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

NorthEast Radio Watch 8/7: So Long, Charles...

--------------------------NorthEast Radio Watch--------------------------
                             August 7, 2000


*MASSACHUSETTS: Bye Bye, Big Mattress
*MAINE: Gannett Consolidates at WLBZ, WCSH

-----------------------------by Scott Fybush-----------------------------

*The Charles Laquidara farewell occupied much of the week's attention
in MASSACHUSETTS, as the WBCN veteran (and more recently morning man
at WZLX 100.7 Boston) said goodbye to the Big Mattress and headed off
to Hawaii.  We go to press too early this week to report Charles'
final words...more in the August 21 issue.

As Charles says goodbye, a new TV station says "hello."  WHUB-TV
(Channel 66) Marlborough made its debut with a "Cheers"-heavy lineup
of syndicated shows on Tuesday (August 1); expect the USA Broadcasting
outlet to get heavily into the bidding wars for local sports in the
months to come.

Out west, we note that WRNX (100.9 Amherst) has had its application
dismissed for non-directional operation.  The station wanted to go
from 1350 watts directional to 850 watts non-DA, still at 211 meters
AAT on its current site high above Route 116 north of South Hadley.
(Going non-directional would have filled a wide null in the station's
pattern towards the southeast, protecting WKNL 100.9 New London CT.)

*In NEW YORK's Southern Tier, Vox is growing yet again (with the rumor
mill hinting that it's preparing for an eventual sale).  The latest
additions to Vox's growing cluster down that way are Magnum's WMNS
(1360) and WMXO (101.5) in Olean, and just across the state line, the
former WRLP (103.1 Russell PA), newly renamed WQFX.

We hear Clear Channel will step in and buy Binghamton's WINR (680)
from dentist Paul Titus, now that Titus' deal to sell the standards
station to Citadel is no more.  CC already has four FMs in the market,
plus sports AM WENE (1430 Endicott); we wonder what the strategy
behind the (reportedly $2 million) purchase will be?  (Late word is
that an LMA kicked in August 1, with the deal to close this fall.)

Just down future I-86 and a few feet across the state line in
Pennsylvania, Maureen E. Furiosi has been granted a construction
permit for 96.1A.  The 1750 watt station will transmit from 135 meters
above average terrain, licensed to South Waverly PA and transmitting
from Hanlon Hill, outside Ridgebury PA and a bit closer to Elmira than
the area's other FM (WAVR 102.1 Waverly NY).

What will become of Albany's WTRY (980 Troy) once it moves from AMFM
to the new huge Clear Channel group?  The Times Union's Pete Dougherty
reports the station will go sports with the new Fox Sports Radio
network.  Jim Rome's show (from Clear Channel's Premiere Radio
Networks) will move from CC's WTMM (1300 Rensselaer), which is being
spun away in the deal, over to 980.  What becomes of 1300 under new
owner Regent?  Nobody's saying just yet...

Radio people on the move: Ellis B. Feaster has packed the moving van and
he's on the way out of Rochester for the second time in a few years.
Feaster leaves the morning show at oldies WBBF (98.9) for a job at Cox
country giant WWKA (92.3) in Orlando, Florida.  Down in New York City,
former WNEW (102.7) jock Dennis Elsas has resurfaced at the low end of
the dial, where he's signed on for afternoon drive at Fordham
University's cool AAA WFUV (90.7).

*The word from VERMONT is that, yes indeed, country WLFE-FM (102.3
St. Albans) has LMA'd AM 1070 across the lake in Plattsburgh NY and is
operating it as WLFE(AM).  The irony here?  Former WLFE owner John
Kimel checked in to remind us that back in the early 80s, he flipped
the FM to country in an attempt to steal the market share of...AM 1070
in Plattsburgh, then known as WKDR.  (Burlington's 100kw 98.9 spoiled
the fun a few years later when it switched from CHR as WQCR to country
as WOKO.)  

*NEW HAMPSHIRE's most powerful AM station is changing hands.  WDER
(1320 Derry) is being sold by Spacetown Communications to Blount
Communications -- the same folks who own WBCI (105.9 Bath) in Maine,
WVNE (760 Leicester) in Central Mass., and WARV (1590 Warwick) in
Rhode Island.  No word yet on a sale price, and we don't expect any
change in WDER's religious format.  (And before we hear from Bob
Vinikoor: yes, his 50kw CP for WQTH 720 in Hanover will be the most
powerful Granite State AM when it takes the air; for now, WDER's 10kw
daytime wins the prize.)

New Hampshire is one of two NERW states in the next LPFM filing
window.  Applications for LP-100 stations in New Hampshire,
CONNECTICUT, and nine other states will be accepted by the FCC from
August 28 until September 1; we hope to have them ready to report in
the Sept. 11 or 18 issue of NERW if all goes well.

*Up in MAINE, Gannett takes a page from the Ackerley playbook, merging
many of the back-office and engineering functions of WLBZ (Channel 2)
in Bangor into those of WCSH (Channel 6) in Portland.  The two NBC
affiliates will now share a common newscast at 5:30 and 11 PM on
weeknights, in addition to the morning and weekend shows they already

*Not quite in our area, but we can't ignore it, either: Tuesday (8/1)
marked the farewell of a legendary set of call letters on the AM dial,
as Infinity's WMAQ (670 Chicago) said goodbye and handed the frequency
over to sister station WSCR, moving format and calls from 1160.  It's
sad to see any heritage station go, especially one with as long and
colorful a history as WMAQ.  (You can read much more about that
history at Rich Samuels' outstanding Chicago broadcast history site, 

*And as we head the NERW-mobile up towards CANADA, we have word that
the CRTC has denied a power increase for CFBG (100.9 Bracebridge), way
up there north of Barrie in Ontario's Muskoka region.  CFBG wanted to
boost power from 2.9kw to 100kw and move to 99.5 -- but the CRTC says
such a move would have changed CFBG from a local station to a powerful
regional station.

*That's it for this early edition; we're on the road for the next week
or so, and we'll be back with another NERW August 21.  See you then!

---------------------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 weekend 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