A short issue this week, as we all settle in for the holidays (and get ready for all those all-Christmas stations to go back to their regular formats!)...
The FCC finally granted the application to move WHTR from 93.5 in Corinth, in the Glens Falls market, south to Scotia (near Schenectady) on 93.7. Why the delay? According to WHTR's FCC filing, the FAA has been so busy with other matters since September 11 that it's been unable to process a request to raise the existing tower where WHTR hopes to put its 93.7 signal.
Rather than wait, WHTR modified its application slightly, specifying a new antenna height of 218 meters (down from the original proposal for 224 meters above average terrain), but maintaining the proposed 1.15 kW power. The new height will allow WHTR to proceed immediately with the application, since the tower in question, just southeast of the Thruway near Rotterdam Junction, won't need to be raised.
NERW suspects the new WHTR signal will be on the air just as soon as the new 2-bay antenna can be mounted and a studio-transmitter link established; we strongly suspect this one will be a relay of the hard rock format that's been running for the last few months on WKLI (94.5 Ravena), on the south side of the Albany market.
WHTR's move is accompanied by a change in city of license for WFFG-FM (107.1); it swaps Hudson Falls for Corinth, though without changing its technical facilities, thus preserving the idea that Corinth is somehow being provided with "local" radio service.
One more Albany note before we head on: over at Clear Channel's WRVE (99.5 Schenectady), Kevin Rush moves from overnights to afternoon drive, while PD Randy McCarten moves from afternoons to middays.
Down in the Finger Lakes, the latest application to put channel 52 on the air in Ithaca calls for 5 megawatts from 405 meters above average terrain, from a new tower near Bear Swamp Road, east of route 41A on the west shore of Skaneateles Lake. This long-unbuilt CP belongs to Bill Smith, half of the couple that owns WNGS (Channel 67) over in Springville, south of Buffalo.
Up in Orleans County, on the shore of Lake Ontario between Rochester and Niagara Falls, the Calvary folks applied for a license to cover this week for WBJA (102.1 Albion); we've yet to hear from anyone who's received this signal, and here in Rochester we're still getting Toronto's CFNY on the same frequency, which blankets Orleans County with a city-grade signal from the CN Tower.
From the TV simulcast front: After years of rebroadcasting the news from Rochester's WOKR (Channel 13), WYSL (1040 Avon) is now simulcasting the audio of NBC affiliate WHEC (Channel 10) instead. (NERW wonders if this has something to do with WOKR's impending sale to Clear Channel; we also wonder if there are more than half a dozen people at WHEC who still remember the TV station had its own radio outlet, now WWWG 1460...)
LATE NEWS: Thanks to fellow Rochester listener Jerry Bond for catching the disappearance Monday (12/24) of W238AB (95.5), the Pinnacle Hill translator that brought the signal of WNVE (95.1 Honeoye Falls) to listeners on Rochester's east side. WNVE's move last year from Bristol Mountain (where it was licensed to South Bristol Township) to Baker Hill put the 95.1 primary too close to the 95.5 translator, so it was just a matter of time before the translator disappeared. In any event, the much stronger signal the "Nerve" puts in from Baker Hill made the need for the 95.5 translator (originally installed to overcome interference to 95.1 from intermodulation created by two other FM stations on Pinnacle Hill) moot. We will miss those "95-1, 95-5" Nerve IDs, though...
It's been a long time since he lived here, but we're sorry nonetheless to learn of the death Friday (12/21) of Foster Brooks. The comedian was known to the world for his appearances with Dean Martin and others; here in Rochester, though, he's remembered for thirty years as a local radio talent on WHAM and WHEC before moving west in the late sixties. Brooks was 89.
One item from Long Island this week: WGSM (740 Huntington) has indeed made the flip from a simulcast of WHLI (1100 Hempstead) to Korean music; we're also hearing that the station has returned to 24-hour operation under its new owners.
WSGG (89.3 Norfolk) has applied for a license to cover; we'll need to make a trip to that area north of Torrington one of these days to see if this gospel station has really signed on.
WNTY (990 Southington) has flipped again; instead of the Fox News Channel feed they were running when we stopped by a couple of weeks ago, they're now running a mix of Christmas music. Expect something new - again - next week!
Up in Hartford, W47AD has changed calls to WUTH-CA; it looks as though the Univision feed will continue here despite the arrival of a full-power Univision signal via WUVN (Channel 18).
Out west, the transfer of WGAM (1520 Greenfield) from Great Northern/Vox back to Edward Skutnik was approved this week by the FCC.
Just south of Pittsburgh, Keymarket has flipped calls on 940 in Charleroi. No longer warehousing the WPNT calls, this station (formerly WESA) is now warehousing the WFGI calls that were in State College until last month. It's still simulcasting "Froggy" WOGI (98.3 Charleroi).
(LATE UPDATE: A reader out that way tells us the WPNT calls have just been installed on Keymarket's 1340 in Connellsville, which had been WCVI for decades.)
Kenny Woods, formerly the assistant program director at oldies WWSW (94.5 Pittsburgh), has made quite the career change: he's moved over to Salem Media's religious WORD-FM (101.5) and WPIT (730) as operations director!
Up in the Poconos, we hear there's a format change on the way at WILT (960 Mount Pocono). The station, whose towers are easily seen from I-380 near the I-80 junction, has been running ESPN sports - but we hear it will be simulcasting new Nassau Broadcasting sister WVPO (840 Stroudsburg) as early as the first of the year.
That's it for NERW for 2001! We'll have the 2001 Year in Review ready to roll on fybush.com next week, and we'll be back with our next regular NERW issue on Monday, January 7, 2002.
A happy, safe, RF-filled holiday season to all of you.
|NERW's Northeast Television Index||90.92|