After a career in Boston that spanned three decades, Andy Moes died of heart failure at his Milton home last Thursday night (Jan. 25). For a little over a year, Moes had been co-host of the "Blute and Moes Show" on WRKO (680), but his history in Boston radio began in the late seventies, when he began filling in on WROR (98.5, now WBMX). By 1979, Moes was co-hosting WROR's morning show with Joe Martelle, a gig that lasted more than a decade.
In 1991, Moes moved to WEEI (590) as the first signature personality of that station's new sports format. That lasted two years, until WEEI replaced Moes with Don Imus in morning drive. For the next few years, Moes was heard in a variety of weekend and night slots on WRKO before landing the morning job (with former Massport director Peter Blute) in October 1999.
Off the air, Moes made headlines with his friendship with "Frasier" star Kelsey Grammer, which extended to a consulting deal for Moes in which he advised the show on how to design the studio of its fictional "KACL Radio."
On air, WRKO filled Friday morning with Moes tributes, to be followed by a retrospective show Monday, after which Blute will be solo for now.
Moes had been married for just six months at the time of his death. He was 51 years old.
Out in Worcester County, WGFP (940 Webster) is splitting from its talk simulcast with WORC (1310 Worcester), changing over to country as "Cool Country 940." The simulcast will remain for the morning show, we're told, but it's all music for the rest of the day on 940.
Springfield's WMAS-FM (94.7) has a new morning co-host, as Angelina Diana takes over from Shelley Stevens, who leaves to spend more time working on her Web business.
And we're told $2.2 million is the price tag on Saga's purchase of Greenfield's WHAI (1240/98.3).
Who'll be next to try to acquire the stations, which dominate the small Ithaca market?
Just a few dozen miles north of Ithaca sits the tiny town of Truxton, and that's where the NERW-mobile headed Friday in an attempt to figure out whether Syracuse Community Radio has really built its newest station. The answer, judging by the photo you'll see at <http://www.fybush.com/nerw.html>, is "sort of."
We didn't hear WXXC (88.7) on the air, but then SCR has a tendency not to sign on until the evening hours (earlier in the afternoon we drove by SCR's original station, WXXE 90.5 Fenner, and it was not on the air either.)
You'll recall from last week's NERW that the construction permit for WXXC expired January 12, and that there was some speculation that SCR might not have told the truth when it filed an application for a license to cover that construction permit January 16. And indeed, we're told by a reader who visited the site earlier last week that the antenna shown here was not yet up during that earlier visit. What's more, the application for WXXC's license to cover states that the station was built according to the construction permit -- but that CP specifies a 12 meter structure, while this pole appeared to us to be considerably shorter.
(NERW wonders why SCR is even bothering with a second station right now, instead of spending the money on something like a Comrex Hotline to provide listenable audio on the phone line that links the WXXE transmitter to the studio. We'd be surprised to find anyone who can listen to the phone-line audio on 90.5 for any length of time...)
In any case, expect the FCC to be hearing from several petitioners about this one.
Here in Rochester, AllAccess reports Rick Mackenzie has left the PD chair at Infinity modern AC WZNE (94.1 Brighton). No word yet on a replacement for Mackenzie, whose career at Infinity Rochester also included some time at sister station WCMF (96.5). Holding down the fort at the Zone for now is Mike Danger, PD at sister station WPXY (97.9). (NERW wonders whether Mackenzie's departure was related to the Zone's anemic ratings in the just-released Winter book, which also showed a very weak start for Entercom's new 80s station, WBZA "the Buzz" 98.9, and a drop of a little more than a point as WBBF moved from the strong 98.9 signal to the 93.3 Avon rimshotter and back to its old home at 950 AM.)
Buffalo is where the NERW-mobile was parked Monday night, as we tuned into the debut of WNLO (Channel 23) and its WIVB-produced 10 PM newscast. We tried to watch WNLO's predecessor, public TV WNEQ, as we drove through on Saturday, but WNEQ was keeping its usual evenings-only schedule and had yet to sign on for the afternoon.
Across town, WGRZ (Channel 2) is shuffling its anchor roster now that it's launched its 10 PM entry on Pax's WPXJ (Channel 51). Victoria Hong is now anchoring only the WPXJ show, with Maryalice Demler taking her spots at 6 and 11 on WGRZ.
Down in Alfred, SUNY station WETD has dropped its application to move from 90.9 to 90.7, while in Fredonia, John Bulmer's WBKX (96.5) has applied to boost power from 660 watts to 1400 watts, remaining at the same transmitter site.
The FCC has finally made it official: as we reported two weeks ago, the new calls on 1410 in Watertown are WNER, replacing WUZZ. The station was still doing its satellite urban-oldies thing when we heard it on Friday, and we don't believe it ever used the WGME calls for which it applied earlier in the month. Also in Watertown, W25AB changes calls to WNYF-LP in anticipation of its launch as a Fox affiliate soon.
Over in Glens Falls, Vox has changed the calls on two of its stations: WHTR (107.1 Hudson Falls) becomes WFFG-FM, while the WHTR calls move to the former WZZM-FM (93.5 Corinth). WHTR has been doing oldies as "Wheels," while WZZM-FM has been country for years and years. Do the WFFG-FM calls portend the arrival of "Froggy Country" on 107.1, to match Vox's new Froggy outlet across the state line in Vermont (WWFY 100.9 Berlin)? We shall see...
Last week, we told you the 96.1 CP in South Waverly PA was being sold to "Fitzgerald and Hawras." This week, we can tell you that the new owners are the same folks who own WPHD (94.7 Tioga PA) in nearby Elmira and WCDW (100.5 Conklin NY) over in Binghamton -- and that 96.1, WMTG, will likely simulcast WPHD's "The Met" rock format when it signs on.
Down in New York City, WNEW (102.7) is shuffling the deck on its talk lineup, again. The syndicated Ron and Fez show is now running there from noon till 3, with Leslie Gold returning to WNEW in the 9-noon slot.
As we'd predicted a few weeks back, former WNEW jock Vin Scelsa has found a new home in noncommercial radio at Fordham's WFUV (90.7). Scelsa's "Idiots Delight" will begin airing next Saturday from 8 PM until midnight (or whenever Scelsa's done), right after another WNEW alum, Pete Fornatale and "Mixed Bag."
Hogg just recently sold WMDI's sister station, WNSX (97.7 Winter Harbor), to Clear Channel (for $1.1 million worth of quarters). WMDI has been running a nicely eclectic rock format for the last few years under Hogg's ownership, and while we're sure the folks in Hancock County will appreciate the classical music (under the new calls WBQI), we suspect many of them will miss 'MDI, too.
The Marlin folks fed the Bangor Daily News and other papers a line about how they'll boost the "700 watt" station's power to "25,000 watts" by installing a new transmitter. Funny thing; we checked the FCC database and it seems WMDI's already running 11.5 kW ERP (could they mean 700 watts out of the transmitter?), with no pending applications for a power boost. WMDI can be heard in Bangor, sort of, though it suffers from second-adjacent interference from WBZN (107.3 Old Town).
Going way north in the Pine Tree State, we find that WAGM (Channel 8) up in Presque Isle is now operating from its new site up high on Mars Hill. With 120 kW visual from 350 meters AAT, we suspect WAGM will be reaching a lot more viewers than it did from its short old stick behind the Presque Isle studios (58.9 kW visual from 107 meters!)
Up in Berwick, WHLM (106.5) is now WFYY, matching its slogan "Flyte 106.5." The station reaches into the southern end of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton market pretty well.
Clear Channel is adding another station to its Williamsport cluster, though the FCC has already flagged this one for market-concentration issues. WVRT (97.7 Jersey Shore) has been doing CHR for owner "DHRB, Incorporated" as "Variety 97."
Down in the Altoona market, WSRA (101.7 Central City) changes calls to WCCL.
Up there near Erie, the call changes at Keymarket's stations have finally been matched by at least one format change: WHUZ (94.3 Saegertown). The former rocker (as WMDE) is now known as "Wuzz 94," playing classic rock.
Just hours after last week's NERW hit the Web, CHUM made the official announcement that it will launch a new all-sports network known as "the Team" sometime around April, replacing current programming on a lineup of stations that includes legendary AM music station CHUM (1050 Toronto).
The biggest immediate effect came not in Toronto but in Kingston, where four staffers were fired at CHUM's CKLC (1380), which has been a music station for decades. News director Tony Orr, jocks Bruce Gamble and David Clark, and producer Terry Thompson were all dismissed the same day CHUM made the announcement. Several other CKLC staffers will stay with sister station CFLY-FM (98.3), including jock Greg Hunter, who will take over mornings at CFLY from Joel Scott (who becomes CFLY's production director.)
The new sports network will include CHUM, CKLC, Ottawa's CFGO (already doing sports as Team 1200 anyway), Peterborough's CKPT (1420), Kitchener's CKKW (1090, also flipping from oldies), as well as stations in Vancouver, Halifax and Winnipeg. Jim Rome's Premiere talk show will get wide Canadian clearance over the new Team network, and CHUM is promising some local content at each of the stations as well.
We're not surprised that Windsor isn't on the list, considering that both CKWW (580) and CKLW (800) are doing well with their present standards and talk formats, respectively -- and just across the Detroit River, there are no fewer than THREE sports stations serving the Motor City already!
Returning to Toronto for a moment: Corus may have some changes in store at its CFYI (640). The company's been registering several new Web domains, and it's been pointed out to us that www.newcountry640.com redirects to the current CFYI "Talk 640" site.
In Quebec, CJAN (1340 Asbestos) has applied to leave AM, moving to 99.3 FM with 6 kW.
Timothy Paul wants a new 50-watt FM station in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The station, on 95.7, will run programming in English and in the Maliseet and Mic-Mac languages if it's granted.
Finally, a correction from last week: Yes, Vancouver's CKLG (730) is going away -- but it's becoming a sister station not to Rogers' CKWX (1130) but to Corus' CKNW (980). To complement the talk on "NW," 730 will become all-news CJNW, "NW2" -- and so ends a top-40 legend as "LG73."
Our continued thanks to those who help make this venture possible: this week, particular thanks to our friends at Vermont Public Radio for their contribution. (Does this mean I have to send them a tote bag and monthly program guide?) Check out the Support NERW page at fybush.com to find out how you, too, can help keep this column coming.
See you right here next week!
|NERW's Northeast Television Index||96.14|