We told you last week about the fate of the Tele-Media stations that were spun off to Ed Levine's Galaxy, with WKLI (94.5 Ravena) becoming "94 Rock" and WABY (1400 Albany) being prepped for sale; we can add this week that Levine's other new purchase, WHTR (93.5 Corinth) is off the air with transmitter problems unrelated to its proposed move to 93.7 in Scotia.
This week, the attention shifts to the stations Tele-Media sold to Pamal Broadcasting: while WKBE (100.3 Warrensburg) keeps running automated with the "Point" hot AC format for the Glens Falls area, WCPT (100.9 Albany) ended its stunt simulcast with CHR WFLY (92.3 Troy) at 4 PM Friday (Nov. 2) to go standards as "Magic."
The change means Albany listeners can pick from no fewer than three standards stations; in addition to Magic, Crawford runs the format on 50 kilowatt WPTR (1540) and Ernie Anastos runs it on "the Moon," WUAM (900 Saratoga Springs) and WMVI (1160 Mechanicville). NERW wonders whether Pamal will try to get the WABY calls, long associated with the format, when and if 1400 drops them.
Pamal is holding on to another station nearby, much to its own surprise. It turns out that Joseph Isabel's IZ Communications (which owns WCSS in Amsterdam) won't follow through on its planned purchase of WIZR (930 Johnstown), the AM that Pamal picked up when it bought Johnstown's WSRD (104.9) and moved it to Albany a few years back. IZ will lose its $10,000 deposit on the purchase; in the meantime, Pamal brings Jeff Weber back to the market to run WIZR. Weber had been the owner of WCSS when IZ bought it; he's been working down at Baltimore's WZBA as general sales manager.
Some familiar voices were missing from Entercom's Buffalo stations on Halloween morning, but it wasn't a prank: the cluster let six people go on Tuesday (Oct. 30). On WTSS (Star 102.5), the casualties were morning co-hosts Joe Thomas and Pam Bunch, production director Mark Krunowski and night jock Dan Rinelli; Roger Christian is back in mornings for now at 102.5 (a spot he last held in the '80s when the station was WBEN-FM), with Sue O'Neil filling in on his usual 10-3 midday slot.
Across the hall at WGR (550), the sports station lost morning producer Doug Young and midday co-host Anne Burke. Young also did production at WBEN (930), which suffered its own cutbacks last month when morning host Bill Lacy was fired as he returned from vacation.
That leaves CHR WKSE (98.5 Niagara Falls) and AM also-rans WWWS (1400) and WWKB (1520) escaping the cutbacks...for now. Stay tuned.
From Syracuse comes word that Skip Clark has been promoted to music director at country giant WBBS (104.7 Fulton); Clear Channel market OM Rich Lauber takes on the PD reins for B104.7 last held by Rick Jordan, who's now up in Maine.
Down in Binghamton, we see that WLTB (101.7 Johnson City) and W273AB (102.5 Endicott) have been granted their licenses to cover for their transmitter moves; WLTB is now on Ingraham Hill with most of the other big Binghamton FMs, while W273AB has moved from Ingraham to the old 101.7 site out on the west side of Endicott.
From New York City comes word that WNBC (Channel 4) and WPIX-TV (Channel 11) are the latest to move from the temporary TV site at Alpine, N.J. to the Empire State Building. The word from NERW readers out on Long Island, though, is that neither signal is getting out as well as WCBS-TV (Channel 2) and WABC-TV (Channel 7), which are apparently the only VHF stations running full power from Empire.
If our records are correct, the latest moves leave only WNYW (Channel 5), WWOR-TV (Channel 9), WNET (Channel 13) and WNJU (Channel 47) using the Alpine tower, with WPXN (Channel 31) using a site in West Orange, N.J. until it can join the others at a new permanent site.
In the meantime, the folks at WCBS-TV (Channel 2) are still remaining a step ahead of the competition when it comes to backup sites. WCBS-TV was the only TV station at the World Trade Center to retain a full-power backup at Empire, which paid off immeasurably when channel 2 ended up with New York's non-cable audience to itself after September 11.
Now we see that WCBS-TV has filed to put an auxiliary transmitter atop the Viacom building at 1515 Broadway, just a stone's throw from the Conde Nast building where Clear Channel's backup facilities are housed. The roof at 1515 Broadway used to house a backup antenna for WLTW (106.7), later reused for Infinity's WCBS-FM (101.1) and WNEW (102.7). WCBS-TV wants to join them there with a 1000 watt visual ERP, 200 watt audio, horizontally polarized backup transmitter...just in case. We expect other New York TVs might follow suit, this time.
Out on Long Island, WLUX (540 Islip) still wants to add a second tower for daytime directional operation, but with a bit more power this time. The nostalgia station, presently running 250 watts nondirectional, already holds a CP to go to 320 watts DA-D (retaining its present 204 watts nondirectional at night); now it's been granted a boost to 500 watts DA-D, 204 watts ND-N.
New call alert: As Univision prepares to relaunch the former USA Broadcasting stations with its new Telefutura network, it has new calls lined up as well. In New York, WHSE-TV (Channel 68 Newark N.J.), whose antenna is now the very highest point in the city (at the top of the Empire mast), becomes WFUT(TV), while Long Island's WHSI (Channel 67 Smithtown) becomes WFTY, calls last seen in Washington, D.C. on what's now WBDC (Channel 50).
Over at the Entercom cluster, Bev Tilden returns to the vicinity of WEEI (850), the station she once managed, as marketing director of sister WQSX (93.7 Lawrence). Tilden will also serve as integrated marketing director for the entire cluster.
Radio One is shuffling the lineup at WILD (1090) after afternoon jock and music director Nikki Strong announced her impending departure for XM Satellite Radio, where she'll do mornings for the urban "Flow" channel. Rick Anderson will take her shift, accompanied by former WILD morning man "Coach" Willie Maye.
Another Telefutura change: mark down WFUB as the new calls for WHUB-TV (Channel 66 Marlborough), the station formerly known as WHSH, WVJV and WGTR-TV.
Down the Cape, airshifts are moving around at WCIB (101.9 Falmouth), with PD Larry Egan sliding from mornings to middays and Jim Reilly joining Shelly Stuart and Bill Lowell on wakeups. Heading west a bit, there's a new jock lineup at WFHN (107.1 Fairhaven) in the New Bedford market, too: Andy Burns is out on the night shift, Scott Reniche moves from middays to nights, Christine Fox moves from mornings to middays, and Sharon Santos of WLNE-TV (Channel 6) joins PD Jim Reitz in the morning.
Out west, Ed Skutnik is buying WGAM (1520 Greenfield) back from Vox, which bought the AM station and its sister FM, WRSI, from him a couple of years ago. Skutnik has been running the station under an LMA for quite some time now, we believe.
Leif Erickson leaves his post as APD/afternoon jock at WHDQ (106.1 Claremont) to do ski reports for Sno Country Mountain Reports; he'll still be heard on Q106 Sunday mornings with his "Beyond and Before" show.
Down in Atlantic City, WFPG (1450) has added four hours of weekday Spanish-language music, from 10 AM to 2 PM, to its simulcast of WFPG-FM (96.9) and its local morning show.
Another Telefutura call change: WHSP (Channel 65 Vineland), serving the Philadelphia market, becomes WUVP. This one won't be running Telefutura, actually; because Univision itself lacked a full-power outlet in Cheesesteak City, channel 65 will carry the main Univision service.
WHLM, currently running off a temporary antenna (we believe it's at the local school!), applied this week to build two new towers in a field north of town on Arbutus Park Road, with plans to run 1 kilowatt ND-D and 390 watts DA-N, protecting Buffalo's WBEN; we'll have to get down there to see those towers go up when the time comes!
Not far away, Jules Riley (no relation to Joe!) has been named PD at Citadel's WEOZ/WAOZ in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market.
In the other direction down I-80, WLGL (92.3 Riverside) has been granted a power boost from 440 watts to 930 watts.
From the Pittsburgh market, Sheridan's WAMO-FM (106.7 Beaver Falls) will soon have a better signal in the Steel City, a few years after Sheridan traded the grandfathered superpower WAMO-FM signal on 105.9 to Chancellor (it's now WXDX) for cash and the 106.7 facility 35 miles out of town.
Here's how it works out: WAMO-FM will move its 106.7 signal from Beaver Falls to Wexford, running 38 kW at 568 feet from a new tower where I-79 meets Wexford Bayne Road just south of the Turnpike. WAMO-FM's simulcast, WSSZ (107.1 Greensburg), will move from its current site west of Greensburg way out to a new site south of Latrobe, just off route 217 north of US 30, where it will run 4300 watts from 305 feet AAT, with a directional antenna. And religious WRIJ (106.9 Masontown) will move its tower south across the West Virginia border, where it will run 980 watts from 810 feet AAT from the same ridge where West Virginia Public Television's WNPB-TV (Channel 24 Morgantown) broadcasts.
Finally, we're saddened to report the death of Patti Burns, who spent 23 years anchoring at KDKA-TV (Channel 2), much of the time alongside her father, the legendary Bill Burns. "Patti and Daddy" were the first father-daughter anchor team when they began doing the noon news together in 1976; the younger Burns quickly built a reputation of her own, though, which followed her after her 1997 departure from KDKA and her subsequent work at public TV WQED-TV (Channel 13).
Patti Burns died Tuesday (October 30) after a battle with cancer; she was just 49.
That's it for another week; we hope you've all found us at the new home of fybush.com - if not, there's just an error message to be seen at our old world.std.com address, so change those links and bookmarks now!