This time around, it's WAVZ (1300) in New Haven making the change. As soon as tomorrow (Jan. 24), the 1000-watt station will become "The Zone, Fox Sports Radio 1300," airing the 24-hour Fox Sports feed distributed by Clear Channel's Premiere Radio. WAVZ was already carrying local sports programming that included Ravens AHL hockey; that will continue, but the station doesn't expect to add much more in the way of local talk.
The standards continue for New Haven listeners on WQUN (1220 Hamden).
Cox Radio turned off the classics in Miami on New Year's Eve, flipping the station to dance as WPYM, "Party 93.1," which opened the door for the folks at Marlin Broadcasting to apply for the WTMI calls for WCCC (1290) in West Hartford. There's a family connection there: Marlin sold WTMI to Cox a few years back, and WTMI's classical programming, from Marlin's Beethoven network, is still heard on 1290, at least after Howard Stern's show is over each morning.
FM news from around Connecticut: Tracy Austin will leave her PD post at Hartford CHR WKSS (95.7) on February 1; she's headed back to her native Texas to be PD at KRBE (104.1) in Houston. Kiss APD/MD Mike McGowan will handle interim duties there until a successor is named. Over in New London, Mark Sommers brings some big-city pipes to WBMW (106.5 New London); the former WABC and WCBS-FM jock will be doing middays for the hot AC outlet. On the other end of the state, Joe Loverro replaces Bill Simmons in mornings at WQQQ (103.3 Sharon).
And some TV news: WCTX (Channel 59) in New Haven will carry 50 Red Sox games this season, as part of a package from Boston's WFXT. No word on whether the UPN affiliate will also be picking up games from either New York baseball team. WCTX also gets a new owner; the FCC approved a duopoly this week between WCTX and WTNH (Channel 8) that will allow WTNH owner LIN Television to change its LMA of channel 59 into a purchase from K-W Television.
Out on Cape Cod, WOCN (103.9) wants to boost power a bit, jumping from 3000 watts to 5500 watts and adding a directional antenna. While the new configuration would create a bit of interference with WBCN (104.1) up in Boston, it would fall entirely in the ocean.
And in Worcester, we remember Carl Cooper, the host for 20 years of the Saturday morning "A Tasteful Blend" program on public radio WICN (90.5). Cooper, who also served as a board member at the station, died January 19 at age 73.
Over on the Seacoast, Robert Greer was named market manager for Clear Channel's Portsmouth cluster, including big gun WHEB.
Down in Portland, Chuck Igo landed on his feet as the new afternoon-drive jock on oldies WYNZ (100.9 Westbrook). Igo, who's always lived in the Portland area during his long career in Boston radio (most recently in overnights on WROR), will keep making the haul down I-95 to do weekend work at the Greater Media cluster in the Hub.
And in Rockland, they're getting ready to turn on the first LPFM in the Pine Tree State. WRFR-LP (93.3) in Rockland did a test broadcast New Year's Eve, reaching out from the Penobscot School as far as Camden with its 100 watt signal. Official programming is scheduled to start around February 14, with a 24-hour schedule that will include a morning show hosted by school founder Joe Steinberger.
Over in Moncton, New Brunswick, CKOE (100.9) applies to change from non-commercial to commercial operation, to better fund its Christian contemporary programming.
And in Toronto, Pat Cardinal is out as PD at Corus' Energy Radio (CING 95.3 Hamilton, etc.). AllAccess says Cardinal left "of his own accord," with Dave Ferrell handling interim PD duties.
WWJS is licensed to the Liberty Christian Center, which is hoping to receive tax-exempt status from Watertown. It had been operated by Charles and Karleen Savidge, who are the in-laws of Liberty pastor Steven Bryant, until Bryant locked them out of the 210 Court Street building shared by the church and the radio station.
Bryant told Watertown media outlets that he holds the WWJS license; the Savidges say that's impossible, because Bryant is a Canadian citizen. For now, WWJS's equipment remains locked inside the Court Street building and the station remains off the air; we'll keep you posted as this situation heads to court.
Over here in Western New York, the voices are about to change on Rochester oldies outlet WBBF (950 Rochester/93.3 Fairport), as PD Bobby Hatfield gets ready to depart the Entercom station. (Under his real name of Joe Reilly, he's the new owner of WHLM 930 down in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, which will inaugurate regular programming next month.)
Dave Symonds, who's already operations manager for the Entercom cluster, will assume PD duties for WBBF, while Mike Vickers moves from middays to Hatfield's old afternoon drive slot. Dave Radigan will take over midday and assistant PD duties, we're told.
Over in the Albany area, an old set of calls returned to the dial this week, as WCPT (100.9 Albany) changed back to WKLI. The station, now doing standards as "Magic 100.9," abandoned those calls a few years ago when it became hot AC "Point," sending them down to 94.5 in Ravena. But that station, now doing hard rock as "94 Rock," changed calls to WRCZ this month, freeing WKLI for a return to Albany.
Down in Hudson, we have the first LPFM grant in the Empire State. The Enlarged City School District of Hudson gets 100 watts on 97.1; no calls have been announced yet.
Over in Gloversville, low-power W49BA changes calls to WFNY-CA, to match its construction-permit sister radio outlet, WFNY (1440).
Downstate, the partial simulcast of public radio WNYC-FM (93.9) on WNYE (91.5 New York) will end January 31, when WNYC increases power from the Empire State Building. Our weekend visit to the city found WNYC still with a weaker signal than the stations that had been on Empire before September 11, but with no real signal problems as far out as Rockland County. (WNYC will still require millions of dollars to pay for the transmission equipment to replace the site it lost atop the World Trade Center; among the other stations helping out is San Francisco's KQED, which will conduct a one-day pledge drive tomorrow to help WNYC pay for the transmitter and antenna at Empire and a new auxiliary site at Conde Nast.)
We also spent some time listening to WBAI (99.5), which has been in an intensely self-celebratory mode since Pacifica's national leadership decided to reverse some of the programming and management decisions made during the last few controversial months. The return to local control at WBAI includes the resumption of Amy Goodman's "Democracy Now" show, which in turn means some schedule changes across the river at WFMU (91.1 East Orange), which had been airing the political talk show since it was ousted from WBAI. We're hoping that by the next time we return to New York, WBAI will have found something else to talk about besides itself; there was very literally not a moment in which we switched to 99.5 when the station was talking about anything other than its internal political troubles.
On the commercial side of the dial, WQXR (96.3 New York) ups Penny Gaffney from general sales manager to vice president.
Out on Long Island, WGSM (740 Huntington) wants to change its signal a bit to better serve Asian communities in New York City. The station, now doing Korean-language programming, wants to drop daytime power from 25 kW to 20 kW, but with a big pattern change that would add a lobe to the west over Queens and Brooklyn. (Right now, most of WGSM's power is aimed southeast over Long Island and out to sea.) WGSM would increase its night power from 43 watts to a whopping 50 watts as well.
Andy Santoro is rejoining his old Greater Media colleague Charlie Banta; he's signed on as vice president of Banta's Millennium station group in New Jersey.
Nassau Broadcasting and Multicultural Broadcasting had their swap of New Jersey and Pennsylvania stations granted, but Multicultural only gets WHWH (1350) and WTTM (1680) in Princeton with an "expanded-band condition"; we believe that means one of the two frequencies will have to go silent in the next few years. (Which reminds us: it's now been well over five years since WJDM 1530 in Elizabeth spawned the expanded-band station that's now WWRU 1660, yet 1530 was still on this weekend...)
Jay Michaels is out as PD of Pittsburgh's urban WAMO-FM (106.7 Beaver Falls); music director "DJ Boogie" is handling things on an interim basis there.
And we note with sadness the passing of Dan Foley, whose career in Northeast broadcasting included stints at WBIS in Bristol, Connecticut, WCAU-FM in Philadelphia and the former WKBS-TV (Channel 48) in the Philadelphia market. More recently, Foley had been an announcer for ABC ("World News Tonight" on the weekends) and Comedy Central's "Daily Show." Foley died of cancer January 18; he was 52 and is survived by his wife Pat Farnack, an anchor for New York's WCBS (880).
And that's it for another week. Don't forget to check out the latest Tower Site of the Week on fybush.com, as we stop by WADO in the Jersey Meadowlands to see how much things have changed in the last few years. We'll be back next Monday...see you then!