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NERW 12/4: A Second FM for WNYC?

--------------------------NorthEast Radio Watch--------------------------
                            December 4, 2000


*NEW YORK: A Second FM for WNYC?
*NEW HAMPSHIRE: New WSMN Owner Means Business
*MAINE: More Changes In Store at MPR

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

*New York City's oldest FM station may soon be in new hands after 62
years of city schools supervision.  WNYE-FM (91.5) traces its history
back to 1938, when it was one of the first educational FM stations in
the country, operating on the old 42-50 MHz band.  Since then, it's
offered the Big Apple a mixture of schools-produced programming,
ethnic broadcasts, and NPR programs.

Published reports over the past week suggest that era is about to come
to an end.  The city schools are apparently as eager to give up
WNYE-FM (and its TV counterpart, WNYE-TV 25) as the city itself was a
few years ago, when it sold WNYC-TV and spun WNYC radio off to a
separate nonprofit entity.  Ironically, it's that very entity that
would take over WNYE under the plan now being considered.

Right now, WNYC operates two stations, the mostly classical WNYC-FM
(93.9) and news-talk-variety WNYC (820 AM).  What might WNYC do with a
third station?  Speculation so far has ranged from using 91.5 to
extend the weak night signal of AM 820, to using the new station to
bring back the adult standards format that's now extinct in New York

What about the French programming in the morning, the Haitian shows at
night that seem to be heard in every other Manhattan taxi, and the
schools shows?  We'll know more when and if schools chancellor Harold
Levy unveils an official plan to hand WNYE-FM management over to WNYC.

As for WNYE-TV, which picked up some of the ethnic programming
displaced by the demise of the old WNYC-TV in 1997 (that station, sold
by the city for $207 million, is now Pax outlet WPXN-TV), there's been
talk of handing its operations over to competing PBS outlet WNET
(Channel 13), but those plans appear less certain at press time.

*Moving to upstate NEW YORK, the folks at Pensacola Christian College
have been handed a defeat in their plans to put a new station on the
air at 88.5 in Corinth, near Glens Falls.  It seems the folks at Siena
College's WVCR (88.3 Loudonville) took objection to a new operation on
the first-adjacent frequency less than an hour away, and the FCC
agreed.  Pensacola's application for 88.5 was dismissed this week, and
WVCR's signal to the north appears safe for now.

Up in the North Country, Tim Martz has applied to make some big
changes at his stations, now that the FCC has approved a swap of his
frequency allocations in Canton and Morristown.  Here's how things
would play out: WVLF Canton, now a class A station on 96.7, would
boost power to 23.5kw from 338 meters (with a directional antenna)
from its transmitter site on Waterman Hill south of Canton.  WVLF
would move to 102.9, yielding its 96.7 frequency to WNCQ Morristown.
That station would also get to go up to a class C3, with 17.2 kW at
354 meters from a new transmitter site northwest of Gouverneur, close
enough to Watertown to make the new signal a rimshot contender there.
Martz would also raise the power on his WRCD (101.5 Canton), which
would go up to a full 50 kW (albeit directional) from 453 meters, at a
new site on Whites Hill southeast of Potsdam (near the WNPI-TV

While we're up that way, there are two applications in the works for
signal changes near Syracuse.  WVOQ (103.9 Mexico) wants to boost its
signal from an A to a C3, moving to a 17 kW directional signal from
397 meters at a new site near New Scriba (a few miles east of I-81 at
Sandy Creek).  And daytimer WSIV (1540 East Syracuse) is applying for
yet another signal change: this time to 2500 watts day, 400 watts
night from the Sentinel Heights area near Nedrow that's home to TV
(WSTM and WTVH) and FM (WYYY and WWHT) sticks.  WSIV would change city
of license to DeWitt if the application is approved.

Radio People on the Move: After more than 50 years at Dundee's WFLR
(1570/95.9), one of the station's founders is hanging up his
headphones.  Robert William None has done everything from sales to
news at the little community station.  Most recently, he's been heard
Saturday mornings and on the "Poem of the Day."  Across the Finger
Lakes in Cortland, Tony DeFranco has been promoted from PD to
operations manager at Citadel's WKRT (920) and WIII (99.9).
Congratulations to WGY (810 Schenectady) morning host Don Weeks, who's
marking 20 years at the talker this month.  Up in
Potsdam, the folks at WPDM (1470) and WSNN (99.3) are mourning a
station veteran.  Dave Cady came to WPDM from Watertown's WOTT (1410)
in the late 1960s, and hosted the "Dave Cady Good Morning Show" until
his retirement in 1998.  Cady was 62 when he died November 28 at
Canton-Potsdam Hospital.

Moving to the Southern Tier, there's a new station of sorts in
Elmira.  After being off the air for just short of the one-year
deadline (NERW, 12/10/1999), WEHH in Elmira Heights-Horseheads is once
again being heard by listeners in Chemung County.  Instead of its old
1590 signal from Latta Brook Road, though, WEHH is now operating on
1600 kHz from the studios and transmitter site of co-owned WELM (1410
Elmira) down on Lake Avenue.  WEHH retains its locally-automated adult
standards, and we suspect the Sunday morning polkas are once again
being heard on both WEHH and WELM.

One more Southern Tier note: Steve Shimer is gone from his post as
program director of Elmira's WPHD (94.7 Tioga PA) and Binghamton's
WCDW (100.5 Conklin), leaving station owner George Harris handling
programming while he looks for a replacement.

*NEW HAMPSHIRE is next up this week, with a new operator taking over
at Nashua's WSMN (1590).  Florida investor Tom O'Brien is already a
familiar voice to the station's listeners as the host of the afternoon
"After Hours Today" and "Bottom Line" programs.  Now he's signed a
three-year LMA with an option to buy the station.

O'Brien's first big change at WSMN came Wednesday (11/29), when
morning host Arnie Arnesen was informed she had just done her last
"Morning Attitude" show.  The former gubernatorial candidate was
replaced by Bloomberg News in morning drive.  Todd Feinburg stays on
as station manager, with promises to add additional local programming
in the months to come.

*Down the road in MASSACHUSETTS, Marjorie Clapprood has parted ways
with talker WMEX (1060 Natick), clearing the way for Upton Bell to
move from his 5-7 PM slot, where his show could barely be heard after
sunset the last few months, to Clapprood's old 10-noon shift.  As for
rumors of bigger changes at the station, they remain just rumors for

The original WMEX, today's WNRB (1510 Boston), is getting a new
owner.  One-on-One Sports, which owns WNRB, WJWR (620 Newark NJ), and
KMPC (1540 Los Angeles), is being sold to Vulcan Ventures, the parent
company of the Sporting News.  When the deal closes, One-on-One will
be renamed the "Sporting News Radio Network."  Vulcan is owned by
Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen, who was already involved in radio
through KXL (750) and KXJM (95.5) in Portland, Oregon.  

Our readers in central Massachusetts tell us Worcester's WYDN (Channel
48) is indeed on the air, but has been suffering signal problems that
have made it hard to watch for a week or so.  

Moving west, Southbridge's WESO (970) is returning to its original
owners.  The Newhoff family's Eastern Media sold the station to
Evergreen Communications in 1998 with a provision that Evergreen
(which is controlled by Stonebridge Press, publisher of the
Southbridge Evening News) could sell WESO back at any time.
Stonebridge put WESO up for sale a few months ago, and now it's back
in the hands of the Newhoffs.

There's a new morning host at the River (92.5 WXRV Haverhill), as
Keith Andrews heads south to Dallas-Fort Worth, leaving Dana Marshall
solo in mornings at the AAA station.  Andrews' new gig is a production
job at AAA "Merge" (KKMR 93.3 Haltom Hills).

*In MAINE, the changes continue at the statewide public radio network,
with the elimination of classical music from 2-4 PM weekdays.  In its
place at Maine Public Radio: an hour of NPR's Talk of the Nation
followed by an hour of WBUR's Connection.  Classical music is still
heard on MPR from 8:30 AM until noon and from 8 PM through the
overnight hours.

More than a year after the death of station owner Peter Orne, Sr.,
Rockland's WMCM (103.3) and WRKD (1450) are apparently being sold.
Orne's Rockland Radio Corp. filed this week to transfer the mid-coast
stations to Clear Channel.  Until now, that company's only Maine group
was its six-station cluster in the Bangor market.

*There's a station transfer taking place in far northern VERMONT, as
well, as the Steele Communications Company applies to transfer WMOO
(92.1 Derby Center) and WIKE (1490 Newport) to Northstar Media.

Down south in Windsor County, religious broadcaster Brian Dodge has
been turned down in his bid to move his trial for domestic abuse.
Dodge's wife, Phyllis, works for the Vermont Department of Social and
Rehabilitative Services, and Dodge argued that she knew the
prosecutors handling the case too well.  The trial will go forward in
Windsor County, but with prosecutors being brought in from elsewhere
in Vermont.  (We're still awaiting word of the return to the air of
WNBX 1480 in Springfield, the station Dodge operated until recently.)

There's a new arrival at Rutland's WEXP (101.5 Brandon): station
manager Jay Gadon and his wife Carleen welcomed Myles Francis Gadon
into the world Thanksgiving morning.  We're told all three are doing
well; no word on when the new arrival will start pulling an airshift
on "the Fox"!

*A CONNECTICUT radio veteran is moving up in the world.  LaMonda
Williams, the former PD at New Haven's WNHC (now WYBC 1340), was
promoted to PD at Radio One's WCDX in Richmond last week.  She had
been working for the company for two years at WPHI in Philadelphia.
Her Nutmeg State ties included stints at WTIC-FM and WZMX in Hartford
as well as WNHC.

*From RHODE ISLAND, and our friends at providenceradio.com
<http://www.providenceradio.com>, comes word that Don Imus will be off
the FM dial in the Ocean State after the end of this month.  They
report that WWBB (101.5 Providence) will go back to oldies in the
morning, with the I-man moving down to the AM dial and WHJJ (920).
(Of course, most of Rhode Island can hear Imus on FM anyway, thanks to
Boston's WTKK 96.9, and the whole state can hear him on flagship WFAN
New York.)  

As long as we have Imus on the mind, we'll mention in passing that
that *other* big-name Infinity New York-based morning guy is still
claiming December 15 will be his last day.  We still think that smells
like a ploy for publicity...just like all the cheap stunts certain
other shock-talk hosts in New York and Worcester have been pulling in
the last few weeks in an unsuccessful attempt to get their names in
NERW.  (Just because the Herald and the Daily News bit doesn't mean we
will, too...)

One of Providence's longest-serving TV reporters is leaving the
business.  Dyana Koelsch has been with WJAR-TV (Channel 10) since
1985, covering politics and doing investigative reporting.  Koelsch, a
veteran of the old WEAN (790)'s all-news days, says she wants to be
able to spend more time with her family once she leaves the NBC O&O.

*Up in CANADA this week, we know more about the shakeout at Corus'
Hamilton operations.  Among the 21 staffers who lost their jobs last
week were all the top air personalities at classic rocker CJXY (95.3):
morning team Lori Love and Scott Thompson, midday guy Jeremy Smith,
and afternoon jock Todd Lewis, as well as PD David Foreman.  Also out:
CHML (900) midday guy Rick Malo and CING (107.9, "Energy 108") night
jock Mastermind.

The Energy Radio operation will move from the side of Highway 401 in
Burlington to the CHML/Y95 complex on Main Street in Hamilton, and we
hear the plan is to combine Y95, Oshawa's "Magic" (CKGE 94.9), and
Barrie's CHAY (93.1) into a new station that will surround Toronto
with a simulcast on all three frequencies.

We haven't heard any more tests on 740, but we can tell you a little
more about the new station that will soon launch there in Toronto.
We're told the calls will be CFPT, "Prime Time Radio," and that the
adult-standards station will use the CBC facility at Hornby, the same
transmitter that operated as CBL until summer 1999.  That should mean
no trouble hearing the signal across southern Ontario and western New
York once it does launch.  (We also note that the folks at CHWO
Oakville, the station that's transmuting into CFPT, have registered
primetimeradio.net as a domain name, though nothing's active there

The folks at Smiths Falls' CJET didn't wait long to shut off their AM
once they had their FM signal going on 92.3; we're told the AM 630
signal is now off the air for good.  A NERW reader who spent some time
in Ottawa during the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday reports the CJET-FM
signal doesn't reach the capital city very well, which is exactly the
way the CRTC wanted things (to ensure that CJET continues to be a
local Smiths Falls station.)

There could be some new programming coming to one of Montreal's
least-known TV stations.  CJNT (Channel 62) has been broadcasting
ethnic programming for the last few years, but new owner Canwest
Global has persuaded the CRTC that there's no way CJNT can ever be
profitable without adding more mass-market programming -- which is why
the CRTC is allowing CJNT to add some English-language programming
during the week and some English and French movies on weekends.  The
idea, apparently, is for CJNT to become a Quebec equivalent to
Toronto's CFMT (Channel 47), which uses English programming like David
Letterman to subsidize its ethnic broadcasts the rest of the day.

*And that's it for another week here at NERW.  A reminder to those of
you reading the mailing-list version of the column: you can now find
NERW every Monday at <http://www.fybush.com>, a full three days before
it's posted to the mailing list.  And be sure to check out the new
"Tower Site of the Week" that's added to fybush.com every Wednesday.
This week, it's the WCBS/WFAN site on City Island!

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

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