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Re: What's JJ up to?

Jeremy asked
>>How does WRED do in the ratings? What is WIDE's 
current format? Interesting that he and Bob Fuller owned 
WIDE previously as well,bought it when there was a WIDE-
FM at 94.3...<<

WRED doesn't do all that badly in the Portland ratings, 
having notched a 3.3 (12+, Spring 2001).  that compares 
to a 1.7 for "The Point."  the little engine that could 
is defying, at least in my mind, logic in doing pretty 
darn well.  their "Urban/hip-hop" format, one might 
think, would play to a, well, more Urban audience.  i 
shake my head when i hear the angry, inner-city poets 
blasting from the shiny metal boxes that bear the 
overpriced logo of BMW.  what these "poor little rich 
kids" from Cape Elizabeth and Kennebunkport have in 
common with the heart-felt emotion that goes into a rap 
song is beyond me.  but WRED IS a station of choice for 
an up-and-coming generation.  and my hat is off to Buzz 
Bradley who is programming it, as well as to JJ for 
giving Buzz the reigns and telling him to run with it.
WIDE is doing a Big Band/MOYL format at AM 1400 in 
Biddeford.  (you can see their stick from the Maine Pike 
just past Exit 4, northbound, on the right.) i believe 
that Bart & Astrid Bailey are still running the place. 
(Bart was the WGAN AM/FM chief engineer in the 70's & 
early 80's... he put 95.9 on the air as WPIG doin' 
Fuller-Jeffries purchased AM 1400 WIDE and FM 94.3 WSTG 
from the McCann's. (father James, Senior was an engineer 
and then some in the Manchester area through the 60's.  
his first station was WEMJ in Laconia, where he brought 
in his son Jim, Jr. to run the joint.  they purchased 
WIDE & WBYC-FM (originally WIDE-FM) from the Hoy family. 
(F.Parker Hoy was the station's late owner; the sale was 
conducted by Mrs.Hoy and son, Skip.)  The McCanns 
brought in Dick Lutsk from Laconia to run Biddeford in 
the fall of 1985.  Dick hired me to be his ops guy and 
morning host for the FM, now known as WYJY, Joy 94.3, 
doing a soft a/c format using Drake-Chenault's Lite Rock 
service.  The AM remained a full-service A/C until 1988 
when we flipped it to talk, including a revolutionary 
host by the name of Rush Limbaugh.  i left in 1989 to go 
to WYNZ-FM in Portland.  shortly after that, the station 
flipped the calls & moniker to WSTG, Star 94.3.  then 
the McCann's sold to F-J.  
one great JJ story about the sale: the first week that F-
J owned the stations, JJ came into the station at 4 in 
the morning and started ripping the AP wire.  Carlton 
Dana, "The Mayor of the Morning" on AM 1400 for years, 
was still there and asked JJ what he was doing?  JJ 
replied: "I'm your news man.  What do you think I'm 
doing?  Have some coffee!  it's fresh!"
JJ has only recently given up the 3-in-the-morning-time-
to-do-the-news thing for his current Portland 
properties.  JJ is a TRUE radio guy.  the type who'd be 
inclined to say "You can have my mic when you pry it 
from my cold, dead fingers."
he is a "David" in battling the "Goliaths" of the 
Portland area.  even though some of his programming has 
been squired away by "Goliath," he's still in the 
trenches and will help to keep Portland radio, 
hopefully, interesting.

- - Chuck Igo