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NorthEast Radio Watch 7/9: End of an Era for Carter Broadcasting

*One of New England's largest locally-owned broadcast groups is being
sold.  Twenty-two years after buying what was then WRYT in Boston, Ken
Carberry (aka Carter) is selling most of his Carter Broadcasting
stations to Catholic Family Radio for a reported $22 million.  

Catholic Family Radio gets flagship WROL (950) in Boston, WACE (730
Chicopee) in the Springfield market, WRIB (1220) in Providence, and
Maine cluster WLOB (1310 Portland) and WLLB AM-FM (790/96.3 Rumford),
while Carter hangs on to WCRN (830 Worcester) and LPTVs W34BL
Leicester, Mass. and WLOB-LP (Channel 45) Portland.

Carberry, who was raised in a Catholic orphanage in Leicester, says
Catholic Family Radio was the best choice for the future of his
network.  "Catholic Family Radio has the resources to take our format
and content to the next level," he says, noting that CFR has already
lined up former Vatican ambassador and Boston mayor Ray Flynn for his
own daily talk show.  

While Carberry remains involved with CFR, he's also starting a new
media venture, Northstar Media Group, with his son Kurt.  The new
group's flagship, WCRN, has already applied for a major power boost --
from 7000 watts by day to 50,000 -- with no change in its directional
pattern.  Night power (5 kilowatts) would remain the same for now.

*The other big news from MASSACHUSETTS is the impending end of the
six-year relationship between Don Imus and WEEI (850 Boston).  WEEI's
new Entercom owners aren't renewing their contract with Imus'
syndicator, Infinity, which expires August 24.  WEEI was reportedly
paying well into seven figures annually for the rights to carry
Imus, and ratings weren't reflecting it...so now Infinity begins the
search for a new Boston Imus affiliate.  Rumors are already flying
about a new FM home for the I-man, but nothing's confirmed yet, so
stay tuned...

Nasty storms earlier this week knocked several Bay State stations off
the air.  Lowell's WCAP (980) was off for much of the night Tuesday
after the power failed at its transmitter site, with WFNX (101.7 Lynn)
suffering similar problems Monday night.  We're told all's back to
nornal now.

The All-Star Game comes to Fenway Park Tuesday night, and with it the
media.  Look for just about every local TV sportscaster out at FanFest
or at the park all weekend...and on the radio side, all of WEEI's
local programming will originate from one or the other site through
Tuesday night, while One-on-One Sports' Peter Brown originates his
show from Fenway on Monday and Tuesday afternoons (heard in Boston on
WNRB 1510 from 2-6 PM).

*Taking a quick spin around northern New England: NEW HAMPSHIRE
public television is applying for its first DTV station.  WENH-DT 57
would operate from the Saddleback Mountain site of WENH-TV 11.  Up in
VERMONT, WSTJ (1340) in St. Johnsbury is celebrating its 50th
anniversary this weekend with a party downtown Saturday afternoon
(7/10) from 11 AM until 2 PM.  In addition to live music and a
barbecue, alumni of the station (formerly WTWN) are invited back for a
look around.  Across the state, we know a bit more about WRMC (91.1
Middlebury)'s application for a power boost: the new site would be
atop the Bicentennial Building, a new 6-story science center on the
Middlebury College campus.  A 3-kilowatt transmitter atop all that
sensitive electronic equipment?  Hope the building's well-shielded!
And up in MAINE, this correction: Adam Wolf, late of WGAN (560
Portland), is going to Goodwill Industries as its community relations
manager.  Congratulations on the new gig!

*RHODE ISLAND's public radio station wants to boost power.  WRNI (1290
Providence) applied to the FCC this week to increase its night output
from 5 kilowatts to 10, still off the same three towers (but with one
moving slightly).  We understand an application to boost day power is
on the way, but has yet to appear in the FCC database.

*Large portions of upstate NEW YORK are still reeling from the massive
media invasion that began Wednesday as Hillary Rodham Clinton started
her "am-I-campaigning?" swing across the region.  Your editor was in
Oneonta as part of the ol' day job, and never saw as much media in one
place -- almost every TV station in the state, every national network
and wire service, TV crews from as far afield as Japan and Australia,
print, radio, you name it.  But what we really liked was little WDOS
(730) in Oneonta, where "Big Chuck" offered his own brand of Hillary
coverage -- just a cell phone somewhere deep in the crowd, doing his
very best to keep the local audience apprised of what was happening.
Slick?  Nope...but lots of fun to listen to.  (And not having been to
Oneonta in a few years, we'll note that WZOZ 103.1 is now doing a lot
of cross-promotion with the other BanJo group stations in Norwich,
while running a classic-rock format; WDOS sister station WSRK 103.9
calls itself "Mix" and does AC; and college stations WRHO 89.7 and
WONY 90.9 were off for the summer, with WONY maintaining a weak dead

Downstate, listeners to the smooth jazz sounds of WZZN (106.3 Mount
Kisco) were surprised to hear "the Breeze" disappear Monday, replaced
with a simulcast of hot AC WFAS-FM (103.9 White Plains).  But it
wasn't a format change prompted by the stations' new owners -- it was
an act of engineering desperation prompted by a storm that fried the
satellite receiver at WZZN!  The simulcast only lasted a day or so
while a new receiver was procured, and everything's back to normal at

We hear WWHW (102.1 Jeffersonville) has replaced its National Weather
Service simulcast with a series of random music beds...anything, we
suppose, to keep the transmitter warm until the station can be sold?

Up in Chateaugay, the FCC has returned St. Lawrence University's
application for a new station on 88.1.  The WSLU folks have already
submitted a petition for reconsideration.

Moving west, we've been remiss in failing to note the latest change at
Clear Channel's Rochester group: the "Jammin' Oldies" station on 107.3
is now calling itself "Cool 107.3" -- albeit, for once, without the
"$50,000 if you can name our radio station" contest.  It's too bad,
really...we were all ready to flood them with the usual "Cool,"
"Magic," "Mega," and "Jammin'" entries!

Down the hall at the Euclid Building, we hear WHAM (1180) newsguy Dave
McKinley is about to make the move to TV, and at the former WHAM-TV
(now WROC-TV 8) no less!  Congratulations to Dave...and we suspect
WHAM news director Randy Gorbman would be very interested in some
tapes and resumes right about now...

And as long as we're on this Clear Channel theme, we note that the
radio body-snatchers have snared another victim, this time out in Des
Moines, where cool little AAA station KKDM (107.5) found itself being
bought by Clear Channel this week -- and, within hours, converted to
the same prefab CHR "Kiss 107" format heard in Rochester on WKGS
(106.7 Irondequoit), in Cincinnati on WKFS (107.1 Milford)...well, you
get the picture.  We've been watching the old WKRP reruns on Nick at
Nite all week, and it's amazing how prescient the writers were, at
least in that one episode where Venus Flytrap almost gets hired away
by the all-automated station...hey, they even got the "Cincinnati"
part right!

Buffalo radio veteran Harv Moore ("The Boy Next Door") is going
full-time at WHTT (104.1).  He'll hold down the noon-3 PM shift

And just over the state line in PENNSYLVANIA, there are a bunch of
call and format changes to report in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market,
most of them involving the Citadel mega-group: WKQV (1550 Pittston)
and WEMR (1460 Tunkhannock) switch from One-on-One Sports to Music of
Your Life; WCDL (1440 Carbondale) changes calls to WKJN but keeps its
simulcast with news-talk WARM (590 Scranton); rock simulcast "The
Bear" (WZMT 97.9 Hazleton/WKQV-FM 95.7 Olyphant) takes on new calls
WXBE and WXAR, respectively (get it -- "BE" and "AR" = "BEAR"?); and
over in Mount Pocono, WILT (960) is being sold to Nassau Broadcasting
in nearby New Jersey, ending its LMA with and simulcast of WILK (980

*Up in CANADA, the CRTC has approved the sale of Ottawa's CHEZ and
nearby CFMO/CJET Smiths Falls to Rogers Broadcasting.  The deal is
expected to close July 25; no word yet on programming or staff
changes.  (We heard CHEZ down here in Rochester after the fireworks on
the Fourth...good trops that night!)

The CBC continues to try to replace the coverage of now-defunct CBL
(740), with the latest application involving a new FM station in
Wingham on 100.9.  The 11,800 watt station will fill a coverage gap
between the 93.5 in London (also an occasional Rochester catch now
that CBCP Peterborough has moved to 98.7) and the 98.7 up in Owen
Sound.  NERW will be in Wingham later this month; expect an update
then on how well the CBC's signal does - or doesn't - get in to the

Speaking of replacing coverage lost by ill-conceived moves to FM, the
CBC has also been granted a power increase for CBME (88.5 Montreal),
from 4000 to 16,900 watts.  Reception on Montreal's West Island will
no doubt improve, but Stateside listeners who used to enjoy the 50,000
watts of CBM (940) are unlikely to notice much improvement.

And the CRTC is taking applications for new stations in Kingston,
Ontario.  A check of the database shows an open class A channel on
105.7, so we guess that's where any new station would end up.

*That's it for a short holiday week...we'll see you next Friday with
much more!

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

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End of boston-radio-interest-digest V3 #436