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NERW 7/30: WBUR Makes a Northern "Connection"

------------------------------E-MAIL EDITION-----------------------------
--------------------------NorthEast Radio Watch--------------------------
                               July 30, 2001


*MASSACHUSETTS: Gordon Gets "Connection" Nod
*MAINE: Party Ends at WHQO
*CANADA: More Stations in Toronto?

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

*One of the biggest vacancies in MASSACHUSETTS radio has been
filled. More than half a year after Christopher Lydon and his
"Connection" staff parted ways with WBUR-FM (90.9 Boston), the station
has named a permanent replacement.

Dick Gordon is a familiar name to our readers north of the border,
where he's a frequent guest host and regular reporter for "This
Morning" on CBC Radio One. Gordon was one of three finalists for the
"Connection" job, which he'll start in September.

As for Lydon, he's telling the Boston newspapers that he's still
looking at his options for a return to the airwaves, but there's still
no definite word about where or when.

Across the public broadcasting dial, WGBH may be making some moves of
the physical variety. The Herald reported this week that WGBH is
looking for a new home away from its current compound on Western
Avenue in Allston. WGBH's main studio building is Harvard property,
and the university is said to be eyeing the land for an expansion of
its business school nearby. 

The Herald says WGBH is looking at a two-acre site near the Turnpike,
just a mile or so away from its current home (and almost next door to
the new Entercom facility in the New Balance building). A new WGBH
facility would be in the 350,000-square foot range, housing not only
WGBH-FM (89.7), WGBH-TV (Channel 2) and WGBX-TV (Channel 44) but also
the many national productions that call WGBH home. 

On the commercial side of things, you can stop sending resumes to
"Kiss 108" (WXKS-FM 107.9 Medford-Boston). The CHR powerhouse has
named the replacement for departed station manager/PD John Ivey, and
it's a familiar name within the Clear Channel Boston family: "Cadillac
Jack" McCartney. He comes to Medford from the PD seat at WJMN (94.5
Boston), opening a vacancy at "Jam'n" that was quickly filled by
assistant PD Dennis O'Heron. 

Down in Walpole, say goodbye to WSRB (91.5). Dark for years, the
10-watter at Walpole High School officially lost its license and call
letters this week.

Expect a new noncommercial station on the air in New Bedford one of
these days, as New Bedford Christian Radio and Broadcasting for the
Challenged settle their competing applications for 88.1. More details
to come on this one; in any event, the station will have to operate
from the Tiverton, R.I. tower of New Bedford's WLNE-TV, which occupies
adjacent channel 6.

Speaking of New Bedford, there's a new voice on WSAR (1480) in the
afternoons. Todd Feinburg has moved his afternoon talk show there
from WSMN (1590) up in Nashua, N.H.

*Up in MAINE, the dance format on "Party 108" (WHQO 107.9 Skowhegan)
didn't last very long. Last Wednesday (July 25), the station flipped
to a news/talk format, running Clear Channel standbys such as Laura
Schlessinger and Rush Limbaugh. It'll soon be part of a simulcast with
WCME (96.7 Boothbay Harbor), though at last word WCME was still
running parallel to oldies WABK (104.3 Gardiner).

*NEW HAMPSHIRE was granted another LPFM this week. Lakes Region
Conservation Trust is the licensee of the 100-watter on 107.9 in

The Granite State may soon get some new full-power FMs as well;
comments are due to the FCC September 17 on a proposal to add a 97.1A
allocation up north - way up north - in Pittsburg, hard by the
Canadian border. In addition, the 99.5A in Jackson was granted a CP
this week. "Jackson Radio Company, LLC" will get to build the new
facility serving the Mount Washington Valley; you may recall that an
earlier CP for that frequency was abandoned unbuilt some years back.

Add one more station to the Red Sox affiliate list. Yes, the season's
half over, but WSMN (1590 Nashua) jumped on the Sox network after the
All Star break. WSMN will stay with the Sox for at least the next two

*A cunning publicity stunt? That's our take on the CONNECTICUT morning
jock who's serving out a suspension this week. Ross Brittain told
listeners to WKSS (95.7 Hartford) that they could get two tickets to
Madonna's sold-out concert if they produced a picture of the ailing
Katharine Hepburn in her hospital bed. If you're surprised that the
hospital had to beef up security and that Brittain was chastised by
management, well, you probably haven't worked in morning drive radio

Down in Stamford, we hear PD Dave Ashton has parted ways with oldies
WKHL (96.7 Stamford); no replacement has been named so far.

*We'll start our NEW YORK news with a less-than-surprising schedule
change: now that Don and Mike (of WJFK Washington fame) have shifted
their syndicated show to middays, they're going to be heard live on
New York's WNEW (102.7) as well. The move allows WNEW's Opie and
Anthony to be heard live in Washington on WJFK-FM (106.7 Manassas VA),
and gives Infinity a solid lineup to syndicate alongside morning star
Howard Stern. The WNEW move displaces Boston veteran Leslie Gold from
the schedule (which leads us to wondering: since her former co-host
Lori Kramer is also out of work, thanks to the demise of eYada.com,
could the "Two Chicks" ever kiss and make up?) and moves Ron and Fez
to an earlier-evening slot.

Out in the New York suburbs, Marty Mitchell is the new PD of country
quadcast "Y107" (WYNY 107.1 Briarcliff Manor, et al), though there's
still some doubt that the country format has much longer to run on
those challenged signals.

On the TV side of things, the FCC approved Fox's purchase of the
Chris-Craft station group, creating a duopoly in New York with Fox's
WNYW-TV (Channel 5) and Chris-Craft UPN affiliate WWOR (Channel
9). Though there's word that WNYW staffers' contracts are being
rewritten to include appearances on channel 9, we don't expect the
WWOR newscast to disappear; after all, a newscast geared towards New
Jersey viewers was part of the deal when RKO lost its WOR-TV license
back in the early eighties and the station was relicensed to Secaucus,
N.J. Fox owner Rupert Murdoch was given 24 months to comply with the
TV-newspaper cross-ownership rules, but he's betting that those rules
will disappear before he has to consider selling the New York Post.

Big Apple DTV viewers can finally see Jay Leno in high-definition:
WNBC-DT (Channel 28) applied for its license to cover this week. New
York's DTV signals have been relatively slow to take air, thanks to
construction delays at the World Trade Center, so WNBC-DT joins a dial
that consists only of WCBS-DT (Channel 56) and WNYW-DT (Channel 44) so

Upstate, Paul Kelly has departed his PD job at Poughkeepsie's WPDH
(101.5), joining his brother Tom in Philadelphia to run Kelly Music
Research. His shift moves WRRV (92.7 Middletown) PD Greg O'Brien
across the hall to WPDH, and WRRV morning guy Andrew Boris into the PD
chair there.

Way upstate, it's been a quiet week indeed - so quiet, in fact, that
WWWG (1460) here in Rochester didn't even turn its tower lights on the
other night! - but there are a few tidbits to pass along:

All Access reports that Hornell's WKPQ (105.3) will shift to an AC
format on August 13. The station reports itself to the trades as a
AAA outlet, but it always sounds more like a CHR when we pick it up
here at NERW Central. 

Buffalo public broadcaster WNED had its application for a new channel
46 in Jamestown dismissed this week, as part of a slew of dismissed
applications at the FCC. Expect that channel to end up being auctioned
- or whatever mechanism the FCC comes up with to allot open
noncommercial channels.

And if you're still waiting for that promised 70s-pop format on WWKB
(1520 Buffalo), put away those bell-bottoms: our colleague Carl Gorney
says Entercom management has decided to leave the business-talk and
leased-time format in place for now. 

*Not much happening this week in PENNSYLVANIA, either, but we can fill
in a few of the blanks on the sale of WCNR (930 Bloomsburg). WBBF
Rochester program director Bobby Hatfield is paying the
Press-Enterprise newspaper $45,000 for the license, and he's doing so
as the "Columbia Broadcasting Company" (we love it!), under his real
name of Joseph Reilly. Expect this dark station back on the air soon
from a new site...

It's the end of the line for a quirky little station in the obscure
town of Greenville, about halfway between Youngston, Ohio and Erie. M
Street reports that WEXC (107.1) and WGRP (940) have shed their
"anything-goes" AC-ish format, with WEXC now running religion and WGRP
doing "positive country."

Just across the state line from the Pittsburgh market, Clear Channel
has new calls for its "Kiss" outlet in Wheeling, West Virginia. WZNW
(105.5 Bethlehem WV) is now WVKF. Just a bit to the north in
Steubenville, Ohio, we hear the end of the week will bring a change of
city of license to WOGH (103.5), as it relicenses to Burgettstown,
Pennsylvania, considerably closer to the Steel City. No facility
changes - yet.

*Up in CANADA, the folks at Industry Canada have been busy studying
the radio dials in the Greater Toronto Area, and they believe they
could drop in more than half a dozen new AM signals. Check out their
studies at
(we had trouble with a few of the PDF documents here, but you should
be able to read most of them) to see some of the plans, including the
possiblity of a low-power triplex of stations at 1620, 1650 and 1680
sharing a common tower site! (This study suggests that Canadian
regulators are much more enthusiastic about continued use of the AM
band than current practice would suggest; among the options mentioned
here are reactivations of dark AM signals on frequencies such as 1190,
1390 and 1480.)

Our DX buddy Saul Chernos sent along some updates on the Ontario FM
dial in between spectacular skip openings (Channel 2 from Calgary on a
little portable TV with a whip antenna? Believe it!), so we can
report that CKGB-FM (99.3 Timmins) is on the air testing, with regular
programs due to start in August and the old AM 750 to go silent by
October 31. Up in Owen Sound, the new country station on 93.7 should
be on within a month, and is rumored to be carrying the CKYC calls
that used to be on 590 and 1430 in Toronto. And little CJBB (103.1
Englehart) has boosted power from 17 watts to 1600 watts. 

Over in Quebec, the CBC has been given an extension (until November
14) to build the new Sherbrooke relay for CBM-FM (93.5 Montreal),
CBC's Radio Two service. (Anybody up that way have an update on the
CKTM tower situation, by the way?)

And from the "Where are they now?" files: Charles ("Call me Chuck")
Adler, known to Boston viewers and listeners from his mid-90s stints
at WRKO and the late WABU-TV, is getting back on the TV screen. He's
been hired to host "Global Sunday," the new national public-affairs
show that's part of the growing network's committment to increasing
its national news presence. The show will debut in September.

*Finally this week, an obituary that we're saddened indeed to note:
Erik Barnouw died on July 19. Barnouw, a retired Columbia University
professor, wrote what's widely considered to be the standard history
of broadcasting in America. The three-volume work, "A Tower in Babel,"
"The Golden Web" and "The Image Empire" appeared from 1966 through
1970, and while it's dated now (a one-volume condensation, "Tube of
Plenty," was last updated in the early 80s), it's still a work that
anyone interested in American broadcasting should read. 

Barnouw had been retired since 1973. In addition to the broadcasting
volumes, his works included the book "The Sponsor" and several
award-winning radio and TV documentaries. Erik Barnouw was 93 years old.

*That's it for this week, and for next week, as well. There will be no
NERW on August 6, since we'll be exploring sunny southern California
and even journeying across the border to see the mighty "X" stations
of Tijuana and Rosarito. We'll be back with our usual update August
13, and in the meantime, don't miss the Chicago clear-channel sticks
on the latest Site of the Week installment on fybush.com. See you in
14 days!

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

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