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NorthEast Radio Watch 3/19: More Layoffs in N.H.
- Subject: NorthEast Radio Watch 3/19: More Layoffs in N.H.
- From: email@example.com (Scott D Fybush)
- Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 21:32:55 -0500 (EST)
*Once again, NEW HAMPSHIRE tops this week's news -- and again, it's
because of job cuts in Granite State radio.
Capstar continued to make staff cuts at Manchester's WGIR (610/101.1)
this week, starting with the entire morning show on the FM side. Alan
Baxter (known on air by last name only, Elle B., "Silent Steve"
Gamelin, and "Jeff the Intern" were notified after Monday's show that
they're out of work. Afternoon host Fil Robert Kaye is handling
morning duties temporarily, but NERW hears that the long-term plan is
to simulcast the Greg Kretschmer and Jeanmarie morning show from
sister station WHEB (100.3) in Portsmouth. On the AM side at WGIR,
sports director Rich Levine is the latest to be fired. Former news
director Bill Rossi, meantime, has taken a job with Metro Networks in
It's not just Capstar, though; down the Everett Turnpike in Nashua,
five staffers at WSMN (1590) are out of work, including longtime WSMN
personalities John Halbert and Nick Diamond. New PD Ned Crecilius (of
WADN Concord MA) is installing a local talk format at WSMN, with hosts
including Woody Woodland, a former sportscaster and salesman at the
late WOTW-FM (106.3). WSMN is playing adult contemporary music in
middays and evenings for now.
Up north, we hear WQTH (720) in Hanover is going back to the drawing
boards to build its four-tower array, after a local zoning board gave
a thumbs-down to the 266-foot towers. Will Bob Vinikoor's new
50-kilowatter make its fall target date? We'll keep you posted...
*In CONNECTICUT, the unlicensed Nueva Radio Musical (104.5) in New
Haven remains off the air for now, while trying to fix some problems
that were causing interference to licensed WYBC (94.3) in the city's
Hill neighborhood. The station's operators have gathered 2,000
signatures on a petition calling on the FCC to grant them a waiver to
return to the air without a license and below the usual 100 watt
Up the road in Hamden, the town zoning board is considering an
application by WKCI (101.3) to build a new 625-foot tower on Gaylord
Mountain Road, just down the hill from WKCI's current site on the
tower of WTNH (Channel 8). WTNH isn't renewing WKCI's lease for tower
space -- so WKCI needs the new stick to stay on the air from its
current site. Neighbors are expressing the usual concerns about a
"tower farm" in their backyards...
Expanding on last week's obituary for T.J. Martin: The former WAVZ
jock had another claim to fame as well -- he was the ex-husband of
Grace Metalious, the author of "Peyton Place." The two met while he
was working as a DJ at WLNH (1350) in Laconia NH during the '60s, and
he's said to be the model for a character in the book.
And the Boston Red Sox are supposed to be seen in Connecticut on WBNE
(Channel 59) in New Haven. So what was their first preseason game
Tuesday doing on WHCT (Channel 18) in Hartford instead -- with no
graphics and very low audio?
*Over in RHODE ISLAND, the "Rhode Island Public Radio" folks have
applied for a second station to go with their WBLQ (88.1 Westerly).
They want 91.5 in Coventry, the frequency currently occupied by WCVY
at Coventry High School.
Eddie Zack's "Hayloft Jamboree" show is back on the air after the
format change at WHIM (1450) in West Warwick left the show homeless.
Zack's show can now be heard Sundays from 11 till 2 on WJJF (1180) in
*The founder of what was once one of MASSACHUSETTS' largest radio/TV
groups has died. Thomas O'Neill was working in the Boston office of
his family's tire business in the late 1940s when he paid a visit to
the Yankee Network, the radio broadcaster that General Tire had
recently purchased. He's said to have returned from the visit and
told his family that he was more interested in radio than tires -- a
decision that led to the formation of General Teleradio in 1948.
General Teleradio put WNAC-TV (Channel 7) on the air that June,
and grew over the next decade to include stations in New York (WOR)
and Los Angeles (KHJ) as well. In 1954, O'Neil bought RKO Radio
Pictures from Howard Hughes and General became RKO General.
O'Neil remained chairman of RKO General until his retirement in 1985,
as the company was forced to sell many of its licenses (including WRKO
radio and WNAC-TV) following accusations of billing irregularities.
O'Neil died Saturday of heart failure at his home in Greenwich,
Connecticut. He was 82.
In other Bay State news, WCCM (800) in Lawrence has been granted FCC
approval of its sale from Curt Gowdy to Costa-Eagle -- but "with
conditions," according to the FCC database. We'll let you know more
as we learn it.
The Boston Globe's new radio column is batting 1.000 -- or should that
be .000 -- so far; this week's features "WHCH" at Holy Cross in
Worcester. Funny, last time we were out there, the station was WCHC
Radio people on the move: Mike Cannon has left his post as producer at
WBZ (1030) to go into sales; he'll start March 30 at WMJX (106.7).
*Our MAINE readers have been listening to that Portland pirate on 97.3
we mentioned last week. One reader heard them identifying as "I-97.3
FM, all hits, no commercials, no license, no crap." Also heard on
97.3 in the Freeport area was a French-language station.
Two LPTVs have been deleted. Craig Ministries' W54CB in Waterville
and W56DD in Bridgton were denied extensions of their construction
New calls on the religious shortwave station in Greenbush. The former
WVHA Scotts Corners is now WHRA under new owner World Harvest
And from the Dept. of Nitpicking: A very attentive NERW reader wrote
in to point out that when J.J. Jeffrey was growing up down the road
from AM 900 in Brunswick, the calls were WCME, not WKXA. Jeffrey's
partner, Bob Fuller, tells the Portland Press Herald that he plans no
changes when Fuller-Jeffrey takes over what's now WCLZ (98.9/900) from
Mike Waggoner and Riverside Broadcasting. For his part, Waggoner says
he never would have sold the station to anyone but locals Fuller and
Jeffrey. Waggoner is staying with 'CLZ for now.
*Nothing from VERMONT this week, so it's off to NEW YORK, where
there's a new signal on the air in Albany. W255AJ (98.9) is a
one-watt translator located high in the Helderberg mountains at the
Albany FM/TV tower farm. It's licensed to the Albany Bible Institute,
which was originally granted the CP as W229AC on 93.7. The FCC thinks
this one is rebroadcasting WMNV (104.1) in Rupert, Vermont, but NERW's
listeners in the Capital District tell us it's actually running the
Sound of Life network from WPGL (90.7) Pattersonville. NERW notes
that WPGL already has an Albany-area translator, W230AC (93.9) in Troy
- -- and what's more, Sound of Life itself has an unbuilt CP for WGKP
(89.9 Rensselaerville) with a transmitter site right there in the
Helderbergs. Meantime, NERW has heard from several Albany-area
listeners who are already missing the country sounds of WOKO (98.9)
from Burlington, Vermont now that the channel is otherwise occupied.
More Albany radio news: WXCR (102.3 Ballston Spa) and WKLI (100.9
Albany) are both looking for new PDs. Scott Hawk is out of the job at
WXCR after just a few weeks, while WKLI has dropped PD Louie Diaz and
consultant Todd Pettengill (of WPLJ in New York).
Johnstown's WSRD (104.9) has applied to change its city of license to
Altamont, just a little closer to the Albany market.
On the TV side, the Albany Nielsen ratings had to be reissued after a
diary check by WRGB (Channel 6) in Schenectady found that one diary
had been filled out by the household of a staff member at WXXA
(Channel 23). Oddly enough, the viewers in that particular household
were watching WXXA -- and nothing but WXXA -- as much as 13 hours a
Moving west, we're told Utica's WRUN (1150) is in fact simulcasting
country WFRG (104.3) all day, every day, and has been since last fall.
Up north, Tupper Lake's WRGR (102.3) is being sold by Calvin Carr to
the Nardiello family of Lake Placid's WIRD (920)/WLPW (105.5). WRGR
has been a WLPW simulcast for some time now.
In Rochester, veteran radio/TV news and sports guy Steve Hausmann has
changed his radio affiliation, moving from Jacor's WHAM (1180), WVOR
(100.5), and WYSY (106.7) over to American Radio Systems, where he
started Tuesday as news anchor on WPXY-FM (97.9) and WCMF (96.5).
Hausmann keeps his weekend gig as sportscaster on WHEC-TV (Channel
Buffalo's WUTV (Channel 29) and its soon-to-be sister radio stations
could soon be moving. Sinclair Broadcasting wants to consolidate all
its Buffalo operations in a building on the Buffalo waterfront.
Currently, WUTV's studios are at the transmitter site on Grand Island,
while WGR (550), WBEN (930), WWWS (1400), WWKB (1520), WKSE (98.5, and
not -- as the Buffalo News had it recently -- "KYSE"), and WMJQ
(102.5) are scattered in various studio locations around the city,
including the WIVB (Channel 4) building on Elmwood Avenue and a
facility at 695 Delaware Avenue.
Across the border, say hello to "C-101." Mohawk College's new
station, legally CIOI, begins broadcasting on 101.5 in Hamilton on
Monday. And don't look to the CN Tower for the CBC's new Toronto FM
later this year. When CBL moves from 740 kHz to 99.1 MHz this summer,
the transmitter will be with CISS (92.5) on the First Canadian Place
tower instead of with the other CBC outlets (CJBC-FM 90.3, CBL-FM
94.1, CBLT 5, CBLFT 25) on the CN Tower. NERW hears the cost of
installing the directional antenna on the CN Tower would have been
Finally, the FCC has granted a license to WJDM (1660) in Elizabeth,
New Jersey. You say it's already on the air? Well, yes -- but until
now, it and the other pioneering expanded-band outlet (KDIA, formerly
KXBT, Vallejo CA), have been operating under the special temporary
authority granted to daytime-only stations that were the only ones
licensed to cities of over 100,000 people. This week, the FCC made it
official and granted WJDM's expanded-band outlet an actual license.
*Which brings us to last weekend's field trip to New Jersey and
Pennsylvania, and a few quick observations therefrom:
- -NERW thanks Continental Express for a magnificent approach route into
Newark Airport that gave us great aerial nighttime views of many of
the New York City AM transmitters in the Meadowlands, including WZRC
1480, WWDJ 970/WWRV 1330, WADO 1280, WKDM 1380, WBBR 1130, and WEVD
- -On the ground, we were impressed by the signal that WRTN (93.5 New
Rochelle NY) puts into the Newark area, and less so by the hash on
107.1 between WWZY Long Branch NJ and WWXY Briarcliff Manor NY.
- -WCNJ (89.3) in Hazlet NJ is going by "C-89," with nary a legal ID,
and is still on the air from studios in Red Bank despite an FCC visit
earlier in the week that found the station had illegally upped its
power and moved its studios.
- -The Trenton radio dial has changed quite a bit, with WNJO (94.5)
running oldies, while the WCHR calls and religious format have moved
down to the former WTTM at 920 AM. To the north in Flemington, WJHR
(1040) puts an amazing daytime signal towards Philadelphia -- then
vanishes entirely when it switches to night pattern and power. WBUD
(1260) was doing a nifty oldies format on Sunday morning. And we
understand that when WPST (97.5) does a reunion this weekend, among
the guests will be the station's original PD, a certain Tom
Taylor...now better known as the news editor of "M Street Journal."
We wanna hear airchecks...
- -Another interesting AM we enjoyed was WWJZ (640) in Mount Holly,
which is back to its licensed 50 kilowatts from its original tower
site just off US 206. We're told a dispute with the land owner forced
WWJZ off the towers and into a low-power diplex with WIFI (1460) in
nearby Florence for a while...but "WJZ, the station that remembers" is
once again putting out a strong signal with adult standards.
- -We've said it before, we'll say it again: If you like AAA as much as
we do, there's no finer outlet in America than Philadelphia's WXPN
(88.5). Our dial stayed glued there for much of the weekend...except
when we were listening to the obscure 50s doo-wop on WRDV (89.3) in
Warminster. Call us quirky, we don't mind!
*From our Internet-domains department:
We now have a new domain name for all our services here at NorthEast
Radio Watch and the Boston and Upstate New York Radio Archives. Here
are the new addresses you'll want to mark down at bostonradio.org:
http://www.bostonradio.org/radio/bostonradio.html - Boston Radio
http://www.bostonradio.org/radio/nyradio.html - Upstate NY Radio
http://www.bostonradio.org/radio/nerw.html - NorthEast Radio Watch
firstname.lastname@example.org - To subscribe to the NERW mailing list;
just put "SUBSCRIBE" in the body of your message.
And remember, that's .org -- you can see for yourself who beat us to
bostonradio.com if you like.
*That's it for this week...see you next Thursday with more from the
- -=Scott Fybush - NorthEast Radio Watch - (c) 1998=-
End of boston-radio-interest-digest V2 #12