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NERW 12/3 - Vinikoor Takes Tower Dispute to High Court

------------------------------E-MAIL EDITION-----------------------------
--------------------------NorthEast Radio Watch--------------------------
                            December 3, 2001


*NEW HAMPSHIRE: High Court to Hear Tower Appeal
*NEW YORK: Student Radio Shuts Down
*NEW JERSEY: Multicultural, Nassau Swap Stations

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

*NEW HAMPSHIRE's highest court will hear the case of a broadcaster's
long-running attempt to put a new AM station on the air.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court agreed this week to accept Bob
Vinikoor's appeal of a lower court ruling that upheld the city of
Hanover's decision not to allow Vinikoor to build three towers for
WQTH (720 Hanover).

The city's zoning laws limit towers to 45 feet in areas where they're
permitted at all, and city lawyers point to the controversial
Cross-Field Antenna (tested in Egypt, but not approved by the FCC or
conclusively even demonstrated to work) to show that the rule doesn't
prohibit new AM towers completely.

Vinikoor, who owns WNTK (1020 Newport/99.7 New London) and WNBX (1480
Springfield VT), says that's just what the rule does, and he's asking
the court to rule that the city can't keep him from building his

If it's built, by the way, WQTH will be the most powerful station in
New Hampshire, with a 50 kW daytime signal.

Vinikoor is looking for anyone interested in filing an amicus
("friend of the court") brief in his support; if you're interested,
contact us here at NERW and we'll put you together with his attorney.

*Up in MAINE, Rob Gardiner announced this week that he'll leave his
post as president of Maine Public Broadcasting sometime next
year. Gardiner has led the statewide network since 1988, weathering
controversies that included the format shift on Maine Public Radio
from classical to news/talk-intensive.

In a memo to employees obtained by NERW, Gardiner says his plans after
leaving MPBC in a year or so include "a long vacation,...time with my
family, and enjoy[ing] some months with few schedule demands or
responsibilities that would keep me awake in the middle of the night." 

No replacement has been named yet.

*Elsewhere in the Pine Tree State, WTHT (107.5 Lewiston) has filed its
application to boost power to 100 kW. The increase was made possible
by the FCC's ruling last year downgrading 107.5 in West Rutland,
Vermont (for which no license has been issued, anyway) from class C3
to A. WTHT won't change its transmitter site when it increases its
power from 91 kW.

Clear Channel changed formats at WRKD (1450 Rockland) over the
weekend, dropping the news-talk that's been airing there in favor of
sports. Local morning host Don Shields stays on board for the 6-8 AM
weekday shift, with more local sports coverage promised in the
future. Clear Channel believes talk listeners in the mid-coast area
are well enough served by its FM news-talkers, WCME (96.7 Boothbay
Harbor) and WVOM (103.9 Howland).