WABC-TV (Channel 7) returned to the air with a low-power signal from the Armstrong tower in Alpine, N.J. on Saturday afternoon, with WNET (Channel 13) restoring its signal Sunday evening from the Empire State Building, again at low power. That leaves WWOR (Channel 9) as the last VHF signal to return. It plans to join sister Fox outlet WNYW (Channel 5) from Empire sometime this week. Pax's WPXN (Channel 31) is being seen over several LPTVs, including W23BA (Channel 34) in East Orange, N.J. and WPXU-LP (Channel 38) in Amityville, L.I.; there's no word on when WPXN itself will get a signal back on the air.
On the FM side, WNYC-FM (93.9) was the last of the World Trade Center FMs to restore a signal on its own frequency; it returned from Empire at 3:00 Sunday afternoon.
The next project for all the affected stations is to turn these low-power emergency installations into full-power transmission facilities that can be used for the long haul. Despite all the talk of rebuilding the Trade Center towers, any reconstruction would be years in coming, and that means the Empire State Building and the Alpine tower are likely to remain the area's primary TV sites for a while.
With that in mind, here's another run-through of the stations affected:
And of course, we can't forget that six transmitter engineers remain among the nearly 5,000 missing and feared dead at the World Trade Center. They are:
Isaias Rivera, a 20-year veteran of WCBS-TV
Bob Pattison of WCBS-TV, formerly of Boston's WHDH-TV
William V. Steckman, WA2ACW, of WNBC
Donald DiFranco of WABC-TV
Steven A. Jacobson, N2SJ, 53, of WPIX-TV
Rod Coppola, KA2KET, of WNET
We're told Jacobson contacted WPIX master control after the first plane hit the south tower, to report he was putting on his oxygen mask. A few minutes later, he called to say the smoke and flames were overwhelming on the 110th floor, and WPIX was unable to reach him again after that.
Several NERW readers have asked if there's anyone collecting contributions specifically to help the families of these engineers, and here's one answer: the Society of Broadcast Engineers has established a fund. Contributions can be made to the "Ennes Educational Foundation Trust Fund" at:
The Society of Broadcast Engineers, Inc.
9247 North Meridian Street, Suite 305
Indianapolis, IN 46260
Attention: Broadcast Engineer Relief Fund
You can find more information on the fund at www.sbe.org. The SBE, by the way, has now rescheduled its national meeting to coincide with the Central New York SBE Convention November 27-28 at Turning Stone Casino in Oneida, N.Y. We look forward to seeing many of you there.
If you're not reading NERW on a daily basis at fybush.com, you're missing a lot; we've been offering updates all week on the WTC situation for our Web readers. We hope they've been of some service; certainly they're drawing plenty of traffic (more than 100,000 hits between Tuesday midday and Sunday evening!)
In Syracuse, WYYY (94.5) morning jock "Big Mike" announced his resignation at the end of Monday's show; AllAccess says he's moving across the street to Ed Levine's "Sunny 102" (WZUN 102.1 Phoenix).
Buffalo oldies station WHTT (104.1) has a new PD; he's Joe Siragusa, last employed at Richmond's WRCL (106.5) before a format flip there in June.
And a few congratulations that never made it into last Monday's issue: two New York stations walked away with Marconi awards at the NAB Radio Show in New Orleans. WGY (810 Schenectady) won the medium-market Station of the Year trophy, while Long Island's WALK-FM (97.5 Patchogue) won adult contemporary Station of the Year.
Funeral services for Sullivan will be held Friday (September 21) at Our Lady of the Cape First Parish in Dennis, Mass.
Up in Calais, Kyle Kristofer was fired from Citadel's WCRQ (102.9 Dennysville) after playing a tasteless Dave Chappelle comedy bit the day after the World Trade Center attack.
On a happier note, stations all over the region have been staging fund drives and collecting supplies to aid the relief efforts in New York and Washington. We don't have room to list them all, but we were especially impressed by the "Pay for Play" drive that Bangor's WKIT (100.3 Brewer) put on Friday and Saturday. Anyone offering at least $10 for the relief efforts got to request a song on WKIT - in or out of the station's usual classic rock format. Station owners Stephen and Tabitha King offered to match all donations up to $40,000.
By midday Friday, listeners had already passed the $40,000 mark, prompting the Kings to raise their matching offer to $80,000. It took all night Friday and a good chunk of Saturday morning to play everything listeners had requested, and when it was all over WKIT had raised $70,230. Add another $70,230 from the Kings (you might have heard of them; he's written a book or two!) and the check from Bangor came to $140,460!
They're calling it "The All New AM1310 - Talk Radio With a Pulse," and we understand there's also some Fox Sports material on weekends.
One more Marconi to mention: Matt Siegel was in New Orleans to accept his award as major market personality of the year...congratulations!
Mark down a set of call letters for Salt and Light Ministries' 90.7 CP in Williamsport: that will be WCRG(FM) whenever it takes air.
That's it for this week's regular NERW; keep checking back later in the week on fybush.com for any updates from New York. A happy and healthy 5762 to our Jewish readers...see you next Monday!