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NorthEast Radio Watch 7/2: Red, White, and CHR all Over

*NERW arrives in your mailbox a day early and a few dozen lines short
this week, as we present an early holiday edition:

*The CHR wars have taken another twist in Syracuse, which just a year
ago had but a single hit radio station, the venerable WNTQ (93.1), aka
"93Q".  Cox Broadcasting joined the race last year when country
WHEN-FM (107.9) flipped to "Hot 107-9," WWHT.  And now there's a third
entry, noncommercial WJPZ (89.1), operated by the students of Syracuse
University.  "Z89" was CHR until 1995, when it joined the rush to
alternative and became "The Pulse."  Now it's back to "Z89," but this
time around with a strong dance emphasis, using the slogan "The Beat
of Syracuse."  We'll see how long a three-way fight can last,
especially when one of the combatants is a hundred-watt noncomm.

Elsewhere in NEW YORK, there are some strange goings-on at Newburgh's
WGNY (1200).  It seems that even though WGNY moved from a daytimer on
1220 to a fulltimer on 1200 back in 1993, it's been operating under a
construction permit on the new frequency the whole time.  And now, the
FCC has cancelled three of those construction permits.  We're still
trying to sort out what it all means, and we'll have much more on this
next week in NERW.

Up in Plattsburgh, the SUNY station on 93.9 has applied to change
calls from WPLT to WQKE.  Another Syracuse note: NERW drove past the
WOLF (1490) tower on W. Kirkpatrick Street over the weekend, and while
the old flagpole-style antenna was still standing, the pieces of the
new steel tower are on the ground and ready to go up any day now.

And the FCC has dismissed the translator application of Pensacola's
WPCS for 88.1 in Middletown NY.

*Moving on to NEW HAMPSHIRE, Bedford's WOXF (96.5) has a new
operator.  Saga Communications, which owns WZID (95.7) and WFEA (1370)
in Manchester, has signed an LMA with Donna McNeil to run "The Fox."
No word yet on whether there will be any personnel or format changes
at the year-old classic rocker.

As things get back to normal at Derry's WNDS (Channel 50), would-be
station owner Global Shopping Network is getting to know the US
Bankruptcy Court all too well.  GSN filed for Chapter 11 last week,
after defaulting on the purchase of several TV stations including
WNDS.  Channel 50 has returned to independent programming, and while
GSN claims it still intends to buy the station, NERW's highly
doubtful.  By the way, GSN headquarters in New York were the target of
a picket line a few weeks back, as employees protested after going
without several paychecks.

*In MAINE, the new 88.3 in Yarmouth now has calls.  The station will
be WYAR(FM) once Heritage Radio Society gets it on the air.  And
Fuller-Jeffrey's WCYY (94.3 Biddeford-Portland) has been granted a
contruction permit to move its tower a few hundred feet south, raise
its antenna 3 feet, and lower power by 500 watts.  No, we don't know
why, either...

Up in Millinocket, there are differing stories about why WSYY (1240)
is dark.  A WSYY receptionist says vandalism was to blame, but editors
at the local newspaper tell NERW correspondent Gavin Burt they've
heard no reports of vandals out at the 1240 transmitter.

*In MASSACHUSETTS, WBZ-TV (Channel 4) has made it official: Starting
Monday, July 7, the 5-6 PM and 6-7 PM news blocks will be replaced by
half-hour newscasts at 5, 5:30, and 6.  Jack Williams and Liz Walker
will anchor at 5 and 6, while Sean Mooney and Virginia Cha take 5:30
duties.  A correction, by the way: Hartford's WFSB (Channel 3) no
longer programs an hour of local news at 6, as we said last week.

No more sports on WBPS (890 Dedham-Boston); the last broadcast of
"Sports Court" aired June 22.  The station is now all leased-time,
including Boston Chinese Radio, which celebrated its fifth anniversary
last week with a simulcast on WBPS and WJDA (1300 Quincy).

The FCC complaint against Brian Dodge is now available on-line; point
your browser to 


Dodge still has not returned NERW's phone calls.

And the Global Broadcasting Company has put in a new application for
KF2XBF, the "experimental" station that operated from several US
airports, including Boston's Logan, a few years ago.  The KF2XBF
transmitters operated on noncommercial frequencies (88.5 in Boston),
running ads for Avis car rental.  

*Vermont?  Connecticut?  Rhode Island?  Not this week!  I'm sure we'll
have much more to report after the holiday weekend.

Till then, a happy, safe Fourth to our US readers; the NERW staff will
be enjoying a tower-hunting vacation north of the border in southern
Ontario.  Look for the photo album in the Boston Radio Archives in a
few weeks.

- -=Scott Fybush - fybush@world.std.com=-