In this week’s issue… AM-FM swap in Ontario? – NYSBA names Hall of Famers – EMF’s next NYC step 

By SCOTT FYBUSH

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*Will CANADA‘s regulators approve a swap of AM and FM formats, along with a power upgrade, west of Hamilton?

In the US, of course, the FCC doesn’t regulate formats, so this would be a non-issue. But north of the border, it’s a different story rooted in some recent acquisition history.

The Evanov family’s Dufferin Communications added Christian-formatted CFWC (93.9) in Brantford to its existing cluster, CKPC (1380)/CKPC-FM (92.1), in 2017 – and now it’s in front of the CRTC with an application to move CKPC(AM)’s country format to 93.9 and CFWC’s Christian format to 1380, along with a second application to move the 93.9 transmitter and raise its power from 250 watts/24 m to 1.7 kW average/3 kW max DA/34 m.

Dufferin says as the only broadcaster in Brantford, it should have wide latitude to rearrange its formats and signals for maximum coverage. Moving the Christian format to 1380, it says, will address complaints from listeners about limited range on the existing signal as well as eliminating reliability issues from the current 93.9 transmitter site (“being held together with Band-Aids,” says CFWC in its application) on a church steeple; putting country on a bigger 93.9 signal, meanwhile, would repatriate listeners who now tune to out-of-market country stations such as CHKX (94.7 Hamilton) and CIKZ (106.7 Kitchener).

Will the CRTC see things Evanov’s way? Without any competing broadcasters right in Brantford to complain, it’s at least possible, and we’ll keep you updated as these applications move through the pipeline.

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*EMF made the next step in its NEW YORK format shuffles on Friday, dropping the promotional loop on its suburban 96.7 signal directing K-Love listeners to WPLJ (95.5) and relaunching the Port Chester-licensed 96.7 with Air 1 as WARW. (Those calls move downstate from 93.5 in Remsen, which becomes WAWR.) The HD2 signal on 96.7 is now directing former Air 1 listeners there to 96.7-HD1; HD3 is still carrying K-Love Classics at the moment, while there’s been no HD at all on WPLJ in recent weeks.

*In the heat of summer, it’s hard sometimes to look ahead to autumn – but October will, as always, find us in New York City at the AES/NAB New York conventions, which also bring the New York State Broadcasters Association’s annual luncheon and Hall of Fame induction.

NYSBA announced the class of 2019 last week, and it’s another good one statewide: Boomer Esiason, morning host on New York’s WFAN, gets into this hall of fame, even if he never won entry to Canton for his admirable NFL career. Ted Long and Amy Robbins (right), the 30-year morning veterans of Syracuse’s 93Q (WNTQ), represent upstate radio, while Tom Jolls, who did the weather on WKBW-TV (Channel 7) in Buffalo and entertained the kids as “Commander Tom,” gets the TV honors. And Diana Williams will make the short trip downtown from WABC-TV (Channel 7) to be honored for her 29 years as an anchor and reporter there, right after she retires from the 5 PM anchor chair in September. (It’s a very “channel 7” ceremony – before joining WABC in 1991, Williams was at Boston’s channel 7, then WNEV.)

*Radio People on the Move: Joe Limardi is ditching radio for beer – and doesn’t that sound good on a steamy July Monday? The veteran programmer has been with Townsquare in Poughkeepsie for five years, serving as OM/brand manager for rocker WPDH (101.5), but now he’s leaving to become director of brand experience for Half Full Brewery in Stamford, Connecticut.

In Buffalo, Entercom’s WLKK (Alternative Buffalo 107.7) has reworked its schedule, moving middayer Brandi into the morning show vacated by Emily Wild’s exit and night guy Axe into middays. Weekend/fill-in jock Kennedy takes over Axe’s former night shift.

*CONNECTICUT-based Connoisseur Media has completed a management-led buyout of the stake in the company that had been held by investment firm Petrus Holdings. Petrus, which is run by Ross Perot, Jr., bought a piece of Connoisseur in 2015; we don’t know exactly how much, except that it was small enough not to be filed as a change of control with the FCC. Jeff Warshaw’s Connoisseur team isn’t saying how much this deal is worth, either, but they say management now owns “substantially all” the equity in the new slimmed-down version of Connoisseur after the company shed its signals outside its new core markets in southern Connecticut, Long Island and Frederick, Maryland.

*And we close out a quiet summer news week in VERMONT, where Zeb Norris revealed his new gig last week. The veteran PD at Steve Silberberg’s “Point” AAA stations is joining Radio Vermont Group, where he’ll be programming “101 the One,” the classic hits simulcast of WCVT (101.7)/WEXP (101.5) based out of Waterbury.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Call letter trivia – In 1993 WARW was given to 94.7 in Washington, DC when they took on the corporate “Arrow” format.

  2. Former “The One” PD Frankie Allen I’ve learned filled the sales opening made by Mark Strusacker after he retired Radio Vermont Group after 30+ years and moved to out west. That’s what made the opening.

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