The Vermont Agency of Transportation, or "VTrans," has 19 of the 23 LP-100 applications that the FCC proposes to grant if no petitions to deny are received by June 24.
The other four? Rootswork, Inc., for 95.1 Warren; Voice in the Kingdom Radio for 96.1 Newport; Spavin Cure Historical Group for 98.1 Enosburg and Resurrection Ranch for 99.7 Rutland.
The deadline for petitions to deny to be filed is June 24.
Elsewhere in Vermont, a tour group led by Vermont Public Radio is en route to Cuba today after all, after the Treasury Department initially said the group of about 40 couldn't visit the island. The order was reversed over the weekend, allowing the group (including VPR president Mark Vogelzang) to depart for the week-long study trip.
And WXKK (93.5 Springfield) received a license to cover for its tower move; the station goes from the WNBX (1480) tower to a new site on Highland Road north of town, jumping from 3 kW at 79 meters to 1.45 kW at a much higher 144 meters above average terrain.
Down in Portland, we hear WLLB-LP has made the move down the dial from channel 45 to channel 15, where it's now testing with color bars.
On the AM side, WJLT (650 Ashland) received a license to cover for its 9-watt night signal; we hear, as well, that WJIB (740 Cambridge) is back to running AM stereo during the day.
WOON ended up diplexed with the city's other AM station, WNRI (1380), at the WNRI studio/tower site on Diamond Hill Road, a stone's throw from the Massachusetts border. But the STA included a power cut from 1000 watts to 650 watts during the day (WOON remained at a full kilowatt after dark), and now WOON is applying to the FCC to return to full power day and night from the WNRI site.
WZRA (99.7 Wakefield-Peace Dale) has officially changed calls to WSKO-FM to reflect its new simulcast with Citadel sports sister WSKO (790 Providence). Actually, we should say "mostly simulcast," since the FM side breaks away from noon until 2 PM daily for two hours of Bill O'Reilly (returning for the third hour of Jim Rome). WSKO-FM also carries the Yankees instead of the AM side's Pawtucket Red Sox.
After the expected loop of "Bad to the Bone," the playlist kicked off with "Welcome to the Jungle," followed by Nazareth, AC/DC, Pearl Jam and the other usual suspects in what promises to be a crowded format battle in the Hamptons this summer.
Jon Daniels is handling PD duties for the Bone, which is operating from the WLIR headquarters in Garden City (where staffers now can't hear WDRE or sister dance station WXXP "Party 105"!)
We could go on at some length about the war of words that kicked into high gear last week between WNEW (102.7 New York)'s star talkers Opie and Anthony and their DC-based archrivals Don and Mike, whose low ratings in middays on WNEW have sparked rumors of cancellation -- but we'd much rather say a few belated words about this year's WABC (770) "Rewound," which marked the 20th anniversary of the end of "Musicradio 77" and the start of WABC's successful talk format.
WABC production guru Johnny Donovan and musicradio77.com Webmaster Allen Sniffen did their usual thorough job with this year's extravaganza (which started at 6 Monday morning and ran until 8 that night, followed by a two-hour Musicradio talk show) -- and better yet, there was no Yankees game to get in the middle, now that they're over on WCBS (and playing a night game, anyway!)
Over on the Spanish side of the dial, WADO (1280) and its Miami sister station, WQBA (1140), have launched a new afternoon talk show. "Buenas Tardes America" runs from 3 until 5 weekday afternoons -- and it's hosted by MSNBC anchor Rick Sanchez, who now gets to boast that he's the only anchor hosting two national daily shows in two different languages on two mediums.
Heading upstate, former WXCR (102.3 Ballston Spa) morning team Mason and Sheehan have been cleared to go to trial in their lawsuit against Clear Channel. The duo say Clear Channel misled them when it hired them away from WPYX (106.5), telling them it would make WXCR a serious competitor when it only intended to remove competition to Howard Stern on Clear Channel's WQBJ/WQBK. A judge threw out the age-discrimination portion of the claim, leaving $20 million in fraud and breach of contract claims. Mason and Sheehan now work across town at Galaxy's WRCZ (94.5 Ravena); ironically, WPYX is now a Clear Channel station, while WQBK/WQBJ were spun to Regent a couple of years ago!
New calls in Syracuse: mark down "WVOA" for the 720 construction permit in DeWitt, which means 103.9 Mexico changes from WVOA(FM) to WVOA-FM.
And a Buffalo television veteran is heading for sunnier climates: after 23 years at WIVB-TV (Channel 4), Carol Jasen will leave the anchor chair June 28 to head for New Mexico, where she'll marry former WIVB reporter Craig Nigrelli. (The two have been engaged since January.)
Jacquie Walker (still remembered in these parts from her long-ago stint at Rochester's WROC) will anchor the 5, 6 and 11 PM newscasts after Jasen leaves, while Lisa Flynn will handle the 5:30 on WIVB and keep her 10 PM newscast on sister independent WNLO (Channel 23), and Lisa Scott adds noon duties to her morning anchor role at WIVB.
Up in Du Bois, it's back to an old set of calls at 102.1; no more WMOU-FM at "102 Moo," it seems -- you can call it WOWQ again.
Williamsport's WLYC (1050) changes hands, going from the Brown Bear Irrevocable Trust to Williamsport Broadcasting for $105,000. Up in the hills northeast of town, WQZI (103.9 Laporte) applies to change from a directional antenna (with 6000 watts maximum at 84 meters) to a non-directional 4300 watts at 61 meters. That's equivalent to 3 kilowatts at 100 meters, which is the most WQZI can put out towards short-spaced WQNY (103.7 Ithaca NY).
And yes, WWLY (106.3 Huntingdon) is now simulcasting the oldies from Forever sister WALY (103.9 Bellwood) in the Altoona market.
Down the shore, WBNJ (93.1 Wildwood Crest) was granted a license to cover for its move, boosting power from 3300 to 4200 watts while moving down its tower to a new spot 66 meters above average terrain.
And way down there in Vineland, WVLT (92.1) dropped its miscellaneous AC format last week in favor of oldies, with a strong leaning toward the doo-wop era (Philadelphia's Jerry "Geator" Blavat remains a regular presence on the station.)
Which brings us back to our European trip, doesn't it? When we left you, we were hopping on board the Eurostar train for a jaunt through the Chunnel to Paris.
We arrived three hours later to find a city where AM radio is nearly dead, with just four audible signals at our listening spot in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. On 162 kHz longwave, of course, was the mighty voice of France-Inter from Allouis in central France; up on medium wave we heard Radio France International (in English and other languages) on 738, France Bleu on 864 and FiP (the local service of government-run Radio France) on 585.
Only the 738 signal was exclusive to AM; the other three were simulcast on FM, along with some 35 other signals audible in central Paris on the FM dial. (RDS proved invaluable when it came time to identify them all!)
Radio France operates seven signals: France-Inter, with talk and AC music; France Musique, with classical and other "serious" music; France Info, the all-news service; France Bleu, with AC music for older listeners; France Culture, the "serious" spoken-word service (think Britain's Radio 4); FiP, the local service and a new signal called "Le Mouv," with French rock for a younger audience. Radio France International also operates an FM signal in Paris with its French-language stream.
In addition, the dial is filled with a variety of national networks -- RTL, the outgrowth of the old Radio Luxembourg, operates two of them; Radio Monte Carlo operates all-news RMC Info; Europe 1, Europe 2, NRJ, RFM and Skyrock are among the other big ones -- and a scattering of local stations, including several aimed at specific ethnic communities. (At 94.8 on the dial, we found a spot shared by several stations aimed at the Jewish audience in Paris!)
We didn't see much in the way of commercial studios, but we did head over to the enormous Maison Radio France across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower (just over the bridge from the Statue of Liberty replica that sits in the middle of the Seine). It's reputed to have the largest floor area of any office building in Paris -- and we can testify that it has one of the most impressive radio museums we've ever seen.
The collection includes some rare French radios from the twenties and thirties, along with a surprisingly extensive tribute to Edouard Branly. Never heard of him? He invented the coherer, one of the many pieces that contributed to reliable radio communications around the turn of the 20th century -- and because he was French, he's singled out for special attention when they recount their radio history.
National pride aside, the hour-long museum visit (and that's the only way to get inside, via a guided tour conducted in rapid-fire French) was well worth it. It even included a brief tour of parts of the rest of the facility, including the enormous concert hall where live orchestra performances are broadcast (which inspired a bit of dialogue with our tour guide about the huge differences between the big European state broadcasters and our commercial broadcasting system).
And, yes, there's that tower. What can we say about it that you don't already know? Eiffel has been used as a radio facility for more than a century; TV broadcasts began in 1935 and have continued almost non-stop (except for the war years), and today the tower is home to six TV signals and a whole slew of FM outlets, not to mention a forest of microwave antennas. We spotted the transmitter building next to the south pillar of the tower (it's mostly underground, but some power and ventilation equipment sits above the facility), and tried to follow the transmission lines up the tower.
Oh yeah - how many other TV towers have a shop halfway up that sells little cast models of the stick? (Yes, there's one now residing in a place of honor on one of the display shelves at NERW Central...)
Stay tuned; we'll honor the Eiffel Tower on Site of the Week later this summer.
That's it for another week; we'll see you here again next Monday!