Salem will move WBNW out of its studios in the Schraffts Center in Charlestown (where 590 has been located since 1990, when it was still all-news WEEI -- how long ago that now seems!), and into the WEZE studios in Marina Bay, Quincy. A published report in the Boston Globe quotes WEZE execs as complaining about the high rent they'll also inherit for the 590 transmitter site in Medford...but there's not much they can do about that, NERW thinks. The existing 1260 site, south of Boston in Milton, Mass., would not be suitable for 590.
As for new calls for 1260, Salem has a history of returning AM stations to their original calls (just ask the folks at WFIL, Philadelphia), and the 1260 facility was known for decades (until 1953, to be exact) as WNAC. Those calls, however, have been in use for several years at the Fox affiliate in nearby Providence RI, which would probably frown on sharing them in Boston. Another historical possibility, suggested by NERW research director Garrett Wollman, is WVDA, the calls used by 1260 from 1953 until becoming WEZE in 1957. This is an unlikely choice, if only because of WJDA in Quincy, which is at 1300, just 40 kHz up the AM dial from WEZE. We'll know in a few days what Salem actually picks.
Fans of the Bloomberg business programming formerly heard on 590 won't be completely out of luck. WADN (1120) in Concord announced that it will be picking up Bloomberg business reports several times hourly during the day, as well as carrying three hour-long blocks of Bloomberg programming. WADN's signal outside the western suburbs is spotty to non-existent, though, and the business news isn't exactly an ideal fit to the station's nominal format of folk music. On the other hand, WADN is also reported to be in financial trouble, and anything that can draw a few more listeners will probably be tried out there.
Back Bay Broadcasting will also keep programming Bloomberg business on WPNW (550) in Pawtucket RI, which has an adequate daytime signal in the southern part of the Boston area. The local talk now heard on WBNW, most notably the midmorning "Money Experts" show, will not continue on WPNW.
NERW's AM dial will be glued to 590 this weekend...tune in Monday for the full details on WBNW's farewell.
On the air, but having technical trouble, were WSSH 101.5 Marlboro VT and the WVAY translator at 104.7 in Brattleboro. WSSH, we now know, gets its audio directly over the air from WZSH -- because with WZSH missing in action at 107.1, Doug was treated to hash from WCCC-FM 106.9 Hartford CT and WAAF 107.3 Worcester MA on WSSH! And that WVAY translator stayed on the air, rebroadcasting WZLX 100.7 Boston, which was coming in pretty well up there. WSSH was gone by mid-afternoon Sunday, by which time Doug was listening to WTSA-FM. They made it back on the air pretty quickly, and Doug notes they were doing a good job of getting storm information out to their listeners, many of whom were without power, and would remain that way for several days.
WRSI 95.3 Greenfield went out for a while Sunday and Monday, while WZSH, WEVN, and WHDQ made it back on, followed in short order by most of the rest. It took until midday Wednesday for the last of the stations to make it back; Doug says WYRY, WXOD, and WVAY were all back on by 3 o'clock that afternoon.
One more note from Doug: the 105.5 translator in Keene NH that's supposed to be relaying WSSH/WZSH is suddenly bringing him religious programming from WMYY 97.3 Schoharie NY/WHAZ 1330 Troy NY/WBAR 94.7 Lake Luzerne NY instead. Hmmm...
Meantime, there's yet another storm said to be on its way this weekend... We'll stay tuned.