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NERW 9/24: Frequency Swaps in Lawrence

------------------------------E-MAIL EDITION-----------------------------
--------------------------NorthEast Radio Watch--------------------------
                           September 24, 2001


*MASSACHUSETTS: Church Buys 800; WCCM to Move
*CANADA: Bell Globemedia, Cogeco Buy TQS
*NEW YORK: Latest on WTC Recovery

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

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*The AM radio landscape in the Merrimack Valley of MASSACHUSETTS is
about to change again, thanks to Costa-Eagle's $1.5 million sale of
WCCM (800 Lawrence) to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. 

The sale leaves Eagle-Costa with two of the valley's five AM stations:
the facilities that are now running Spanish-language programming as
WNNW (1110 Salem, N.H.) and WHAV (1490 Haverhill). The plan, as we
understand it, is to combine their programming under the WNNW calls on
the 1490 facility, with the English-language WCCM programming and
calls moving to 1110.

The move will effectively take the Eagle-Costa stations out of
contention in Lowell, where WCCM had been trying to compete with
Lowell-licensed WCAP (980) with programming that included Lowell
Spinners baseball. As a daytimer, the new WCCM 1110 won't be able to
carry Spinners' night games, and its day signal is hard to hear in
Lowell even under the best of circumstances.

As for the AM 800 signal, with 1000 watts by day and 244 watts at
night, it's not heard well outside the central Merrimack Valley, which
leads us to wonder why the Archdiocese is spending all this money on a
facility its leaders won't even hear at their suburban Boston
headquarters. Could a move south be in the offing? (This isn't the
Archdiocese's first broadcast effort, by the way; back in the 1960s,
it owned WIHS-TV 38, ancestor of today's WSBK!)

The switches are expected to take place sometime around January 2002.

One Boston note this week: WBMX (98.5) cancelled its "Mixfest"
concert, which had been scheduled for last Saturday (9/22), in the
wake of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. Instead of the
big show, Mix put on a radiothon to raise money for the Red Cross
disaster relief fund. More details next week...

*MAINE will have a broadcast Fox affiliate after October 7 - at least
for viewers in the Bangor area. WCKD-LP (Channel 30), which has been
running as a UPN affiliate under LMA with ABC affiliate WVII (Channel
7), will switch to the Fox affiliation when Portland's WPXT (Channel
51) dumps Fox for WB. 

When the big switch happens, WPXT will go from an hour of news at 10
to a half hour, under the banner "Our Maine News" (to match its sister
Web site, OurMaine.com), with a new half hour of news being added at 7
on LMA partner WPME (Channel 35). NERW would love to hear from anyone
in Maine who might be willing to tape some of the switchover for us...

*The big news in CANADA during our two days up there last week was the
sale of Quebec's TQS television network. TQS had been in the hands of
publishing giant Quebecor, which owns Le Journal de Montreal, Le
Journal de Quebec and the Sun chain of newspapers in English
Canada. But when Quebecor bought the bigger TVA network, the CRTC
forced it to sell its 86% share in TQS. The winning buyer, for C$74
million, is a consortium of communications giant Bell Globemedia and
cable/broadcast conglomerate Cogeco.

Cogeco already owns 13 percent of TQS, as well as TQS affiliates in
smaller Quebec cities such as Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivieres, along
with "twin-stick" Radio-Canada TV affiliates in those
communities. Those stations will be put under the same joint venture
umbrella as TQS flagship stations in Montreal (CFJP Channel 35) and
Quebec (CFAP Channel 2).

The Bell Globemedia piece of the deal means CFJP, in turn, is reunited
with its sister station on Montreal's Ogilvie Avenue, CTV's CFCF
(Channel 12). CTV, along with the Globe and Mail and the Sympatico
internet service, is part of the Bell Globemedia empire, which now
gains a stronger foothold in French Canada.

While we're in Quebec, we note an application from the Seminaire
Ste.-Marie for a new "developmental" FM station, to run one watt on
91.9 from the seminary in Shawinigan, north of Trois-Rivieres.

Up in Sudbury, Ontario, CHNO (103.9) has been granted a power decrease
from 100 kW (never built) to its actual 11 kW, in part to eliminate
some interference that was being caused to aviation operations when
CHNO moved from 550 AM a couple of years ago.

And Bruce Elving's FMedia! reports the format swap in Hamilton was
accompanied by a call swap, so count it like this: CING (95.3
Hamilton) with "Energy Radio" CHR and CJXY (107.9 Burlington) with
classic rock as "Y108."

*We'll start our NEW YORK news, of course, down in Manhattan, with the
latest on the recovery efforts at the World Trade Center. On the TV
side, WCBS-TV (Channel 2) filed with the FCC on Wednesday to make its
auxiliary site at the Empire State Building its primary site. From
Empire, WCBS runs 45 kilowatts visual ERP at 389 meters above average

There's not much new to report on the other stations that used the
World Trade Center. We're still hearing from viewers in outlying areas
such as Long Island and Connecticut that the signals on the other VHF
stations from their hastily-constructed backup sites at Empire and the
Armstrong tower in Alpine, N.J. are proving hard to receive. Of the FM
stations, we're told WNYC-FM (93.9) is running in mono with less than
a kilowatt from Empire, with most of its programming still being
simulcast on the Board of Education's Brooklyn-based WNYE-FM (91.5),
an arrangement that some are speculating will become permanent.

In other New York City news, the "Democracy Now!" program that was
long a hallmark of Pacifica's WBAI (99.5 New York) has moved across
the Hudson to community station WFMU (91.1 East Orange NJ), where
exiled host Amy Goodman is now airing the show weeknights from 7-8 PM.

Moving upstate, Clear Channel has named a new PD for its Hudson Valley
"Kiss" stations (WFKP 96.1 Poughkeepsie/WPFK 99.3 Ellenville),
bringing Jimi Jamm over from MD duties at WKCI (101.3 Hamden) in the
New Haven market. Jamm will also oversee WRKW (92.9 Saugerties).

In Albany, PD Dave Hill is leaving Regent's WQBK (103.9 Rensselaer)
and WQBJ (103.5 Cobleskill) to go to work for RadioVoodoo.com,
effective October 1. No replacement has been named.

Vox is shuffling staff at its Glens Falls cluster, now that operations
manager Bob Barrett is heading south to Albany to produce "The
Environment Show" for WAMC Public Radio. WFFG (107.1 Hudson Falls) PD
Justin Clapp will take Barrett's role for the entire cluster, while
WNYQ (105.7 Queensbury) middayer Jackie Donovan becomes PD at that

Plenty of news to tell you about in Syracuse, and we'll start on the
TV side: WAWA-LP (Channel 14) will drop the home shopping October 1 to
become a UPN affiliate, filling the void left last year when WNYS-TV
(Channel 43) switched to the WB. 

On the radio side, Galaxy has won a change of community of license for
its WTKV (105.5), which will move from Oswego to Granby, a few miles
south. WTKV has been battling with Clear Channel's WXBB (105.1
DeRuyter) to move closer to Syracuse, with the latest FCC ruling
favoring WTKV's plan to move its transmitter to Lakeshore Road, just
west of route 176 and just south of Fulton. The FCC gave Clear Channel
30 days to amend its move-in application for WXBB to protect the new
WTKV site.

On the AM side, we're told WSIV (1540 East Syracuse) has built its
nighttime CP and is now running 30 watts or so into a rooftop antenna
near the corner of South Avenue and W. Colvin Street, soon to be
raised to the authorized 57 watts. WSIV also holds a CP to move its
1000-watt daytime operation from its current Myers Road site alongside
the Thruway to the WOLF (1490 Syracuse) tower on Kirkpatrick Street,
alongside I-690 near downtown.

Here in Rochester, WHAM's Bob Lonsberry got some national exposure
Sunday morning, hosting several hours of talk on the ad hoc network
Clear Channel has created in the wake of the terrorist attacks. We
expect to hear more of Lonsberry on that network in the months to

Buffalo's WWKB (1520) has changed format, sort of. The Entercom
station is now simulcasting news-talk sister WBEN (930) in morning
drive and in some evening and weekend time slots, in place of the
Business Talk Network it had been running. The move makes it easier
for those of us in WBEN's substantial eastern null to hear that
programming after dark and before sunrise, if nothing else.

*From NEW JERSEY comes word of a format change at WTKU (98.3 Ocean
City), which moves from oldies to "oldies-based AC," focusing its
music on the 1975-1985 era while keeping the "Cool 98" nickname.

*In PENNSYLVANIA, WWKL (92.1 Palmyra) returned to the air last week
with a stunt format of patriotic music. We're expecting a permanent
format on this Harrisburg-area station soon. Up in Scranton, Jim
Rising was promoted from PD of Entercom's 80s WBZH/WBZJ to director of
operations for the entire cluster, including market leaders WKRZ/WKRF

*That's it for another week; we'll see you next Monday! (And one
personal request, if we could, before we go: if anyone out there in
NERW-land has, or has access to, a tape of the Monday, Sept. 17,
Letterman show, we'd love to obtain a copy. Please drop us a line...)

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

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