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NERW 12/17 - CBC Expands French Network

------------------------------E-MAIL EDITION-----------------------------
--------------------------NorthEast Radio Watch--------------------------
                            December 17, 2001


*CANADA: Radio-Canada Wants French Net "Plus Grande"
*NEW YORK: Radio Chick Lands at WAXQ

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

*When the CBC went up for license renewal last year, it promised the
CRTC that it would make big improvements in the distribution of its
"chaine culturelle" French-language radio service (the equivalent of
the English-language Radio Two.)

Now the Corporation has filed a whole slew of applications for new
"chaine culturelle" transmitters across CANADA, fulfilling its promise
to bring the service to each provincial capital. The applications
include transmitters in Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Calgary out
west, adding to the already-licensed service in Winnipeg and (not yet
on the air) in Vancouver.

On our side of the country, the CBC wants to extend chaine culturelle
service from CJBC-FM (90.3 Toronto) to Windsor (on 107.9, with 3360
watts) and Paris (on 89.9, with 8730 watts).

The network's service from CBOX-FM (102.5 Ottawa) would be extended to
Mont-Laurier, Quebec on 91.1 with 72,000 watts.

Other areas of Quebec that would finally get Radio-Canada's second
network would include Dolbeau (fed from CBJX-FM Chicoutimi, on 90.9
with 37,200 watts), La Malbaie (fed from CBVX-FM Quebec City, with 960
watts on 91.5) and Baie-St-Paul (also from CBVX, with 350 watts on
88.9), Matane (fed from CBRX-FM Rimouski, with 31,700 watts on 107.5),
Sept-Iles (from CBRX, on 96.1 with 84,800 watts) and Riviere-du-Loup
(from CBRX, on 90.7 with 56,900 watts). 

In the Maritimes, the chaine culturelle service from CBAL-FM (98.3
Moncton NB) would be extended to Fredericton and St. John with a new
transmitter on Mount Champlain (78,500 watts on 88.1) and to
Edmundston on 94.3 with a full 100 kW.

A new chaine culturelle station would be built in Halifax, at 91.5
with 77,500 watts, with relays in Charlottetown, P.E.I. (32,850 watts
at 88.9) and St. John's, Newfoundland (101.9 with 90,200 watts) as

And those aren't the only proposals on the table when the CRTC holds a
public hearing in Quebec City in February: no fewer than four
applicants want to start new stations on 91.9 in Quebec City. The
applicants are "9098-7280 Quebec Inc.," which we believe to be the
folks behind classical CJPX Montreal, applying for a classical station
with 2,367 watts; Cogeco, which wants to program an AC format with
4,500 watts; Communications Levis 2001, which wants the frequency in
suburban Levis, for a 3,400 watt pop, rock and dance station; and
Metromedia CMR, which wants to do pop and rock with 10,000
watts. (NERW wonders: if the CBC is expanding its French-language
second radio service throughout English Canada, shouldn't it apply for
more CBC Radio Two outlets throughout Quebec as well?)

Still more applications will be before the CRTC in Quebec City:
southwest of the city, the licensee of CKNU (100.9 Donnacona) wants to
move the station up to the Quebec City market, cutting power to 750
watts but moving to Mont Belair. In Quebec City itself, CHOI (98.1)
faces license renewal, but the CRTC says it's failed to comply with
the logger tape and French-language content rules.

Out in New Brunswick, CFAN (790 Newcastle-Miramichi) is applying to
move to FM, where it would operate on 99.3 with 50,000 watts.

And in Ontario, Telemedia's CJCL (Fan 590) in Toronto wants to bring
ESPN Radio programming to the airwaves on weeknights and
weekends. CJCL has applied to start a "network" to feed ESPN Radio to
CKGL (570 Kitchener), CJBX (1290 London) and CKTB (610 St. Catharines)
after 6 PM on weekdays and all weekend long.

*One of our favorite specialty shows in MASSACHUSETTS has changed
radio homes yet again. Barry Scott's "Lost 45s" made the move to
Infinity's Oldies 103 (WODS 103.3 Boston) this past Sunday, airing
from 7-11 PM weekly. That's the good news; the bad news is that Little
Walter's Sunday night show featuring 50s oldies has been pulled from
the WODS schedule again.

Scott's show has made nearly the grand tour of the Boston FM dial,
having started years ago on the noncommercial side (at WERS, if we're
not mistaken), with stops along the way at WBOS, the former WEGQ (now
WQSX), WBMX and most recently at WROR.

There was big news on the AM dial in Boston, too; Eddie Andelman and
WEEI (850 Boston) parted ways after a run there that lasted more than
a decade. Andelman was part of the original all-sports format that
debuted on WEEI, then on 590, in the fall of 1991.  (Before that, he
had been with the old 850, WHDH, for more than a decade; he would
return to the 850 dial position when WEEI moved there in 1994.)

What's next for Andelman? The hot rumor has him moving to the Sporting
News Radio outlet, WWZN (1510), where he might face off against Dale
Arnold, who co-hosted the 10 AM to 2 PM "A Team" show with him for six
years and continues solo in that slot on WEEI. Any such move isn't
likely to take place until next March, when Andelman's WEEI contract

There have also been rumors about interest in Andelman from FM talker
WTKK (96.9), which has been taking on more of a sports focus lately;
that seems more plausible than suggestions that Andelman could land at
WBZ, which doesn't have a hole in its weekday schedule for sports

One more Entercom note: WRKO (680) has picked up the syndicated Sean
Hannity talk show for 8-11 PM weeknights, which bumps Laura
Schlessinger to late nights in Beantown.

Some personnel moves in Worcester: WORC (1310) adds former WTAG host
Bob McCauley as anchor of its "Worcester News Nightly" news hour. WORC
will also carry a Wednesday morning "Mayor's Forum" with Worcester
mayor Tim Murray. Across town at Citadel, Geno leaves WXLO (104.5
Fitchburg) after a decade. The night jock is heading to Florida and
middays at WHTF in Tallahassee.

Add one more to the Christmas music list: WPLM-FM (99.1 Plymouth)
began its annual "Twelve Days of Christmas Music" on Friday (Dec. 14);
the usual "Easy 99.1" format should be back in place on Boxing Day.

On the TV side, we've heard a report that channel 66 out in
Marlborough has changed its ID from "WFUB" to "WUTF-TV"; there's been
nothing yet to that effect in the FCC database, but we'll keep
looking. (The station's still running the Home Shopping Network while
awaiting next year's launch of the new Telefutura network.)

*Up in NEW HAMPSHIRE, Russ Mottla has departed Clear Channel rockers
WHEB (100.3 Portsmouth) and WGIR-FM (101.1 Manchester), where he was
operations manager and PD. Alex James comes up from WYNF in Sarasota,
Florida to be PD at WHEB, while the slot at WGIR-FM remains
open. AllAccess reports WHJY (94.1 Providence) PD Joe Bevilacqua will
oversee both stations from Rhode Island in his role as Clear Channel's
rock "brand manager."

One other Granite State note: WFEA (1370 Manchester) is back to
standards from holiday tunes, having switched satellite providers when
the feed it had been running (the same Westwood One product heard on
Boston's WXKS, among others) went all-Christmas.

*Cable viewers in RHODE ISLAND won't be getting the Boston area's
Telemundo affiliate. WWDP (Channel 46) in Norwell petitioned the FCC
to order Cox Cable to add it to systems in and around Providence, but
the FCC declined to blur the lines between the Boston TV market (which
WWDP calls home) and the Providence ADI. (The FCC did erroneously
issue a version of the ruling that appeared to grant WWDP's petition,
but corrected itself later in the week!)

*One news item from CONNECTICUT, and it's quite literally a "news"
item: UPN affiliate WCTX (Channel 59) in New Haven has changed the
branding of its 10 PM newscast. It's now identified more closely with
WCTX's sister station, ABC affiliate WTNH (Channel 8), as "News
Channel 8 at 10 PM." (WTNH has produced the news on channel 59, under
its various calls, ever since the UHF outlet signed on a few years

*We'll head into NEW YORK with an FCC red flag of Cumulus' proposed
purchase of Aurora Broadcasting. The Commission wants to review market
concentration issues before approving the sale of WFAS/WFAF in
Westchester County, WRKI/WAXB/WINE-WPUT in the Danbury market and the
former Crystal cluster in Poughkeepsie; only the Bridgeport,
Connecticut combo of WICC/WEBE was exempted from review. NERW expects
the sale to go through in the end, since there's no new concentration
being created as a result of the sale.

Just one item up here in upstate New York: Infinity rocker WCMF (96.5
Rochester) is applying for an auxiliary antenna at the Colfax Street
tower that's long been home to its sister station WRMM (101.3). The
aux site, which would share WRMM's own auxiliary antenna, would run 15
kW at 133 meters - just the thing to keep WCMF on the air if there's
work being done on the Pinnacle Hill TV tower it usually calls home.

The big news out of the Big Apple came from classic rocker WAXQ (104.3
New York), which announced last week that it's adding "Radio Chick"
Leslie Gold to Bob Buchmann's morning show. Will Gold, last heard
doing "hot talk" at WNEW (102.7), help the Clear Channel station
battle Howard Stern in the morning ratings? We'll be listening...

(Gold also brings sidekicks Chuck Nice and Butch Brennan over to Q104,
which says the new morning show will be far less music-intensive than
Buchmann's show had been.)

*Across the river in NEW JERSEY, Seton Hall University has announced
the new format for WSOU (89.5 South Orange). Barred by school
administrators from continuing its popular heavy-metal format, WSOU
will switch to an "Eclectic Rock" format, which sounds like a slightly
less folky version of the AAA format over in the Bronx at Fordham's
WFUV (90.7 New York). The new format is set to debut January 2.

*A veteran PENNSYLVANIA afternoon jock is looking for new employment
this week. After a decade at Harrisburg's "Wink 104" (WNNK 104.1),
Bruce Bond was let go from the Cumulus outlet last Monday
(Dec. 10). Bond actually predates the WNNK calls on 104.1, having
started there in 1983 when the station was WTPA-FM and continuing
there until a brief detour to New Orleans in 1991 and 1992.

WNNK won't talk about the reasons for the dismissal; a note on Bond's
own Web site reads "I've always asked WINK to fire me...I guess I got
my wish."

Bond's shift, which had been a morning-show style broadcast, is being
filled by his former sidekicks (Stretch, news director John Paul
Shaffer and producer Frank Schofield) for the moment; Bond had been
off the air since Nov. 30.

Fans of the Philadelphia Phillies will have to adjust their radio dial
next season, for the first time in years. The team has been heard at
1210 on the dial (first as WCAU, later as WOGL, WGMP, WPTS and WPHT)
since 1982. The 2002 Phillies, though, will move down the dial to
Greater Media's WPEN (950), which last carried the team in 1951 (as
well as a brief period at the start of the 1982 season). 

NERW suspects the move from the big 50 kW signal at 1210 will lead
mors suburban Philadelphia stations to pick up Phillies games to fill
in the gaps in the directional 950 night signal; we can't say we'll
much miss hearing the team here in upstate New York! (Now if WTIC ever
drops the Red Sox, we'll have some issues...)

Up in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market, Kevin Fennessy's WAAT (750
Olyphant) is taking on a new sound. The former leased-time religious
and ethnic outlet began running an all-Sinatra morning show last week,
and this week Fennessy announced he's picking up Laura Schlessinger
beginning January 7.

The Premiere talker was previously heard in the market on Entercom's
"WILK Network" (WILK 980 Wilkes-Barre, WGBI 910 Scranton); in her new
home on 750, she'll lead a change towards more general-interest talk
on WAAT.

We don't mention Shamokin much, but we have an excuse this week:
WISL-FM (95.3) has changed format under its new Clear Channel
ownership, switching from satellite oldies to a simulcast of "Bill
Country," WBYL (95.5 Williamsport). We hear WISL's AM sister on 1480
has been off the air for the last week or so. (Shamokin, for those
unfamiliar with the place, is about 40 miles southeast of Williamsport
and southwest of Wilkes-Barre...)

Speaking of Williamsport, we hear that WQZI (103.9 Laporte), northeast
of town, is now running a soft AC format as "Cozy," following its
all-Beatles stunt as "Fab 104."

Over in Pittsburgh, Vinnie Ferguson is the new music director at WXDX
(105.9), inbound from Clear Channel's WXEG in Dayton, Ohio. A few
dozen miles southwest, WANB (1580) and WANB-FM (103.1) in Waynesburg
are changing hands: for $850,000, Robert Stevens' Broadcast
Communications Inc. picks the country simulcasters up from Joseph
Hennessey's "WANB Radio."

*And that's it for another week here at NERW. A reminder, to those of
you (which would be most of you, in fact) who have yet to renew your
subscription donations to NERW for 2002: we depend on those
contributions to keep NERW available to you, without a mandatory fee,
on the Web. If you've yet to put your contribution in the mail, it's
not too late to change your editor's mind about restricting access to
paid customers only. (We're leaning that way, and we'll announce a
decision, one way or another, in January. Those of you who've already
contributed will automatically get passwords and need not worry!)
Visit our Support page at http://www.fybush.com/support.html to find
out more...

And if you still want a Tower Site 2002 Calendar, we have a handful
still available from our initial print run. (Visit our Calendar page
at http://www.fybush.com/calendar.html to learn how to order!)

Those of you who ordered by December 7 had your calendars mailed
December 15 and should be receiving them any moment now; the rest of
you will have them mailed out this week. I think you'll like them!

We'll be back December 24 with our final regular NERW of 2001,
followed by 2001 In Review, coming Dec. 31 to fybush.com!

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

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