North East RadioWatch: May 1, 1997
Trouble for Brian Dodge
Welcome to May -- the sun is shining and the radio waves are blasting
in from Fort Kent to Fredonia, so let's see what's making news this
week in the Northeast...
- We'll begin in NEW HAMPSHIRE this time around, where there's much
more to report about religious broadcaster Brian Dodge and his media
empire of sorts. Last week we told you that his WWNH (1340 Madbury
NH) is operating without benefit of valid FCC license, and now it
seems New Hampshire's Attorney General's office is looking into the
finances of his "We Trust in Jesus Broadcasting." State officials
tell the Nashua Telegraph that the charity made a loan to Dodge last
year, in violation of a new state law which bars charities from making
loans to their directors or officers.
Dodge has also reportedly failed to file annual reports for 1995 or
1996, and he's due to appear at a closed-door hearing of the Division
of Charitable Trusts on May 20. Dodge is claiming his charity is
actually a church, which would exempt it from the reporting
requirements. State officials disagree. Stay tuned...
- The applications for 106.5 in Farmington NH keep pouring into the FCC;
among the latest batch is one from Carter Broadcasting, which would
add New Hampshire to its group of religion and leased-time stations in
Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
Another batch of applications in New Hampshire and Vermont comes from
several "Educational Radio Fellowships," operating under slightly
different names for each application. They've asked for 88.1 in
Peterborough NH, 91.5 in Wallingford VT, and 88.1 in Bennington VT.
- More from VERMONT: The rumors are flying around WVMX (101.7 Stowe)
this week. Late word is that the classic rocker may soon be reborn as
a classical music outlet under the calls WCVT. The 101.7 signal comes
from the top of Mount Mansfield, overlooking the Burlington area as
well as the Stowe area.
- A minor format change to tell you about in MASSACHUSETTS this week,
as American Radio Systems tweaks the format on WEGQ (93.7
Lawrence-Boston), the former 70s rocker. The "Eagle" is adding music
of the early 1980s, and touting itself as the "Greatest Hits of the
70s and 80s." Sister station WZMX (93.7) Hartford is still playing
70s rock, but now calling itself "Classic Hits 93.7".
- Boston's WBZ (1030) is adding the father-and-son team of Will and Sean
McDonough to its lineup this fall, with a Monday night sports talk
show to precede Monday Night Football. The McDonoughs will debut
labord day. Over on the TV side at WBZ, new 5PM anchor Sean Mooney
has drawn some press attention in the days since his debut. It seems
Mooney was a World Wrestling Federation broadcaster for several years
before going into "serious" journalism...
- Congratulations to WZLX (100.7) news director Debby Enblom; she's the
proud mother of a new baby boy! Ann Cody's filling in for her while
she's on leave.
- Out in western Massachusetts, WACM (1490 West Springfield) has been
sold to Antonio F. Gois by the Silva Broadcasting Corp.
- Endicott College in Beverly is planning a brunch in honor of Eileen
Kneeland, former Boston radio (WEEI) and TV children's show host. If
you were one of Kneeland's students at Endicott, you're invited to
contact the college or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Kneeland
is reportedly sufering from painful arthritis these days...NERW sends
our best wishes her way.
- There's a new signal on the air in upstate NEW YORK. Just hours
after the last NERW went online, WCGR in Canandaigua turned on its new
1310 kHz fulltime signal. The directional signal blasts in towards
Rochester, especially by day. WCGR is still simulcasting on the old
daytime-only 1550 facility, but that's expected to be turned off
shortly. Just down the road in Geneva, WEOS (89.7) has turned on its
new transmitter, providing much-improved coverage to the areas east of
- In Syracuse, WSIV (1540) is applying to change frequency to 670, still
as a daytimer but with 1500 watts non-directional. A 1980s
construction permit for WAQX(AM) on 670 was never built in Syracuse.
- Downstate, the FCC is cracking down on WJUX (99.7 Monticello), which
has spent its entire broadcast career as the nominal primary for
translator W276AQ Fort Lee NJ. The FCC has ordered a hearing into
whether W276AQ's owner, Gerry Turro, also exercised control over
WJUX and whether the licenses of WJUX, W276AQ, and Turro's translator
W232AL Pomona NY (the relay point between WJUX and W276AQ) should be
pulled. In listening to WJUX over the last few years, it's quite
obvious that the programming is targeted to W276AQ's Bergen County NJ
listeners and not to WJUX's audience in the Catskills. This should be
another good one to watch.
- Sold and for sale: WIPS (1250) Ticonderoga has been sold to Calvin
Carr by Adirondack Image-WIPS. And we've seen ads in the trade
offering WBKK (97.7 Amsterdam-Albany) for sale...asking price seems to
be in the $750,000 range, which seems low for a class A FM in the
Albany market. Perhaps the overbuilding is finally taking its toll...
A minor correction: WPTZ (Channel 5) is *not* on Lyon Mountain in the
Adirondacks; it's on Terry Mountain. WCFE (Channel 57) is on Lyon.
- More CONNECTICUT news: Local programming has started on WQUN (1220
Hamden). Ray Andrewsen and Michelle Turner are doing mornings. The
Northeast League's Waterbury Spirit begin play this season; baseball
fans can catch them on WATR (1320) beginning later this month.
- Up in MAINE: The odd situation surrounding WCME (96.7 Boothbay
Harbor) is getting a bit clearer. Tryon-Seacoast Communications,
which owns WKCG, WABK, and WFAU in the Augusta market, has bought the
station for an undisclosed amount. No word yet on what will become of
WCME, which is still being run mornings-only with automated AC out of
former sister station WXGL (95.5 Topsham).
WHOU (100.1 Houlton) has applied to change power and antenna height.
We should know more about this app next week.
And is Fuller-Jeffrey's station group expanding even more along the
Maine-NH coast? We've started seeing mentions of WSTG (102.1 Hampton)
as a part of the 8 FM/1 AM group...
- One final oddity for the week: Longtime followers of pirate radio in
the Northeast will be familiar with Al Weiner, the man behind
everything from Radio Newyork International to KPF-941 Yonkers,
not to mention licensed stations WOZI and WOZW in Maine. Now
he's written a book about his adventures in unlicensed broadcasting.
You can find more information at www.loompanics.com if you're curious.
And that'll do it for another week...see you next Thursday!
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