The new 1000 watt station at 1610 kHz will be the first full-time expanded band AM station in Canada (the now-defunct "portable" CHEV 1610 Etobicoke, Ont. was the first overall), and it will run a multilingual format aimed at Francophone Montrealers of Haitian, Latin American and African descent.
"CPAM Radio Union.com, Inc." is the licensee for the new station authorized this week by the CRTC, and we can tell you we know nothing whatsoever about them - but we'll pass along anything we find out!
Toronto viewers will soon get another Buffalo station on cable, now that the CRTC has approved an application by Rogers Cable to carry WNYO (Channel 49) on its digital tier. WNYO will be the third WB affiliate for most cable subscribers, who already get WPIX from New York and KTLA from Los Angeles as part of premium cable tiers. (NERW wonders: how soon will Rogers apply to carry WNLO, channel 23, once it makes the switch from indie to UPN next year?)
Toronto's CISS (92.5) wants to do something about the interference it suffers from Rochester's WBEE-FM (92.5) across the lake: it's asked the CRTC for permission to boost its signal from First Canadian Place to 9870 watts (from 4700 now). We've been listening to the interference on 92.5 at the midway point of our near-daily commute to Buffalo the last few months; will WBEE object to a move that could cut into its Genesee and Orleans County listenership even more?
Up north in Barrie, CFJB (95.7) wants to drop power from 96.3 kW to 70 kW and move its transmitter 10 km west, which we think will put it on the big CKVR (Channel 3) tower. Even further north, Haliburton Broadcasting has won approval of its purchase of CKLP (103.3 Parry Sound) from Playland Broadcasting. The C$2,025,000 purchase price will come, in part, from Haliburton's sale of CHNO (103.9 Sudbury) to Newcap.
In the Quebec City suburb of Lévis, CFOM (102.9) wants to increase its power from 3597 watts to a rounder 16,800.
And out east in the Maritimes, Maritime Broadcasting System wants to move CKEN (1490 Kentville, N.S.) to 94.9 MHz with 100 kW.
We noticed two interesting applications from Clear Channel in the Pine Tree State, and we're guessing they have something to do with the technicalities of owning the overlapping clusters the company holds in the Bangor and Augusta areas. WWBX (97.1 Bangor) wants to reduce its power to 6500 watts from the present 7500, while WBYA (105.5 Islesboro) wants to cut back to 20 kW from 25 kW. If we were experts on such matters, we'd suppose that those moves will mean WWBX and WBYA will overlap with fewer nearby Clear Channel outlets, thus allowing the company to own more total signals in the area...
(If the whole thing seems just a bit silly to you, you're not alone; the FCC opened up a Notice of Potential Rule Making this week to address its policies on market definitions and, just maybe, end some of these games.)
Up at the Sugarloaf ski area, WDEV-FM (96.1 Warren) raises power from 140 watts to 400 watts - from an impressive 694 meters above average terrain.
We heard the station on Friday running a simulcast of sister oldies WCAT-FM (99.9 Athol), with fairly mediocre audio quality but a decent signal as far out as I-91 south of Greenfield. There's no word on what Citadel's long-term plans for the facility might be, if in fact there are any at all.
(One other Pioneer Valley note: WHAI-FM in Greenfield becomes, legally speaking, WHAI(FM) this week. NERW suspects that even our obsessive readers don't much care about anything this minute, but you never know...)
Back in the Boston market, we still heard the Spanish-language tunes on WBPS (890 Dedham), but the word is that C|Net radio will be arriving there on December 5.
One we'd neglected to mention in the last couple of issues: Scott Brody is out as GM of WXRV (92.5 Haverhill) as of a month ago; we haven't heard of a replacement being named yet.
Out on Cape Cod, Peter Maxx is the latest departure from the Boch group; he had been PD of WDVT (93.5 Harwich Port) for the last year or so.
And we're pleased to report that former Boston talker Gene Burns has returned to the air out in San Francisco (at KGO 810) after a two-month absence caused by a bacterial infection he picked up while vacationing in Tahiti.
Meanwhile, the New York City schools won't be handing the keys of WNYE-FM (91.5) and WNYE-TV (Channel 25) to competitors WNYC (820/93.9) and WNET (Channel 13), after all. The school board didn't approve Chancellor Harold Levy's plan to let the bigger public broadcasters take over management of the stations; instead, WNYE will stay in school hands as part of a broadband platform for delivering educational material to schools.
Clear Channel has named Andrew Rosen its regional vice president for the "New York trading area," meaning he'll now oversee the company's clusters in the New York City, Nassau/Suffolk, Poughkeepsie and northern New Jersey markets.
A belated "happy birthday" to Dennis Jackson's WRIP (97.9 Windham), which celebrated its second anniversary last weekend with another fun remote from across the street at Jimmy O'Connor's Windham Mountain Inn. Alas, we were unable to make this year's bash; we'll be looking forward to a return visit for anniversary number three next year...
Up in Albany, Clear Channel's WXXA-TV (Channel 23) will be tweaking its signal a bit; it's won approval to install a new Andrew directional antenna at its Helderberg Mountain site, with a peak visual ERP of 3675 kW (at 363 meters AAT) towards Albany and a null to the southwest, away from the market's population.
Over at Albany Broadcasting, Chris Holmberg gets promoted from music director/PM drive jock to PD at WYJB (95.5 Albany), replacing Mike Morgan, who's now corporate VP for programming.
Clear Channel's Binghamton rocker has changed antenna sites. WKGB (92.5 Susquehanna PA) is now WKGB (92.5 Conklin NY), running 1450 watts at 206 meters AAT from the WINR (680 Binghamton) site up above the psychiatric center on Windy Hill, east of downtown. The new site is about 10 miles closer to town than the old one out near Windsor, wo we expect to hear 'KGB a lot better when we next visit the market in a few weeks. (Yes, we have family in Binghamton; is there any other reason to go there in December?)
Up north, Northeast Broadcasting and Steve Silberberg make their first venture into the Empire State with the $150,000 purchase of WLFE (1070 Plattsburgh) from Alex McEwing's Family Broadcasting; this replaces the LMA between the AM station and Northeast's WLFE-FM (102.3 St. Albans VT).
Our North Country correspondent Mike Roach checked in to let us know that WMSA (1340 Massena) morning drive host Sandy Cook was elected town supervisor in Massena, while former WVNC (96.7 Canton, now WYSI) morning man and owner Dave Button was elected to the town council in Canton.
Mike also let us know that Aaron Brillbeck, who started his radio career up at Ogdensburg's WPAC/WSLB before going to Clear Channel's WHAM in Rochester and WSYR in Syracuse, is now anchoring the morning and noon newscasts on WWTI (Channel 50) in Watertown, which will itself soon be owned by Clear Channel. (The Federal Trade Commission approved the purchase of Ackerley this week; the FCC still has to rule on the deal, which is expected to require Clear Channel to spin some of its radio or TV holdings in central New York.)
Out here in Western New York, Rob Lucas settles in as the new morning host at Buffalo's WTSS (102.5), returning Roger Christian to middays and PD Sue O'Neal to afternoons.
And former WPXY (97.9 Rochester) night jock "Java Joel" is about to return to the Flower City, through the magic of voice tracking and Clear Channel. He'll start next week at Chicago's WKSC (103.5), where he'll also do tracks for sister "Kiss" outlet WKGS (106.7 Irondequoit), which just happens to be WPXY's big CHR competition in Rochester. Ain't radio fun?
Up in the hills northeast of Williamsport, WQZI-FM (103.9 Laporte) may be able to get its signal out just a bit better; it's been granted a 32-watt, highly directional, on-channel booster in Glen Mawr, about four miles south of Laporte. The booster will aim its signal out towards Hughesville and Muncy, in the general direction of Williamsport (though it still won't have much, if any, signal there).
That's it for another week...
If you've been keeping track, you might have noticed that this week marks our first anniversary of publication here at fybush.com (on the heels of more than six years of publication on a variety of mailing lists, newsgroups and the Boston Radio Archives).
We're grateful for all the support you've shown us in our attempt to make this column self-sustaining, and we're pleased to report that there's still a roof over our heads, gas in the tank of the NERW-mobile, and even a new computer sitting on the desk here at NERW Central waiting to be hooked up and configured.
But we can't do it without your help, so if it's been a year now since you've made a contribution - or if you're one of the many NERW readers who still thinks we can somehow do this for free (remember, our editorial staff of one left the world of full-time employment last year to devote more time to this endeavor) - now's the time to visit our Support page (http://www.fybush.com/support.html) and renew your support for the only column in the world that does what we do.
Thanks again for your support over the past year; we look forward to another exciting year of radio and TV coverage here in NERW-land, and your contributions to make that possible.