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NERW 1/20: WWKB To Change Format

------------------------------E-MAIL EDITION-----------------------------
--------------------------NorthEast Radio Watch--------------------------
                            January 20, 2003


*NEW YORK: WWKB to Drop Business Talk
*NEW JERSEY: WKMB Goes Black Gospel

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

*FLASH! Just in to NERW is word that the rumors are true - Buffalo's
WWKB (1520) will ditch its business talk format next Monday morning
(Jan. 27) to become "a thing of the past," with legendary 'KB morning
man Danny Neaverth at the helm. Stay tuned for much more in next
week's issue...

*Alex Langer is selling his original MASSACHUSETTS radio station, but
it won't lead to much change for listeners. WBIX (1060 Natick) is
being transferred to Perspectives Broadcasting, controlled by Brad and
Bonnie Bleidt, the same folks who have been programming a
business-news format on the station under an LMA with Langer.

The deal values the station at $10 million; it's a nice payoff for
Langer, who bought then-silent WBIV for just $50,000 back in 1995 and
put it back on the air from the WKOX (1200) site in Framingham. Today,
WBIX runs 40 kilowatts by day and 22 kilowatts during critical hours
with a format that includes news updates from the Boston Business

Langer, who also recently sold his 1470 signal in Marlborough
(ex-WSRO, now WAZN), keeps WSRO (650 Ashland); he'll also take a seat
on the board of Perspectives.

Meanwhile out in Winchendon, WINQ (97.7) is getting a new owner as
well, as Saga makes the station its latest acquisition in a region
that stretches from Springfield north through the Pioneer Valley and
into southern Vermont and New Hampshire.

Saga pays Joseph Gallagher's Aritaur group $400,000 for the station,
which programs hot AC for the area west of Fitchburg; we expect it
will end up combined somehow with Saga's Keene operations (WKBK, WZBK,

And while CNet Radio is already a distant memory at WBPS (890 Dedham),
it's worth noting that the 24-hour tech format is signing off for good
at the end of the month on the Web and its last remaining over-the-air
outlet, KNEW (910 Oakland CA). No word on what will replace CNet in
San Francisco...

*You know Clark Smidt from the old WBZ-FM, WEEI-FM's "Soft Rock" and
more recently NEW HAMPSHIRE's WNNH (99.1 Henniker) - now he's on the
Web with a new consulting site at www.broadcastideas.com. Check it

*The rumors are flying hot and heavy in VERMONT about a format flip at
WCVR (102.1 Randolph), and we hear they're true: the station will soon
drop its country format for a simulcast of the classic rock on "Champ"
WCPV (101.3 Essex) from the Burlington market.

Meanwhile, over in the Upper Valley, Burlington's WCAX (Channel 3) is
moving in on the turf long occupied by WNNE (Channel 31). Last year,
WNNE replaced its local newscasts from White River Junction with brief
inserts during newscasts from sister station WPTZ (Channel 5) from
Plattsburgh, N.Y. But with WCAX having expanded its reach in the area
by winning local-into-local satellite carriage on Dish Network, the
CBS affiliate has opened a news bureau and satellite uplink at the
Glen Road Plaza in West Lebanon, N.H., hiring former WNNE reporter
Katy Duffy to cover the Upper Valley area.

*CONNECTICUT's WTMI (1290 West Hartford) is getting night power, but
good luck hearing it: the classical station will drop down from 490
watts by day to just 11 watts at night from its Avon transmitter site!

Congratulations to Rick Buckley of Buckley Broadcasting; he'll be
honored with a Broadcast Pioneers Award from the Broadcasters
Foundation at the NAB convention in Las Vegas this April.

*While the rumors keep swirling around NEW YORK's WNEW (102.7), with
the tabloids picking up on message-board chatter about a flip to AAA
that didn't happen last week, there is one bit of actual news from the
Empire State this week: Binghamton public broadcaster WSKG was granted
a construction permit to move off the Ingraham Hill tower it's long
shared with WICZ (Channel 40). WSKG-FM (89.3), WSKG-TV (Channel 46)
and WSKG-DT (Channel 42) will be the tenants on a new 288-meter tower
being built nearby. (WSKG-FM is operating under an STA at a temporary
site for the moment, having been kicked off the WICZ tower last

And we have to offer big kudos to New York's WBAI (99.5), which
provided a true public service last Thursday when it carried nonstop
coverage of the Columbia University Law School's forum on ownership
consolidation. The panels themselves were fascinating, but so was the
Pacifica network coverage of the issue - especially the midday
interview with former FCC commissioner Nicholas Johnson. It's nice to
see this very important issue receiving at least a modicum of media
attention; would that the bigger media outlets spend some time on this

*It was delayed more than two weeks, but the format change at WKMB
(1070) in Stirling, NEW JERSEY finally took place over the
weekend. Country came to an end on WKMB with sign-off on Saturday
(Jan. 18); black gospel, as "Harvest Radio," took over Sunday morning,
with the same WKMB airstaff, at least for now.

Sorry to report that Dick Taylor is out as GM of South Jersey Radio's
WOND (1400), WUSS (1490), WGYM (1580) and WTKU (98.3) in the Atlantic
City market after a long run at the group. What's he up to next? Reach
out to him at (609) 965-8135 or DTaylorGM@aol.com...

*Some big changes in the lineup at Citadel's cluster in Harrisburg,
PENNSYLVANIA: Bobby Quinn and Earl David Read are out of mornings at
WCAT-FM (106.7 Hershey) in a cost-cutting measure. Replacing them are
"Michelle and Mitchell," Dennis Mitchell, who had been doing
afternoons at WCAT, and Michelle Cruz, who had been in middays across
the hall at modern rock WQXA-FM (105.7 York).

*CANADA could have several new native stations; the CRTC last week
received applications from the Wahta Mohawks for 1060 watts on 98.3 at
a site "near Bala, Ontario," while the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony
Point Nation want 420 watts on 107.7 at Kettle Point, Ontario. And the
Mennonites of Aylmer, Ontario have been granted 50 watts on 107.7 to
broadcast in German from 7-8 AM and 5-8 PM daily.

A new religious broadcaster was also granted last week: Sound of Faith
Broadcasting gets 50 watts on 94.3 in Woodstock, Ontario.

It's not doing regular programming yet, but Newcap's new 89.9 in
Ottawa has call letters: mark down "CIHT" for the station that will
soon be doing dance as "the Planet."

In Montreal, Milkman Unlimited reports some shifts at CHOM (97.7),
with middayer Sarah Field out, evening guy Scott Tucker taking over
the midday shift and fill-in Sharon Hyland taking over evenings.

And out in Kentville, N.S., Maritime Broadcasting flipped calls and
formats when it signed off CKEN (1490) and signed on its new FM
transmitter on 94.9 this month. The "AVR" (Annapolis Valley Radio)
country format and CKEN calls that were expected to move to 94.9
instead wound up on 97.7, the former home of "Magic" AC CKWM - and
it's that format and call that is now being heard on 94.9.

-----------------------NorthEast Radio Watch------------------------
                       (c)2003 Scott Fybush

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