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*A few Radio People on the Move in MASSACHUSETTS: Michelle Williams
has landed another music director job after losing hers at WJMN (94.5
Boston). We don't think she'll find much of a playlist overlap at the
new gig, at Greater Media AAA outlet WBOS (92.9 Brookline). Meanwhile,
former WBMX (98.5 Boston) midday guy Joe Cortese (he's still on the
hot AC outlet with his Friday night 80's show) takes on a new role at
Infinity sister station WODS (103.3 Boston), as assistant PD and
production/imaging director. It sounds as though Cortese will be
handling a lot of the day-to-day duties at Oldies 103 for PD Greg
Strassell, at least until both stations move into their new home in
the old WSBK-TV studios next year.
"Calling All Sports" has a new station to call home. The long-running
Sunday sports gabfest has been on WBZ (1030) on and off for more
than three decades, most recently with host and producer Norm Resha
buying the time for the show. As of this past weekend, though, "CAS"
is on the FM dial, from 4-7 PM Sundays on WTKK (96.9).
CNet Radio landed in Boston on Saturday afternoon (Dec. 1), replacing
"Amor 890" and Spanish romantica music on WBPS (890 Dedham). Still
missing: a legal ID ("WBPS Boston" doesn't cut it)...
More Christmas music: in addition to the satellite format going
all-holidays at WXKS (1430 Everett), the folks at WNBP (1450
Newburyport) checked in to say they're doing the ho-ho-ho tunes as
*A change of command in CONNECTICUT: Kirk Varner has been named news
director at WTNH (Channel 8) in New Haven. The Nutmeg State news
veteran (WFSB and ESPN, among others) has spent the last few years
with Time Warner as head of the company's local all-news operations
(which would make him your editor's ex-boss's-boss's-boss's-boss, if
you follow the chain of command up that far!)
Varner starts the new gig at WTNH on January 7.
*We'll jump over to NEW JERSEY next, as Nassau and Multicultural
Broadcasting flip their holdings along the Delaware River. Here's how
it works: Nassau picks up WVPO (840 Stroudsburg PA) and WSBG (93.5
Stroudsburg PA), which the company used to own before selling them to
Multicultural, along with WJHR (1040 Flemington NJ), which
Multicultural bought a couple of years ago. Multicultural gets sports
WTTM (1680 Princeton NJ) and business-talk WHWH (1350 Princeton NJ),
one of Nassau's original stations. But before any format-change rumors
get started: Nassau's been operating the Multicultural stations under
an LMA all along, and will continue to LMA WHWH, so very little will
change for listeners.
*We'll start NEW YORK way out on the East End of Long Island, where
WFTU (1570 Riverhead) began its own programming under new owner Five
Towns College just before Thanksgiving. Listeners out that way are
reporting automated oldies at 1570 for the moment, with a rather deep
playlist of obscure fifties and sixties tunes (watch out, WLNG!)
Meanwhile, on the other end of the Island, the student-run CHR format
at WNYG (1440 Babylon) is history. Arthur Liu's Multicultural
Broadcasting had been running the station as a free school to train
future DJs, making for an interesting signal to tune in - but the lure
of leased time was apparently too strong, and so the station has gone
to an all-Chinese format.
In New York City, WBBR (1130) is edging back to being exclusively
business news after a flirtation with general news. Any connection to
WBBR's founder getting a new job as mayor, we wonder?
Kids in and around Albany will have a new signal to check out. We
don't yet know the purchase price, but Disney/ABC is picking up WGNA
(1460 Albany) from Regent Broadcasting to make it the latest Radio
Disney outlet in upstate New York. The station has been simulcasting
country giant WGNA-FM (107.7 Albany) for the last decade or so, but
its 5 kW day, 1 kW night signal is one of the better AMs in the
market, surprisingly enough, so it's been due for something more.
(From the irony files: ABC, before being bought by Disney, was
swallowed by the former Capital Cities Communications, which drew its
name from...Albany, where the company got its start with WROW all
those decades ago.)
Way up north, New York Educational Broadcasters and Christian
Ministries have settled their conflicting applications for 90.9 near
Plattsburgh. Christian Ministries (the WGLY folks from Vermont)
gets the CP, for 3 kW at 310 meters AAT from Terry Mountain southeast
of Plattsburgh. The new station, which will be licensed to Schuyler
Falls, should have a decent signal over Plattsburgh and an adequate
one over Burlington as well.
Syracuse TV viewers are mourning one of the market's legendary
anchors. Ron Curtis, who began his career in the Salt City as a high
school student at the old WFBL, became an anchor at WHEN-TV (Channel
5) in 1966, staying with the station (now WTVH) until his retirement
almost exactly a year ago. Curtis died Thursday (Nov. 29) at the age
Hip-hop fans in Syracuse may soon get a stronger signal: Clear Channel
has been granted an on-channel booster for WPHR (106.9 Auburn), to
operate from downtown Syracuse. The new booster will operate with 1740
watts, vertical only, with a directional antenna aimed south at
Syracuse's inner city.
A much earlier era of popular music in Syracuse is being remembered at
a new tribute Web site. Check out
http://www.members.tripod.com/wolf1490 for the start of what looks
like a fun remembrance of the old WOLF (1490), the little 250-watt
pipsqueak that topped the Syracuse ratings in the sixties.
Here in Rochester, WBBF-FM (93.3 Fairport) received its license to
cover this week for its transmitter move; the new signal is getting
out much better in Monroe County than the old Avon-licensed facility
Cable viewers in Rochester will finally get full-time service from the
local UPN affiliate after the first of the year. WBGT-LP (Channel 40)
has been leasing prime-time hours on Time Warner's channel 98 for the
last few months; starting January 1, the LPTV will lease the entire
day on channel 18 to extend its reach to cable viewers throughout the
(One other Rochester note: our Fox affiliate, WUHF Channel 31, lost a
good chunk of its viewers this week. The CRTC gave cable companies in
Halifax, N.S. and St. John, N.B. permission to switch to a satellite
feed of Boston's WFXT for Fox service. We wonder how this will affect
WUHF's tendency to sell several half-hours in the middle of the
afternoon for Canadian infomercials!)
In Buffalo, WTSS (Star 102.5) is the latest convert to the all-holiday
format. The Entercom station joins a few other late additions to the
roster in the Empire State, including Citadel's WLTI (105.9) in
Syracuse and (on nights, weekends and lunch hours only) Barnstable's
WKJY (98.3 Hempstead LI).
Radio People on the Move: Ray Marks moves up from news director to
operations manager at Jamestown's WJTN/WWSE, reports Carl Gorney in
his latest WNY/Southern Ontario update; over in Elmira, afternoon guy
Joe Munroe is promoted to PD at Sabre's WNGZ (104.9 Montour Falls),
while crosstown WPHD (94.7 Tioga PA) adds the Greaseman show in
morning drive. (WPHD, by the way, has moved in with sister station
WCDW at the latter's new digs above a credit union at 495 Court Street
in Binghamton. And although WCDW has completed its city of license
swap with WKGB 92.5, it's still ID'ing with the old Conklin NY instead
of the new Susquehanna PA. WKGB's covering all its bases with a
"Conklin-Susquehanna-Binghamton" legal from its new site atop the WINT
680 site on Binghamton's Windy Hill Road.)
And we'll leave New York with a pirate: listeners across the East have
been hearing Jewish programming on 1710 kHz, with an ID of
"Lubavitcher Radio." We'd be surprised, indeed, if this didn't have
something to do with the powerful Lubavitcher community of Hasidic
Jews, headquartered in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.
*Radio listeners in the State College area of PENNSYLVANIA have two
new formats to check out this week. After being dark for a bit, the
98.7 facility that used to be WLTS Mill Hall has re-emerged as WOJZ
Pleasant Gap, with a smooth jazz format from a new transmitter site on
Trcziyulny Mountain just north of Bellefonte. Meanwhile, the 94.5
facility in State College that had been WFGI, country "Froggy" (in a
partial simulcast with WFGY Altoona) has gone AC under the WLTS
calls. Both stations signed on at midnight, November 26, we're told.
Down in Pittsburgh, PAX television is finally coming to viewers' TV
screens, but only if they have AT&T Broadband cable. The netlet has
been trying for years to get a broadcast outlet in the Steel City (and
still hopes to end up on WQEX-TV if it can be sold successfully), but
in the meantime it's signed a cable carriage deal to start in January.
Out in the suburbs, we hear WLSW (103.9 Scottdale) isn't being sold to
Cumulus after all, but the station does have an application in to move
much closer to Pittsburgh. The new site, with 6 kW at 100 meters (down
from 238 meters, but up from 320 watts!) would be on Mickanin Road
southwest of Irwin.
Over in Philadelphia, meanwhile, WXTU (92.5) has added Blair Garner's
syndicated "After MidNite" to its schedule, from midnight to 6 AM
weekdays. Out in Roxborough, we're told WCAU-TV (Channel 10) has begun
work on its new DTV tower, which will add the tallest stick yet to
that city's already imposing tower farm.
*To CANADA, finally: While we wait for the big fireworks next week at
the CRTC's Hamilton hearings for the last new TV facility in Toronto
(those begin Monday, and we'll have an update in the next issue), we
can tell you that Maritime Broadcasting System wants to buy CJRW
(102.1 Summerside PEI). MBS already owns two of the province's other
commercial stations, CFCY and CHLQ-FM in Charlottetown, and operates
the only other one, CHTN 720 in Charlottetown.
In Kingston, Ontario, CFMK (96.3) wants to lower its power, from 50 kW
to 14 kW; we're guessing an antenna height increase is involved as
And Mark Elliott's "People Helping People" show, one of the only
call-in shows out there for those recovering from drug and alcohol
addictions, is back on the air in Toronto. After stints on CFYI there
and on CKLW in Windsor, Elliott can now be heard Saturday nights on
*We'll be tied up for the next few days getting the Tower Site 2002
Calendar all ready to be shipped out to everyone who's ordered one. If
you haven't sent in your order yet...just wait until you see what
Click on www.fybush.com/calendar.html to see a sample of the pages
that await you in this full-color, 8.5-by-11 inch, glossy
calendar. Historic dates in our region's radio legacy, photos of some
of North America's finest towers, and a convenient hole for hanging -
it's all here, and you can still get one.
Just send a check or money order for $15 (NYS residents add $1.20
sales tax; US$20 to Canadian addresses) to Scott Fybush, 92 Bonnie
Brae Ave., Rochester NY 14618, and we'll get one in the mail to
you. Order by December 10 and your calendar will be in the first
shipment from the printer, in plenty of time for holiday delivery. You
won't regret it!
-----------------------NorthEast Radio Watch------------------------
(c)2001 Scott Fybush
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