Across town in Waltham, Ralphie Marino is leaving WJMN (94.5 Boston), but this one's a voluntary departure, and for an awfully good reason: he's headed to mornings in market #1, at WKTU (103.5 Lake Success NY). No word yet on who'll take over afternoons at Jam'n.
Boston-based Marlin Broadcasting is selling its remaining stations to Cox for $125 million...but fans of the classical music on WBOQ (104.9 Gloucester) or the rock on Hartford's WCCC (106.9/1290) have nothing to fear. That's because Marlin owner Woody Tanger is buying those stations back from Cox for $25 million, leaving Cox with the one Marlin property it really covets: classical WTMI (93.1) down in Miami. Tanger has done buy-backs like this in the past: A few years ago, he sold WTMI, along with Detroit's WQRS and Philadelphia's WFLN, to American Radio Systems, then bought WTMI back. As for those classical music fans in Miami? Hard to imagine there won't be a format change down there sometime soon...especially with WTMI's program director staying with Tanger's beethoven.net Webcasting service.
Don't call it "GBX/44." Don't call it "GBH/44." Just call it "GBH Select." That's the new tag the folks on Western Ave. are applying to WGBH's second television service, still legally known as WGBX (Channel 44). NERW supposes that whatever they call it, we ought to be grateful that WGBH isn't trying to sell off its second channel, like some public broadcasters we can think of...
Why should NERW have all the fun? Now everyone can hear streaming audio of talker WMEX (1060 Natick) -- well, everyone who can use Windows Media Player, anyway. Find it at the otherwise-sketchy <http://www.wmex.com> Web site.
WORC-FM (98.9) is asking the FCC to change its city of license...again. You'll recall that the station was granted a change from its original hometown of Webster to Spencer, closer to Worcester. Now it seems WORC-FM couldn't find a transmitter site it could actually use for the new community of license, so they've asked to stick with Webster instead.
Schenectady's WGY (810) has dropped the syndicated Tom Leykis show. Former WABC host Lionel is now filling the evening hours on the 50kw powerhouse with his own syndicated offering.
The FCC has settled the dispute over the 107.1 allocation in the Catskills, ruling that the channel should go to the tiny town of Livingston Manor, which has no radio stations, instead of to Walton, which already has WDLA AM-FM. Livingston Manor is about 20 miles southeast of Walton, along Route 17 in the sparsely-populated hills outside Liberty -- an area that already has plenty of radio (well, for the population there, anyway). In fact, it finally has a format for a station that's been stunting for months. WDNB (102.1 Jeffersonville) is now going by "All News 102," relying heavily on the AP's all-news service.
Upstate, Syracuse's second TV station celebrates a big anniversary next week. WSTM (Channel 3, nee WSYR-TV) will broadcast an hour-long special Tuesday night (2/15) at 8; rest assured NERW will be watching!
Buffalo news veteran Ray Marks has landed on his feet after the shutdown of his old WGR (550) newsroom. Marks has been named news director at WJTN (1240) and WWSE (93.3) down in Jamestown, which is great news for listeners down that way. As for Entercom/Buffalo, we note that in addition to the simulcast of WKSE-FM, WWKB (1520) continues to run the "Road Gang" truckers' show overnight and a slate of leased-time talk on Saturday mornings.
Finally this week, we join much of the midwest in mourning the passing of Bob Collins, morning man at WGN (720) in Chicago. Collins' plane collided with another plane in the air over a hospital in Zion, Illinois this week, ending the life of "Uncle Bob" just short of his 58th birthday. WGN management has some awfully big shoes to fill now.
That's all for this week; back next Friday with more!