New England is recovering from a freak April snowstorm, and we here at NERW headquarters are suddenly having no regrets whatsoever about making the move to Rochester - and to think of all the ribbing we took for moving to "snowy" Upstate New York! Anyway, the storm is our top story this week, so on with the news:
Listeners in Rutland VT heard WZRT (97.1) giving the time one hour fast all morning; we suspect the rest of New England was too preoccupied by the storm to give much thought to April Fool jokes.
Here at NERW, we were tempted to throw together an April 1 special...but then again, most of what's happened in the past year could have played as April Fools just a few years ago. It's hard to parody an industry that's gone as crazy as broadcasting in the last few years!
There's a lot more radio these days than there was the last time we passed through a decade or so ago. Let's start with the old-timers:
On AM, the former WIQT (1000) Horsehide is now a full-timer on 820, and is now on its third set of calls, having gone from WIQT to WQIX to the new WWLZ, "Wheels 820." It's all satellite talk and sports.
The 1000 spot is now religious WLNL, "Lighthouse Radio," with a format that included loud Christian rock and roll the afternoon we tuned in. Still a daytimer, and diplexed off one of WWLZ's three towers.
WENY on 1230 is an all-satellite talker, and WELM (1410) is mostly satellite, running sports talk.
Corning's WCBA (1350) and WCLI (1450) were having technical problems the Sunday afternoon we tuned in. WCBA was supposed to be satellite standards, but was all dead air. WCLI was supposed to be satellite talk, but instead the computer was playing ID after ID after ID, all with loud noise behind 'em. Nobody was home at the Davis Road studios when we pulled in...no big surprise?
And last but far from least, WEHH (1590) in Elmira Heights- Horseheads was playing standards, but the modulation on the 500 watt transmitter was so low that it was barely audible! WEHH is LMA'd to WELM, and the stations simulcast a fun polka program Sunday mornings.
As for FM...there was no sign of noncomms WCEB (91.9 Corning; Corning Community College) or WECW (107.7 Elmira; Elmira College). WSQE (91.1 Elmira) simulcasts Binghamton's WSKG (89.3) from high atop Hawley Hill, and WCIH (90.3) is an outlet of the Bath-based Family Life Network.
There were just a handful of live FMs: WNKI (106.1 Corning) is CHR "Wink 106," and you'll have to listen very carefully to hear the real calls. WNKI, WWLZ, and WPGI (100.9 Horseheads) are SabreCom stations, operating from new studios on College Ave. in Elmira. WLVY (94.3) is WELM's sister station, running CHR as "94 Rock." WNGZ (104.9 Montour Falls, simulcast on WGMF 1490 Watkins Glen) isn't exactly live, but it is locally-automated as classic rock "Wingz 105," with translators in Elmira and Corning on 93.5. SabreCom now runs WNGZ under an LMA.
If you like your radio from Denver or Dallas, there's plenty of satellite FM to choose from in the market. WLVY/WELM's sister station WOKN (99.5 Southport, translator in Corning on 102.5) runs country as "OK100." There's more country on WPGI, "Piggy 101," with live morning host Chris P. Bacon (get it?) and satellite the rest of the day. WENY-FM (92.7) is AC as "Y92.7," and from Corning there's more satellite AC on WCBA-FM 98.7. WCBA's sister station WGMM (97.7 Big Flats) is satellite oldies "Gem 97." The Corning FMs were also having problems Sunday afternoon; WCBA-FM was all dead air all the time, and WGMM was missing its local inserts for a few hours.
One more "Elmira" FM: WPHD (94.7 Tioga PA) has a 95.1 Elmira translator, and plays classic rock as "The Met." And WMKB (96.9 Ridgebury PA) is currently dark; it was simulcasting WLNL, and before that WEHH.
And if you prefer TV, there are but a handful of choices. Little WENY-TV (Channel 36) is the ABC affiliate, broadcasting from a former garage (and it shows!) in North Horseheads. WETM-TV (Channel 18) is all grown up from its days as a satellite of Syracuse's Channel 3. Now ensconced in new studios downtown, WETM is the NBC affiliate for both Elmira and Binghamton, with the change of Binghamton's WICZ- TV (Channel 40) from NBC to Fox. And the newcomer is Corning's WYDC (Channel 48), a Fox/UPN affiliate that goes by the name "Big Fox." It's seen on translator in Elmira on channel 26 and in Bath on channel 20. CBS and PBS come from Binghamton, on WBNG (Channel 12) and WSKG-TV (Channel 46, Elmira translator on Channel 30) respectively.
Next up: Jamestown, Olean, and Salamanca!