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NorthEast Radio Watch 6/4: Tornado Topples WIVT

*The tornadoes that ripped across upstate NEW YORK on Sunday claimed
two broadcast towers in Binghamton.

The 500-foot guyed tower of WIVT-TV (Channel 34) came down in the
storm while the ABC affiliate's two master-control operators hid under
the board for safety.  When they came out, they found the station's
studio/transmitter facility in shambles (it was later condemned), and
their cars in the parking lot destroyed.

WIVT has not been on the air since the tower fell, as best NERW can

Just up Ingraham Hill Road, one of the self-supporting towers of WNBF
(1290) was toppled as well.  WNBF is operating on the rest of its
night array under special temporary authority.

NERW was planning a trip to Binghamton this weekend anyway (we have a
knack for that sort of timing, it seems) -- and we'll provide a
special update on Monday if events warrant.

Elsewhere in the region, the storm silenced several Rochester and
Albany area stations briefly, including WDCZ (990) in Rochester and
WPYX (106.5), among others, in Albany.

In New England, Brian Dodge's "LOVE Radio" translator network suffered
a serious lightning hit to its facility at W259AB (99.7) Marlboro VT,
as well as tornado damage to W288__ (105.5) Keene NH.  Because
Marlboro was the first link in the chain that relayed WJIV (101.9
Cherry Valley NY), the entire network of stations in Vermont, New
Hampshire, and Massachusetts is silent.

Also silent (although expected back on any moment now) is WSSH (101.5
Marlboro VT) and relayer WZSH (107.1 Bellows Falls); they too suffered
storm damage.  WNHQ (92.1 Peterborough) was also silenced after a
failure of the audio link from WJYY (105.5 Concord).

*The long saga of New Haven's WNHC (1340) is over for now, and the
Yale Broadcasting Company's WYBC (94.3) is the winner.  On Wednesday,
YBC and Buckley Broadcasting, the owner of WDRC in Hartford, faced off
in federal bankruptcy court over WNHC's assets.  When it was all over,
YBC raised its initial bid by more than $100,000, to pay $775,000 for
the 1000-watt station.

The bankruptcy judge ordered WNHC owner Edie Rozier to sign the
station's current urban fornat off the air, which she did at 10:20
Thursday morning, saying closing the station was "like losing two
families" - one at the station, and the other in New Haven's black

WYBC isn't saying much about its plans for 1340, except that when it
returns to the air, it will be from YBC's 165 Elm Street facility
instead of WNHC's old Whalley Street studios.

We'll keep you posted as YBC gets its AM facility up and running.

*We'll start the rest of this week's news in VERMONT, as Bruce
James begins making changes at his new Northeast Kingdom properties.
WNKV (105.5 St. Johnsbury) has a new hot-country identity as "Kix
105.5," with the WKXH calls expected to arrive soon.  Brendan Lynch is
the new morning-drive personality at "Kix," as well as handling PD
duties there and at sister stations WSTJ (1340 St. Johnsbury) and WMTK
(106.3 Littleton NH).  WMTK is now calling itself "the Notch," with
morning-driver Chris Keach moving to afternoons and Mike Edwards
taking mornings.  Mike McCoy moves from weekends at James' WGMT (97.7
Lyndonville) to mornings at WSTJ, and Tom Field is now news director
for all the stations.

Moving down the Connecticut River, the changes have begun with the new
ownership at WCFR (1480/93.5) in Springfield.  WCFR-FM is now
simulcasting the classic hits/oldies format of Robert and Shirley
Wolf's WMXR (93.9 Woodstock).

*In NEW HAMPSHIRE, there's a new format for Nashua's WSMN (1590), with
long-form local news, the "Bargain Box," and the last vestiges of
music replaced with talk and business news from Talk America and

There's still no confirmation of last week's speculation regarding the
sale of Keene's WKNE (1290/103.7) to Cumulus Media.

*A veteran MAINE morning host is getting a new gig.  Bud Sawyer had
been working as public service director for Saga's Portland Radio
Group after losing his morning spot on WPOR (101.9) last year.  Now
he's doing mornings up the road in Lewiston, on standards simulcast
WLAM (870 Gorham)/WLAM-FM (106.7 North Windham)/WZOU (1470 Lewiston).
Former WLAM morning man Bob Shaw moves to middays.

*There's a new morning gig for one of CONNECTICUT's best known DJs as
well, as Jerry Kristafer heads back to New Haven, where his career
started twenty years ago at the old WCDQ (1220 Hamden) and WAVZ
(1300).  Kristafer later ended up in Hartford, for a long run at
WDRC-FM (102.9) that ended last year.  Since then, he's been doing
fill-in at Clear Channel's WHYN in Springfield...and now he's
switching Clear Channel stations to do mornings at WELI (960) in New
Haven -- ironically, in the same building as WAVZ!  WELI operations
manager Mike Raub took himself off the air to make room for Kristafer.

On the TV side of things, Paxson's WHCT (Channel 18) in Hartford has
switched affiliations from InfoMall to Shop at Home Network.  

*In MASSACHUSETTS, former WZLX-er George Taylor Morris has moved to
Greater Media, as the new PD at WBOS (92.9 Brookline).  Will 'BOS
begin heading away from AAA towards classic rock?  We'll keep you

Congratulations to Keating Willcox's WNSH (1570 Beverly), which has
been granted a construction permit to use 500 watts day and night from
a four-tower array near the Endicott College campus.

And it's old-home week for Arnold Lerner.  The WLLH (1400
Lowell/Lawrence) owner is taking over as general manager after the
departure of Perry Kapiloff.

*The newly-Capstar-owned stations in RHODE ISLAND have a new general
manager.  Bud Parris joins WHJJ, WHJY, and WSNE from Capstar's
Worcester stations, WTAG and WSRS.  He replaces Jim Corwin, who's been
with WHJJ/WHJY for 17 years.

*The tornadoes seem to have blown away the rest of this week's news
from NEW YORK, with the exception of two new newspeople at WGIX/WSLB
(95.3 Gouverneur/1400 Ogdensburg).  Doug Craig will do mornings, while
Eileen Hawks will do afternoons.

Just over the state line in Ridgebury, Pennsylvania, long-silent WMKB
(96.9) will soon be back on the air serving Elmira.  Lighthouse, the
owner of WLNL (1000 Horseheads), is selling the FM to religious WDBA
(107.3) from Du Bois, PA.

Also just over the line, there are new calls to accompany the new
format at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's "Cat Country."  WSGD-FM (94.3
Carbondale) becomes WCTP, WDLS (93.7 Dallas) becomes WCTD.  

More new calls: WRNJ-FM (107.1 Belvidere NJ), the newest member of Big
City Radio's "Y-107" country quad-cast, becomes WWYY, joining WWVY,
WWXY, and WWZY in the alphabet.  And Heftel's "Caliente," WNWK (105.9
Newark NJ), becomes WCAA.

One TV person on the move: Mike Goldberg, former chief meteorologist
at Rochester's WROC-TV (Channel 8), takes the same job at WTVR-TV
(Channel 6) in Richmond, Virginia.

Still on hold is the Entercom call swap in Rochester, with "99BBF" on
the FM side still doing its legal ID as WKLX, Rochester -- and no IDs
to be heard at the top of the hour at all on AM 950, still legally
WBBF(AM) but soon to be WEZO(AM).  Every time NERW's tuned in for the
last few days, we've heard the music fade out, a few seconds of dead
air, and into CNN Radio News.

And one correction: Last week we said Denver's KQKS was 104.3.  We
forgot that it had moved...and is now 107.5 in Lakewood, Colorado.

*A programming reminder: NERW will appear on its usual schedule June
11 and 18, but after that your editors head out on the "NERW Summer
Excursion," with stops to check out the radio scene all along the
coast of Maine, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, far northern
Maine, Quebec, Montreal, and Ottawa.  Look for regular updates from
the road June 19-27, with the next regular NERW on July 2.  (And if
you're along our route, it's not too late to drop us a line if you'd
like to see us in person!)

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