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NorthEast Radio Watch 3/12: Capstar Cuts Staff

*The heads are beginning to roll at the former Knight Quality stations
in New England.  Here's what we've heard so far from our sources
around the region:

Six staffers were dismissed from WTAG (580) and WSRS (96.1) in
Worcester early this week, including WTAG program director Skot Pare,
morning host Tom Gorham (a 26 year veteran of the station), and
evening news anchor Ann Kenda.  George Brown, who was recently moved
from afternoons to pair with Gorham, stays on morning drive, while
talk hosts Upton Bell and Jordan Levy keep their jobs as well.

Up north in New Hampshire, all three staff members at WXHT (95.3 York
Center ME) are being dismissed, as "Hot 95.3" cools down and picks up
a satellite modern AC format.  In the same building, WHEB (100.3
Portsmouth) PD/OM Glenn Stewart has been named PD of sister station
WGIR-FM (101.1 Manchester) as well.  WHEB's new GM is Kim Jones,
husband of WGIR PD Ruth Jones.  WHEB sales manager Shari Soffen has
been dismissed as well.

At WGIR, news director Bill Rossi, production manager/talk host Terry
Benz, and FM program director Tim Sheehan are all reportedly out,
along with sales manager Cathy Cram, who has resigned.  Get ready for
a simulcast between WGIR-FM and WHEB as well; word has it there's a
15k stereo line being installed to allow the two stations to share
late-night and weekend programming.

NERW wonders what the Knight family makes of all the changes at what
was once one of the region's best-run broadcast groups...

*On with the rest of the week's happenings:

*The number-one radio station on Cape Cod, MASSACHUSETTS is buying
another station.  Gregory Bone's Sandab Communications already owns
WQRC (99.9 Barnstable); now it's paying $1.7 million for WOCN (103.9
South Yarmouth).  Ironically, WOCN seller Donald Moore was himself a
former owner of WQRC.  'QRC programs an adult contemporary format,
while WOCN is adult standards.

Carter Alan is the latest veteran of WBCN (104.1) to move across town
to co-owned classic rocker WZLX (100.7).  Alan leaves his music
director duties at WBCN to take that role, plus assistant PD and
midday jock, at 'ZLX.  Current WZLX middayer George Taylor Morris will
leave the station in April.  In addition to his radio career, Alan is
one of the pre-eminent experts on the band U2.  Over at Greater Media,
Shirley Maldonado is the new PD at WSJZ (96.9).  Her smooth jazz
experience includes stints at WQCD (101.9) in New York and WLVE (93.9)
in Miami Beach.

East Boston's "EB101," displaced from its 101.3 MHz spot on the dial
when WFNX translator W267AI took to the air last month, has landed at
97.9 MHz under the new name "EBRadio."  In other news from the
unlicensed, the Spanish-language religious pirate that's on 1680 kHz
in the Worcester area is now reportedly being heard on FM as well.
Its policy of giving away airtime to churches is causing some concern
at licensed religious stations in the area, we're told.

Out west, the FCC has granted WBEC-FM its translator in Great
Barrington.  W231AK will operate on 94.1 MHz, filling in some shadowed
areas of "Live 105" coverage to the south.

And we welcome the new radio critic at the Boston Globe, Clea Simon,
while noting that the paper's questionable standards of accuracy have
survived that job's previous occupant -- since when is Boston
College's WZBC on 90.9, pray tell?

*A few more notes from NEW HAMPSHIRE: WZNN's expanded-band outlet on
1700 kHz in Rochester has been given the WAYU calls.  We believe
that's a random assignment and expect those calls will change long
before 1700 sees the light of day. 

Radio people on the move: Jon Greenberg moves north from NPR in
Washington to become features news manager at New Hampshire Public
Radio (WEVO 89.1) in Concord.  Brian Goode has resigned as PD at
WKNE-FM (103.7) in Keene.  And Kim Crawford moves from WLNH (98.3) in
Laconia down the road to do middays at WZID (95.7) in Manchester.
Speaking of WLNH, it's expecting to be back at full 6kW strength by
March 21, more than two months after the ice storm that downed its

And there's more religion on the way to Ashland: W245AF (96.9) is
about to be on the air, if it's not already, as a translator of WGLV
(104.3) Hartford VT.

*In MAINE, this week's top story is Fuller-Jeffrey's reported $3.4
million purchase of WCLZ (98.9/900) in Brunswick.  If consummated, the
deal would give J.J. Jeffrey his hometown station -- he grew up just
down the road from what was then WKXA.  The AAA FM and home-shopping
AM would join F-J's huge Portland-market group that includes rocker
WBLM (102.9), CHR WJBQ (97.9), AC WHOM (94.9 Mount Washington NH),
modern rockers WCYY (94.3 Biddeford) and WCYI (93.9 Lewiston), country
WPKQ (103.7 Berlin NH), and sports WJAE (1440 Westbrook).  

A NERW reader in Portland is hearing an unusual signal on 97.3 --
nonstop 80s hits with no legal IDs, just a jingle that goes "Wavin'
every hour, wavin' at our tower, Wave radio."  Unlicensed?  We think

Allan Weiner's shortwave station in Monticello is expected to take air
later this year with the calls WBCQ.  We hear the veteran radio pirate
will be offering a discount on airtime to "free radio" broadcasters.

*In RHODE ISLAND, WBLQ (88.1 Westerly) is reportedly running a rock
format.  We're told NPR turned down "Rhode Island Public Radio"'s
application for membership...

Wickford's WKFD (1370) is running a format of 70s pop hits and
public-service announcements.

Pirate WICE (89.3) in Johnston is running on-air appeals for money to
help the station expand to seven days a week from its current
Thursday-through-Sunday schedule.

*CONNECTICUT's WREF (850 Ridgefield) has been granted its 500 watt
nighttime power application -- but NERW found something interested
when we went to check out the records in the FCC database.  WREF had
initially applied to boost day power from 2500 watts non-directional
to 10 kilowatts directional.  Now the application has been modified,
to keep WREF with its current day facilities while adding just one
additional tower for nights, instead of the several new towers that
would have been needed for the higher day power.  Community opposition
in Ridgefield, of all places?  NERW can't imagine...

The 104.5 Spanish-language pirate in New Haven is off the air again
after returning to the air following last week's FCC bust.

And we remember T.J. Martin, who died on Sunday.  Martin was the
longtime morning host at WAVZ (1300) in New Haven through the 60s and
70s, and spent 1969 and 1970 at WMEX in Boston as well.

*A quiet week (for once) in NEW YORK, where the biggest news seems to
be the granting of two new FMs.  94.1 in Old Forge goes to Lyle Robert
Evans, while the FCC has clarified some confusion over 96.1 in Norwood
(up near Massena in the North Country), which goes to Sinan Mimaroglu,
not 1340 Broadcasting as had been previously reported.  

New calls on Binghamton's ABC affiliate.  Channel 34, previously WMGC
(and before that, WBJA), has applied for WIVT.  NERW thinks the new
calls have two meanings, one paralleling sister station WIXT (Channel
9) up I-81 in Syracuse -- and the other reflecting the station's cable
channel position of 4 ("IV") on many Binghamton-area cable systems.
The change hasn't been reflected yet on ABC's website, or on the
www.wmgc.com site either.  Could Utica's WUTR (Channel 20), be the
next to get new calls?  NERW thinks "WXXT" would be perfect...

And yes, there could be yet another religious translator in Western
New York.  Family Life Radio has applied for 90.1 in Lockport for its
WCOU (88.3) in Warsaw.  

We'd hate to close on that note -- so instead we'll finish off with
some ramblings from NERW's trip to Albany last weekend: 

Utica's WRUN (1150) has been simulcasting country sister station WFRG
(104.3) every time we've driven through recently.  We're not certain
yet whether this is a nights-and-weekends deal or 24 hours; stay

In Mechanicville, WMVI (1160) was running a gospel format -- with nary
an ID that we heard, which leads to the question of which is worse, a
wrong ID or no ID at all?  Waving the flag for the "wrong ID" team is
Sound of Life's WPGL (90.7 Pattersonville), which was heard two hours
running with an ID for three other Sound of Life stations (WFGB
Kingston, WLJP Monroe, and WRPJ Port Jervis) and no ID for itself.  

WUHN (1110) across the state line in Pittsfield was putting a huge
daytime signal into the Capital District -- with a radio-auction show
that seemed to go on all day Saturday, simulcast with WUPE (95.9),
which was harder to hear because of co-channel interference from WCQL
Glens Falls.

WXLE (104.5 Mechanicville) was sounding good with AAA as "the Zone."
We also enjoyed listening to WVCR (88.3 Loudonville), recently purged
of all rap music by licensee Siena College.  Union College's WRUC
(89.7 Schenectady) was actually on the air for once, with a rap
program.  (Confidential to the Saturday-afternoon jocks: Yes, your
mikes WERE working, even when you said that particular word on the
air...and wouldn't ya know it, I was rolling tape...)  Legal ID?  I
didn't hear one...

WRVE (99.5 Schenectady) was getting good response to the radiothon it
was running.  A different radiothon for the same cause was on
Johnstown's WIZR (930) and WSRD (104.9), which mentioned that "95.5
the River" in Albany was part of the radiothon that day.  

And to the fellow who lives next to the transmitter building of WROW
(590) south of Albany: We weren't taking a picture of your house.

*That's a wrap for this Thursday.  Coming next week: NERW visits New
Jersey and Pennsylvania...and a brand new domain name for our Archives
websites.  See you then!

- -=Scott Fybush - NorthEast Radio Watch - (c) 1998=-