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NorthEast Radio Watch 5/21: NHPR Goes North

*NEW HAMPSHIRE's public radio network will soon have a new link.  NHPR
announced this week that it plans to purchase WXLQ (107.1 Gorham) from
current owner Gladys Powell.  WXLQ has been running a satellite
classic rock format of late, although NERW still vividly remembers
hearing the station with satellite country a few years back, complete
with odd little cueing tones where they shouldn't have been heard.  In
any event, the addition of the Gorham signal will provide a
significant northern extension to the NHPR network, whose WEVO (89.1
Concord) goes only as far as the southern flanks of the White
Mountains, while WXLQ's signal is heard only to the north of Mount
Washington.  No word yet on when the sale will close.

At the opposite end of the state, independent WNDS (Channel 50)
suffered a transmitter fire Wednesday morning that left it off the air
for (we hear) several days.  

Bob Vinikoor of WNTK (1020 Newport/99.7 New London) checked in to let
us know he's still looking for a morning co-host to share wakeup
duties with Pete Ferrand. 

And out on the seacoast, soon-to-be-Citadel country station WOKQ (97.5
Dover) is playing some 'Net games with Capstar competitor WUBB (95.3
York Center ME).  Entering www.wubb.com or www.b953.com takes browsers
to the WOKQ site.  Real mature, guys...

*Just up the seacoast in MAINE, Steve Mindich has applied for the WPHX
and WPHX-FM calls for what are now WSME (1220) and WCDQ (92.1) in
Sanford.  Expect the WFNX simulcast to start any day now on the FM

Portland's WGAN (560) is reconfiguring its weekend schedule, pulling
the satellite offerings of Bob Brinker, Mitch Albom, and David Essel
and moving John McDonald's Saturday morning show to the 9-noon slot in
place of its old 6-10 AM, now filled by taped reruns of the weekday
"Dave & Willy" show.  After McDonald, WGAN listeners now hear taped
reruns of the weekday lineup of Rush Limbaugh, Howie Carr, John & Ken,
and Dr. Joy Browne.  On Sundays, McDonald now hosts the gardening show
after the resignation of 20-year veteran Dr. Gordon "Bud" Johnston
(who was reportedly upset that the program was being moved from
Saturday).  McDonald's "Tag Sale" show on Sundays has been cancelled.
Sunday afternoons are now filled with Handyman Glenn Hague (moved from
Saturdays), Handel on the Law, Kim Komando (both new to the station),
and Dr. Dean Edell.  While we're at Saga/Portland, we hear WBAE was to
have debuted this week on 1490 (ex-WPOR) in Portland...more next week
on this one.

*The top story in MASSACHUSETTS is the nasty rivalry between
Infinity's WBCN (104.1 Boston) and Steve Mindich's WFNX (101.7 Lynn), 
which started when WBCN began running the "Loveline" show, long a WFNX
nighttime feature.  Mindich was telling Boston papers this week that
he plans to sue Infinity for breach of contract -- and he's also been
making loud noises about the rumors (apparently started on a Howard
Stern fan page) that Infinity will soon require all Stern affiliates
to clear a 24-hour lineup of talk radio.  WBCN PD Oedipus told the Boston
Globe this week that he'll wager $104,000 of his own money against
Mindich's money that the rumor is untrue.  Meanwhile, both stations
are running "Loveline" for the moment.

Over at 116 Huntington Ave., "Star 93.7" unveiled most of its new jock
lineup this week, with Ann Duran coming back to the region (after a
stint in Los Angeles that followed the demise of the old WBIX in New
York) to do 10-3PM, Michael Knight doing 3-7PM, Danny Meyers coming
from WPLJ in New York for nights, and sole Eagle survivor Steve York
handling overnight duties.  Still to be named is a morning show.  A
note, by the way, to the usually reliable Dean Johnson at the Herald:
the calls on that Lawrence-licensed station are now WQSX -- or is this
just payback for the Other Paper continuing to call 93.7 "WCGY" for
years after it changed to WEGQ?

Do Worcester TV viewers want to see religious programming from West
Texas?  Beats the heck out of us, but it's there if they want it,
thanks to brand-new WYDN (Channel 48), which began operating late last
month from Mt. Asnebumskit in Paxton, rebroadcasting the "Prime Time
Christian Broadcasting" network from KMLM (Channel 42) in Odessa,
Texas.  Find more at their Web site, <http://www.marshill.com/ptcb>.

Gavin Spittle's leaving Cape Cod's WXTK (95.1 West Yarmouth)/WWKJ
(101.1 Mashpee) for a new gig as program director of talk station KXNT
(840 North Las Vegas) in sunny Nevada.

And out west, Saga is parking a new set of calls on AM 1600 in East
Longmeadow.  WPNT has replaced WAQY on the AM side of that simulcast
for the moment.  The calls were recently benched by Saga's Milwaukee
FM, which ditched the "Point" moniker for (what else?) rhythmic oldies
as "WMJO."  (Extra radio-geek points if you've noted that those calls
were assigned to a now-defunct AM CP in Webster, New York...)

*Keating Willcox is switching stations in Woonsocket, RHODE ISLAND.
His Willow Pond Broadcasting closed Thursday morning on its
acquisition of WNRI (1380), and promptly took the station to an
all-satellite talk format much like Willcox' Massachusetts and New
Hampshire stations (WPEP, WNSH, WMVU).  Some of the local hosts will
move to WOON (1240), which Willcox is selling to station manager Dave

*VERMONT's newest TV news operation is beginning to fill some key
staff positions.  WVNY (Channel 22) in Burlington named Eric Greene
as main anchor and executive producer, as the ABC affiliate prepares
for an autumn expansion to a full news schedule from the current
5-minute newscasts twice daily.

Down in Brattleboro, we hear WTSA (1450) has dropped the remnants of
the NBC Radio Network for Westwood One sister service CNN, including
in the morning-drive slots where NBC's remaining newscasts air.

*Is there a GM opening in CONNECTICUT?  All Access reports this week
that Jodi Long, GM at Infinity's WZMX (93.7 Hartford) and WRCH (100.5
Farmington), will leave the station in July, and that WTIC AM-FM GM
Suzanne McDonald will run all four stations on an interim basis.

*We'll start down at the "other" end of NEW YORK, with some staffing
changes at WBLI (106.1 Patchogue).  PD J.J. Rice has promoted Al
Levine from music director to assistant PD/MD; he's also hired Holly
Levis from New York's WKTU for midday duties.

Is that WABC legend Chuck Leonard being heard on "Jukebox Radio"
across the river? (W276AQ Fort Lee NJ and alleged primary WJUX 99.7
Monticello NY)

Heading upstate, Albany's "Z-104.9" finally has call letters with a
"Z" somewhere in them, as the FCC officially replaces WAAP with WZMR
on the Altamont-licensed station.

Heading even further upstate, Rick DeFranco is moving from WGIX (95.3
Gouverneur) and WSLB (1400 Ogdensburg) to sister station WPAC (92.7
Ogdensburg), and switching from afternoons to mornings after 15 years.
Replacing DeFranco (who's also manager of all three stations) is
WGIX/WSLB weekender Nate Townsend.  DeFranco will take over from
current "93PAC" morning host Doug Craig on June 1, after a brief

And we heard this week of the death May 10 of Si Goldman, who bought
Jamestown's WJTN (1240) back in the early 1950s and ran it and sister
station WWSE (93.3) for decades.  Goldman had been living in Florida
in recent years, but was still involved in running the stations.

*On the national front, pencil in a new name for Chancellor Media just
as the company swallows all them Capstar stations.  Now Chancellor is
changing its name to "AMFM," to match its NASDAQ ticker symbol --
which might make more sense if it weren't for those rumors that the
company is about to move its stock to the New York Stock Exchange,
where it will be known as simply "AFM."  

*From CANADA this week comes word of a new owner for Ottawa's CJMJ
(100.3) and CFGO (1200).  Rawlco, which sold its Calgary stations to
Rogers earlier in the week, will spin the outlets in the nation's
capital to the CHUM group, which already owns CFRA (580), CKKL (93.9),
and CHRO (Channel 43/Channel 5 Pembroke) in the market.  CJMJ's soft
AC "Majic 100" is the market's ratings leader, and CFGO's new sports
format makes a nice complement to CFRA's news-talk dominance.  

*Finally this week, we have more details to offer on the NERW
Get-Together scheduled for Saturday, June 12 in Providence, R.I.
After lunch at a yet-to-be-determined site, we will be able to take a
private tour of the "Live from Studio 1-A!" exhibit on the history of
Rhode Island television at the Rhode Island Historical Society.  The
RIHS has graciously agreed to open its doors on a Saturday when it
would normally be closed, and we look forward to seeing many of our
R.I., Massachusetts, and Connecticut readers there.  There will also
be opportunities to do some tower-hunting, sticker trading, and of
course, plenty of good talk about broadcasting of all kinds.

If you've yet to RSVP, drop us a line this week.  We'll have complete
schedule and location information in next week's issue, or check the
Get-Together page at
<http://radio.lcs.mit.edu/radio/nerw/nerw-99gtg.html> for all the
latest details.  

"Providence"...it's more than just a sappy NBC Friday night drama,
it's a radio experience.  See you there!

- -=Scott Fybush - NorthEast Radio Watch - (c) 1999=-