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NorthEast Radio Watch 8/7: A Change of Sale

*We'll start this week up in VERMONT, where TV viewers are still
awaiting the debut of Burlington's newest TV station.  WFFF-TV
(Channel 44) is now shooting for an August 31 start date, to coincide
with the start of regular-season NFL football on Fox.  Burlington is
the largest TV market with no primary Fox affiliate; once WFFF starts
up, Fox will have outlets in every top-100 TV market.

On the radio side, Wilmington's WVAY (100.7) switched its simulcast
from WKVT-FM (92.7 Brattleboro) to WHDQ (106.1 Claremont, N.H.) on
August 1, after WKVT owner Richard Lightfoot's offer to buy WVAY
expired.  The Brattleboro Reformer reports the problem was WVAY's
tower leases on Mt. Snow and Haystack Mountain.  The leases from the
state were non-transferable, and Lightfoot was unable to strike a deal
to get the tower space.  Further complicating matters was interference
WVAY was allegedly causing to state police communications.  Lightfoot
offered to fix the problems, but he apparently wanted to reduce the
purchase price by some $60,000 to cover the added costs.  Now it's
WHDQ owner Jeff Shapiro in the buyer's seat, offering a reported
$180,000 for WVAY.  In addition to WHDQ (plus its booster in Rutland
and translators in Hanover and Keene), Shapiro owns WRSI Greenfield,
Mass., WZSH/WSSH Bellows Falls-Marlboro, WTSV Claremont, and several
Upper Valley stations.

WKVT(AM) in Brattleboro is now simulcasting a weekday morning news
program with sister station WKNE(AM) in Keene.  Bolton-licensed
religious outlet WCMK (91.7) is applying to move to 91.5 and boost
power to 1000 watts.  And Brian Dodge's translator network is now
relaying WJIV (101.9 Cherry Valley N.Y.) instead of the Troy-based
WHAZ network.

*Moving south to MASSACHUSETTS, there's a new owner in the future for
Worcester's WNEB (1230).  Bob Bittner is selling the station to a
group of local businessmen called "Heirwaves, Inc.," and word is that
they'll try to run an all-local format on the station.  WNEB has been
rebroadcasting Bob's beautiful music from WJIB (740 Cambridge), with
some separate leased-time programming on weekends.  Further up the
Worcester dial, we hear the mystery foreign-language pirate on 1620
has moved to 1610, while Spanish-language programming continues to be
heard on 1680.

The Bay State's first digital TV license has been issued to WGBH.
'GBH's digital service will operate on channel 17 from Great Blue Hill
with 6,839 watts of power.

Beverly's little WNSH (1570) has been sold.  Neil Whitehouse is buying
the station from Robert Cutler.

Boston's WBZ (1030) has added a new weekday talk show.  Restaurant
owner Todd English will host a Friday night cooking show from 7-9 PM,
pre-empting two hours of David Brudnoy's program.

Marlboro's WSRO (1470) has dropped Shep Sutton's local midday show, in
favor of a delayed run of Doug Stephan's "Good Day USA" syndicated
offering.  Former WARA general manager Joe Mangiacotti joins the
station as general sales manager.

We now know a bit more about the application WFHN (107.1 Fairhaven-New
Bedford) has filed to move its transmitter; the new site will be the
UMass Dartmouth campus halfway between New Bedford and Fall River,
some 15 miles west of the present island site just off New Bedford.
We're still waiting for details of WAAF's application on 107.3.

And from our "you can't keep a good callsign down" department comes
word that the WDLW calls, which graced Waltham's AM 1330 from the late
seventies until 1989, have resurfaced in Lorain, Ohio on AM 1380,
formerly WELL (and before that WRKG).

*A few bits of news from NEW HAMPSHIRE: Manchester's WKBR (1250) is
now simulcasting WXRV (92.5 Haverhill, Mass.).  We're told the
simulcast is only temporary, while new owner Northeast Broadcasting
works on a new format for WKBR.  Bedford's WOFX (96.5) now has live
DJs on the air until 7pm on weekdays, as it settles into its new "Kool
Oldies" format.  The station is reportedly asking for the WQLL calls,
although they've yet to be granted.  Broadcaster Barry Lunderville now
has the WNHT calls (last used on Concord's channel 21, now WNBU) for
his 102.3 construction permit in Lancaster, N.H.  And there's word
that Franklin's WFTN (1240) was off the air this week.  WFTN was
simulcasting the country music from WSCY (106.9 Moultonborough); no
word on whether this was just a temporary problem or something more
serious.  WFTN-FM (94.1) was on the air.

*Up in MAINE, Lewiston's Channel 35 made its debut on schedule last
Friday, with general manager Doug Finck introducing the station,
followed by an episode of "Star Trek: Voyager."  The calls are now
legally WPME(TV), having changed from WWLA.

The Spring ratings are in for Portland, and leading the pack 12+ are
rocker WBLM and country WPOR AM/FM, followed by talker WGAN, rocker
WMGX, and modern rock WCYY/WCYI.  WGAN was the big gainer, up moe than
two points from fall.

*From CONNECTICUT comes word that WAPJ (89.9) Torrington is now on the
air, operating from the University of Connecticut campus there (even
though the station is licensed to the Torrington Board of Education).
WAPJ is running a mixture of standards and local talk programmed by
volunteers, with off hours filled by simulcasting WMNR (88.1 Monroe)
and WWUH (91.3 W. Hartford).

Hartford's WHCT (Channel 18) is now on the air 24 hours a day, seven
days a week, up from its previous weekday daytime schedule.  

A few Connecticut broadcasting websites to mention: A fan of "910
Jamz," WNEZ New Britain, has created a site at
http://expage.com/page/wnez that includes a brief station history.
Connecticut Public TV and Connecticut Public Radio are now on line at
http://www.cpbi.org.  You can find WBNE (Channel 59) New Haven at
http://www.wb59.com on the web.  And even LPTVs are getting into the
act; check out http://www.tv10hartford.com for WHTX-LP's entry.

The Monroe Board of Education isn't letting up in its attempt to keep
KAWZ translator W220BS (91.9 Meriden) off the air.  You may recall
this translator as being the one originally requested for 91.3 in
"Meriden, Mississippi," and later modified to reflect the correct
state.  Monroe filed a petition to deny, which was itself denied, and
has now filed a petition for reconsideration.

*There's a new source for smooth jazz in upstate NEW YORK.  Auburn's
WPCX (106.9) shed its AAA format last Friday to become "Smooth Jazz CD
106.9."  The station is aimed squarely at Syracuse, whose last smooth
jazz entry, WXCD (now soft rock WLTI) was owned by Salt City 
Broadcasting, the same company that recently bought WPCX. (Salt City
sold WLTI to Pilot last year.) "CD 106.9" is operating from
studios on Burnet Street in downtown Syracuse, and it's planning to
use the calls WHCD once the change is granted (until then, the WPCX
legal ID is buried as early as :32 past the hour!).  You can see more
on the Salt City's newest station at http://www.whcd.com if you're curious.

Another Syracuse-area station is gone from the airwaves for now.
"WLIV" was a Liverpool-based pirate on 90.3, but its owner says he's
shut down the station due to declining listenership and his desire to
try something new.

Syracuse's newest TV construction permit now has call letters; channel
56 will now be WAUP(TV), unless Syracuse Minority TV changes its mind
before the station is built.  A few other new callsigns in the Empire
State: Sound of Life has picked WSSK for its 89.7 in Saratoga Springs,
while WGWR will be the calls for 88.1 in Liberty.  WSKG Public
Broadcasting's outlet in Hornell on 88.7 will be WSQA.  And the LPTV
formerly known as W39BC in Buffalo has changed to WBUF-LP.  Meantime,
the Buffalo News is now showing WFHW-LP (Channel 58) as being off the
air; anyone out that way know if that's really the case?

Buffalo's WBEN (930) is bringing a well-known voice back to the
market.  Sandy Beach will take over the 3-6 PM weekday spot August 25,
replacing "Buffalo's Evening News."

Translator news: The FCC has granted a new translator for Port Jervis'
WTSX (96.7).  W239AC will bring WTSX programming to Middletown on
95.7.  And we received e-mail this week from the folks at W201BE (88.1
Buffalo), advising us that the KAWZ translator is being run strictly
by the rules, and is not using more than its authorized 10 watts as we
had hypothesized a few weeks back.

In the Watertown market, WWLF (106.7 Copenhagen) dumped its rock
format last week, and after a day of stunting re-emerged as a
simulcast of CHR WBDR (102.7 Cape Vincent).  No new calls yet for the
latest outlet of "the Border."

And down in Newburgh, WGNY is fighting to stay on 1200 kHz.  The
station is licensed as a daytimer on 1220, but since 1989 has held a
construction permit to go fulltime on 1200.  For most of that time, it
has operated on 1200 under special temporary authority, while awaiting
environmental approval to build the planned permanent 1200 site just
south of Orange Lake.  Now WGNY has been ordered back to 1220, but it
has filed a petition for reconsideration in hopes of getting its
construction permit for 1200 back.  This should be a long, complex
process that affects not only WGNY, but also WKOX Framingham,
Mass. (which has had its hopes for more power repeately dashed by
WGNY's existence co-channel on 1200), and even WLIB New York, which
might be able to expand its pattern more on 1190 were WGNY to remain
on 1220.

*And finally...a birth announcement.  When we moved from Massachusetts
to upstate New York last spring, New England Radio Watch broadened its
focus and became NorthEast Radio Watch.  Now our sister web site, the
Boston Radio Archives, has given birth to a new web site serving our
expanded territory.  The Upstate New York Radio Archives is still a
site under construction, but we invite you to check it out at


and let us know what you think.  We welcome your comments,
suggestions, and corrections.

*Until next Thursday...that's it for another week in Northeast radio.
See you then!

- -=Scott Fybush - NorthEast Radio Watch=-