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

NorthEast Radio Watch 4/14: 274 to 110

*It's hard to ignore the lead story this week: the 274-110 vote that passed
H.R. 3439, the "Preservation of Broadcasting Act" -- but it's easy to
refrain from commenting.  There's really nothing to add to the
editorial NERW offered in this space a few weeks ago, and no reason to
expect that the companion bill, S. 2068, won't pass by a similar
margin within the next few weeks.

At that point, it will be up to President Clinton to decide whether
it's worth a veto, which would likely hold given the number of
Democrats who either voted in favor of the bill (but would likely
swing against overriding a veto, given White House pressure) or didn't
vote at all.  (Among the Northeast Democrats voting to keep
broadcasting safely in the hands of the giant conglomerates -- oops,
are our politics showing? -- were Connecticut's Sam Gejdenson and New
York's Carolyn Maloney.)

And while we're holding to our verdict of "Shame!" for Bill Kennard
for failing to acknowledge the way translator abuse is eating away at
potential LPFM frequencies, we'll at least give the FCC chairman a bit
of credit for taking on the increasingly corporate NPR establishment
for its craven anti-LPFM stance.  (Hey, come to think of it, shame on
NPR, too, for failing to take on the translator abuse issue even as it
chips away at many of NPR's smaller member stations...)

Enough LPFM for now; on with the news of the full-power world:

*One of the best-known names in MASSACHUSETTS television is scaling
back her hours.  Twenty-one years after coming to WBZ-TV (Channel 4)
to anchor the evening news, Liz Walker is leaving the 5 and 11 PM
newscasts to spend more time with her family.  Walker will stay at WBZ
working days and anchoring the noon news; no permanent replacement has
been picked for the 5 and 11.  

Boston could lose its only grandfathered super-power FM: WGBH (89.7)
has apparently applied to move from its current 100 kilowatt facility
on Blue Hill to 25 kilowatts from the Needham tower that's home to
WGBH-TV (and owned by WBZ-TV).  Thanks to the disaster that is the
FCC's on-line database at the moment, we're still not completely sure
whether this is an application for a new primary transmitter, an
auxiliary, or someone's idea of a bad joke; we're hoping to know more
by next week.

Whither Jeff Katz?  The erstwhile (and almost-forgotten) WRKO morning
host is back out West, where he's now doing mornings at Las Vegas
talker KXNT (840 North Las Vegas).  

Speaking of out West -- but not *that* far -- Springfield's WGBY
(Channel 57) has applied for a license to cover for its DTV outlet,
WGBY-DT, on channel 58.  This would be the first PBS DTV outlet in
Massachusetts, as parent WGBH waits for completion of the
aforementioned WBZ-TV tower before putting its DTV services on the
air.  (Seems to us we've heard mention of using Blue Hill for
WGBH-DT's channel 19, at least on an interim basis, which could
explain that WGBH-FM application...)

If you, like us, enjoy the vast trove of airchecks at Uncle Ricky's
Reel Top 40 Radio Repository <http://www.reelradio.com>, you might
want to pay a visit soon -- while Richard Irwin is trying to turn the
site into a full-fledged non-profit museum of top 40 radio, he's hit
some snags with Web hosting that could take the site off the Web
entirely, and he's looking for help.  We'd hate to lose this one.

*CONNECTICUT gets a new TV newscast Monday (4/17), as WTNH (Channel 8)
in New Haven launches a daily 10 PM newscast on sister station WBNE
(Channel 59).  WTNH reporter Verna Collins will anchor
Sunday-Wednesday, while Andrea Stassou will take the chair
Thursday-Saturday, competing with the 10 PM newscast simulcast on
WTIC-TV (Channel 61) and WTXX (Channel 20).

*WADK-FM (99.3) in Block Island, RHODE ISLAND has applied for some
sort of change, most likely a power increase -- but again, the
confusing mess that is the FCC's database makes it impossible to say
just what the details might be.  Next week...

*In Hinsdale, NEW HAMPSHIRE, WYRY (104.9) has been granted a power
increase from 1550 watts to 3500 watts.

The Nashua Pride aren't on radio, after all...seems the team couldn't
work out an acceptable deal with WSMN (1590) this season.

Thanks to our loyal NERW readers in the Conway area for letting us
know that WBNC (1050 Conway) has joined its FM in dumping country for

Up north, the FCC denied Dana Puopolo's proposal to allocate 97.3A to
Mount Washington (whose three residents already have a superpower B
allocation!) and dismissed Barry Lunderville's counterprposal for
97.3A in Newry, MAINE.  

While we're in the Pine Tree State, we see that the calls of WAKN
(97.7 Winter Harbor) have been changed to WNSX (last seen in the
region on 96.1 Poughkeepsie a few years ago).  Could the station be on
the air soon?

*A college DJ in VERMONT set what he hopes will be a record for length
of time on the air.  "Disco Vince" Griffin stayed on the air at WVTC
(90.7 Randolph Center) for 73 hours beginning March 3.  Will Guinness
agree?  We'll see...

Speaking of stunts, we were more than amused by the photo in the
Rutland Herald Tuesday showing none other than Brian Dodge sitting in
a plastic tub full of goldfish to promote his "Love 1480," WNBX
Springfield.  We were even more amused by the caption attached to the
photo by our waggish correspondent in Vermont: "Those *poor*

There's a new PD at WEQX (102.7 Manchester).  Kyle Guderian comes to
the Albany-market station from WEJE (96.3 Churubusco IN) in the Fort
Wayne, Indiana market.  

The FCC denied another Dana Puopolo allocation proposal this week,
this one for 100.3A in St. Johnsbury.  

And the Twin Falls folks have applied for a KAWZ translator on 88.1 in

*Mega Broadcasting arrived in NEW YORK this week with a $24.5 million
deal that gets the up-and-coming Spanish-language broadcaster an AM
frequency in the Big Apple.  Mega is buying leased-time ethnic WKDM
(1380 New York) from Arthur Liu's Multicultural Broadcasting, with Liu
getting not just the cash but also two Mega properties in the
Washington DC market (WZHF 1390 Arlington VA, which does reach Our
Nation's Capital, and WKDV 1460 Manassas VA, which does not), a new
market for Liu.

The New York station fills a hole in Mega's East Coast grouping that
now includes Boston (WAMG "Mega 1150" and WBPS "Amor 890"), Hartford
(WNEZ "Jamz 910" and WLAT "Mega 1230"), and Philadelphia (WEMG "Mega
104.9/900" and WSSJ 1310), not to mention several DC stations and two
in Florida.

Ironically, Mega won't be able to call WKDM "Mega," since that
nickname is already being used by Spanish Broadcasting's WSKQ (97.9
New York).  Mega also can't call WKDM "Amor," since *that's* in use at
SBS's WPAT-FM (93.1 Paterson NJ).  

Next rumor: Will the profitable leased-time programming now heard on
WKDM displace the adult standards on Liu's struggling WNSW (1430

*Up in the Bronx, the talks between Fordham University and the New
York Botanical Garden over the WFUV (90.7 New York) tower have been
about as productive as the Elian negotiations -- they've just dragged
on longer.  Both sides announced this week that after three years of
discussions with a federal mediator, they're no closer to a compromise
than they were when they started.  

To recap: Fordham had to move the WFUV antenna off a rooftop to meet
new RFR standards.  When the new tower began rising in plain view of
the botanical garden next door, garden officials went to court to halt
construction...and that's where it's stood ever since, with a
half-finished tower sitting above the garden.  

(NERW wonders: Why can't they disguise the thing as a really, really,
really, really big tree?)

One more Big Apple note: Jeremy Coleman moves from Infinity's DC
talker, WJFK (106.7 Manassas VA), to become PD of the company's WNEW
(102.7 New York).

Heading upstate: Jason Keller is out as morning man at WRVE (99.5
Schenectady), with Randy McCarten filling in for now.  Many of the
weekend talk shows that once were heard on WABY (1400 Albany) have
migrated to "The Moon," WUAM (900 Saratoga Springs) and WVKZ (1240
Schenectady).  Now on the LPTV airwaves in the Capital District: W58CX
Saratoga Springs, with 3 Angels Broadcasting Network (3ABN) religion.
And WKBE (100.3 Warrensburg) has been heard breaking simulcast from
WCPT (100.9 Albany), running jockless as "100.3 the Point."

Way upstate: The FCC has dismissed WSLK (106.3 Saranac Lake)'s
application for an on-channel booster in Lake Placid.

Don Imus has added two affiliates in the Finger Lakes.  WELM (1410
Elmira) and WPIE (1160 Trumansburg) are now carrying the I-Man in
addition to their One-on-One Sports formats.  

New name: Rochester UPN affiliate "Big TV" (WBGT-LP 40 and W26BZ)
transfers from David and Molly Grant to "Mike Victor Broadcasting."
We haven't seen any other changes through the static, yet...

WHAM (1180) talker Bob Lonsberry is adding yet another gig (just in
case hosting mornings in Salt Lake by ISDN, reporting for the local
Fox affiliate, writing a daily column on the Web, and shilling for
burger joints and gun shops wasn't enough) -- he'll be one of the
rotating replacements for Art Bell's Saturday night show when Bell
retires at the end of the month.  Mike Siegel will replace Bell
weeknights.  We hope to know more in the next few weeks about which of
Bell's Northeast affiliates will stay with Premiere's new offerings,
and which will be heading elsewhere.

*Just one bit from CANADA: CKDU at Dalhousie University in Halifax,
Nova Scotia gets approval to move from 97.5 (and 33 watts) to 88.1 and
a whopping 520 watts.

*That's it for another week; back in seven days with more!

---------------------NorthEast Radio Watch------------------------
                     (c)2000 Scott Fybush

No redistribution permitted for commercial use, or for
noncommercial use without prior written permission.

NorthEast Radio Watch is published each Friday night and
distributed immediately to the NERW and Boston Radio
Interest mailing lists.  

To be added to the NERW mailing list, send e-mail to
<nerw-request@bostonradio.org> with the word "subscribe"
as the body of the message.  You will receive a confirmation
code to return by e-mail to begin your free subscription.
Please direct any questions about the list process to
<nerw-owner@bostonradio.org>; subscription requests and
questions sent directly to NERW cannot be acted on.

NERW is archived at the Boston Radio Archives,
<http://www.bostonradio.org/radio/bostonradio.html> and
is generally made available there about a week after

Opinions expressed in NERW are solely those of the author
and not necessarily those of MIT, LCS, or Time Warner.

NERW welcomes your news and contributions at