WBTN (1370) came along with Vermont Public Radio's purchase of WBTN-FM (94.3) from Belva Keyworth last winter, and for the moment, VPR had been using the AM mostly to simulcast the FM, breaking away for a few minutes of local news, commentary, and death notices on weekday mornings.
VPR announced this week that it will sell 1370, and the new owner should be familiar to anyone who's ever put a piece of professional broadcasting gear in a carrying case. Those blue canvas camera covers and bags come from Porta-Brace of North Bennington -- whose owner, Robert Howe, will soon buy WBTN(AM) from VPR to continue operating it as a local voice for Bennington County.
"WBTN-AM is in good hands with Bob Howe and I'm sure he will be successful in operating this legacy station that the Bennington community supports so strongly," said VPR president Mark Vogelzang,
Rumors that the station's building on historic old Route 7 will soon be wrapped in a custom blue carrying case haven't been confirmed as of press time...
Down to the south in Concord, a new GM is in place at Vox's WKXL (1450/107.7) and WOTX (102.3). Jim Whedon, a Laconia native, comes over from a sales position at Vox sister stations WSSH/WZSH in the Brattleboro market to replace Paul Fuller, who departed in mid-July.
Up north, we hear WEGP (1390 Presque Isle) is already back on the air under new onwer McDonnel "Mac" Smith, broadcasting from an Internet cafe on Main Street. WEGP's lineup includes Doug Stephan, Dr. Joy Browne, Mike Gallagher, the Dolans, Howie Carr, and CBS news on the hour.
Down south, country WEBB (98.5 Waterville) and CHR WMME (92.3 Augusta) are looking for a new operations manager and PD; interested parties can get in touch with GM Al Perry to find out more.
It must be "end of an era" week, as over on the TV side, WCVB (Channel 5) announced its post-Chet'n'Nat lineups. Just as the last issue was going to press, GM Paul La Camera spake thusly: Natalie Jacobson will do the 5 and 6 PM shows, the former with Anthony Everett and the latter solo. In between, Everett and Heather Kahn continue on the 5:30, and both return at 11. What of Jacobson's former (on- and off-air) partner, Chet Curtis? He'll anchor Sunday nights with Pam Cross, as well as doing in-depth reports for channel 5 and its Web presence. Just to add to the fun, a new news director is also on the way to 5 TV Place: Coleen Marren comes to WCVB from Hearst-Argyle sister station WISN-TV (Channel 12) in Milwaukee. She starts August 22.
Meanwhile over at WBZ-TV (Channel 4), the new post-Liz Walker lineup shakes out like this: With Walker now doing the noon show and going home to her son, Joe Shortsleeve and Lisa Hughes take the 5 and 11, Ted Wayman and Sara Underwood handle the 5:30, and Hughes does the 6 with Jack Williams. Virginia Cha has also departed WBZ-TV to head for New York City and her fiancee...best of luck to her! (Full disclosure: back when your editor worked at WBZ radio, Virginia's desk was just a few rows back from mine -- the closest, if memory serves, to the "radio zone" of the joint newsroom.)
Was that Tom Leykis, ex-WRKO, back in the Hub this week? Indeed it was, we're told; he was broadcasting from the Samuel Adams Brewhouse as part of a promotion sponsored by his Los Angeles flagship, KLSX (97.1).
Will USA Broadcasting's WHUB-TV (Channel 66 Marlborough) in fact make its debut July 31? We're hoping some of you in signal range of what's now WHSH will have VCRs rolling just in case...
Over in the Finger Lakes, there's a change of ownership and management at the Radio Group. Bob Martin leaves the company, which owns four AMs (WCGR Canandaigua, WGVA Geneva, WSFW Seneca Falls, WAUB Auburn) and two FMs (WNYR Waterloo and WLLW Seneca Falls), with his portion of the group's ownership going to Alan Bishop. Bishop, the former general manager of Clear Channel's WNVE (95.1 Honeoye Falls) in Rochester, will serve as VP/GM of the group while co-owner George Kimble heads to Tucson to soak up the sun in the winter months.
Up north, Joe Ikoff is the new morning guy (though we're not sure of the spelling) at WPAC (92.7 Ogdensburg), replacing Rick DeFranco and relieving afternoon guy Nate Townsend of sister station WGIX (95.3 Gouverneur) of a very long double shift. Just down the road in Morristown, St. Lawrence University has been granted W212BQ as the new call for its 90.3 translator of WSLU (89.5 Canton). And over in Plattsburgh, word on the Web (well, on a radio DXers mailing list, anyway) is that AM 1070 is now WLFE(AM) relaying the country sounds of WLFE-FM (102.3 St. Albans) across the lake. That's yet to show in the FCC database...can anyone up that way (like, for instance, the nice folks at WLFE-FM who read NERW) set us straight?
Up in little Campbellford (north and east of Peterborough), CKOL (93.5) has applied to boost power from 50 watts to 1038 watts, meaning we might actually be able to hear it when next we're up that way.
Finally this week, in a matter partly related to the summer traveling, we're pleased to announce a few changes in the NERW schedule and content.
Beginning with this issue, NERW will move to weekend distribution, sometimes as early as Friday or Saturday, sometimes as late as Sunday night, but with a consistent date of the following Monday. The August 6 NERW will be a very early issue sometime Wednesday night or Thursday, as we prepare to head out on the road. There will be no, repeat no, August 13 NERW. Publication will resume in earnest with the August 20 issue. (Why the new schedule? Blame Mrs. NERW's new schedule at work...)
Also beginning with this issue, we're pleased to offer a new feature to close out each week's edition: The Boston Radio Archives/NERW Northeast TV Stock Index. NERW research director Garrett Wollman has been working hard on this feature, in which he'll index the stocks of the publicly-traded companies that own TV stations in our coverage area. A radio index could follow if there's interest, and if we can find a way to weight the index appropriately. Ideas will be welcomed by Garrett at <email@example.com>; direct comments on the TV index to him there as well.
So with that in mind, we leave you for now with this week's TV index. (Think of it as our version of the closing theme ramping up as the host says goodbye for now, if it helps!) We'll see you (briefly) later this week...
|NERW's Northeast Television Index||104.52|