In this week’s issue… Broadcasters gather for NAB Show – Binnie expands NH coverage – Vermont, suburban Toronto FMs move
By SCOTT FYBUSH
LAS VEGAS – It’s that time yet again, as broadcasters from NERW-land and beyond gather here in the desert to see what’s new in technology and to try to divine the future of our business.
We’ll have some updates here on fybush.com during the week for subscribers – and this year we’ve partnered with our friends at Wheatstone for a series of video interviews with NAB newsmakers. Come see us at Wheatstone’s booth in the North Hall if you’re in town, or watch the Wheatstone website in the days to come for video!
Meanwhile, it’s been a very quiet week back home, so it’s just a quick NERW update this morning as we plunge into the chaos of the show.
The week’s biggest news came from the NEW HAMPSHIRE seacoast, where the second attempt to sell WTSN (1270 Dover) and WBYY (98.7 Somersworth) appears to be the charm. Last year, owner Garrison City Broadcasting announced plans to merge with Port Broadcasting and Aruba Capital Holdings to create a new group called Coastal Media Partners, challenging Townsquare and iHeart for dominance along the coast. While Port and Aruba indeed joined forces (linking Port’s WNBP Newburyport and WWSF Sanford with Aruba’s WXEX Exeter and WXEX-FM Sanford), the deal with Garrison never closed.
Instead, the Garrison stations now go to Bill Binnie’s Binnie Media, which is paying $2.1 million to add them to its media holdings that include clusters in Nashua-Manchester-Concord, the Lakes Region and Portland. The addition of news-talk WTSN and AC “Bay” WBYY fills in a big hole in Binnie’s radio coverage, complementing the area he’s already serving on TV with WBIN-TV (Channel 50).
No changes have been announced yet at the Seacoast stations, but we’d expect to start hearing content there soon from Binnie’s NH1 newsroom, perhaps adding an NH1 radio simulcast with new sister station WNNH (99.1 Henniker).
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*In NEW JERSEY, Carmen Hsieh takes over from Hannah Byrom as midday jock on WPST (94.5 Trenton) now that Byrom is off to Boston’s WKLB. Hsieh moves in the opposite direction, heading to Trenton from weekend duty at WODS in Boston.
*There’s a radio reunion in the works for northwestern PENNSYLVANIA. NERW reader John Gallagher checks in to let us know the event is scheduled for the weekend of September 9-11. “If you ever were on the air or worked in sales or management in Erie, PA, Jamestown, NY, Dunkirk, NY, Warren, PA, Corry, PA, Meadville, PA, Conneaut, OH or Ashtabula, OH, we would love to have you attend this once in a lifetime experience!,” Gallagher says.
There’s an online survey to gauge interest in reunion events; we’ll have updates in the next few months as plans come together for the event.
*We now have all the details of the station swap between NEW YORK‘s Family Life Ministries and Craig Fox’s Foxfur and WOLF Radio. As we’ve been reporting, the two owners did what was essentially an even swap: Family Life gets Fox’s class B 105.1 DeRuyter/Syracuse (now WCIS), his class A 96.7 in Oswego (now WCIO) and translator W252AC (98.3 Fairmount), while Fox got WSEN-FM (92.1B1 Baldwinsville), the more centrally-located signal Family Life had just bought from Leatherstocking. Fox also gets W207BH (89.3 Baldwinsville), the translator Family Life was in the process of sliding up the dial to 100.1, where it would nestle against Fox’s WMVN (100.3 Sylvan Beach).
Behind the scenes, Family Life gets the WCIS transmitter site, a six-month, $3000 deal to keep W252AC on Fox’s tower near Onondaga Lake and a three-year deal to keep 96.7 on its temporary site while its own downed tower is rebuilt; Fox gets the WSEN calls and a subdivided portion of Leatherstocking’s WSEN transmitter site in Baldwinsville.
*In western MASSACHUSETTS, Red Wolf has swapped calls on two Springfield AMs. After a quarter-century as WSPR, the 1270 that will soon be carrying “Kool” oldies is now WACM, while the WSPR calls move to West Springfield’s 1490, ex-WACM.
*In VERMONT, Christian Ministries’ WFTF Rutland has completed its move from 90.5 to 90.9, taking it from its former 720 watt/-561′ class A signal broadcasting from a tower behind the Rutland church that formerly owned it up to Pico Peak, where it’s now a 60 watt/2230′ DA class A signal.
*In CANADA, there’s a frequency move on the way north of Toronto at Whistle Community Radio’s CIWS (102.7 Whitchurch-Stouffville). With a new 102.7, CJRK, on the way to Scarborough, CIWS will slide one notch up the dial to 102.9 soon, keeping its current power and tower site.
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