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NERW 1/29: Andy Moes, 1950-2001

------------------------------E-MAIL EDITION-----------------------------
--------------------------NorthEast Radio Watch--------------------------
                             January 29, 2001


*NEW YORK: Syracuse Community Radio's WXXC Lives -- Sort Of
*CANADA: More on CHUM's Big Sports Plans

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

*We woke up early here at NERW Central last Friday to listen to what
we thought might be a big change at one of Philadelphia's lowest-rated
FM stations.  But while the news from WEJM wasn't very big (read
on...), we were stunned by another piece of breaking news from another
corner of NERW-land.

After a career in Boston that spanned three decades, Andy Moes died of
heart failure at his Milton home last Thursday night (Jan. 25).  For
a little over a year, Moes had been co-host of the "Blute and Moes
Show" on WRKO (680), but his history in Boston radio began in the late
seventies, when he began filling in on WROR (98.5, now WBMX).  By
1979, Moes was co-hosting WROR's morning show with Joe Martelle, a gig
that lasted more than a decade.

In 1991, Moes moved to WEEI (590) as the first signature personality
of that station's new sports format.  That lasted two years, until
WEEI replaced Moes with Don Imus in morning drive.  For the next few
years, Moes was heard in a variety of weekend and night slots on WRKO
before landing the morning job (with former Massport director Peter
Blute) in October 1999.

Off the air, Moes made headlines with his friendship with "Frasier"
star Kelsey Grammer, which extended to a consulting deal for Moes in
which he advised the show on how to design the studio of its fictional
"KACL Radio."

On air, WRKO filled Friday morning with Moes tributes, to be followed
by a retrospective show Monday, after which Blute will be solo for

Moes had been married for just six months at the time of his death.
He was 51 years old.

*Elsewhere in MASSACHUSETTS, WQSX (93.7 Lawrence) had some big news of
its own Friday morning.  "Star" is adding a well-known name to its
morning show: Richard Hatch, the winner of the first "Survivor."
Hatch will join Charlie Wilde and the rest of the "Wilde Show" gang
Monday with a remote broadcast from the Super Bowl, after which he'll
become a regular co-host, commuting to Star's Boston studio from his
home in Rhode Island.  Hatch has been a guest on Wilde's show several
times in the last few months.

Out in Worcester County, WGFP (940 Webster) is splitting from its talk
simulcast with WORC (1310 Worcester), changing over to country as
"Cool Country 940."  The simulcast will remain for the morning show,
we're told, but it's all music for the rest of the day on 940.

Springfield's WMAS-FM (94.7) has a new morning co-host, as Angelina
Diana takes over from Shelley Stevens, who leaves to spend more time
working on her Web business.

And we're told $2.2 million is the price tag on Saga's purchase of
Greenfield's WHAI (1240/98.3).

*Speaking of Saga, the company isn't following through on its plans to
buy four stations in upstate NEW YORK.  Last July, Ed Christian's
group announced a $13.2 million deal to enter the Ithaca market by
buying Eagle Broadcasting's cluster there (WHCU, WTKO, WYXL and
WQNY).  A petition to deny the transfer meant that the sale couldn't
close by this Wednesday, so Saga has now pulled out of the deal.

Who'll be next to try to acquire the stations, which dominate the
small Ithaca market?  

Just a few dozen miles north of Ithaca sits the tiny town of Truxton,
and that's where the NERW-mobile headed Friday in an attempt to figure
out whether Syracuse Community Radio has really built its newest
station.  The answer, judging by the photo you'll see at
<http://www.fybush.com/nerw.html>, is "sort of."

We didn't hear WXXC (88.7) on the air, but then SCR has a tendency not
to sign on until the evening hours (earlier in the afternoon we drove
by SCR's original station, WXXE 90.5 Fenner, and it was not on the air

You'll recall from last week's NERW that the construction permit for
WXXC expired January 12, and that there was some speculation that SCR
might not have told the truth when it filed an application for a
license to cover that construction permit January 16.  And indeed,
we're told by a reader who visited the site earlier last week that the
antenna shown here was not yet up during that earlier visit.  What's
more, the application for WXXC's license to cover states that the
station was built according to the construction permit -- but that CP
specifies a 12 meter structure, while this pole appeared to us to be
considerably shorter.

(NERW wonders why SCR is even bothering with a second station right
now, instead of spending the money on something like a Comrex Hotline
to provide listenable audio on the phone line that links the WXXE
transmitter to the studio.  We'd be surprised to find anyone who can
listen to the phone-line audio on 90.5 for any length of time...)

In any case, expect the FCC to be hearing from several petitioners
about this one.

Here in Rochester, AllAccess reports Rick Mackenzie has left the PD
chair at Infinity modern AC WZNE (94.1 Brighton).  No word yet on a
replacement for Mackenzie, whose career at Infinity Rochester also
included some time at sister station WCMF (96.5).  Holding down the
fort at the Zone for now is Mike Danger, PD at sister station WPXY
(97.9).  (NERW wonders whether Mackenzie's departure was related to
the Zone's anemic ratings in the just-released Winter book, which also
showed a very weak start for Entercom's new 80s station, WBZA "the
Buzz" 98.9, and a drop of a little more than a point as WBBF moved
from the strong 98.9 signal to the 93.3 Avon rimshotter and back to
its old home at 950 AM.)

Buffalo is where the NERW-mobile was parked Monday night, as we
tuned into the debut of WNLO (Channel 23) and its WIVB-produced 10 PM
newscast.  We tried to watch WNLO's predecessor, public TV WNEQ, as we
drove through on Saturday, but WNEQ was keeping its usual
evenings-only schedule and had yet to sign on for the afternoon.

Across town, WGRZ (Channel 2) is shuffling its anchor roster now that
it's launched its 10 PM entry on Pax's WPXJ (Channel 51).  Victoria
Hong is now anchoring only the WPXJ show, with Maryalice Demler taking
her spots at 6 and 11 on WGRZ.

Down in Alfred, SUNY station WETD has dropped its application to move
from 90.9 to 90.7, while in Fredonia, John Bulmer's WBKX (96.5) has
applied to boost power from 660 watts to 1400 watts, remaining at the
same transmitter site.

The FCC has finally made it official: as we reported two weeks ago,
the new calls on 1410 in Watertown are WNER, replacing WUZZ.  The
station was still doing its satellite urban-oldies thing when we heard
it on Friday, and we don't believe it ever used the WGME calls for
which it applied earlier in the month.  Also in Watertown, W25AB
changes calls to WNYF-LP in anticipation of its launch as a Fox
affiliate soon.

Over in Glens Falls, Vox has changed the calls on two of its stations:
WHTR (107.1 Hudson Falls) becomes WFFG-FM, while the WHTR calls move
to the former WZZM-FM (93.5 Corinth).  WHTR has been doing oldies as
"Wheels," while WZZM-FM has been country for years and years.  Do the
WFFG-FM calls portend the arrival of "Froggy Country" on 107.1, to
match Vox's new Froggy outlet across the state line in Vermont (WWFY
100.9 Berlin)?  We shall see...

Last week, we told you the 96.1 CP in South Waverly PA was being sold
to "Fitzgerald and Hawras." This week, we can tell you that the new
owners are the same folks who own WPHD (94.7 Tioga PA) in nearby
Elmira and WCDW (100.5 Conklin NY) over in Binghamton -- and that
96.1, WMTG, will likely simulcast WPHD's "The Met" rock format when it
signs on.

Down in New York City, WNEW (102.7) is shuffling the deck on its talk
lineup, again.  The syndicated Ron and Fez show is now running there
from noon till 3, with Leslie Gold returning to WNEW in the 9-noon

As we'd predicted a few weeks back, former WNEW jock Vin Scelsa has
found a new home in noncommercial radio at Fordham's WFUV (90.7).
Scelsa's "Idiots Delight" will begin airing next Saturday from 8 PM
until midnight (or whenever Scelsa's done), right after another WNEW
alum, Pete Fornatale and "Mixed Bag."  

*Up in MAINE, the Mariner Broadcasting classical network known as
"W-Bach" is getting another new addition.  The chain already includes
WBQQ (99.3 Kennebunk), WBQW (106.3 Scarborough) and WBQX (106.9
Thomaston).  Now Mariner is buying Mount Desert Island's WMDI (107.7
Bar Harbor) from Scott Hogg, for a price Hogg describes as "roughly
the size of a truckload of quarters."  

Hogg just recently sold WMDI's sister station, WNSX (97.7 Winter
Harbor), to Clear Channel (for $1.1 million worth of quarters).  WMDI
has been running a nicely eclectic rock format for the last few
years under Hogg's ownership, and while we're sure the folks in
Hancock County will appreciate the classical music (under the new
calls WBQI), we suspect many of them will miss 'MDI, too.

The Marlin folks fed the Bangor Daily News and other papers a line
about how they'll boost the "700 watt" station's power to "25,000
watts" by installing a new transmitter.  Funny thing; we checked the
FCC database and it seems WMDI's already running 11.5 kW ERP (could
they mean 700 watts out of the transmitter?), with no pending
applications for a power boost.  WMDI can be heard in Bangor, sort of,
though it suffers from second-adjacent interference from WBZN (107.3
Old Town).

Going way north in the Pine Tree State, we find that WAGM (Channel 8)
up in Presque Isle is now operating from its new site up high on Mars
Hill.  With 120 kW visual from 350 meters AAT, we suspect WAGM will be
reaching a lot more viewers than it did from its short old stick
behind the Presque Isle studios (58.9 kW visual from 107 meters!)

*One bit of news from NEW HAMPSHIRE: the WMEX calls have returned to
life after their latest Boston adventure (at what's now WBIX 1060
Natick).  The calls are back in the hands of Dennis Jackson, who last
had them at what's now WCLX (102.5 Westport NY), but this time they're
being installed on WZEN (106.5 Farmington NH), where they'll at least
be surrounded by the same oldies that most people associate with WMEX
from its halcyon days on Boston's 1510.

*On to PENNSYLVANIA, and the format change that wasn't: after all that
buildup on the air and on the Web, Philadelphia's WEJM (95.7) ended up
keeping its low-rated "Jammin' Gold" format.  The big announcement
turned out to be a $2 million contest.  (This was the second time in a
year that WEJM played up expectations of a format flip without
actually pulling the trigger, by the way.)  Meanwhile, Chuck Tisa, who
programmed 95.7 during its WXXM "Max" days a few years ago, has landed
as PD at Philly's new 80s station, WPTP (96.5 the Point).

Up in Berwick, WHLM (106.5) is now WFYY, matching its slogan "Flyte
106.5."  The station reaches into the southern end of the
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton market pretty well.

Clear Channel is adding another station to its Williamsport cluster,
though the FCC has already flagged this one for market-concentration
issues.  WVRT (97.7 Jersey Shore) has been doing CHR for owner "DHRB,
Incorporated" as "Variety 97."

Down in the Altoona market, WSRA (101.7 Central City) changes calls to

Up there near Erie, the call changes at Keymarket's stations have
finally been matched by at least one format change: WHUZ (94.3
Saegertown).  The former rocker (as WMDE) is now known as "Wuzz 94,"
playing classic rock.

*Up in CANADA, the big news this past week was the changes soon to be
coming to eight of CHUM Group's AM stations from coast to coast.

Just hours after last week's NERW hit the Web, CHUM made the official
announcement that it will launch a new all-sports network known as
"the Team" sometime around April, replacing current programming on a
lineup of stations that includes legendary AM music station CHUM (1050

The biggest immediate effect came not in Toronto but in Kingston,
where four staffers were fired at CHUM's CKLC (1380), which has been a
music station for decades.  News director Tony Orr, jocks Bruce Gamble
and David Clark, and producer Terry Thompson were all dismissed the
same day CHUM made the announcement.  Several other CKLC staffers will
stay with sister station CFLY-FM (98.3), including jock Greg Hunter,
who will take over mornings at CFLY from Joel Scott (who becomes
CFLY's production director.)

The new sports network will include CHUM, CKLC, Ottawa's CFGO (already
doing sports as Team 1200 anyway), Peterborough's CKPT (1420),
Kitchener's CKKW (1090, also flipping from oldies), as well as
stations in Vancouver, Halifax and Winnipeg.  Jim Rome's Premiere talk
show will get wide Canadian clearance over the new Team network, and
CHUM is promising some local content at each of the stations as well.

NERW wonders why CHUM isn't flipping two of its other AM markets,
especially Montreal, where CKGM (990) has gone nowhere with its oldies
format.  We're a bit less surprised not to see Windsor on the list,
considering that both CKWW (580) and CKLW (800) are doing well with
their present standards and talk formats, respectively -- and just
across the Detroit River, there are no fewer than THREE sports
stations serving the Motor City already!

Returning to Toronto for a moment: Corus may have some changes in
store at its CFYI (640).  The company's been registering several new
Web domains, and it's been pointed out to us that
www.newcountry640.com redirects to the current CFYI "Talk 640" site.

In Quebec, CJAN (1340 Asbestos) has applied to leave AM, moving to
99.3 FM with 6 kW.

Timothy Paul wants a new 50-watt FM station in Fredericton, New
Brunswick.  The station, on 95.7, will run programming in English and
in the Maliseet and Mic-Mac languages if it's granted.

Finally, a correction from last week: Yes, Vancouver's CKLG (730) is
going away -- but it's becoming a sister station not to Rogers' CKWX
(1130) but to Corus' CKNW (980).  To complement the talk on "NW," 730
will become all-news CJNW, "NW2" -- and so ends a top-40 legend as

*And on that note, we take our leave for another week.  If you
haven't checked out the brand-new NERW Classifieds, be sure to pay a
visit to fybush.com and see who's hiring and what's for sale.  We're
extending our inaugural offer for another week, so submit *your* ad by
February 4 to get a FREE week on the site!

Don't forget to check out the Tower Site of the Week, too: starting
Wednesday, we'll make our first venture into Boston, visiting WROL's
site in the Saugus marshes.

And our continued thanks to those who help make this venture possible:
this week, particular thanks to our friends at Vermont Public Radio
for their contribution.  (Does this mean I have to send *them* a tote
bag and monthly program guide?)  Check out the Support NERW page at
fybush.com to find out how you, too, can help keep this column coming.

See you right here next week!

-----------------------NorthEast Radio Watch------------------------
                       (c)2001 Scott Fybush

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