[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

NorthEast Radio Watch 4/30: WUMB Changes Course

*Listeners to Boston's number-three public radio station will be
hearing some changes come June.

WUMB (91.9, simulcast on WFPB Falmouth and WBPR Worcester) is
abandoning its nighttime smooth-jazz "Quiet Storm" format in favor of
a mixture of blues, world music, gospel, and reggae.  Days are
changing too, as the acoustic traditional folk is joined by "electric
folk" (their words!) and world music.  

Could WUMB be taking a cue from public radio stations like
Philadelphia's WXPN or Spindale, North Carolina's WNCW, which have
found new audiences for public radio with their folkish spins on the
AAA format?  We're looking forward to giving the new 91.9 a listen...

*Elsewhere in MASSACHUSETTS, Arbitron's planned expansion of the
Boston metro is meeting with opposition to the west.  Jay Williams and
Robin Martin of WXLO (104.5 Fitchburg) have reportedly filed a letter
of protest with Arbitron about the changed market lines.

Fairhaven's WFHN (107.1) has been granted a power increase from 2400
to 6000 watts -- and a transmitter move from Popes Island to the
UMass/Dartmouth campus, which just happens to be closer to Providence,
too.  "Fun 107" has a new sister station in New Jersey, too.  Owner
Spring Broadcasting just signed on WZZP (107.3) in Atlantic City, with
a CHR format as, hey, guess what -- "Fun 107."

Congratulations to Fran Charles, who exits WHDH-TV (Channel 7) in
Boston to do sports on WNBC-TV (Channel 4) New York's "Today in New

And an addition to last week's obituary of Victor Best; we should note
that after leaving WBZ-TV, Best was the first newscaster at WIHS-TV
(Channel 38, now WSBK) circa 1964.  

*On we go to NEW YORK, where WTOR (770 Youngstown) is reportedly
testing, and has now applied for a license to cover.  Another 770 in
WABC's home state?  You bet, since Youngstown is just north of Niagara
Falls, as far away from New York City as you can get in the Empire
State, and this 770 will be a daytimer with a directional signal
pointed straight out over Lake Ontario, towards Toronto, hence the
calls.  NERW will be making the drive to Youngstown this weekend; more
on this one next week.

Auburn's WMBO (1340) has been sold.  Craig Fox's Wolf Broadcasting is
paying Butch Charles' Salt City Communications $103,000 for the
station, which has been running satellite sports talk.  NERW expects
WMBO will switch to a simulcast of Fox's WOLF-AM/FM (1490 Syracuse and
96.7 Oswego).  Speaking of Fox, he's applied for 57 watts of night
power on his daytimer, WSIV (1540 East Syracuse).  He's also applied
for another extension to build WOLF's CP to move to 1090.

Live and local: WMEX (102.5 Westport) has dropped its satellite
classical format in favor of live album oldies.  

TV news: Buffalo's new UPN affiliate, WNGS (Channel 67) Springville,
has applied to go full-power, with 5 megawatts from a tall tower in
Colden, near the WKBW-TV (Channel 7) and WIVB (Channel 4) sticks.

Downstate, the Monroe (Conn.) Board of Education is busy applying for
more translators for its Connecticut classical stations.  88.3 in
Beekman (a little dot in the hills east of Poughkeepsie) and 88.9 in
Mount Kisco would relay WMNR (88.1 Monroe), while the Hamptons of Long
Island would get a relay of WGRS (91.5 Guilford) on 89.1 in Quogue.
Jeffersonville's WJFF (90.5) has applied for a license to cover for
its new 94.5 translator in Monticello, W233AH.

Way up north, WZEA (98.7 Ogdensburg) is off the air for the moment
while the new station tries to correct some bleed-over onto the signal
of Montreal's CBMT (Channel 6).  WZEA and sister country station WNCQ
(102.9 Morrisville) are looking for a new PD and operations manager,

And we mourn the passing of two veteran broadcast engineers.  Charlie
Hallinan died last Wednesday at his home in Binghamton.  Hallinan was
one of the founders of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, and built
many of the Southern Tier's radio stations.  And Mike Venditti of
Cherry Hill, N.J. died at home on Monday.  Venditti was a legend in
the world of superpower AM, having rebuilt border blaster XERF (1570
Ciudad Acuna, Mexico) in the 1970s and returned it to the air.  Over
the years, Mike built 57 AM stations.  He'll be deeply missed.

*It's been a quiet week elsewhere in New England, so we'll offer these
quick notes: 

In VERMONT, the Class A Vermont Expos will move to a new home this
season.  Longtime flagship WVMT (620 Burlington) was outbid by "The
Pulse," WXPS (96.7 Vergennes)/WEAV (960 Plattsburgh).  George Commo
stays on the broadcast team, to be joined by Bruce Bosely this year.
The Pulse's sister station, WCPV (101.3 Essex NY), is reuniting
Burlington's popular "Corm and the Coach" morning team.  Steve Cormier
started on "Champ 101" on Monday.  Coach Tom Brennan will join him in

A few new websites to check out: Rutland's WJJR is at
http://www.mix981.com, and sister stations WJEN (94.5 Rutland)/WJAN
(95.1 Sunderland) can be found at http://www.catcountry.net online.

Brattleboro's WKVT (1490) is replacing the defunct Mary Matalin talk
show with Michael Medved in afternoons.  Matalin's slot on WMVU (900)
in Nashua, NEW HAMPSHIRE will be filled by Bob Grant from the WOR

Laconia's WLNH (98.3) is back to full power, and touting the fact in
full-page ads in the Concord Monitor, promoting its "all-new TOWER OF
POWER, with the highest power allowed by federal law."  Yep, all 3800
watts of it...

On the same tower, and likewise recovered from last winter's ice
storm, is WBHG (101.5 Meredith).

And in RHODE ISLAND, say goodbye to WB28, and hello to UPN28.  WLWC
(Channel 28 New Bedford) switched affiliations last week.  

Jim McKenna is new to the Ocean State.  The former operations manager
of WXLO in the Worcester market is now production director at WHJY
(94.1 Providence)/WHJJ (920 Providence)/WSNE (93.3 Taunton MA).

Finally, MAINE could get a new CHR soon.  Rumor has it that Pilot
Broadcasting is getting ready to launch a hit radio station somewhere
in Maine in mid-May...and considering that it already operates "92
Moose" WMME (92.3) in Augusta, that leaves the Presque Isle and Calais
markets, where Pilot recently bought successful country WBPW (96.9),
hot AC WQHR (96.1) -- and not-as-successful WOZI (101.7).  Could that
be the one?  And will startup WHRR (102.9 Dennysville) be part of the
package?  We'll keep you posted...

*Arbitrons!  Arbitrons!  Arbitrons!:  The Winter books are finally
rolling out after a brief software-glitch delay, and here's what we
know so far from the 12+ numbers:

In BOSTON, WBZ stayed on top again, despite dropping more than a full
point.  WMJX rose to second, followed by WJMN and WXKS-FM, also
posting gains.  The move to hot talk didn't help WRKO, which slumped,
but the move to smooth jazz is finally working for WSJZ, which gained
more than a point.  Also posting a nice rise was classical WCRB.

The numbers in PROVIDENCE found big gains for WWLI and WPRO-FM, in
first and second places.  WHJY was down but still in third, followed
by flat performances from WWBB and WCTK.  Arbitron claims "WLKW"
gained more than two points, but we think there's still some lingering
confusion from the move of the WLKW calls from 790 to 550, since 790's
new "WSKO" calls have yet to appear in the Arbs.  Classic rock WHKK
gained a point, while modern rock WXEX was far behind Brown
University's WBRU.

In HARTFORD, WTIC(AM) gained a bit to land in first, followed by WRCH
posting a big gain, WKSS and WTIC-FM both gaining, and WWYZ dropping.
The big losers this time around?  Rocker WHCN and urban WNEZ(AM).

What's WAQY been up to in SPRINGFIELD?  Whatever it was, it was good
for nearly a four point rise to a solid first-place finish, followed

And in BUFFALO, WYRK and WBEN both dropped, but not enough to keep
them from first and second place, respectively.  WJYE was flat in
third, followed by WBLK, WGRF, and WHTT.  Standards WECK posted a
decent gain, while modern AC WLCE dropped a bit as it approached its
first anniversary.

We'll have more numbers from other Northeast markets next Thursday;
see you then!

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