls for its WASR (1420 Wolfeboro NH); Saga is paying $50,000 for W264BG from Benedicta, which will go to WBAE (1490 Portland); and Salem is paying $100,000 for W254BR from Lincoln, which is headed to Boston’s WROL (950), where it’s presently one of two MX’d applications for 106.1.
*Speaking of eastern MASSACHUSETTS, Bob Bittner’s WJIB (740) escaped that 106.1 MX group by refiling for 101.3 instead as Bittner seeks to move his translator W252BT from sister station WJTO (730) in Bath, Maine. (Fybush Media served as technical consultant for this move.)