In this week’s issue… Seven Mountains completes Elmira shuffle – WABC adds LI FM – Historic Buffalo calls return – Last round of DTV repack (mostly) finished – Remembering Dick Gosselin, Dave Macaulay, Ron Raetz
By SCOTT FYBUSH
*There weren’t a lot of fireworks in the skies over NERW-land (well, not legal ones, anyway) on this unusual Fourth of July weekend – but the airwaves over the Elmira, NEW YORK radio market were a different story, as Seven Mountains Media completed the consolidation of the two clusters it had purchased last year from Community Broadcasters and Equinox Broadcasting.
Now operating entirely out of the former Community Broadcasters studios, the group’s big shuffle on Friday afternoon left only one main signal unchanged: top-40 “Wink” WNKI (106.1 Corning) was still at its usual spot on the dial when the dust cleared (albeit with new translators added at 95.7 in Elmira and 107.9 in Wellsboro PA.)
Country music? It had been on “Wolf” WPGI (100.9 Horseheads) but has now moved to a bigger combination of three signals with Seven Mountains’ signature “Bigfoot” branding: WCBF (96.1 Elmira), WQBF (94.7 Tioga PA) and WOBF (97.1 Canaseraga/Hornell), as well as a 95.1 translator in Corning.
The “Met” classic rock format that was on 94.7 as WMTT (plus a slew of translators) had already added a simulcast a few months ago on WWLZ (820 Horseheads, with a 101.3 Corning translator), and now WMTT is on the 100.9 Horseheads signal, with additional translators in Hornell, Bath and Mansfield PA, as “101 the Met.”
“Wingz” active rock had long been on WNGZ (104.9 Montour Falls), with a translator at 93.5 Corning and a recently-added simulcast on WRCE (1490 Watkins Glen) and 93.1 Elmira; the shuffle took Wingz off the wide-coverage 104.9 signal and put the WNGZ calls on 1490.
That 104.9 signal became the new primary home of the “Cool” classic hits that had been on WPHD (96.1) in Elmira and WZHD (97.1) for Hornell; the new “Cool 104.9” has been added to the HD3 of 96.1 and the HD2 of 97.1 to feed new translator outlets: 103.3 in Elmira, 95.1 Hornell and 107.9 Corning.
Hip-hop fans temporarily lost an outlet when “Hot 103.3” disappeared from 96.1’s HD2 and the 103.3 Elmira translator; the format will return (in throwback form) as “Jamz” on the HD2 and a 101.7 translator serving Horseheads and Corning.
Confusing? Judging from the stations’ social media pages, it sure was – especially because the flips all happened with no notice to listeners, and with some dead air and technical glitches as the formats moved around for several hours Friday afternoon. (Even on Monday morning, the streams aren’t all working right from the stations’ new websites, all reachable via 7MMElmira.com.)
Monday morning listeners had another surprise: the “Scott and Ally” morning show that had been exclusive to Wink 106 is now being heard across the cluster on Bigfoot, Cool, Met and Wingz, with the morning show’s bits being interspersed with the appropriate music on each station.
In an unrelated change, Sound Broadcasting’s WENY-FM/WENI-FM (Magic 92.7/97.7) now has a solo morning show, as Brian Stoll exits and Alisa Marie holds down the wakeup shift.
We have a great lineup of podcasts here on our site. While you’re catching up with your summer reading, don’t forget about your summer listening. Now is the time to make sure you’re up to date with Top of the Tower.
Our latest one features Donna Halper discussing her life in radio, from her time at WMMS when she helped Rush get US airplay, to what she learned from Arnie “Woo Woo” Ginsburg.
Don’t forget you can still visit our store to check out our other great products. We’ll be taking preorders for the 2021 calendar soon. Stay tuned!