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NorthEast Radio Watch 5/20: North Country Changes

*This NERW comes to you a day early...as we head out to Ohio and
Indiana for the Memorial Day weekend; more on that trip on Thursday,
May 28.  In the meantime, here's what's been happening in the last few
days in Northeast radio...

*The FCC has granted WXPS (96.7) a move from Vergennes, VERMONT to
Willsboro, NEW YORK, on the opposite side of Lake Champlain.  The 96
MHz part of the dial is getting active in New York's North Country;
WVNV (96.5) in Malone has been granted a change of class from A to C3,
and the FCC has allocated 96.5A to Speculator, a tiny village high in
the Adirondacks.

The folks at Syracuse Community Radio have a callsign for one of their
construction permits.  88.7 in Truxton NY will be WXXC.  Meantime, the
FCC granted a CP for SCR's 90.5 MHz station in Fenner NY.

The new 97.9 construction permit in Jewett (in the Catskills between
Oneonta and Albany) was assigned the WAXK calls, while the 1660 kHz
facility in the New York City market (licensed to Elizabeth NJ) has
applied to change calls from WJDM to WBAH.  The sister outlet on 1530
remains WJDM for now.

Radio people on the move: Congratulations to J.J. Rice, who moves from
assistant PD at Rochester's WPXY (97.9) down the Thruway to the PD
seat at WWHT ("Hot" 107.9) in Syracuse recently vacated by Ed LaComb.

The Buffalo Broadcast Pioneers held their Hall of Fame induction
ceremonies Tuesday night.  Entering the Hall are WKBW news veterans
Irv Weinstein, Rick Azar, and Tom Jolls; WGR talk host John Otto;
Buffalo Bills broadcaster Van Miller; sportscaster (and former Bill)
Ernie Warlick; and the late Chuck Healy (of WIVB) and Fran Striker
(the creator of the Lone Ranger).  "Buffalo" Bob Smith (the Howdy
Doody one, not the WXXI talk host!) was inducted into the hall last
year but was unable to attend; he was at this year's event.  And the
Pioneers gave distinguished broadcaster awards to Simon Goldman of
WJTN in Jamestown, Eddy Joseph of WHLD in Niagara Falls,
St. Bonaventure basketball broadcaster Don McLean, WHLD's Iney
Wallens, and "Ramblin' Lou" Schriver, owner of WXRL in Lancaster, who
just celebrated 50 years on the air.

*On to MASSACHUSETTS, where news director Bill Pohovey has parted ways
with WHDH-TV (Channel 7); no replacement has been named yet.  One of
the creators of Channel 7's format, Joel Cheatwood, was ousted this
week from his most recent job as news director at WMAQ-TV (Channel 5)
in Chicago.  He's being moved to a position in program development
with NBC's owned-and-operated stations.  Cheatwood came under fire in
Chicago for making many of the same changes he made at WHDH and at
WSVN in Miami; it seems Chicago was even more resistant than Boston to
the fast-paced tabloid style that Cheatwood brought with him.

A format change in the Worcester market: WXXW (98.9 Webster) has
dumped the satellite oldies (and the Don & Mike talk show in afternoon
drive) to go classic rock as "98-9 the Bus."  

There's a familiar voice back in mornings at modern rocker WFNX (101.7
Lynn), as Neal Robert returns from several years doing weekends at
WBCN (104.1) to take over the morning slot at 'FNX.

A correction: WBZ-DT (Channel 30) and WCVB-DT (Channel 20) are digital
TV construction permits, not licenses.

*In NEW HAMPSHIRE, there's a new station on the air way up north.  New
England radio veteran Barry Lunderville, who sold his WZBZ (now WDOT
1070 Plattsburgh NY) to Alex McEwing's Family Radio, has put WXXS
(102.3) on the air in Lancaster with a hot AC format.  "Kiss 102"'s
studios are at 20 Middle Street in Lancaster; it's transmitting with
700 watts from more than 600 feet above average terrain.

Dennis Jackson's new 106.5 in Farmington has been assigned the WZEN

Hinsdale's WYRY (104.9) has a new website; http://www.wyry.com is the
place to find the country station that serves Keene and Brattleboro.

And we're told the old WXPO (Channel 50) tower in Windham, NH has been
torn down, nearly 30 years after WXPO's one-year run on the air.

*In CONNECTICUT, UConn basketball will have a new broadcast home next
season.  WTXX (Channel 20) outbid longtime flagship WTNH (Channel 8)
for the rights to the games, paying a reported $75,000 per game.  WTXX
is now being managed by Tribune's Fox outlet, WTIC-TV (Channel 61).

In Waterbury, WATR (1320) is operating from what we're told is a
beautiful new studio across the hall from its old facilities.  WATR
took over space formerly used by ex-sister station WWYZ (92.5).

*In MAINE, CHR-to-be WHRR (102.9 Dennysville) is changing calls; it'll
be WCRQ, and NERW hopes to hear it back on the air with those calls by
the time we get to the Calais area in late June.

And we're told the morning show on WBLM (102.9 Portland) is being
simulcast from 7-9 on Friday mornings on UPN affiliate WPME-TV
(Channel 35) in Lewiston.

*That's it for this abbreviated NERW; see you with our regular report
in eight days!

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