In this week’s issue… Listeners, union save WBZ jobs (at least for now) – CBS/Entercom/iHeart/Beasley head for closing – Bomb scares rattle TV stations – K-Love buys in Harrisburg – Engineers on the move – Newcap buys in NS
By SCOTT FYBUSH
*If the executives at iHeart Media thought they could come in to Boston and turn WBZ (1030) into a cookie-cutter version of the news-talkers they run across the country, they learned a powerful (and potentially expensive) lesson last week as they tangled with SAG-AFTRA union leaders and the advertisers and listeners they rallied in support of keeping WBZ’s distinctive local voice alive.
But while the union won a victory by getting iHeart to reverse its plans to force WBZ staffers to reapply for their jobs, there’s still caution in the air as the oldest radio station in MASSACHUSETTS prepares for the ownership change that could come as early as Friday.
Here’s where things stand after two days of tense meetings between union officials and iHeart executives, first at iHeart in Medford and then with WBZ staffers present last Tuesday at Soldiers Field Road: after initially sticking to their stance of cancelling the union contracts, iHeart reversed course, saying it will keep WBZ’s newspeople employed under their current contracts when it takes over.
There’s an unspoken “for now” tacked on to that, though, and plenty of unfamiliar turf ahead on both sides. At one point, iHeart’s executives even acknowledged that they have nothing like WBZ’s all-news format in their station portfolio right now, telling staffers “we drive Toyotas, and this is a Ferrari.”
And speaking as someone who spent a good chunk of last week driving an unfamiliar vehicle (albeit not a Ferrari!) on the left side of British highways, your editor can testify that there are plenty of hazards in taking the wheel in a situation like the one iHeart now faces. Even after winning this victory, the WBZ staffers we’ve talked to are still uneasy about their station’s future under a company that simply doesn’t have the resources to support all-news radio the way Westinghouse and CBS did. Will they stick around as iHeart moves them up to Medford? If there’s attrition in the ranks – as seems likely – will iHeart bring in new hires at the same union rates as the staffers inherited from the CBS era?
As always, we’ll be watching very closely as the new drivers take the wheel of this particular Ferrari – and we’d note that inexperienced drivers tend to have problems on the roads of greater Boston, don’t they?
*It’s certainly going to be a busy week for everyone involved in all corners of the Boston ownership shuffle, as work goes on behind the scenes to figure out who goes where as long-established clusters get broken up and reassembled. Behind the scenes, it’s bits as mundane as moving former CBS employees to Entercom email servers, and as complex as sorting out the physical moves that will eventually have to happen. For a short while, at least, it appears that the current CBS Radio FM studios at 83 Leo Birmingham Parkway could be occupied by stations run by three competing companies – iHeart’s WZLX (100.7), Entercom’s WODS (103.3) and WBMX (104.1) and Beasley’s WBZ-FM (98.5).
Stay tuned to this space – as we learn more about who ends up going where and how all these dust clouds will clear, we may well have NERW updates here, not to mention lots of capital-I Insight on Wednesday’s Top of the Tower podcast as we sort this all out with RadioInsight’s Lance Venta.
Though the months are over the pictures remain, and they remain beautiful. Especially at half price.
This is the 20th year we have been publishing our calendar. In addition to the 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.
*It’s a safe bet that nobody involved in the giant three-way split of the Boston stations wanted any extra drama, which is why it surely didn’t help to have the police show up at Leo Birmingham Parkway on Wednesday to rein in a protest over comments from WBZ-FM (98.5 the Sports Hub) afternoon host Michael Felger. His insensitive jab at the late Blue Jays pitching ace Roy Halladay after Halladay’s death in a small plane crash prompted rival WEEI talker Kirk Minihane to cross Market Street to stage a protest calling for Felger to be fired.
Here’s where it gets weird: the CBS managers who called the cops on Minihane’s stunt will soon be Entercom managers, and thus Minihane’s bosses at WEEI – and Felger, of course, will soon be the competition under Beasley. But it was another set of Felger’s bosses, his TV managers at NBC Sports Boston, who acted first: they suspended Felger from appearing on TV for the remainder of last week. Felger has apologized for his comments, and we still wonder whether Beasley has the stomach for the kind of routine controversy that comes with the format they’re buying at 98.5.
*It’s not clear that there was any connection between two bomb threats that rattled TV stations at opposite ends of New England late last week. In South Burlington, VERMONT, police took a call just after 11 on Thursday night from a man claiming he’d planted bombs inside the Joy Drive studios of WCAX (Channel 3). The building was evacuated in the middle of the late newscast, but a search turned up nothing.
Around the same time, police in Portland, MAINE received a similar call warning of bombs in the studio at WGME (Channel 13). That building was also evacuated, but nothing was found inside.
Then on Friday afternoon, Boston Fox affiliate WFXT (Channel 25) had to interrupt its 5 PM newscast around 5:20 when a threat was called in to its sprawling Dedham facility. For 90 minutes, the evening newscast was off the air while the building was evacuated. Police gave the all-clear at 6:50 and staffers were allowed back inside, where they did an extended newscast that ran until 7:30.
*In Worcester, veteran talk host Hank Stolz is joining forces with Worcester Magazine and the online Unity Radio to launch a new streaming talk format. The new format, which will stream at worcestermag.com, will include the “Talk of the Commonwealth” morning show Stolz has been doing online for the past year, as well as Tony Economou and Gary Rosen from 10 AM to noon and the “Worcester Magazine Radio Hour” from noon-1 PM. Unity Radio has a CP for WUTY-LP (102.9), and we hear the new format could air there when the LPFM launches next year, too.
*And out in western Massachusetts, over-the-air ABC viewers may have a harder time of things once WCDC (Channel 19/RF 36) leaves the air Dec. 1. The Greylock Mountain-based satellite of Albany’s WTEN (Channel 10) has a history that goes back to 1954 and independent WMGT-TV on channel 74, but it’s succumbing to the FCC’s spectrum auction, leaving Berkshire County viewers to need better antennas to try to pull in WTEN itself or Springfield’s WGGB from the other direction.
The demise of WCDC also creates a potential headache for tenants on its Mount Greylock tower, which WTEN will continue to lease to Albany public broadcaster WAMC (90.3) and to NBC competitor WNYT (Channel 13), which operates a low-power relay on channel 38 there. WTEN is reportedly trying to find a buyer for the tower, which faces pressure from environmental advocates who’d like the top of Greylock cleared off.
Nexstar took in $34.6 million for WCDC’s spectrum; it’s apparently going to keep the license alive under a channel-sharing deal that will likely put its license on the WTEN transmitter to give Nexstar a second must-carry channel in the Albany market.
*There’s a new signal coming to iHeart in RHODE ISLAND, where it’s paying EMF $360,000 for translator W284BA (104.7 Warwick). The translator had been carrying EMF’s K-Love, fed from an HD subchannel of iHeart’s WSNE (93.3 Taunton), but now that EMF has taken over the former WBRU (95.5, now WLVO), the translator had become redundant. No word yet on what iHeart plans to do with the 104.7 signal, though we’re hearing rumors of a country flanker that would try to shave some audience from Hall’s dominant WCTK (98.1).
*In the Upper Valley of NEW HAMPSHIRE and Vermont, Great Eastern kicked off November with some changes to its station lineup. “The River,” the AAA format that had been on translator W294AB (106.7 Hanover NH) and the HD2 of WHDQ (106.1 Claremont), has moved to WWOD (93.9 Woodstock VT). The “Kool FM” oldies that had been on 93.9 are now on 106.7 as a full-time feed of the True Oldies Channel; “Kool” also continues to be heard on WFYX (96.3 Walpole NH).
*MAINE Public Classical now has a much bigger Midcoast reach. On Thursday morning at 9, MPBN took over the former WTQX (96.7 Boothbay Harbor) from Blueberry Broadcasting, flipping it from a simulcast of rock WTOS (105.1 Skowhegan) to the growing statewide classical network under new calls WBQA. MPBN paid $550,000 for the signal, which joins full-power WBQF (91.5 Fryeburg, ex-WFYB) and WBQE (93.7 Milbridge, ex-WRMO), along with HD-fed translators in Waterville, Bangor and Portland.
*There are radio engineers on the move in NEW YORK, some more willingly than others. Downstate, a cutback at Univision has claimed the job of veteran New York-market radio engineer Nomar Vizcarrondo, and we’re hoping he lands on his feet somewhere in the market very soon. At the other end of the state, Bill Prendergast has left the chief engineer’s office at Entercom in Buffalo to head back home to Alaska, leaving a vacancy there with some big projects in the works, including a new tower for WKSE (Kiss 98.5) on Grand Island.
*Syracuse is getting a Baldwin back home on the radio. The famous family of actors has made no secret of its roots in central New York (including a starring role by Alec and his mom, Carol, in a Wegmans ad a few years back), and now Daniel Baldwin is hitting the airwaves in his native Syracuse. He’s now doing the 3-4 PM weekday slot on Galaxy’s ESPN Syracuse (WTLA 1200/97.7 and WSGO 1440/100.1 in Oswego).
*In Kingston, Jimmy Buff’s Radio Kingston has closed on its purchase of WKNY (1490) from Townsquare. With financial support from Buffett heir Peter Buffett, Radio Kingston is planning a diverse, hyper-local format on WKNY (and soon, an FM translator), with longtime WDST programmer Buff doing mornings.
Where are they now? Former central New York programmer Jason Furst (WSYR Syracuse, WHAM Rochester) spent the last five years at Entercom’s WBT in Charlotte, but a shuffle of managers there ousted him from the PD chair last week.
*Out on Long Island, we note (somewhat belatedly, due to our travel last week) that the storms that ripped across the east end just before Halloween took out one of the three towers at WLIM (1580 Patchogue), leaving the Polnet-owned station silent for the time being. (There’s been no silent notification filed by WNYG 1440 Medford, which diplexes off one of the remaining WLIM towers – and if you’re scoring at home, this means both of Polnet’s New York AM sites are now missing towers, since a downed tower at WRKL 910 in Rockland County has still yet to be replaced.) Photo: Mike Erickson
*The obituaries for Liz Smith will focus on the gossip column she wrote for New York’s newspapers for years, and rightfully so – but we remember her here for her many years as a fixture on “Live at Five” on WNBC-TV (Channel 4), where she won an Emmy for her work in 1985. The Texan started at WNBC during a newspaper strike in 1979 that would otherwise have silenced her, and she was so popular there that she stayed on TV for twenty years even after the presses started rolling again. Smith died Sunday at 94.
*When EMF Broadcasting can’t find a big deal to make, it’s still out there in the marketplace making smaller deals, including one that will strengthen its K-Love signal in central PENNSYLVANIA. EMF is paying Pat Sickafus $700,000 for WTPA (92.1 Palmyra), giving the musician/sheepskin-coat entrepreneur a nice profit after he paid Cumulus $530,000 for that Harrisburg-market signal back in 2012.
While WTPA’s rock format will now fade away after a long journey around the dial (it spent many years on 93.5 before the Cumulus/Citadel merger sent it down to 92.1), Sickafus keeps his other radio operation, classic country WWSM (1510 Annville-Cleona). As for K-Love, it will get much better Harrisburg coverage than it now gets from northern rimshot WKHW (88.5 Halifax) and translators.
*Up US 15 at the Seven Mountains Selinsgrove cluster, veteran radio guy Tom Scott has taken over afternoons on “Bigfoot Country” (WCFT/WRBG/WQBG/WZBF), where he’s using the airname “B.F. Hunter.” Scott comes to Selinsgrove from Erie, where he’d been PD at top-40 WEHP (Happy 92.7); he’s also worked for Clear Channel in Williamsport and Binghamton.
And up by the state line, Paul B. Walker, Jr. has returned to WDDH (97.5 the Hound) in Ridgway, where he’s back in the afternoon slot he occupied before heading off on adventures to new radio homes in California and Alaska a few years back.
*In Philadelphia, they’re mourning Rod Carson, Sr., the longtime traffic voice at KYW (1060) and co-founder back in 1997 of Shadow Traffic. Carson was in high school when he started out on local WCOJ (1420 Coatesville) and went on to work at WAEB in Allentown and at numerous Philadelphia stations, including as a “Good Guy” on WIBG, five years in mornings on WDAS and as host of “Rock and Roll Roots” on WMMR. He was inducted into the Philadelphia AFTRA Hall of Fame in 2009. Carson was 75.
*Locally-owned radio continues to vanish across CANADA, and the latest stations to go corporate are in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, where Newcap is buying CKEC (94.1 East Coast FM) and CKEZ (Classic Rock 97.9) from Hector Broadcasting. The two stations will be Newcap’s 73rd and 74th radio properties, joining existing Newcap Nova Scotia properties in Halifax, Kentville and Sydney. So far, no purchase price has been announced.
*Newcap is also making moves at its “93.5 the Move” (CFXJ) in Toronto, where it’s adding more contemporary hip-hop and R&B back to the rhythmic AC format it adopted last year.
Over at Durham Radio in Oshawa, CJKX (95.9 Ajax) has added two new HD subchannels: it’s now carrying smooth jazz “The Wave” (from sister station CIWV-HD2 in Hamilton) on 95.9-HD2 and oldies CKDO (1580) on 95.9-HD3, reports Canadian Radio News.
CRN also reports CJCS (1240 Stratford) has now signed off for good, effective Nov. 9. Vista Radio migrated the station to FM on 107.1 (as “Juice FM”) over the summer, and had been running a loop on 1240 directing listeners to the FM signal when last we tuned in.
*Also in Toronto, Bell is promoting Taylor Jukes out of her role as PD of Virgin Radio (CKFM 99.9) to senior manager, national content, which opens up a promotion for Karen Steeles from sister “Virgin” station CFCA (105.3) over in Kitchener-Waterloo. She’s adding the PD duties in Toronto, effective today.
One more tidbit from Toronto: fans of the old CITY-TV in its Moses Znaimer heyday can’t forget the station’s theme song, “People City” – and now there’s a new documentary all about the song and its role in making CITY such an important piece of Toronto TV history. Check it out at Retrontario.com!
*In Quebec City, Cogeco’s CJMF (FM93) has fired host Gilles Parent amidst accusations of sexual misconduct. Ève-Marie Lortie is now hosting Parent’s former afternoon show, alongside Nicolas Lacroix and Dan Pou.
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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: November 14, 2016
*Yeah, yeah, it’s another week leading off the column with more news about NBC in eastern MASSACHUSETTS – but (a) we think this week’s news pretty much sums things up until the Peacock Network actually makes its move in six weeks or so, and (b) it’s either that or write about the election, and you’d rather hear about NBC Boston, right?
Thought as much. So: as of this past Thursday, “channel 8” has lit up for viewers near the Needham/Newton antenna farm, thanks to a reprogramming of the encoder at WBTS-LP (RF 46), which had formerly been using virtual channel 60 for its relay of Telemundo outlet WNEU from NEW HAMPSHIRE. Viewers who rescan their TVs can now see a temporary simulcast of Comcast’s New England Cable News on 8.1 (with NBC Boston promos and a few of the syndicated shows that will be part of the NBC Boston schedule in 2017), plus WNEU’s Telemundo programming on 8.2, Comcast’s COZI classic TV channel on 8.3 and Telemundo spinoff TeleExitos on 8.4.
Meanwhile on WNEU, it’s Telemundo on 60.1 – but the “NBC Boston Preview” is now being seen in New Hampshire and areas north of Boston on 60.2, with TeleExitos now shifted to 60.3 and COZI to 60.4. (This is a change from NBC’s initial announcement that NBC Boston’s programming would appear as virtual “8.2” from the WNEU transmitter; we’d assume that someone from Hearst raised concerns about signal overlap between WNEU and the western fringe of its WMTW signal from MAINE, which has been “channel 8” in the region for many decades.)
Which brings us to the question we couldn’t answer last week. Joe Davis of Chesapeake RF Consultants unearthed the request that Comcast filed with the FCC in mid-October to use virtual channel 8 in Boston, and here’s their logic:
As we’d surmised in earlier columns, WBTS told the FCC that it can’t use virtual channel 46 in the Boston market, since that belongs to WWDP (RF 10) in Norwell. Nor can it use virtual channel 10, given the considerable overlap with Providence’s WJAR (RF 50). Because of its long period of silence, WBTS told the Commission that the marketplace had no familiarity with its previous analog channels, 32 and then 67, both of which would otherwise have been available for use as virtual channels in Boston. (As would “51,” which was WJAR’s original digital RF channel.)
Because it’s an LPTV, WBTS suggested to the FCC that the rules for assigning virtual channels should be interpreted a little more loosely, and since “8” was otherwise unused both in Boston and neighboring markets (except for WMTW, which doesn’t overlap WBTS itself), “8” it was. (NERW notes that other channels, such as 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and perhaps even 3, would also have worked just fine – but none of those will put NBC just one virtual click away from its soon-to-be-former home on WHDH, channel 7.)
*The region’s one and only big format change of the week comes from upstate NEW YORK, where Craig Fox’s WMVN (100.3 Sylvan Beach) dropped its “Movin” rhythmic AC format on Wednesday to go rhythmic top-40 at 4 PM as “96.5/100.3 the Beat.”
The 96.5 is translator W243AB Westvale, which fills in the rimshot 100.3 signal for central Syracuse, where the format is really aimed. It’s been a while since Syracuse has had a station targeting the urban audience (save for iHeart’s “Power 620” WHEN on the AM dial), and it appears the new “Beat” is trying to get that audience as well as pulling from the two mainstream CHRs in town, iHeart’s WWHT (Hot 107.9) and Cumulus’ WNTQ (93Q).
So far, there’s no airstaff announced for the new “Beat.”
*In CANADA, Erin Davis is leaving CHFI (98.1) – and Toronto, for that matter – after a remarkable 28 years on the morning show. Davis made the announcement on Wednesday’s show, and she’ll wrap up her time at the Rogers-owned AC station with a live broadcast December 15 from Casa Loma before relocating to British Columbia.
Five Years Ago: November 12, 2012
*It’s been just over a year since the public radio scene in western PENNSYLVANIA changed dramatically with Duquesne University’s sale of WDUQ (90.5 Pittsburgh) to a new group called Essential Public Radio. Renamed WESA, 90.5 shed most of the jazz programming that had long been a staple there – and most of the former WDUQ staff, too. Many of those staffers had been involved with a rival bid for the 90.5 license under the “Pittsburgh Public Media” banner, and after losing out on the broadcast license, they remained active with other ventures. Even without a station to call home, former DUQ staffers kept the jazz format going by way of an online stream (“Pittsburgh Jazz Channel“) while planning more new formats to offer under the “PubMusic” banner.
It turns out they were planning something else, too: not long after WDUQ became WESA, Pittsburgh Public Media began negotiating to find a new FM home. On Friday, PPM announced it’s entered an agreement to buy WVBC (88.1), the radio signal of Bethany College in Bethany, West Virginia, some 35 miles west of Pittsburgh. PPM openly acknowledges that the 1100-watt signal “is a station that needs signal improvements” before it can be easily heard in most of the Pittsburgh area, and NERW notes that will be a challenge, what with Carnegie Mellon’s WRCT (88.3) right in Pittsburgh and He’s Alive, Inc.s’ religious WRWJ (88.1 Murrysville) out to the southeast of town.
“We must start somewhere,” PPM says, and it’s now launching a fundraising campaign to bring in $150,000 for the purchase of WVBC by February 1, 2013. Once it’s on the air with its new 88.1 rimshot signal, PPM says it will be ready to go with a studio: it turns out WESA sold all of the old WDUQ studio gear to PPM when it built new South Side studios with quasi-sister station WYEP (91.3) late last year.
*When Infinity Broadcasting flipped NEW YORK‘s WKTU (92.3) to “K-Rock” back in 1985, could anyone have imagined that the WXRK calls would end up becoming among the city’s most enduring? Over 27 years, 92.3 saw the rise and eventual departure of Howard Stern, the ill-fated 2006 flip to talk as “Free FM” that briefly turned the station into WFNY-FM and the return of “K-Rock” and the WXRK calls in 2007. Even the flip to top-40 as “Now” in 2009 didn’t displace the WXRK callsign – at least, not right away. Why did it take until November 8, 2012 for CBS to finally change the callsign on 92.3 for good? We don’t know – but since the station is now WNOW-FM (a callsign that had been in North Carolina on what’s now WOSG 105.3 Gaffney/Charlotte and before that on what’s now WQXA-FM 105.7 in York, PA), it’s a good bet the “Now” format is sticking around for a while. (2017 note: we don’t get ’em all right, do we?)
Ten Years Ago: November 12, 2007
*It’s always nice to see radio stations join together to raise money for a good cause – but the impromptu collaboration of an entire NEW HAMPSHIRE radio market last week was truly something to behold.
We told you last week that Pauline Loyd (aka “Polly Robbins” of WWOD, WXLF, WNTK and several other Upper Valley stations) was struggling in her fight against breast cancer, and even as we were typing our news item, those stations were banding together for a one-day radiothon to raise money in Pauline’s name.
“Polly’s Think Pink Radiothon” took over the airwaves of pretty much the entire market – all the stations owned by Koor Communications, Nassau Broadcasting, Great Eastern and Dartnouth’s WFRD/WDCR – for a 13-hour simulcast last Thursday based at a phone bank at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth College.
It’s a small market, but by the time the phones stopped ringing and the simulcast ended Thursday night, the effort had raised over $37,000. Nice work, and a tribute to the good work broadcasters can do when they work together.
*Our NEW YORK news starts in Buffalo, where cutbacks at Entercom claimed the jobs of the entire airstaff at WLKK (107.7 Wethersfield) on Friday. PD Hank Dole remains in place, with automation running on the air while part-timers are brought in to replace the former “Lake Guides.” Also out, we’re told, is Brian B. Wilde, music director/APD at WKSE (Kiss 98.5).
Fifteen Years Ago: November 11, 2002
In MASSACHUSETTS, Arthur Liu is adding to his Multicultural Broadcasting holdings with a $1.8 million purchase of WSRO (1470 Marlborough) from Alexander Langer. WSRO isn’t much of a signal at the moment, operating under a long-running Special Temporary Authority since the city of Marlborough took its old transmitter site, but Liu isn’t buying WSRO for its current signal. The purchase price includes $150,000 to build out WSRO’s construction permit to change city of license to Watertown and transmitter site to the Lexington facility of WAMG (1150), which you can see on the October page of the 2002 Tower Site Calendar. When it’s moved and the purchase has closed, WSRO will join WLYN (1360 Lynn) in Liu’s Boston cluster.
We’ve been remiss in mentioning the latest addition to the schedule at Sporting News Radio’s WWZN (1510 Boston); Mike Adams has joined the station to do mornings, which means that 1510 is now running local all day long before joining Sporting News in the evenings (when there’s not a Celtics game, anyway.)
It could just as easily fall under the Bay State heading — but the “new” station serving Fall River and New Bedford is still licensed to RHODE ISLAND, as WKKB (100.3 Middletown). The Citadel rocker, formerly Providence-based 80s outlet WZRI (“Z100”) made its debut last Friday (Nov. 1), with a schedule that includes Patriots football and voicetracking (initally overnight and now middays) from “Brian the Pharmacist,” late of the FNX network.
On to NEW YORK, then: there will be a new addition to the skyline soon that should help the city’s beleaguered TV broadcasters restore a better signal to over-the-air viewers even in the event of problems at their primary Empire State Building site. Four Times Square, the “Condé Nast Building” on Broadway between 41st and 42nd streets, is already home to auxiliary FM transmitters for New York’s Clear Channel and Spanish Broadcasting System clusters, as well as public radio WNYC-FM (93.9). Now the building’s owner, The Durst Organization, plans to add another 200 or so feet to the mast atop 4 Times Square to provide auxiliary transmitter space for New York’s TV stations. (By the way, Durst has hired one of the city’s top broadcast engineers to supervise its own broadcast-leasing operations: John Lyons, the former chief engineer for Clear Channel’s WAXQ in New York, now calls Four Times Square home, which is only fitting, considering he had a huge hand in designing the broadcast facility there!)
Twenty Years Ago: November 14, 1997
The last major locally-owned radio station in Hartford is being sold — but WCCC AM/FM (1290/106.9) won’t become yet another outlet of the big group broadcasters. Sy Dressner’s Greater Hartford Communications Corp. has owned WCCC for 28 years, and now Dressner says it’s time to bring in some younger owners with fresh ideas. Dressner turned down several offers from the big groups and turned to Marlin Broadcasting, the family group that owns classical WBOQ (104.9 Gloucester MA) and WTMI (93.1 Miami FL). It’s not Marlin’s first time in the Hartford market; the company owned WKSS (95.7) from 1980 until 1983.
What’s in store for the rock and roll format at WCCC? Marlin says it’s committed to keeping WCCC-FM rocking, and it’s locked into a three-year contract with Howard Stern in morning drive. On the AM side, the West Hartford-licensed daytimer on 1290 could end up with a new format when Marlin takes over in early 1998. No purchase price has been announced.