Under the call WKNJ, this CP has lingered for years, unable to find a site on the New Jersey side of the line where a directional array could be built, and finally resorting to a plan to move across the state line and diplex with WRKL (910 New City) at its Rockland County site.
Just before the holidays, though, the FCC denied WKNJ additional time to construct the station. Permittee Steven Wendell was granted a three-year construction permit to replace his expired CP in December, 1998 (this on a CP that was originally granted back in 1998), and his request for additional time met with opposition from WLUX, the Long Island station just down the dial at 540.
WLUX wants to add a second tower for higher power directional operation, and it appears that task would be easier without having to protect WKNJ's 250-watt daytime signal up in Rockland.
It doesn't look like this fight is over, though; Wendell filed an application for special temporary authority, apparently to begin testing from the WRKL site, and while the FCC dismissed it as moot, we're fairly certain we haven't heard the end of WKNJ yet.
This brand new tower, complete with two-bay directional antenna, appears to be all ready to go, but WBJA wasn't yet on the air when we drove out there December 29. 102.1 was hardly an empty frequency in Albion, though; parked at the base of the tower, we were getting a city-grade signal from Toronto's CFNY, just across the lake on 102.1.
We know the FCC and CRTC have decided to abandon essentially all protection for FM signals across the border, but they can't repeal the laws of physics - and we suspect WBJA won't be terribly pleased with all the signal from CFNY wiping its own signal out in much of Orleans County and beyond. (On the other hand, this was essentially a throwaway allocation; it began as 95.5A, but then-Jacor, after applying for and winning the CP, had it moved to 102.1 to allow WNVE on 95.1 to move its antenna closer to Rochester. With that accomplished, Clear Channel then donated the 102.1 CP to Calvary.)
One more note on this one before we move on: The FCC seems to be confused about what channel WBJA is really on; several database entries put it on 89.9, but we believe that's an inadvertent typo.
A few stations on the move: in Buffalo, the Citadel cluster (WGRF, WEDG and WHTT) has vacated the old WGR building at 464 Franklin Street in favor of new digs at 50 James E. Casey Drive, just off Dingens Street and I-190. Meanwhile down in Binghamton, Clear Channel's cluster (WINR, WENE, WKGB, WMXW, WMRV and WBBI) has left behind the old Credit Union Center in Endicott, crossing the river to new digs at 320 N. Jensen Road (and yes, that's Jensen with two "e"s, despite the way several other trade publications have listed it), Vestal NY 13850. Clear Channel's new phone number is 607-584-5800.
Albany bureau chief Gavin Burt checked in to let us know he's now hearing the calls "WRCZ" on Galaxy's "94 Rock," the former WKLI (94.5 Ravena). It's not shown yet in the FCC database, but we expect that call change to show up there soon.
Downstate, we already mentioned (in last week's NERW Year in Review, still available at www.fybush.com) Matt Ross' departure as general manager of Clear Channel's WAXQ (104.3 New York); now it appears he may be headed across the Hudson to run WKXW (New Jersey 101.5) for Millennium...stay tuned.
Out on Long Island, Phyllis Rose changes GM chairs, moving from WTHE (1520 Mineola) to WNYG (1440 Babylon), which dropped its short-lived simulcast with Chinese-language WNSW (1430 Newark NJ) New Year's Eve to pick up a Christian contemporary format similar to that of the old WLIX (540 Islip, now WLUX).
And we note the passing of Casper Citron, who died of liver failure January 1. Citron spent 43 years on New York's airwaves (at the old WRFM, WNYC-TV, WQXR and most recently weekends at WOR) interviewing just about everyone of note in the Big Apple. Citron was 82.
Until November, WOON used a tower located next to the city's water tanks just south of Logee Street; the Woonsocket Call reports that the station has apparently failed to pay the city the money it's due from three wireless companies that lease space on the tower.
The Call reports that WOON told the city it's willing to hand the leases over to settle the matter. And here's where things really get strange: WOON tells the Call it moved November 5 to a diplex on the Diamond Hill Road tower of WNRI (1380), though there's no indication of even an STA for the move on the FCC database.
The city is also asking WOON for $56,000 to relocate the guy wires for its old tower to allow a new water tank to be built on the site.
The Call article also claims former WOON (and WNRI) owner Keating Willcox died last year; we knew he had been in poor health but had seen no reports of his death, nor have we seen any filings to transfer his last remaining station, WNSH Beverly, to an estate. Anyone know more about this?
Dinis, the Portuguese-language broadcaster who owns WJFD (97.3) in New Bedford, bought WSPR a few years ago, and we think the idea was to buy some breathing room for a possible move of his now-dead CP for WLAW on 1270 in Fairhaven. That never happened, and with WLAW now deleted, we can see why WSPR went on the block. No word of any possible programming changes at WSPR, which has been Spanish for years anyway.
Just down the dial at 1250, WARE (1250) over in Ware is bringing some English back to its schedule after several years programming in Spanish in an attempt to serve Springfield and Worcester. WARE hired police officer Joseph LaFlower to host "Talk Back America" from 2-4 PM weekdays, following a noon "Sound Off" hour with former WARE host Mitch Gilbert. LaFlower will also do "Sound Off" at noon on Saturdays.
Over in Worcester, WXLO (104.5 Fitchburg) introduced its new night jock, "The New Guy" (late of WQSX) by having him play the same song over and over during his first 7-midnight shift last Thursday. "Get the Party Started" was the track, we're told...
Another format change on Cape Cod: WTWV (101.1 Mashpee) dropped its 80s pop just before the new year to go oldies. No word of any call change yet at this oft-changing signal.
And up on the North Shore, WUMB has been testing its new signal. WNEF (91.7 Newburyport) will have its inaugural broadcast at 3 PM, Sunday, January 13, with special guests Cheryl Hoenemeyer, Cormac McCarthy and Taylor and Jake Armerding. The transmitter is located at the Adelphia Cable tower in Amesbury; it'll bring WUMB's folk signal to an area north of Cape Ann that's never heard the station before, while protecting co-channel WMWM (91.7 Salem) to the south. The calls, by the way, stand for "We're New England Folk."
WGME (Channel 13) in Portland, a CBS affiliate, will carry the game later this month, shifting CBS prime-time programming over to UPN affiliate (and WPXT sister station) WPME (Channel 35). No word yet on who, if anyone, will bring the game to Bangor.
Allan Weiner is once again taking control of WREM (710 Monticello); he's filed to buy the station back from Dr. Benito B. Rish. Weiner has always been involved with WREM; it shares space with his shortwave outlet, WBCQ, on an antenna-laden property near Monticello.
Over in Shamokin, Clear Channel changes the calls of "Bill Country" simulcast WISL-FM (95.3) to WBLJ-FM.
And across the state line in Ohio, it's the end of religion on WHLO (640 Akron), as Clear Channel closes on its $4.5 million purchase of the signal. It's simulcasting CHR WKDD (98.1 Akron) for now, and we hear a site move is planned that would put WHLO closer to Cleveland.