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NERW 5/29: LPFMs for Vermont

------------------------------E-MAIL EDITION-----------------------------
--------------------------NorthEast Radio Watch--------------------------
                               May 27, 2002


*VERMONT: VTrans Gets Green Light for 19 LPFMs
*NEW YORK: Long Island Gets "Bone"d
*NERW Visits Paris!

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

*LPFM is on the way to VERMONT, but don't expect much in the way of
local programming in the Green Mountain State, at least judging by the
initial list of uncontested applications released this week by the

The Vermont Agency of Transportation, or "VTrans," has 19 of the 23
LP-100 applications that the FCC proposes to grant if no petitions to
deny are received by June 24.

Here's the VTrans list:

93.3 Rutland
94.3 Springfield
94.9 Middlebury
95.9 Fairlee
96.1 Newport
96.5 Thetford
96.5 Stowe
96.9 Middlesex
97.1 Milton
98.1 Williston
98.3 Derby
98.5 Boltonville
98.9 Manchester
99.1 West Dover
99.3 Orleans
99.5 Putney
100.1 Randolph
105.1 Bennington
105.5 Jonesville

The other four? Rootswork, Inc., for 95.1 Warren; Voice in the Kingdom
Radio for 96.1 Newport; Spavin Cure Historical Group for 98.1 Enosburg
and Resurrection Ranch for 99.7 Rutland.

The deadline for petitions to deny to be filed is June 24.

Elsewhere in Vermont, a tour group led by Vermont Public Radio is en
route to Cuba today after all, after the Treasury Department initially
said the group of about 40 couldn't visit the island. The order was
reversed over the weekend, allowing the group (including VPR president
Mark Vogelzang) to depart for the week-long study trip.

And WXKK (93.5 Springfield) received a license to cover for its tower
move; the station goes from the WNBX (1480) tower to a new site on
Highland Road north of town, jumping from 3 kW at 79 meters to 1.45 kW
at a much higher 144 meters above average terrain.

*Speaking of WNBX and its NEW HAMPSHIRE sister station, WNTK-FM (99.7
New London), they have a new talk show in the evenings. "Impact,"
hosted by George Russell, airs from 7:05 until 8 weekday evenings, and
we hear WNTK is looking to syndicate it to other stations in the

*Up in MAINE, Calvary Chapel was granted a frequency change for its
Southwest Harbor translator. W218BD (91.5) moves to W217BK (91.3),
wiping out reception of CBC Radio One (from CBD 91.3 Saint John NB)
for folks on Mount Desert Island and vicinity, in favor of KAWZ from
Twin Falls, Idaho.

Down in Portland, we hear WLLB-LP has made the move down the dial from
channel 45 to channel 15, where it's now testing with color bars.

*A quiet week in MASSACHUSETTS, too; the big news leading up to
Memorial Day was the announcement that morning arts correspondent
Angie C will be leaving WFNX (101.7 Lynn) after nine years with the

On the AM side, WJLT (650 Ashland) received a license to cover for its
9-watt night signal; we hear, as well, that WJIB (740 Cambridge) is
back to running AM stereo during the day.

*RHODE ISLAND's WOON (1240 Woonsocket) wants to make its new
transmitter site official. The station has been running on special
temporary authority since last fall, when city officials forced it off
its longtime tower site on city property.

WOON ended up diplexed with the city's other AM station, WNRI (1380),
at the WNRI studio/tower site on Diamond Hill Road, a stone's throw
from the Massachusetts border. But the STA included a power cut from
1000 watts to 650 watts during the day (WOON remained at a full
kilowatt after dark), and now WOON is applying to the FCC to return to
full power day and night from the WNRI site.

WZRA (99.7 Wakefield-Peace Dale) has officially changed calls to
WSKO-FM to reflect its new simulcast with Citadel sports sister WSKO
(790 Providence). Actually, we should say "mostly simulcast," since
the FM side breaks away from noon until 2 PM daily for two hours of
Bill O'Reilly (returning for the third hour of Jim Rome). WSKO-FM also
carries the Yankees instead of the AM side's Pawtucket Red Sox. 

*CONNECTICUT had one last-minute addition to the FCC's LPFM list,
which was largely devoted to Texas applications this time around:
Calvary Christian Fellowship made the list with a 100.1 application in

*NEW YORK wasn't crying out for another classic rock station on the
east end of Long Island, but it got one anyway last Thursday (May 23),
when Jarad flipped WDRE (98.5 Westhampton) from a simulcast of modern
AC WLIR (92.7 Garden City) to "The Bone." 

After the expected loop of "Bad to the Bone," the playlist kicked off
with "Welcome to the Jungle," followed by Nazareth, AC/DC, Pearl Jam
and the other usual suspects in what promises to be a crowded format
battle in the Hamptons this summer.

Jon Daniels is handling PD duties for the Bone, which is operating
from the WLIR headquarters in Garden City (where staffers now can't
hear WDRE or sister dance station WXXP "Party 105"!)

We could go on at some length about the war of words that kicked into
high gear last week between WNEW (102.7 New York)'s star talkers Opie
and Anthony and their DC-based archrivals Don and Mike, whose low
ratings in middays on WNEW have sparked rumors of cancellation - but
we'd much rather say a few belated words about this year's WABC (770)
"Rewound," which marked the 20th anniversary of the end of "Musicradio
77" and the start of WABC's successful talk format.

WABC production guru Johnny Donovan and musicradio77.com Webmaster
Allen Sniffen did their usual thorough job with this year's
extravaganza (which started at 6 Monday morning and ran until 8 that
night, followed by a two-hour Musicradio talk show) - and better
yet, there was no Yankees game to get in the middle, now that they're over
on WCBS (and playing a night game, anyway!)

Over on the Spanish side of the dial, WADO (1280) and its Miami sister
station, WQBA (1140), have launched a new afternoon talk show. "Buenas
Tardes America" runs from 3 until 5 weekday afternoons - and it's
hosted by MSNBC anchor Rick Sanchez, who now gets to boast that he's
the only anchor hosting two national daily shows in two different
languages on two mediums.

Heading upstate, former WXCR (102.3 Ballston Spa) morning team Mason
and Sheehan have been cleared to go to trial in their lawsuit against
Clear Channel. The duo say Clear Channel misled them when it hired
them away from WPYX (106.5), telling them it would make WXCR a serious
competitor when it only intended to remove competition to Howard Stern
on Clear Channel's WQBJ/WQBK. A judge threw out the age-discrimination
portion of the claim, leaving $20 million in fraud and breach of
contract claims. Mason and Sheehan now work across town at Galaxy's
WRCZ (94.5 Ravena); ironically, WPYX is now a Clear Channel station,
while WQBK/WQBJ were spun to Regent a couple of years ago!

New calls in Syracuse: mark down "WVOA" for the 720 construction
permit in DeWitt, which means 103.9 Mexico changes from WVOA(FM) to

And a Buffalo television veteran is heading for sunnier climates:
after 23 years at WIVB-TV (Channel 4), Carol Jasen will leave the
anchor chair June 28 to head for New Mexico, where she'll marry former
WIVB reporter Craig Nigrelli. (The two have been engaged since

Jacquie Walker (still remembered in these parts from her long-ago
stint at Rochester's WROC) will anchor the 5, 6 and 11 PM newscasts
after Jasen leaves, while Lisa Flynn will handle the 5:30 on WIVB and
keep her 10 PM newscast on sister independent WNLO (Channel 23), and
Lisa Scott adds noon duties to her morning anchor role at WIVB.

*Down in PENNSYLVANIA, word is that KDKA (1020 Pittsburgh) won't renew
the contract of evening sports talk host Thor Tolo when it expires
this summer. No word yet on who might replace Tolo in the talk
chair. Across town at Clear Channel, WBGG (970) has stopped calling
itself "The Burgh" and is now just plain "Fox Sports 970."

Up in Du Bois, it's back to an old set of calls at 102.1; no more
WMOU-FM at "102 Moo," it seems - you can call it WOWQ again.

Williamsport's WLYC (1050) changes hands, going from the Brown Bear
Irrevocable Trust to Williamsport Broadcasting for $105,000. Up in the
hills northeast of town, WQZI (103.9 Laporte) applies to change from a
directional antenna (with 6000 watts maximum at 84 meters) to a
non-directional 4300 watts at 61 meters. That's equivalent to 3
kilowatts at 100 meters, which is the most WQZI can put out towards
short-spaced WQNY (103.7 Ithaca NY).

And yes, WWLY (106.3 Huntingdon) is now simulcasting the oldies from
Forever sister WALY (103.9 Bellwood) in the Altoona market.

*A NEW JERSEY translator will soon be moving. W244AS (96.7 Oakhurst)
has to get off a soon-to-be-demolished tower at its site near Asbury
Park; the WQXR translator will move to a new tower about 280 meters
away, changing from a directional antenna to a non-directional 8 watts
in the process.

Down the shore, WBNJ (93.1 Wildwood Crest) was granted a license to
cover for its move, boosting power from 3300 to 4200 watts while
moving down its tower to a new spot 66 meters above average terrain.

And way down there in Vineland, WVLT (92.1) dropped its miscellaneous
AC format last week in favor of oldies, with a strong leaning toward
the doo-wop era (Philadelphia's Jerry "Geator" Blavat remains a
regular presence on the station.)

*Just one big story from CANADA: the Canadian Cabinet is being
petitioned to overturn the grant of channel 52 in Toronto to Craig
Broadcasting. Torstar, Global, Alliance-Atlantis, CHUM and several
government officials are all questioning the grant, saying it flies in
the face of the guidelines that are supposed to favor local applicants
and local production over out-of-town groups like Craig, whose base is
out west. A decision on the petitions is expected before July.

*Which brings us back to our European trip, doesn't it? When we left
you, we were hopping on board the Eurostar train for a jaunt through
the Chunnel to Paris.

We arrived three hours later to find a city where AM radio is nearly
dead, with just four audible signals at our listening spot in the
shadow of the Eiffel Tower. On 162 kHz longwave, of course, was the
mighty voice of France-Inter from Allouis in central France; up on
medium wave we heard Radio France International (in English and other
languages) on 738, France Bleu on 864 and FiP (the local service of
government-run Radio France) on 585. 

Only the 738 signal was exclusive to AM; the other three were
simulcast on FM, along with some 35 other signals audible in central
Paris on the FM dial. (RDS proved invaluable when it came time to
identify them all!)

Radio France operates seven signals: France-Inter, with talk and AC
music; France Musique, with classical and other "serious" music;
France Info, the all-news service; France Bleu, with AC music for
older listeners; France Culture, the "serious" spoken-word service
(think Britain's Radio 4); FiP, the local service and a new signal
called "Le Mouv," with French rock for a younger audience. Radio
France International also operates an FM signal in Paris with its
French-language stream.

In addition, the dial is filled with a variety of national networks
(RTL, the outgrowth of the old Radio Luxembourg, operates two of them;
Radio Monte Carlo operates all-news RMC Info; Europe 1, Europe 2, NRJ,
RFM and Skyrock are among the other big ones) and a scattering of
local stations, including several aimed at specific ethnic
communities. (At 94.8 on the dial, we found a spot shared by several
stations aimed at the Jewish audience in Paris!) 

We didn't see much in the way of commercial studios, but we did head
over to the enormous Maison Radio France across the Seine from the
Eiffel Tower (just over the bridge from the Statue of Liberty replica
that sits in the middle of the Seine). It's reputed to have the
largest floor area of any office building in Paris - and we can
testify that it has one of the most impressive radio museums we've
ever seen.

The collection includes some rare French radios from the twenties and
thirties, along with a surprisingly extensive tribute to Edouard
Branly. Never heard of him? He invented the coherer, one of the many
pieces that contributed to reliable radio communications around the
turn of the 20th century - and because he was French, he's singled out
for special attention when they recount their radio history.

National pride aside, the hour-long museum visit (and that's the only
way to get inside, via a guided tour conducted in rapid-fire French)
was well worth it. It even included a brief tour of parts of the rest
of the facility, including the enormous concert hall where live
orchestra performances are broadcast (which inspired a bit of dialogue
with our tour guide about the huge differences between the big
European state broadcasters and our commercial broadcasting system.)

And, yes, there's that tower. What can we say about it that you don't
already know? Eiffel has been used as a radio facility for more than a
century; TV broadcasts began in 1935 and have continued almost
non-stop (except for the war years), and today the tower is home to
six TV signals and a whole slew of FM outlets, not to mention a forest
of microwave antennas. We spotted the transmitter building next to the
south pillar of the tower (it's mostly underground, but some power and
ventilation equipment sits above the facility), and tried to follow
the transmission lines up the tower.

Oh yeah - how many other TV towers have a shop halfway up that sells
little cast models of the stick? (Yes, there's one now residing in a
place of honor on one of the display shelves at NERW Central...)

Stay tuned; we'll honor the Eiffel Tower on Site of the Week later
this summer. 

*That's it for another week; we'll see you here again next Monday!
(And we're still looking for that March 4, 2002, Broadcasting and Cable
magazine; please drop us a line if you have a copy you're done with...)

-----------------------NorthEast Radio Watch------------------------
                       (c)2002 Scott Fybush

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