The purchase comes in the same week as FCC approval for Saga's previous purchase in the region, as the company adds Telemedia's WKNE (1290 Keene) and WKNE-FM (103.7 Keene), not to mention WKVT AM-FM across the river in Brattleboro, Vermont, to a group that already includes a cluster to the south in Massachusetts' Pioneer Valley (WHAI/WHMQ Greenfield, WLZX/WHMP Northampton and WAQY/WHNP Springfield) and one to the east in Manchester (WZID/WFEA).
Expect WKBK, which runs talk, and WXOD, which does oldies, to leave their second-floor digs in downtown Keene and move in to an expanded WKNE complex. Saga's saying there won't be staffing or format changes, but anyone who's worked in radio for more than a day or two knows how commonly that promise is made...
(It's a nice payday for Roberts, by the way; he paid just $800,000 for the combo a few years ago!)
Our only other Granite State item is a correction: the calls on Bob and Tom's latest affiliates on the Seacoast are WSHK (105.3 Kittery ME) and WSAK (102.1 Hampton NH)!
Elisa Boxer adds the 5 and 6 PM newscasts to her 5:30 duties, alongside veteran anchor John Dougherty. Reporter Bob Dyk moves over to WMTW's radio side, becoming morning anchor for AM 870, AM 1470 (WLAM Lewiston), and FM 106.7, and two former WGME (Channel 13) anchors come back to Maine to join channel 8: Jeff Peterson and Marnie MacLean.
Hynes, 73, made the classy gesture to create a job for WLVI anchor Frank Mallicoat, who's losing his own anchor seat with the cancellation of WLVI's morning newscast. Hynes, whose resume includes 26 years at both of Boston's channel 5s (WHDH-TV and WCVB) and a couple of years at WBZ-TV, will stay with channel 56 as a commentator and special-events anchor.
Meanwhile, the current WHDH-TV (Channel 7) is losing its last on-air link to its old days as WNAC-TV and WNEV with the departure of meteorologist Harvey Leonard. He's headed out to Needham for weather duties at WCVB (Channel 5) sometime later in the year.
Over at Fox's WFXT (Channel 25), Tori Ryden is out as 10 PM anchor; no replacement has been named.
On the radio side, Beau Raines has been named to replace Buzz Knight as program director for Infinity classic rocker WZLX (100.7). Raines had been PD at Greater Media's WROR (105.7), which now seeks a replacement. There's personnel news at Entercom as well; Jeff Scott comes to WQSX (93.7 Lawrence) as PD, making a move within the company from WEZB/WKZN in New Orleans, where he was director of operations.
Bill O'Reilly's new talk show will join the WTKK (96.9 Boston) schedule, weekdays from 1-3 PM; that cuts Margery Eagan and Jim Braude down from three hours to a single hour at noon.
Out in Worcester, Shannon Yasko is out as music director at WXLO (104.5 Fitchburg) as the position is eliminated.
New calls in New Bedford: mark down "WFHL" for the new religious station on 88.1 down there.
And we're sorry to note the passing of Ugo San Antonio, better known as "Hugo Anthony." His radio career began at WHAV in Haverhill in 1949, and he was the founding PD at Lowell's WCAP two years later. He joined WCCM in Lawrence in 1960 and supervised the startup of the FM outlet there, initially WGHJ and later WCCM-FM (and now WQSX 93.7).
San Antonio left radio in 1964; he was 78 when he died April 2.
The good news in this fight is that it doesn't appear there's much the school can do to stop the project, other than holding noisy public hearings, so there's reason to hope WGCH will continue to be able to provide public service to its ungrateful community for years to come.
Walt Pinto is out as program director of Buckley's WDRC (1360 Hartford) and its talk network around Central Connecticut; could this portend another format change at those stations?
The new 1590 in Oakville has calls: WWWN will be the identifier for the station when it signs on.
WIHS (104.9 Middletown) was granted its power increase by the FCC this week; the station will jump from 3100 watts, nondirectional, at 96 meters to 5800 watts, directional, at 100 meters.
And continuing our lists of baseball stations, the independent Bridgeport Bluefish will have radio this year for all 72 of their home games. Fairfield University students will assist in the coverage for 45 games on WVOF (88.5 Fairfield); the Connecticut School of Broadcasting will use its students to do the remaining 27 games as Webcasts. Ten Sunday home games will be heard in Spanish on WCUM (1450 Bridgeport), too.
New York's ESPN Radio 1050 has a program director, as Disney brings Kevin Graham in from co-owned WEAE (1250 Pittsburgh) to run the show at WEVD (1050) in New York.
The FCC made a pirate bust in Brooklyn, nailing Paul Dorleans for running a station on 87.9 after several letters and visits telling him to stop. (NERW says: that leaves, what, 999 more pirates in the Big Apple?)
Out on Long Island, the reception reports are good for the tower move of WXXP (105.3 Calverton-Roanoke). "Party 105" moved a few miles west from its old site near Riverhead late last week, and we're told coverage of central Suffolk County is strong, with a better signal west into Nassau as well.
Moving up to Albany, the schedule has shifted at WROW (590 Albany) as the station adds Laura Schlessinger's syndicated talk show to its mid-morning schedule. Fred Dicker's state-politics talk show follows Laura, with Bill O'Reilly joining WROW for early afternoons. Schlessinger had last been heard in the market on Clear Channel's WGY (810 Schenectady).
Ed Levine is dropping hints about what he'll do with WHTR when he moves it to 93.7 Scotia, and it looks like hot talk will indeed be the format, with former WPYX (106.5) morning guy John Mulrooney coming back as morning host. Expect the new station on the air sometime next week, we're told...
Heading north, WIPS (1250 Ticonderoga) is being sold. Calvin Carr is selling the station to "Bisiblue LLC," a holding company for Crown Point Telephone, which is already operating the station under an LMA.
WIPS began operating this week from new studios on Porter Mill Road in Crown Point, with former "One Life to Live" actress Renee Props doing mornings and a new format that mixes oldies and 80s hits.
The FCC approved a new LPFM in northern New York this week; the "Champlain Music Appreciation Society" gets 89.1 in Moriah with 100 watts.
In Binghamton, K.J. "Still Norm To Us" Bryant hires Amber, late of Clear Channel/Poughkeepsie, as his morning co-host on "Wild 104" WWYL (104.1 Chenango Bridge). Norm - we mean K.J. -'s former co-worker Busta gets promoted to music director here in Rochester at WPXY (97.9), which is putting up a new antenna up on Pinnacle Hill.
Don Derosa is wasting no time getting settled in at his new acquisition, WZZZ (1300 Fulton), beginning with a call change. The former WOSC will henceforth be known as WAMF, we're told.
The proposed frequency swap in the Southern Tier is off the table: the plan to boost the power on WMOU (101.9 Jamestown), move WZKZ (101.9 Alfred) to 97.1 and move the unbuilt 97.1 authorization in Canaseraga to 101.9 has been withdrawn.
Also withdrawn, for the moment, is Family Life's acquisition of translator W284AB (104.7 Buffalo); the FCC says this one was "inadvertently accepted for filing," but we expect to see it again soon.
And we now have a complete radio network list for the Yankees (you know, the team that lost to the Sox on opening day?)
In addition to flagship WCBS in New York (still revelling in the fight between Cablevision and the YES network that's keeping the games off TV for many New Yorkers), the list includes WGR (550 Buffalo), WSYR (570 Syracuse), WHEN (620 Syracuse - presumably the games slide back and forth between the two Salt City stations), WTNY (790 Watertown), WRUN (1150 Utica, listed under the "WIBX" calls of its sister on 950), WPIE (1160 Trumansburg), WHAM (1180 Rochester, which shares the games with sister WHTK 1280), WJTN (1240 Jamestown), WTMM (1300 Rensselaer), WENT (1340 Gloversville), WALL (1340 Middletown), WIRY (1340 Plattsburgh), WABH (1380 Bath, listed under its old "WVIN" calls), WEOK (1390 Poughkeepsie), WELM (1410 Elmira), WACK (1420 Newark, erroneously listed as "Newark NJ"), WENE (1430 Endicott), and WKNY (1490 Kingston).
Outside the state, the team can be heard on WTSN (1270 Dover NH), WARL (1320 Attleboro MA), WICC (600 Bridgeport CT), WLAD (800 Danbury CT), WWCO (1240 Waterbury CT), WPOP (1410 Hartford CT), WBRK (1340 Pittsfield MA), WKDR (1390 Burlington VT), WEJL (630 Scranton PA, listed as "WELJ"), WBAX (1240 Wilkes-Barre PA, listed as "Barre PA"), and WEEX (1230 Easton PA, listed as "WEEK 1320").
Up the shore a bit, Dan Alexander is out as afternoon jock on WJLK (94.3 Asbury Park), with PD Jeff Rafter now on the air for that shift.
Down the shore, WBNJ (93.1 Wildwood Crest) reapplies for a power boost from 3300 watts to 4150 watts, and therein lies an interesting story: the station was authorized, originally, for that 3300 watts at 89 meters above average terrain. But it turns out that the station ended up being built at just 66 meters above average terrain; hence the request to boost power. A previous authorization for the power boost was never carried out - so WBNJ is applying for it again.
While we're in the neighborhood, we have new calls to report for 97.3 Millville, ex-WBSS; it becomes WIXM(FM), which is a mixed-up way to spell "Mix," we suppose...
Frank Calderaro, former general sales manager at WKXW (101.5 Trenton), moves to station manager at Greater Media's WCTC (1450) and WMGQ (98.3) in New Brunswick.
It appears that WKMB (1070 Stirling) owner Herbert Michels has died; an FCC filing this week shows the station being transferred to Kevin Michels, executor. Any of our readers down that way catch more on this one? We'd like to know...
And we've been following, with great pleasure, Carl Van Orden's efforts to open a museum dedicated to Northern New Jersey radio history. You can now check out at least part of that history on the Web, thanks to a new site put up by Dave Kruh to chronicle the history of the late WRAN (1510 Dover Plains). You can find it at <http://home.attbi.com/~davekruh/WRAN/>, and stay tuned here for more news on the proposed museum, too!
Across the line in Delaware, an old callsign is being resurrected: WNRK (1260 Newark) changed calls last week to WAMS, and is now playing 50s and 60s oldies. The WAMS calls, still remembered with fondness from their top-40 heyday on AM 1380 in Wilmington, had been on 1600 in Dover, which warehouses the WNRK calls now.
Up in the Allentown market, Jeff France (formerly of WIXX in Green Bay, Wisconsin) comes to WLEV (100.7) for mornings.
Red Lion's WSOX (96.1) is applying again to raise its antenna. The York-market oldies station wants to go from 50 kilowatts at 152 meters AAT to a directional 13.5 kW at 290 meters, from a new tower next to its existing site at former sister station WTHM (1440 Red Lion). WSOX had a CP for the move, but it expired unbuilt, it seems.
And it looks as though we'll have a reason to return to New Castle sometime soon: Clear Channel filed for a license to cover this week for the new facilities at WBZY (1280), which appears to have rebuilt its two-tower array. The station changes, very slightly, from 5000/1000 watts, DA-N, to 4900/1000 watts, DA-N.
Torstar had proposed a station with some 85% Canadian content, and many in the Toronto area are trying to understand how the western Craig group could be considered more "local" than the Toronto-based Torstar, which operates the Toronto Star and several other newspapers in the region.
Torstar and CHUM have 45 days to contest the decision.
Speaking of CHUM, it shuffled the batting order at its "Team" sports network last week, moving Brian Henderson from mornings to the 9-noon shift alongside Gene Valaitis. Paul Romanuk and Mike Richards stay on in mornings, while afternoons now feature Jim Van Horne and rotating guests, with the departure of Stephen Brunt from a regular slot on the show.
More on the Blue Jays network: CFFX (960) replaces CHUM's CKLC (1380) on the net this year in Kingston.
Back to Toronto for a moment, we note that Larry Green is the new afternoon host on "Jazz FM" CJRT (91.1).
One more baseball list: we have the final French-language network for the last year of the Expos in Montreal, and in addition to flagship CKAC (730), it looks like this:
CHLN (550 Trois-Rivieres), CKRS (590 Chicoutimi), CHNC (610 New Carlisle), CHLT (630 Sherbrooke), CHRC (800 Quebec), CHRL (910 Roberval), CHGM (1150 Gaspe), CJRC (1150 Gatineau), CFVM (1220 Amqui), CKSM (1220 Shawinigan), CHVD (1230 Dolbeau), CFLM (1240 La Tuque), CJMD (1240 Chibougamau), CHRM (1290 Matane) and CFED (1340 Chapais).
And that's it for this week's update. We'll be on a bit of a strange schedule for the next few weeks: NERW will appear early next week with an April 24 publication date - and then we're heading off to Europe for a couple of weeks! There will be no NERW April 29 or May 6, but we'll be back in the saddle with the May 13 issue. (And just wait till you see the Tower Sites of the Week when we get back...)