In this week’s issue… Honor for Rochester rocker – Translator CPs go to auction – Remembering Erie’s Findlay – New FM in Ontario

By SCOTT FYBUSH

Jump to: MENHVTMARICTNYNJ PACanada

*You’ll forgive us, perhaps, for letting a little bit of local pride influence our choice of lead story on an otherwise sleepy week for broadcasting news?

Here in Rochester, WCMF (96.5) was one of the stations that shaped your editor’s radio listening as an impressionable youth back there in the haze of the 1980s. Even then, the rock station seemed like a local institution – but that status was confirmed Sunday night when WCMF became one of the newest inductees into the Rochester Music Hall of Fame.

The honor coincided with WCMF’s 50th anniversary as a rock station, one of only a handful from the late 1960s blossoming of album-oriented rock to still survive today, having outlived compatriots such as New York’s WNEW and Boston’s WBCN. (The Hall of Fame proclaimed WCMF one of “just five” stations around the country to still have the same calls and music format for over 50 years; we count more like a dozen, but it’s an impressive run nonetheless.)

WCMF’s part of the ceremony at the Eastman Theatre Sunday night included a special merit award for midday jock Dave Kane, himself a 38-year veteran of the station.

“Kane-O” paid tribute to many key figures in WCMF history in his speech, from former station owner Ted Nixon (in WCMF’s days under Sconnix ownership) to early jocks such as Tom Teuber and Chuck Ingersoll, with a particularly loud round of applause for “Unkle Roger” McCall, the beloved overnight jock who was murdered in 2004. (McCall was himself inducted into the hall in 2017.)

Another round of applause greeted Kane’s tribute to his former co-worker Brother Wease, the morning institution who started on WCMF in the 1980s and jumped to what’s now iHeart’s WAIO (95.1) a decade ago. And then it was time to rock, with an all-star band that included members of Whitesnake and Guns ‘n’ Roses playing some of their hits.

WCMF enters the hall five years after WDKX, the locally-owned urban radio institution that was inducted when it turned 40 back in 2014. Other inductees this year included Al Jardine of the Beach Boys (he spent much of his childhood in Rochester) and folksinger Christine Lavin, who lived near Rochester as a teenager and graduated from SUNY Brockport.

How many other cities honor their radio stations this way? Not enough, we’d venture…

Did you hear the latest Top of the Tower Podcast? In our newest edition, we feature an extended conversation with Phil Redo, who’ll step down next year as general manager of WGBH Radio in Boston. The intense competition with crosstown rival WBUR, the state of radio in the digital age, and Redo’s long and varied career across the commercial and public radio worlds – it’s all part of our discussion. Listen here – or subscribe anywhere you get your podcasts!

The 2020 Tower Site Calendar will soon be off the press, but you don’t have to wait to order it.

For the month of September, you can order your copy in advance for 20% off the regular price.

Note to our regular buyers (and our irregular buyers — we love every one of you): This is not this year’s cover, as this year’s calendar is still in production. We promise the real cover will be just as beautiful, if not more.

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You don't have to stop reading here! Each week's NorthEast Radio Watch is packed full of exclusive, in-depth reporting and analysis from across the nine states and five provinces we've been serving since 1994. You won't find anything like it on any free site - and you can read the rest of this week's column for just $2.99 by clicking on the "Purchase Only" link below. 

Or click here to subscribe and enjoy full access to current NERW and Tower Site of the Week columns and two decades of searchable archives -- for as little as 25 cents per day.

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