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NERW 12/3 - Bob Steele Dies at 91

------------------------------E-MAIL EDITION-----------------------------
--------------------------NorthEast Radio Watch--------------------------
                            December 3, 2002


*CONNECTICUT: Bob Steele Dies at 91
*CANADA: 28 Apply For New Quebec Stations
*RHODE ISLAND: Charles River Buys WJJF

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

*LATE UPDATE: We've just received word from CONNECTICUT that Bob
Steele has died at the age of 91. Steele was an institution at WTIC
(1080 Hartford), the station's longtime morning man and still active
with a monthly Saturday broadcast, more than sixty years after
beginning his career at the station. Much more on the life of Bob
Steele in next Monday's NERW...

*The CRTC's call for new radio applications in four Quebec cities has
produced a flood of applications that will keep CANADA's regulators
busy for months to come. At a hearing to be held in Montreal next
February 3, the CRTC will consider more than two dozen applications
for stations in Montreal, Trois-Rivieres, Sherbrooke and Saguenay (the
new municipality that encompasses the former Chicoutimi and Jonquiere,
way up north), including proposals from the TVA network to create a
new chain of stations playing pop hits from the 60s to the 90s, from
Genex for a network of alternative rock stations and from Cogeco to
expand the "Rhythm FM" service from CFGL (105.7 Laval-Montreal) to the
rest of the province. Here's how it looks:

MONTREAL: Radio Nord and Metromedia both want 91.9, the former with
900 watts for a jazz/blues service, the latter with 602 watts for an
English urban/dance station. TVA wants 4500 watts on 100.1 for its
proposed 60s-90s hits station, while Aboriginal Voices Radio wants
1000 watts on the same frequency for its growing network (more on that
in a bit), while Azzahra International Foundation wants 100.1 with 468
watts for a new ethnic station. Canadian Hellenic Cable Radio, which
has long operated cable radio "CHCR" with ethnic programming, wants to
move to FM with 141 watts on 105.1. At 106.3, Genex wants 275 watts
for alternative rock, while Global wants 550 watts for a jazz
format. The CBC wants to put a 98 watt transmitter on 104.7 at
Sherbrooke Street West and Cavendish Street to relay CBME (88.5)'s CBC
Radio One programming to the Anglophone West Island communities, a
further admittance that the move from 940 AM cost the CBC dearly in
signal reach. Speaking of AM, Radio Chalom wants 1000 watts on 1650
for ethnic programming, while Gilles Lajoie and Colette Chabot want to
return 1570 (former home of CKLM Laval) to the airwaves with 10
kilowatts day and night, programming French-language oldies. And over
in Ste.-Hyacinthe, CFEI (106.5) wants to boost power from 3000 watts
to 33.2 kW. 

SAGUENAY: Two groups want 104.1, with TVA asking for 49 kW for its
60s-90s hits format, while Cogeco seeks 23.72 kW for "Rhythm FM." On
98.5, "Groupe Radio Antenne 6" wants 23,811 watts for a French
nostalgia format. 

SHERBROOKE: Cogeco wants two transmitters for "Rhythm" here, 1650
watts on 93.7 in Sherbrooke and 360 watts on 98.1 in nearby Magog,
which competes with an application from Radio Communautaire Missisquoi
for 800 watts on 98.1 in Lac-Brome. TVA wants 1600 wants on 96.5 for
the 60s-90s hits format, while Genex wants 1580 watts on 103.5 for
alternative rock. Also applying for 103.5 here is Radio Nord, which
wants 3800 watts for a hits and classic rock station. Andre Gagne
wants 1300 watts on 104.5 for a rock format, and the CBC wants to put
a new Radio-Canada premiere chaine transmitter on 106.9 in Magog with
1010 watts, acknowledging that the network's signal there has been
weak since CBF Montreal moved from 690 to 95.1 FM a few years
back. (This application is tied in with some proposed changes in
Trois-Rivieres, below...) 

TROIS-RIVIERES: Cogeco seeks 43.05 kW on 100.1 here for "Rhythm,"
while TVA wants 24 kW on 93.9 for the 60s-90s hits. That application
conflicts with a CBC plan to change frequencies on two of its
transmitters here, with CBMZ (CBC Radio One) moving from 106.9 to 93.9
and doubling power to 9.3 kW and CBF-FM-8 (SRC premiere chaine) moving
from 88.1 to 96.5 and going way up to 66.7 kW. The CBC transmitters
have been running at low power from temporary sites since their tower
was hit by a small plane a couple of years ago; these applications
would restore full service from a new site 1.9 km away from the old
"Westower." (You can read more about that tower and its demolition at
www.implosionworld.com/cbc1.htm, by the way). The 96.5 application
conflicts with Radio Nord's plans here, which call for 67 kW of hits
and classic rock. And Montreal's religious "Radio Ville-Marie" (CIRA
91.3) wants a relay here on 89.9, with 6 kW. 
It will be a while, of course, before we know the fate of most of
these applications, but we have one note in the meantime: it's
interesting that nobody seems to want to try applying for some of the
vacated AM signals in these communities, such as 600, 850, 1410 or
1470 in Montreal, 1140 in Trois-Rivieres, 1510 in Sherbrooke or the
big 1580 signal in Saguenay that used to be CBJ.

One more Quebec application of note: CKVM (710 Ville-Marie) wants to
make the move to FM, on 93.1 with 26 kW (and a relay in Temiscaming on
92.1 with 10 watts). CKVM has been on 710 for more than 50 years, and
this move will eliminate a big source of interference to 710 signals
in the eastern U.S., most notably WOR in New York.

Heading over to Ontario, Gary Farmer's Aboriginal Voices Radio finally
took to the air in Toronto on Monday (Dec. 2), with just a few hundred
watts on 106.5. No calls yet for "Jump FM," and there are already
reports that the signal suffers tremendously from co-channel WYRK just
across the lake in Buffalo. (AVR has an application in to move the
station one channel over to eliminate the interference.)

It's the end of an era at CHUM Limited, as founder Allan Waters steps
down as chairman and president. Replacing Waters in the chairman's
seat is his son Jim, who's been executive vice president of CHUM
Limited and president of CHUM Radio. Jay Switzer, who's been president
of CHUM Television, will be the new president and CEO of CHUM
Limited. And Ron Waters will replace another CHUM veteran, Fred
Sherratt, as vice chairman; Sherratt will remain on the board of

Over at Standard Broadcasting, Bob Harris is inbound from CJAY in
Calgary to serve as OM/PD of CKFM (Mix 99.9) in Toronto and VP of
Standard's rock-formatted stations; Brian Depoe adds similar duties
for Standard's AC stations to his duties as PD of CJEZ (EZ Rock
97.3). CJEZ went all-Christmas music last week, by the way, becoming
the first station in Canada to make that flip for the holiday season.

Down in the Niagara Region, CHTZ (97.7 St. Catharines) morning show
co-host Ben McVie tried and failed to break the record for "longest
airshift" set not that long ago by Glen Jones at New Jersey's
WFMU. McVie passed out last Wednesday (Nov. 27) after 58 hours on the
air, far short of Jones' 100-plus hours; after getting some rest and
fluids, he was back on the air Friday. (Meanwhile, CHTZ/CHRE/CKTB
general manager Clyde Ross has left the building to "pursue other

*Across the border to NEW YORK we go, to a newly expanded cluster just
across the river from eastern Ontario.

Classic rock WPAC (92.7 Ogdensburg), talk WSLB (1400 Ogdensburg) and
oldies WGIX (95.3 Gouverneur) are the latest additions to the
Clancy-Mance group out of Watertown, which includes talk WATN (1240),
rock WOTT (100.7 Henderson), CHR WBDR (102.7 Cape Vincent)/WBDI (106.7
Copenhagen) and AC WTOJ (103.1 Carthage). Clancy-Mance is paying $1.45
million to acquire the three Ogdensburg-based stations from Chris
Coffin and Patricia Tocatlian's Wireless Works, which has owned
WSLB/WPAC since 1972 and WGIX since the mid-nineties.

(It was an interesting night last week for WATN, by the way, as it
carried the state championship women's soccer game that featured
Watertown's Immaculate Heart Central High School. The game ran into
four overtimes before ending in a 0-0 tie with Allegany-Limestone;
both teams were declared co-champions, and we bet announcer Wayne
Fuller was pretty tired!)

And as long as we're up that way, WTOJ is one of many Empire State
stations doing the all-Christmas thing for the next month. So are WYYY
(94.5) in Syracuse, WISY (102.3 Canandaigua) in Rochester, WJYE (96.1)
and WTSS (102.5) in Buffalo, WRNQ (92.1) in Poughkeepsie, WMXW (103.3
Vestal) in Binghamton and WALK-FM (97.5 Patchogue) out on Long Island;
New York's WLTW (106.7) is now polling listeners on when they'd like
to hear the holiday tunes start running. A late addition to the list:
just tonight, we noticed Clear Channel's WLCL (107.3 South Bristol), a
sister station to WISY, has ditched its "Cool 107" rhythmic oldies
format to become "Rudolph Radio" with all holiday tunes. Will "Cool"
be back on December 26? We wouldn't bet very much on it...

New Schenectady talker WVKZ (1240) has its first local host, and it's
a well-known name: Bob Cudmore, a veteran of WGY (810), began doing
the 7-9 AM shift there this week. Meanwhile, WGY has named Scott Allen
Miller, formerly of KCMO Kansas City and KFAQ Tulsa, to be its
permanent afternoon host. Temporary host Ed Martin returns to weekend
duties (and his full-time job running the state racing and wagering
board), and J.R. Gach finds out any day now whether he's still
employed at WGY..stay tuned.

Down in New York City, Don Rojas is the new general manager at WBAI
(99.5); meanwhile in Brooklyn, the Rev. Dr. Philius Nicolas has
persuaded the FCC to reduce his fine for running a pirate FM station
from $10,000 to $1,000.

And we're sorry to report the death on November 30 of longtime WMCA
(570) afternoon talk host Andy Andersen. He had been WMCA's 2-4 PM
host since Salem bought the station in 1990; we remember him, though,
from his 1971-1986 stint as a TV anchor up here in Rochester, where we
watched him on WOKR (Channel 13) and WROC-TV (Channel 8). Andersen was

On the DTV front, WSTM-DT (Channel 54) in Syracuse made it to the
Central New York airwaves last week, reportedly with just 2 kW of
power from its new tower on Sentinel Heights (though it's being seen
with full HDTV here in Rochester); we expect WCNY-DT (Channel 25) to
join it any day now up there.

In Binghamton, WBNG-DT (Channel 7) is also on the air, we're told;
don't hold your breath looking for Fox affiliate WICZ-DT (Channel 8)
to join it. WICZ filed for another extension of time to build its DTV
facility, but we can't tell you exactly why; owner Stainless
Broadcasting asked the FCC to seal its application, saying "this
private commercial and financial information is proprietary and highly
sensitive. Its public release would be harmful to the competitive
position of Stainless in all the markets in which it and its
affiliates operate." Sheesh...

Here in Rochester, the top end of the AM dial is lighting up with new
TISes. Philip Dampier, who keeps track of such things, checked in to
tell us the calls on the new 1610 outlets are "WPWC517," and the two
transmitters already on the air are at the 590/104 interchange east of
Rochester and the 104/Salt Road interchange in Webster. Monroe County
is apparently planning seven of these transmitters to carry travel
information; we could have used more of those as we slogged back in
the snow Sunday night from the midwest, when neither WHAM (1180) nor
Buffalo's WBEN (930) had any local news or traffic information to help
us navigate through the jammed roads south of Buffalo.

And speaking of Buffalo, we saw the new master control for WIVB-TV/DT
(4/39) and WNLO (Channel 23) last week - in Indianapolis! LIN's move
towards "centralcasting" (yes, we know that's somebody else's
trademark...) has the Buffalo stations moving much of their operation
to sister station WISH-TV/DT (8/9) in Indy, where they'll be run right
alongside stations in Dayton, Fort Wayne and Lafayette,
Indiana. WIVB's news and sales operations remain right where they've
always been in North Buffalo; it's just traffic and master control
making the move west. (A similar facility at WWLP in Springfield,
Mass. serves New Haven's WTNH/WCTX and Providence's WPRI/WNAC-TV.)

Still speaking of Buffalo, congratulations to Steve Cichon, who moves
up from the producer ranks at sports WNSA (107.7) to become PD!

*The big story out of PENNSYLVANIA this week concerns Saul
Frischling's WLTJ (92.9 Pittsburgh) and WRRK (96.9 Braddock) and the
music licensing company known as "SESAC," the RC Cola to ASCAP and
BMI's Coke and Pepsi. SESAC may not seem very important, but if you're
playing "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" or anything by Bob Dylan,
just to name two disparate examples (and, come to think of it, that's
a cover I'd pay good money not to hear), you need to pay SESAC for the
privilege. WLTJ and WRRK let their SESAC license lapse, and the
company took the stations to court - where a jury ruled that they had
infringed on 31 SESAC copyrights, awarding the company $1.263
million. Is an appeal likely? Probably just as soon as you hear
"Grandma" on the radio...

That little stick on the left is WURP (1550 Braddock), and it's coming
back on the air after being silent for nearly a year. The little
daytimer is apparently being leased out to Radiowerks, which operates
talker WBZV (1400 Loretto) up near Altoona and Johnstown; we hear Don
& Mike's syndicated afternoon show will be among the talk offerings on
the revived WURP (and would it be too much to hope for new calls while
they're at it?)

Mike McGann is coming back to Pittsburgh, where he's still remembered
from his stint at 96.1 in its WXKX days, not to mention later
Pennsylvania gigs in management at stations like WRKZ Hershey,
WLEV/WEST Easton, WISR Butler and WPRR Altoona. Most recently regional
manager of Tele-Media's stations in Vermont and New Hampshire, McGann
is heading to Renda Broadcasting to serve as operations manager of
WJAS (1320) and WPTT (1360 McKeesport). He'll also take an airshift,
following "Chilly Billy" Cardille in afternoons on WJAS.

Don't go looking for WSAJ (1340) in Grove City for the next few
months; we hear the automatic timer that put the little relic of an AM
station on and off the air for a few hours each week has failed, and
that repairs aren't at the top of the agenda (the station only
simulcast WSAJ-FM 91.1, after all). But we're assured that WSAJ(AM)
will get back on the air sooner or later; we'll keep you posted.

Another Christmas station to report in central Pennsylvania: Clear
Channel flipped "Bill Country" (WBYL 95.5 Salladasburg and WBLJ 95.3
Shamokin) last week; they'll go back to country after the holidays.

Larry Kane will retire from Philadelphia's KYW-TV (Channel 3) on
December 23, ending 33 years as an 11 PM news anchor in the City of
Brotherly Love. Kane started on the old WFIL-TV (Channel 6, later
WPVI) in 1966, where he was the mainstay of "Action News" before
moving to New York and WABC-TV for a year in 1977. Kane returned to
Philadelphia at WCAU-TV (Channel 10). He's been at KYW since 1995;
he'll continue to contribute pieces to KYW (1060) in his retirement.

Congratulations to WXPN (88.5 Philadelphia) general manager Vinnie
Curren, who's been named senior vice president of radio for the
Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He'll start his new gig with CPB
early in 2003.

And we're sorry to report the passing of John Lawrence, who was
station manager at WYCR (98.5 Hanover) in the seventies, as well as
serving as YCR's morning host. Lawrence later did sales at WSBA/WARM
in York. He was 52.

*We don't know just why Charles River Broadcasting, owner of WCRB
(102.5 Waltham) in Boston, wants a daytime-only AM station in southern
RHODE ISLAND, but the company is buying WJJF (1180 Hope Valley) from
John J. Fuller for a reported $585,000.

Fuller put WJJF on the air in the late eighties, one of the last
daytimers to sign on in the northeast; it's been running a nifty
classic country format for quite a few years now. Charles River does
own classical WCRI (95.9 Block Island) nearby, so perhaps 1180 will
end up relaying that signal. We'll keep you posted...

Former Providence mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci signed off his latest
stint as a WPRO (630) talk host last week, taking farewell calls from
listeners on Friday before heading south to begin serving what's
expected to be about a five year federal prison sentence for
corruption charges. NERW fully expects to hear Cianci back on the air
in the Ocean State just as soon as he's a free man again...

And we note the death on Nov. 29 of Jeff Lalumiere, former director of
engineering for the Tele-Media group in Providence. He had been
battling cancer for some time, we're told.

*More small station sales in MASSACHUSETTS: WGFP (940 Webster) changes
hands from the Chowder Radio Group to Barry Sims' "Just Because, Inc."
WGFP will continue in a joint sales agreement with Chowder's WORC
(1310 Worcester); while several trades have reported that WGFP will
keep simulcasting WORC, we know better; WGFP broke out of that
simulcast a year or so ago to go country as "Cool Country 940."

WGFP's old sister station, WORC-FM (98.9 Webster), flipped to
all-Christmas last week; it'll go back to oldies on December 26, says
owner Citadel.

Jerry Williams is back on the air in Boston; the veteran of WBZ, WMEX
and WRKO is now doing 2-3 PM weekdays on WROL (950).

Clear Channel was granted its move of WKOX (1200 Framingham) last
week; the hard work is yet to come, though, as the company seeks
permission from neighbors on the Newton-West Roxbury line to replace
the current two towers of WUNR (1600 Brookline) with a new array for
WKOX, WUNR and WRCA (1330 Waltham).

WGBH (89.7) is trying again to get FCC permission to move from its
namesake Great Blue Hill in Milton to the WBZ-TV (Channel 4) tower in
Needham; the station refiled its application for the move last week,
saying the recent grant to WBUR (90.9) to go non-directional
eliminates some interference concerns between WGBH's proposal and
Boston College's WZBC (90.3 Newton).

Kenny O'Keefe has a big promotion within Infinity's radio group; the
company dismissed three veteran national managers (Bill Figenshu,
David Pearlman and Don Bouloukos) on Tuesday, putting O'Keefe in
charge of Infinity's East Coast radio operations from a base in

And we've just gotten word of the November 26 death of Jeff
Scheidecker, former operations manager at Springfield's WGGB (Channel
40). Schedecker, who'd most recently been working as executive
director of the Springfield Area Council for Excellence, had also
worked in upstate New York at WTKO (1470 Ithaca) and WTVH and WIXT in
Syracuse. Scheidecker was just 46; he had been battling lymphatic

*In VERMONT, WEZF (92.9 Burlington) is on the Christmas music
bandwagon, we're told; ditto for oldies WQSO (96.7) in Rochester, NEW
HAMPSHIRE. Just down the road, Brandon Terry arrives as the new
afternoon drive jock at WHEB (100.3 Portsmouth); he comes from Clear
Channel sister station WRXL (102.1 Richmond VA).

*And MAINE is getting a broadcast Fox affiliate again; once WMPX
(Channel 23) in Waterville changes hands from Pax to Corporate Media
Consultants next spring, it will pick up the Fox affiliation that WPXT
(Channel 51) in Portland dropped a while back.

*That's it for another week - except to let you know that the 2003
Tower Site Calendars go out in next week's mail...but only if you've
ordered one! It's still not to late to get yours in time for
Christmas; visit www.fybush.com for all the details.

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

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