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NERW 8/20: Tele-Media Exits Albany

------------------------------E-MAIL EDITION-----------------------------
--------------------------NorthEast Radio Watch--------------------------
                             August 20, 2001


*NEW YORK: Tele-Media Exits Albany, Clear Channel Buys More
*MAINE: WFAU Dumps Standards
*VERMONT: Dodge Back Behind Bars

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

*It's been a quiet week here in NERW-land...except when it comes to
Albany and the rest of NEW YORK's Hudson Valley. On Friday, Tele-Media
announced it was exiting the Capital Region with a $7 million sale of
its four-station cluster.

The buyer? Rival Pamal Broadcasting (doing business in the market as
Albany Broadcasting), which will keep only two of the Tele-Media
stations, modern AC WCPT (100.9 Albany) and its "Point" sister up in
the Glens Falls market, WKBE (100.3 Warrensburg). To stay under the
ownership cap, Tele-Media will sell the other two stations, news WABY
(1400 Albany) and soft AC WKLI (94.5 Ravena), to Ed Levine's Galaxy
Broadcasting for $3.5 million.

Let's jump into analysis mode here: Pamal already has a solid cluster
in the Albany market, led by AC WYJB (95.5 Albany), CHR WFLY (92.3
Troy) and talker WROW (590 Albany), but also including urban WAJZ
(96.3 Voorheesville) and smooth jazz WZMR (104.9 Altamont). Where does
WCPT, wedged formatically between WYJB and WFLY, fit in? WCPT has been
ratings-challenged for a while now, and while Pamal has taken on
market-leading country station WGNA (107.7/1460 Albany) before, with
the station that's now WAJZ, we'd have to imagine that another attack
isn't impossible. What role WKBE will play in this, we can't quite

The real wild card in this deal is Albany radio veteran Levine, who
served as PD of WPYX (106.5 Albany) in the eighties before building
his own set of radio clusters in Syracuse and Utica. (Little-known
trivia: Levine's WTKW in the Syracuse market was named in homage to
the long-defunct WXKW 850 in Albany.)

What can Galaxy do with its Albany signals? Neither comes close to
blanketing the entire market; WABY's little kilowatt signal is solid
within Albany County but not much of a contender in Schenectady and
beyond, while WKLI, an 80s-era drop-in, has significant signal
problems in the northern and western portions of the market. Levine
used strategically-placed translators and simulcasts to turn similarly
weak signals into contenders in Syracuse, so we'd expect more activity
from Galaxy as it builds up 94.5. Formats? Rumors are already flying
about a return to the standards that 94.5 used to run (as WABY-FM),
and Galaxy does indeed do the format on WTLA in North Syracuse, WSGO
in Oswego and WTLB in Utica. 

As for Tele-Media, it stays in the region with its sizable holdings
just across the state line in New England, including WZEC (97.5
Hoosick Falls NY) serving Bennington, Vermont and WBEC-FM (105.5
Pittsfield MA). Both stations were getting their music programmed from
WCPT; we wonder if format changes will follow there as well.

We'll keep following this shift in Albany radio as it plays out over
the months to come.

*Albany's Clear Channel cluster had some news of its own at week's
end: the return of WFLY veterans Woody and Jim to the market. The duo
are now doing mornings in Nashville at Clear Channel's WRVW (107.5),
and now they're back in Albany thanks to "Kiss" WKKF (102.3 Ballston
Spa), which dumps Los Angeles-based Valentine to become the first
affiliate of the Woody and Jim syndicated show.

So we're done with Albany now, right? Almost. Even though its first
attempt to do so was red-flagged by the FCC, Clear Channel is trying
again to buy a cluster of stations just south of Albany. This time,
Clear Channel plans to pay $4.3 million to Concord Media for standards
outlets WCKL (560 Catskill) and WHUC (1230 Hudson), AC WCTW (98.5
Catskill) and oldies WZCR (93.5 Hudson). Concord bought the stations
last year after Clear Channel had to pull out, and the group (owned by
station broker Mark Jorgenson) is closely linked to the boys from
Covington. Clear Channel already has one station serving this part of
the Hudson Valley: rock WRKW (92.9 Saugerties). 

Down in New York, we hear the crowd at the latest "Save WEVD" rally
last week numbered somewhere between 50 and 150, depending on who was
counting. September 1 remains the target date for ABC's ESPN Radio to
take over that 1050 frequency.

Friday marked Dan Daniel's fortieth anniversary in the business, and
the veteran Big Apple jock celebrated with a special edition of his
WCBS-FM (101.1 New York) show. Congratulations...and we can't wait for
the fiftieth!

Moving back upstate, mark down Thursday, September 13 on your
calendars; that's the date of this year's Society of Broadcast
Engineers regional conference at the Turning Stone resort in Verona
(Thruway exit 33, between Syracuse and Utica). It's always a good
chance to find out what's new in the engineering community in central
New York, and we'll try to be there ourselves. You can find out much
more at their Web site,

We hear from the folks at Binghamton's WLTB (101.7 Johnson City) that
their translator, W273AB, will make the move from Ingraham Hill (where
the 101.7 main transmitter now sites) to the old Endicott transmitter
site by mid-week. The city of license for the 102.5 translator will
then become Owego, which was the old COL for 101.7.

Here in Rochester, they're not calling it a demotion, but what would
you call it when a 25-year veteran anchor is moved from the 6 and 11
PM news to the morning show? We've been seeing promos on WHEC-TV
(Channel 10) touting Gabe Dalmath's move to mornings (with current
morning anchor Rebecca LeClair) beginning September 10. It's clearly
10's way of fighting back against the top-rated offering from WOKR
(Channel 13), which has been working anchor Doug Emblidge on both its
5 AM and 5 PM shows for a year or so now. Dalmath lost his spot on the
11 PM a few months back, and it looks as though the much younger Brian
Martin has become WHEC's star anchor these days. (Speaking of star
anchors and Rochester TV: congratulations to Maureen McGuire at
WROC-TV, who has inherited Linda Allen's weekday anchor chair after
years in the weekend slot, leaving Amit Chitre solo on weekends for

Radio news? We had some of that in Rochester, too: after months and
months of nothing but automation, Entercom finally hired some jocks
for 80s station WBZA (98.9 Rochester) last week. Kimberly Ray and
Barry Beck are "Breakfast Buzz with Kimberly and Beck," and we hear
Entercom is planning to syndicate the show. No word on whether other
"Buzz" dayparts will get live jocks any time soon...

Over in Syracuse, Reggie Jordan arrives as the new VP/GM of Citadel's
cluster. The former Clear Channel/Richmond market VP replaces Ed
Kilgore, who stays with the cluster (WNTQ, WAQX, WLTI and the
soon-to-go-sports WNSS) as station manager and sales director.

It's all translator news from Buffalo: Family Life appears to have its
latest on the air up in Grand Island. W207BG (89.3) relays WCOU (88.3
Warsaw) for that area between Buffalo and Niagara Falls; we guess
listeners who enjoyed the diverse programming from the University of
Toronto's CIUT (89.5) will have to get some good filters for their
receivers now. Meanwhile in downtown Buffalo, the WNSA translator that
used to be on 105.3 from the Marine Midland - er, HSBC - tower has
filed for a license to cover on its new frequency of 104.7 (and new
calls of W284AP). WNSA is reaching Buffalo much better these days
anyway, what with the relocated 107.3 Williamsville translator on the
cable tower on LaSalle Street.

Way up north, Clear Channel turned an LMA into a station purchase this
week, paying $150,000 to Jenny McCann's Burlington Broadcasters for
WEAV (960 Plattsburg). The AM on the New York side of the
Burlington-Plattsburg market simulcasts the talk of Clear Channel's
WXZO (96.7 Willsboro NY). 

LPFM Follies, Part the Next: The FCC released a couple hundred LPFM
applications this week for the next stage in the process, giving
objectors a chance to file petitions to deny before CPs are actually
granted sometime this fall. Here are the New York applications that
made the cut (note that none of them are in the Empire State's biggest
markets, New York, Nassau, Westchester, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester or

89.1 Moriah Champlain Music Appreciation, Inc.
92.3 Norwich Advent Believers Broadcasting Assn.
93.3 Shoreham Shoreham Broadcasting Corp.
93.5 Central Islip Calvary Chapel of Suffolk County
94.3 Jefferson Jesus Christ's Community
95.9 Oneonta Spirit and Truth Christian Assembly
96.1 Delhi NY State College at Delhi
97.1 Hudson Enlarged City School District of the City of Hudson
98.7 Ripley NY State Thruway Association
 (which was denied several 98.7 applications closer to Buffalo)
99.5 Wainscott LTV Corporation
100.3 Arcade Arcade Christian Broadcasting Corp.
100.9 Center Moriches The Savior's Voice Broadcasting Co., Inc.
104.3 Canandaigua Western Ontario Chapter, American Red Cross
104.7 Limestone Limestone Community Radio
104.9 Glens Falls Better Living Radio
105.7 Geneva Finger Lakes Regional Arts Council
105.7 Goshen Goshen Community Radio
105.9 Newport West Canada Christian Resources
107.5 Corning Corning Christian Radio Corp.
107.9 Jamestown Arts Council For Chautauqua County

and a whole slew of New York State Department of Transportation
applications: 92.7 Hartford, 92.9 Walton, 94.1 Watertown, 94.3
Godeffroy, 94.9 Owego, 95.1 Witherbee, 96.1 Waterloo, 96.9 Austerlitz,
97.1 Porter Corners, 97.5 Warrensburg, 97.9 Belmont, 98.3 Mexico, 99.3
Coopers Plains, 99.5 Blue Mountain Lake, 100.1 Albion, 100.5
Sloansville, 101.1 Hornell, 102.5 Dickinson Center, 102.7 Stamford,
103.7 West Beekmantown, 104.1 Hunter, 104.5 Geneseo, 105.5
Martinsburg, 106.1 Oneonta, 106.5 Boswell Corners and 107.3 Russell.

*There's not much news from New England this week: in MAINE, Cumulus
ditched adult standards from WFAU (1280 Gardiner) in favor of a
simulcast of sports talk from WSKW (1160 Skowhegan), leaving central
Maine without a standards station. In NEW HAMPSHIRE, Manchester Radio
Partners' application for a new station on 750 in Manchester was
dismissed. From MASSACHUSETTS comes word that Entercom's new Brighton
studios for WRKO (680 Boston) were officially dedicated today in
memory of the late talk host Andy Moes. RHODE ISLAND listeners and
viewers are mourning Jack Burns. The former DJ, TV crime reporter (on
WPRI-TV from the eighties until 1999) and Amtrak conductor died
Saturday (Aug. 18) at age 71. CONNECTICUT saw some revolving doors
this week, at least in the southeastern corner. After a couple of
years as PD of WKCD (107.7 Pawcatuck), Frank "Franco" Carafano
returned to his old job as morning man at WQGN (105.5 Groton), where
he spent 14 years before leaving in June 1999; meantime, crosstown
WAKX (102.3 Stonington) is looking for a new morning host, now that
"Jake" (Bob Mitchell) has left the building. A quick bit of useless TV
news: W69CL (Channel 69) in Hartford is changing calls to WHCT-LP,
resurrecting the longtime calls of channel 18, before that station
became Univision's WUVN last year.

*VERMONT's Brian Dodge found himself behind bars this week after
allegedly violating his probation. Dodge, who owns WWNH (1340 Madbury
NH) and a string of translators, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct
in May to settle a domestic assault charge for allegedly attacking his
wife. Under the terms of his probation, Dodge was barred from
contacting his wife and was ordered to seek counseling. The Rutland
Herald reported this week that Dodge never obtained that counseling,
so he's in jail without bail until the matter can be settled.

*Not much happening in NEW JERSEY, except for some really amusing
unintentional DX up on an apartment building roof in Fort Lee: anyone
who still doubts that W276AQ (103.1 Fort Lee) picks up WJUX (99.7
Monticello) over the air at 90-some miles' distance will be interested
to know that W276AQ was picking up a different 99.7 Thursday
night. The translator used to carry "Z100," WHTZ in nearby Newark;
this time out, it was hearing "Z100," WZRA (99.7) from Wakefield-Peace
Dale, Rhode Island!

*A few pieces of PENNSYLVANIA news: Uniontown's silent WPQR (99.3)
changed calls to WPKL this week as it began stunting for an eventual
return. We hear Keymarket was using WPKL to simulcast CHR WOXX/WXXO
from up in Franklin and Meadville, at least temporarily. Meanwhile in
Tamaqua, on the other side of the state, we're told WMGH (105.5)
breaks away from the easy listening on Friday and Saturday nights to
do dance as "105.5 the Vibe". In central Pennsylvania, silent WNCE
(92.1 Palmyra) indeed changes calls to WWKL(FM), so we've got to
imagine oldies will end up there sooner or later. And Alex Langer was
granted his CP this week to move WVFC (1530 McConnellsburg) to 1180 in
King of Prussia, diplexed off the WWDB 860 sticks west of

Just over the line in OHIO, the call letters are finally beginning to
fall into place on last month's big multiple format/frequency swap:
1000 in Parma returns to WCCD from WHK, sending that three-letter call
to 1220, which had temporarily been WHKC. Meantime, Clear Channel
clears up the confusion and swaps calls on 96.5 Akron (temporarily
still WKDD, now WAKS) and 98.1 Canton (temporarily WAKS and now
permanently WKDD).

*All the news from CANADA this week happened around Hamilton, Ontario:
smooth jazz CIWV (94.7 Hamilton) was granted a power increase from
1880 watts to 3600 watts (over the protests of co-channel CHRW in
London!). Up the dial, and much more importantly, Corus is planning a
big frequency swap at month's end. The rock sounds of "Y95" (CJXY 95.3
Hamilton) will move up the dial to the weaker 107.9 signal of CING
Burlington, thus freeing up the huge 95.3 signal (100 kW from 305
meters on the huge channel 11 tower on Hamilton Mountain) for the
"Energy Radio" dance format that's been on 107.9 for the last few
years. It's no coincidence, we're sure, that the new, stronger Energy
signal on 95.3 will be second-adjacent to Energy's transmitter east of
Toronto, CKGE (94.9 Oshawa)...

*That's it for another week; we'll see you Wednesday with the next
installment of Tower Site of the Week (part four of our Big Summer
Trip, taking us through the Quad Cities, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids)
and next Monday with more NERW news.

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

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