One of the most popular frequencies for would-be Nutmeg State LP'ers is 105.3, where applicants for Hartford alone include Radio Monte Sinai, Real Art Ways, Hartford Public Access Radio, and Total Health Broadcasters. In Windsor, Real Ministries applied for 105.3, as did Grace Baptist Church in Bristol, Hope Seventh Day Adventist Church and Good News Broadcasting in Bloomfield, and First Academy Inc. in "N/A" (which will probably be thrown out by the Commission just ahead of the several Minnesota apps that just listed street addresses for community of license!)
On 103.5, the applicants include: Cornerstone Church (Cheshire), Lakay Broadcasting Network (Hamden), Association Evangelista Radio Pader (Meriden), Superstar Radio (Wallingford), Radio Fe Christiana (Prospect), North Haven Community Television and Barabara A. Marcati (North Haven), Damascus Christian Pentecostal Church, New Haven Educational Radio Corp., and God's Corner Church (all in New Haven), Cheshire Fire Department Inc. (Cheshire), The Broadcasters Club (Farmington), Innercity Cultural Alliance Corp. (Bloomfield), Calvary Fellowship of Southbury), and Briarwood College (Southington).
The rest of the list: Connecticut Valley Church of Christ (98.5 Windsor), Torrington Christian Broadcasters (98.5 Torrington), Ashford Press and Cristo A Las Puertas (both 97.1 Willimantic), Calvary Baptist Church (98.7 Windsor Locks), Calvary Christian Fellowship (100.1 Ledyard), Town of Guilford (98.1 Guilford), Salvatore Debenedetto (103.7 Bridgeport), Friends of Church Radio (filing, against the rules, for two frequencies in Danbury: 88.5 and 97.1), Valley Community Baptist Church (107.5 Avon), Connecticut River Educational Radio (97.1 Higganum), Norwich Roman Catholic Diocesan Corp. (97.1 Uncasville), and Asnatuck Community College LPFM (107.7 Enfield).
The rest: Beth-El Bible Church (94.3 Surry), Jackson Ski Community Radio Association (97.3 Bartlett), Church of Perfect Life and Freedom (101.7 Candia), Franklin Pierce College (105.3 Rindge), Londonderry School District (105.1 Londonderry), Andreas M. Knaver (96.1 Portsmouth), Trinity Lutheran Church, Camp Holiday Association, and Keene Foursquare Church, dba Harvest Christian Fellowship (all three for 103.1 Keene), Dublin School (100.5 Dublin), Kingdom Christian Ministries (100.3 Dublin), Dover Community Radio Service (103.5 Dover), Seacoast Arts and Cultural Alliance (101.5 Portsmouth), Grace Childrens Home (98.7 Springfield), "Ndimension" (104.9 Etna), Christian Fellowship of New England (106.5 Center Conway), Lakes Region Conservation Trust (107.9 Meredith), and something called, so help us, "Gritty" (94.7 Dover).
There's not too much more to offer as comment beyond what we had to say after the first batch of applications, except to note that religious broadcasters account for at least 20 of the Connecticut applications and 11 of the New Hampshire ones, and that's just judging by the applicants' names. This is where the political strange brew that is LPFM could get even stranger: Will the GOP leadership in Congress, which has been resolutely anti-LPFM at the behest of its powerful NAB support base, be willing to offend the (largely evangelical Christian) religious voters whose churches have been in the forefront of all these applications? Will the strong support for LPFM at the highest (Democratic) levels of the FCC survive the realization that the service, if it ever comes to fruition, will sound more like the satellite-fed translator service than like the old class D 10-watt noncomms? Can the FCC, already so understaffed that it's been unable to update its public databases in eight months, find the budget to actually process all these applications? And will the next LPFM filing window, which is supposed to start in November, still happen if a Republican is elected to the White House, bringing Bill Kennard's term as chairman to a close? This should be interesting...
The younger Gambling had hosted the show solo for the last decade. He tells the New York papers that he could have stayed at WOR until the end of his contract in December, but chose to leave with a farewell show that aired last Monday (9/11) on short notice.
No replacement has been named yet, and WOR is showing the unusual grace of letting its listeners openly discuss the end of the Gambling dynasty on the air. Where next for John R.? The rumor mill is pointing towards WEVD (1050), as that station struggles for respect as a talk outlet.
Moving upstate, WOFX is the new set of calls for Troy's AM 980, the first call change there in the station's history. (The WTRY calls live on at 98.3 FM in Rotterdam, along with the oldies format that had been simulcast on both outlets for years). Now a sports outlet, WOFX will offer Imus, Jim Rome, and Fox Sports Radio to the Capital District.
Syracuse's big country station, WBBS (104.7 Fulton), can breathe easy -- it's not being challenged by Galaxy Broadcasting after all. The "Big Cow" stunt on WRDS (102.1 Phoenix) last weekend lasted just a day before the former urban station was relaunched (at 8 AM last Monday, 9/11) as "Sunny 102," variously described to NERW as an AC outlet and as a classic hits station. Whatever it's playing, the new Sunny has Bill Baker as morning man, returning home to Syracuse (where he was WSYR 570's morning host for years) from a stint down in Richmond.
Speaking of Galaxy and Syracuse, it sounds like the company is getting ready to launch another rimshot into the market. WTKV (105.5 Oswego) now simulcasts classic rocker WTKW (99.5 Bridgeport) to the northern part of the metro. But the company's applying to move the city of license from Oswego to Granby, about 10 miles closer in to Syracuse. No word on just where a new transmitter site might be...
NERW thinks the new Sunny will make for interesting listening around Geneva and Seneca Falls, where it's first-adjacent to Clear Channel's "Sunny 102" (WISY 102.3 Canandaigua), rimshotting the Rochester market. But then, listeners in that area might not notice -- they have a new format to check out on a four-way AM simulcast. The Radio Group has flipped standards WAUB (1590 Auburn)/WSFW (1110 Seneca Falls) and AC WCGR (1550 Canandaigua) to a simulcast of news-talk WGVA (1240 Geneva) under the "Finger Lakes News Network" name. ABC news and a lot of satellite programming was what we heard on all four frequencies this weekend...
Meantime in Rochester, we've been hearing a very history-minded ID on Entercom's oldies WBBF (98.9), in which the station proclaims itself "the first FM station in America." While we're thrilled to hear the station acknowledging a history that dates back to 1939 and W8XVB, the experimental FM counterpart to WHAM (then on 1150), our research over the years suggests that W8XVB was far from "the first" FM station, having been preceded by Edwin Armstrong's 1931 experiments from the Chrysler Building and his later W2XMN in Alpine, NJ. Oldest FM still operating? Closer, to be sure -- but we believe *that* honor goes to WHCN (105.9) in Hartford CT, descendant of Armstrong/Doolittle's experiments at WDRC earlier in 1939. New York's oldest? It's a close battle with what's now WRVE (99.5 Schenectady), descendant of WGY's FM experiments, also a 1939 veteran. Only FM in America still using the same frequency it was assigned in the big band shift of 1946-48? That we will easily believe...but it doesn't sound so appealing in a liner, does it?
Down in Binghamton, Jerry James and Dave Freeman aren't driving downtown to do their morning show at Citadel's WHWK (98.1) anymore; they've signed on across town at Clear Channel's country competitor, WBBI (107.5 Endwell).
Up north, Mike Roach checks in with a new Web site for WLOT-LP (Channel 66) in Watertown.
We hear WNSA will be the new calls on Wethersfield's 107.7 when the Buffalo-market station switches to sports October 3 from its present country format and WNUC calls. Down in Fredonia, the nice folks at Vox Allegany checked in to let us know the new slogan on what's now WBKX (96.5) is in fact "the Bull"...and that's no, uh, never mind.
We leave the Empire State this week with an obituary: Ralph Hubbell more or less created sports broadcasting in the Buffalo market, beginning way back in 1931 at what was then WEBR (1310), continuing with stints at WBNY, WGR/WKBW, WBEN and the brand-new WBEN-TV for two decades, WHLD, WECK, and local cable until just a few years ago. Hubbell died Thursday (9/14) at his home in Newfane, just shy of his 91st birthday. A memorial service will be held next Saturday (9/23) at Ascension Lutheran Church, 4640 Main St., Amherst.
Fairbanks (who was the last surviving grandson of Teddy Roosevelt's vice president, Charles W. Fairbanks) sold most of his properties in the last decade, leaving just WKOX in his portfolio at the end. He was 88 when he died August 11 at his home in Key Largo. Funeral services were held in Indianapolis August 13.
Another well-known Bay State broadcaster will be remembered on the air November 3, when Carl DeSuze's daughter, Samantha, joins Jordan Rich for two hours (midnight-2) on WBZ (1030). Samantha DeSuze has become a successful broadcaster in her own right, most recently at WBYY (98.7 Somersworth NH) up on the Seacoast.
Worcester's WICN (90.5) says it will have a new transmitter in place within the week, replacing the one that ceased functioning a few weeks ago. We hear transmitter problems have also been plaguing WNSH (1570 Beverly). (And while we're talking North Shore, we've been remiss in failing to mention the arrival of former WSBK-TV "Movie Loft" voice Dana Hersey as morning host at WBOQ 104.9 in Gloucester, where he's accompanied by former WESX news guy Kendall Buell.)
A couple of new Web sites: WCEA-LP in Boston (still on channel 19, or have they moved?) is at <http://www.cuencavision.com>, while the former MediaOne 3 community channel is now AT&T 3, and is carrying MSNBC's Olympics coverage for all the AT&T systems that still don't get MSNBC itself.
Out west, our listeners report Citadel has flipped WCAT-FM (99.9 Orange) to a format of upbeat 60s and 70s oldies, apparently locally automated. On the southern edge of Central Massachusetts, thank longtime friend-of-NERW Peter George for getting Dudley's WNRC (95.1) on the air 24/7, with automation helping out the airstaff of local volunteers and Nichols College students. (Hmm, where else have we seen those call letters of late?)
And we're told the Cumulus purchase of Mountain Wireless' WSKW (1160 Skowhegan), WHQO (107.9 Skowhegan), and WCTB (93.5 Fairfield) never happened -- which means the stations stay in an LMA for now, and that if Clear Channel wants them as part of its Maine Cumulus purchase, it'll have to strike a separate deal with Mountain. (It also puts Cumulus' donation of WHQO to Maine Public Radio off the table for now...)
Also up north, Sudbury's religious CJTK (95.5) gets a relay in North Bay, on 89.5 with 33 watts.
And in Lindsay, the CHUM Group has filed to buy CKLY (91.9), to add to its AM-FM combo (CKPT/CKQM) in nearby Peterborough.
That Ohio travelogue? It's coming...but first, NERW hits the road again. Next stop: San Francisco, as we spend the rest of the week at the NAB Radio Show. We'll try to file at least a brief NERW from out west at week's end, and something more early the week of Sept. 25 when we return. And if you're headed out there as well, do be sure to stop by and say hello! (You can leave messages for me in the IMAS newsroom, Room 276 of the Moscone Convention Center.)
See you in a few days...