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NERW 11/28: Dodge Leaves Vermont

--------------------------NorthEast Radio Watch--------------------------
                            November 28, 2000


*VERMONT: Dodge Leaves WNBX
*CANADA: Four More AMs Apply For FM Moves

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

*A month after being charged with domestic assault, religious
broadcaster Brian Dodge has left Vermont, leaving "Love 1480" (WNBX
Springfield) silent while it awaits new management.

Dodge had operated the station, the former WCFR(AM), since 1998 under
an LMA-to-buy with owners Bob and Shirley Wolf.  Dodge, who also owns
WWNH (1340) in Madbury N.H., would have paid $150,000 for the
station.  Instead, he notified the Wolfs a week before Thanksgiving that
he would be leaving WNBX and the southern Vermont area.

The Wolfs tell the Rutland Herald they plan to have WNBX back on the
air sometime in December under the management of Keith Marsh, a
minister in nearby West Lebanon, N.H.  Like the Dodge deal, the
two-year agreement with Marsh would eventually lead to a sale of the

Marsh would begin running a religious format on WNBX in early 2001,
with holiday music filling the airwaves until then.  He tells the
Herald he plans to change the station's call letters and add local
news and sports programming.

As for Dodge, he has pleaded not guilty to charges that he hit his
wife and choked her with a towel at the couple's Springfield home in
October.  He also faces charges of violating a restraining order
imposed after his initial arrest.

*In other news from VERMONT, Kate Remington is leaving the Vermont
Public Radio airwaves after a decade as the network's afternoon host,
heading south to WSHU (91.1 Fairfield CT) to be a music host there.

*One bit of CONNECTICUT news on this holiday-shortened update: We now
know what the new calls will be for New Haven's channel 59 when the
station switches from WB to UPN (or is that just "PN"?) on New Year's
Day.  Since "WBNE" won't work anymore, the station will become WCTX.
NERW wonders whether Tribune's WTXX (Channel 20) in Waterbury will
change its calls as well when it switches from UPN to WB on the same

Our best wishes go out to former WAVZ (1300 New Haven) sports guy Dan
Rusanowsky, who's recovering from a traffic accident last weekend in
San Jose that left him with a broken femur, fractured pelvis,
punctured lung, and a concussion.  Rusanowsky is now the play-by-play
announcer for the San Jose Sharks, though he'll be out of commission
for at least two weeks while he's hospitalized and undergoes rehab.

*Up in MAINE, there's a fight brewing over Maine Public Broadcasting's
decision to drop the Texaco Metropolitan Opera broadcasts this
season.  MPB says it would like to keep carrying the opera, but only
if it can do so on tape delay -- and that's something Texaco and the
Met have never permitted.  And while MPB points out that listeners in
southern Maine will still hear the Met on the "W-Bach" network (WBQQ
99.3 Kennebunk, WBQW 106.3 Scarborough, WBQX 106.9 Thomaston), the
Bangor Daily News notes that's not much comfort to listeners Down East
or up north, out of range of W-Bach.  

Speaking of MPB, it's getting some federal help to build its newest
outlet, WMEP (90.5 Camden).  The National Telecommunications and
Information Administration (NTIA) is giving the network over $147,000,
which the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will match.  WMEP's
antenna will go on the WQSS (102.5 Camden) tower atop Ragged Mountain,
with sign-on set for next summer.

What, then, of WHQO (107.9 Skowhegan)?  It's staying in the hands of
Mountain Wireless, which says a new format is on the way now that the
deal to sell the station to Cumulus (which would have donated it to
MPBC) has fallen through.  While we're up that way, we note that WCTB
(93.5 Fairfield) is returning to its AC "River" format after some time
as country "Kicks."

One more note from the Pine Tree State: Last week's mention of the
sale of WLLB (790 Rumford) should have put the sale price as $50,000,
not $500,000.

*A quiet week in MASSACHUSETTS, with the big story coming out west,
where WRNX (100.9 Amherst) is moving from its tower overlooking route
116 over to Mount Tom above Holyoke. From that site (home to WGGB-TV,
WGBY-TV, and WHYN-FM), it will serve Springfield with 85 watts
from 902 feet AAT.

And back in Boston, there's word that Charlie Austin is retiring from
his job at WBZ-TV (Channel 4) after 32 years at 1170 Soldiers Field
Road. In addition to being one of the first African-American reporters
on Boston TV, the 56 year old Austin has a well-deserved reputation as
being one of the true gentlemen in a business that doesn't get enough
of them. During his years at channel 4, Austin battled a stroke and
prostate cancer, yet fought back to return to his job as a
reporter. Those within the WBZ family (and your editor was one of
them) also remember Charlie fondly for his singing voice. In addition
to his annual public appearances with "Black Nativity," your editor
also recalls the doo-wop concerts that spontaneously erupted whenever
Austin shared a room with the late Darrell Gould of WBZ radio. NERW
offers best wishes to Austin, his wife of 34 years, Linda, and the
rest of his family as he moves on to whatever comes next. (We note
here too that we've been remiss in neglecting the retirement of
another veteran WBZ-TV reporter. Sarah Ann Shaw, who began at WBZ in
1969, retired at the end of October -- best wishes to her and her
family as well!)

We're also trying to sort out the status of Worcester's WYDN (Channel
48); conflicting reports tell us the station is either off the air or
still on.  More next week...

*Not much happening in NEW YORK over the Thanksgiving turkey, either:
just one format change statewide this week, involving Utica's soft AC
WRFM (93.5 Remsen).  The station has flipped to all holiday music,
keeping Delilah on at night...but we're told it will return to "Warm"
and AC after the holidays are over.

Over in Albany, WROW (590) welcomes Dan Lynch back to its airwaves,
now that the talk host's bid for a state Assembly seat has ended in
defeat.  WROW is also hiring Doug Sherman to do its nightly sports
show, now that host Rodger Wyland is moving to crosstown WOFX (980
Troy).  Sherman is best known as the sports anchor on WRGB-TV (Channel
6) in Schenectady.

Here in Rochester, Entercom sent WBEE-FM (92.5) operations manager and
morning host "Uncle Fred" Horton packing just before Thanksgiving,
leaving veteran Terry Clifford to host the morning show solo (though
we just saw the WBEE TV spot that mentions "Uncle Fred" still running
moments ago!)  Entercom's 98.9 Rochester legally became WBZA midweek,
moving the WBBF-FM calls over to 93.3 Avon, ex-WQRV.  

We avoided the Buffalo area as we headed to Indiana last week -- OK,
the two feet of snow made it impossible for us to do otherwise -- but
the long detour through Hornell, Olean, and Jamestown allowed us to
hear the new WKZA (106.9 Lakewood), running hot AC as "Kiss" from its
studios in the Hotel Jamestown.  Our return trip did take us through
Buffalo, and we heard what we believe to be a pirate on 90.9, playing
loud rock music from the vicinity of the SUNY Buffalo campus in

*The DX clubs' mailing lists have been buzzing with the latest from
CANADA: reports of testing on Toronto's 740, silent since the 1999
sign-off of CBL.  The new adult standards station, run by Oakville's
CHWO (1250), has reportedly been testing with an open carrier, though
we've yet to hear it across the lake.  No word yet on whether it'll
use the CBC facilities at Hornby, or whether it will use the CHWO/CJMR
site in Mississauga...stay tuned!

We're also hearing about massive layoffs at Hamilton's CJXY (95.3).
The Corus station reportedly dismissed 21 people Tuesday, including
the PD and morning team.  

There's a new station testing in Kitchener: CJIQ (88.3) will operate
from Conestoga College.

Four eastern stations want to make FM moves, including CKGB (750) way
up north in Timmins.  If it's granted 40 kilowatts on 99.3, it will
leave the city with no AM outlets at all.  Also applying: CJNH (1240
Bancroft), which would move to 97.7 with 50 kW; CKCL in Truro NS, which
would move from 600 to 99.5 with 14.3 kW; and CJCJ (920 Woodstock NB),
which would go to 104.1 and 10 kW.  

Canada would get a new X-band station, if the Ottawa airport gets its
way: it's applied for a 99-watt station on 1630 kHz to provide
travelers' information.

*That's it for another week (plus an extra day of driving back from
Indiana; next week, some tales of our journey to Indianapolis) -- our
thanks to all of you for your generous support of NERW, and we'll see
you next Monday!

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

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