In this week’s issue… Formats flip in Lehigh Valley, Poconos – WNYC cancellation draws protests – Albany reporters change slots – TV repack’s next phase



*Fans of alternative rock along the PENNSYLVANIA/NEW JERSEY border are spinning their dials looking for… well, for an alternative, now that Cumulus has pulled the plug on “Spin Radio,” the modern rock format that reached the Poconos and parts of northwest New Jersey on WWYY (107.1 Belvidere NJ) and the Lehigh Valley on translator W234AX (94.7 Allentown).

On Monday, Cumulus abruptly replaced the rock with an extension of its “Cat Country” format, simulcasting its WCTO (96.1 Easton) on the 107.1 signal while flipping 94.7 in Allentown to a new FM extension of sports WEEX (1230 Easton)/WTKZ (1320 Allentown).

The move, a few months after Cumulus acquired WWYY and WCTO in a swap from Connoisseur, means the end of Spin morning man Riley Reed’s time with the station. The rest of the Spin staff had been doing double duty at the cluster and remain with the company – PD Sal Palazzolo also engineers, afternoon guy Becker is production director and night guy Joe Brown is also the sales manager.

For Cat Country, which unveiled a new morning show bringing Hannah Byrom alongside Sam Malone on the “Cat Morning Crew,” the addition of the Poconos simulcast provides a chance to sell a second set of localized spots (though we heard a bunch of PSAs on the 107.1 feed as we drove through last week). Might it also fend off the possibility of new Poconos owner Seven Mountains going to country on the AM/translator signal (WVPO 840/103.1) it’s acquiring from Connoisseur?

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