"Star Trek" fans across eastern New England are already celebrating; WNDS was known for its Trek reruns, and they're already back on Channel 50. What's more, CTV has reportedly asked nearly all of WNDS' dismissed staffers to come back to work, including weatherman Al Kaprelian, a cult favorite among WNDS viewers.
In other New Hampshire news, rumors are swirling about the sales of two Southern New Hampshire AMs, including WMVU (900) Nashua and another nearby station. More as we learn it...
We've also heard from someone who's actually picked up unlicensed WCTD (1620) in Westerly. A DXer across Long Island Sound in Montauk, NY heard WCTD earlier this week playing R&B oldies and adult standards; not bad for a station that claims it's operating legally under Part 15!
And we're told Wickford's WEGM (1370) is still on the air sporadically, largely middays and weekends.
WAAF's latest promotion is causing a bit of a stir; it seems the station is doing something called "Whip 'em Out Wednesdays," in which male listeners are asked to put the letters "WOW" on their cars, and female listeners are asked to respond in...well, you can use your imagination.
And there's late word that Ed Goldman, the erstwhile Vice President for CBS AM Radio Stations, has been promoted from general manager of WBZ(AM) to general manager of WBZ-TV. Goldman is still running the radio station for now until a replacement is named; former WBZ-TV GM Bill Aber goes to CBS Cable as vice president of new business.
This week's zing goes to the Boston Globe, but not to the usual suspect at the radio desk, who actually turned out a decent column in today's paper about the effects of ownership consolidation. No, this week's zing goes to the Globe Online folks, who just can't seem to fix the TV/Radio page. After being stuck on May 29 for a few weeks, it now contains just June 6 articles. Nothing like being up to date, eh...
NERW Connecticut correspondent Bill Dillane went down to the R. J. Julia bookstore last weekend to witness a Don Imus book-signing; he says the I-man was greeted by at least 2500 fans at the Madison store.
WMNR (88.1 Monroe) wants to extend its translator network; it's applied for an 88.1 translator in Huntington CT.
Speaking of WMNR, it's lost a long-running effort to keep the Calvary Chapel of Twin Falls, Idaho from putting a 91.9 translator on the air in Meriden CT. Calvary's application seems to be evidence not only of how sloppy some of these translator applications can be, but also of how the FCC doesn't seem to care. Here's the deal:
Calvary's KAWZ Twin Falls applied for the translator last year, but somehow ended up applying for it in "Meriden, Mississippi," a nonexistent town that seems to have resulted from confusion between Meridian, Miss. and Meriden, Connecticut (it all looks the same from Idaho, right?) WMNR filed a petition to deny in November, followed by a reply from Calvary in December, a sur-reply from WMNR in January, and then the FCC's decision to deny the petition to deny late last week.
(Wondering how WMNR got mixed up in the whole mess? So were we; it turns out there's a 91.9 WMNR translator in Fairfield CT.)
So Calvary will get to build its 91.9 FM in Meriden (if it can figure out the difference between Mississippi and Connecticut), but in the meantime it's still awaiting word on an application to change frequency to 91.3 -- an interesting move indeed, considering the existence of the University of Hartford's WWUH (91.3 West Hartford) just up the road!
We've editorialized enough in the last few months about these long-distance FM translators; suffice it to say we find the call letters for the new translator somehow appropriate: W220BS.
One more Connecticut note: Metro Networks is gearing up to provide news to Nutmeg State radio stations from its facility on Hartford's Asylum Street. We wouldn't be even slightly surprised to see several Connecticut stations dropping their local news staffs in the next few months to take the Metro service; if ARS's history in Boston at WRKO and WEEI is any indication, WTIC (1080) is a likely target.
The FCC this week approved the transfer of the WKVT/WKVT-FM licenses from Rowena Broadcasting to LB New Hampshire, the owner of WKNE AM-FM in Keene NH.
The NERW-mobile headed for Auburn NY last weekend, where we caught WAUB (1590) back on the air with standards from Music of Your Life, plus a live local morning show from 7-9 AM. WAUB is now the only radio station doing local Auburn news, with WMBO (1340) all satellite sports and talk.
The FCC has granted the transfer of the WCMF (990 Rochester) license from ARS to Donald Crawford's Kimtron Broadcasting. Expect 990 to flip from a simulcast of rocker WCMF-FM (96.5) to a simulcast of religious WDCZ-FM (102.7 Webster) in the next few weeks.
Binghamton's public radio station is increasing its reach. The WSKG Public Telecommunications Council has been granted a new station on 88.7 in Hornell. The 4500 watt station will transmit from just west of Canisteo, south of Hornell, and will likely displace W204AS, the Dansville translator for Webster's WMHN (89.3) on 88.7. WSKG now has relays in Oneonta, Ithaca, Corning, and Binghamton.
The apps just keep on coming for religious radio in the Empire State. Calvary Chapel of the Westside has filed for the new 95.5 Albion allocation, against Jacor. If Jacor gets it, expect to see some tricky engineering work to move Jacor modern rocker WNVE (95.1 South Bristol) closer in to Rochester, as well as the possible disappearance of WNVE translator W238AB Rochester, which we heard as far out as Auburn, some 40 miles away. Family Life Radio has applied for a translator on 107.5 in Greece NY, actually broadcasting from the WKLX/WRMM/WDCZ tower on Rochester's west side. The translator would relay WCIY (88.9 Canandaigua).
Incidentally, WNVE has agreed to end its current ad campaign on the side of Rochester buses after several complaints. The ads showed Heaven's Gate cult leader Marshall Applewhite, with the caption "Taking Music to the Next Level." NERW suspects "The Nerve" is getting more publicity from the TV reports about the bus cards than it ever did from the buses themselves.
In other translator news, Geneva's public radio WEOS (89.7) has applied for a translator in Geneva on 90.3, using the former WEOS site on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus, to fill in some in-town gaps from the new 89.7 transmitter on Lake to Lake Road. William Walker has bought the CPs for translators W231AG (94.1) and W293AE (106.5) Newburgh from Paul Reid; expect to hear them relaying Walker's WBWZ (93.3 New Paltz) and WRWD (107.3 Highland) soon. And St. Lawrence University has applied for another outlet in its Northern New York public-radio web, this time on 89.7 in Keene NY.
New TV in Syracuse: A group called Syracuse Minority Broadcasters has won the CP for a full-power channel 56, operating from the WIXT/WCNY site on Sevier Road in Pompey. NERW expects to see either The WB or home-shopping on this station, assuming it's not sold to Paxson first. SMB beat out several other applicants for Syracuse's last full-power TV allocation.
Remsen's WRFM (93.5) has applied for a new transmitter location and a power change; we haven't seen the details yet, but suspect WRFM wants to move to the Smith Hill site where the Utica FMs are located.
Binghamton's WINR (680) has applied to boost power from 1kW daytime to 5kW, night power would remain at 500 watts. Just down the dial at 670, there's an application for a new station in Waddington NY (we had to look it up, too; it's on the St. Lawrence River between Ogdensburg and Massena) with 10kW day, 6kW critical hours, and 1.5 kW night. We're betting this one will be aimed straight into Canada; it's not far from Montreal or Ottawa. We're also not sure whether this app is mutually exclusive with WSIV East Syracuse's plan to move to 670. By the way, we're told the CHCH and CITY translators mentioned last issue are in fact on the air in Ottawa, along with a translator for Toronto's multicultural CFMT-TV (Channel 47). CITY-TV3 is on channel 65, with a signal that's supposed to reach the New York state line, while the CHCH ("ONtv") signal is on channel 11 and CFMT is on 60. We're also told that August 1 is the target date for WFFF (Channel 44), the Fox affiliate serving Burlington VT, Plattsburgh NY, and Montreal.
One more small correction from northern NY: Malone's WICY (1490) is running ABC's adult contemporary "Starstation" format, not the standards format known as "Stardust."
And that's a wrap for this week...see you next time with more radio news from across the great Northeast!