In this week’s issue… Bell launches national “MORE” format – Shamrock flips in Scranton – Lightner buys more in PA – Lehigh Valley gets Loud – Joe D leaves Hartford
By SCOTT FYBUSH
Welcome to 2021! This week’s column begins our 28th year of service to the radio and television community in the northeastern US and eastern Canada. NERW was among the very first electronic trade publications when we began way back in 1994, and we’re proud of the factual, comprehensive way we’ve brought you the news, plus a little opinion, history and humor, over these many years as we’ve migrated from Usenet to mailing lists to the web to social media.
This year also marks two decades of independence for us. Working for ourselves has been challenging at times, but it’s also been incredibly fulfilling. It’s only possible because of the staunch support we’ve received from you, our loyal readers. Lisa and I are so grateful for your subscriptions and your calendar purchases. We look forward to serving you throughout 2021 and beyond. And we hope that if you enjoy what you read here, you’ll help us out by telling your colleagues and helping us grow our subscriber base.
On with year 28…
*When we summarized the top stories of 2020 for our big Year in Review package last week, one of the trends we knew would make the list was CANADA‘s “move” toward more national formats and fewer distinct local radio brands.
What we didn’t know until just after Christmas, though, was that Bell Media was poised to launch a new national brand, replacing many of its most established local hot AC and AC brands from the Maritimes to British Columbia. On December 27, ten local Bell stations rebranded as “MOVE,” including seven in NERW-land.
We’d had at least something of a hint that changes were coming at a few of those signals: in Halifax, CIOO (C100) was one of the stations where local talent was eliminated in Bell’s last round of job cuts; the morning show hosts there, JC Douglas and Melody Rose, were cut loose in November. It’s still not clear who will be doing mornings when local talent returns to the airwaves this morning at what’s now “Move 100.1.”
“Move 106.9” replaces “Capital” at CIBX (106.9) in Fredericton, NB; in Ottawa, “Move 100.3” takes the place of the “Majic” brand after three decades at CJMJ; in Brockville, it’s “Move 104.9” in place of “JR fm” at CFJR; Kingston’s CFLY (98.3) goes from “FLY FM” to “Move 98.3,” and in St. Catharines, it’s “Move 105.7” at CHRE, replacing the last holdout of the “EZ Rock” brand outside British Columbia.
We don’t yet know all the details of Bell’s talent plans for the new MOVE stations, but they appear to include a national midday airshift for Ashley Greco, who’ll also continue doing afternoons at Bell’s CHUM-FM (104.5) in Toronto. And there’s at least one shift confirmed at CHRE: Aiko Iwashita, who’d been at CKLH (K-Lite 102.9) in Hamilton for almost two decades, is moving down the QEW to take over afternoons in Niagara. It appears Darrin Laidman moves to afternoons at K-Lite, with Taylor Kaye taking over middays there.
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