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Re: NorthEast Radio Watch 3/12: Capstar Cuts Staff

At 09:14 PM 3/12/98 -0500, Scott D Fybush wrote:
>*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:

>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. 
>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.

This is sobering.  Granted, Capstar has a reputation for major purges at
acquisitions, but when it happens in your backyard it hits you a lot more
than in, say Oklahoma or Louisiana.  WXHT didn't surpise me much..it was a
lame-sounding station with lousy numbers, but WHEB and WGIR, while not my
cup of tea, were successful stations.  Capstar is known for using regional
networks, my guess is that simulcasting 'HEB and 'GIR overnights and
weekends is just the beginning.  If I worked for one of those stations, I'd
make sure I had a tape in the skimmer every shift.  Any word on WERZ?  They
seem to be the only soon-to-be Capstar station that escaped the bloodshed.

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

Capstar's business practices are no big secret, seems to me that they bear
some responsibility for selling to these sharks.  It would be interesting
to hear their (or Capstar's) side of the story, though.