North East RadioWatch: January 1, 1998
Shakeup at WTSN
Welcome to a new year of NERW! We'll get to part two of our 1997
Year in Review in just a few moments...first our check of the week's
(meager) news items:
- The only big programming change of the week comes from the NEW
HAMPSHIRE seacoast, where WTSN (1270) in Dover has cut much of its
local weekday talk lineup. Gone is the last hour of the 5-9 AM news,
replaced with a new local talk hour hosted by Mark Miller and Susan
Smith. The Open Mike show that was a longtime fixture from 9 till
noon has been replaced with Dr. Laura Schlessinger. And the 5PM news
hour has been displaced as well, as WTSN picks up Howie Carr from WRKO
(680) in Boston. Mike Pomp's local talk show remains in place from
6:05 till 7 PM.
Remember our mention a few weeks back that WKBR (1250) in Manchester
was running WRKO's "Two Chicks Dishing" show? Must have been a
fluke..since it hasn't been heard since, and the folks at WRKO know
nothing about the simulcast.
In Nashua, Maury Parent has returned to the airwaves after being
dismissed as general manager of WSMN (1590). His Saturday morning
oldies show and Sunday French show have moved to WMVU (900), which,
ironically enough, is the descendant of the old WOTW, which Parent
used to manage.
- Down to MASSACHUSETTS...where beleaguered CBS O&O WBZ-TV (Channel
4) is about to take on yet another new news identity. The new set and
music will debut Sunday night, with a new morning show to make its
premiere on Monday, January 5. And if you've noticed a lack of new
material at their Web site, it's
because the web site is also getting an overhaul, due to début January
J.J. Wright has found a new gig, just days after being fired from
WXKS-FM (107.9 Medford). Wright spent 18 years at "Kiss 108." Now
he's doing fill-in work at Greater Media's WROR (105.7 Framingham).
Thanks to Dean Johnson of the Boston Herald for getting to
the bottom of the simulcast mix-up a few weeks ago on WNFT (1150).
Johnson reports that the sudden change from WAAF (107.3 Worcester) to
WJMN (94.5, owned by competitor Evergreen) was caused by the
maintenance crew cleaning the transmitter site in Lexington. Seems
the workers didn't want to listen to hard rock -- so they switched the
dial to their favorite station, never realizing they were also giving
WNFT listeners (if there were any) a dial twist as well. We'd have
locked the radio up if we were running the place...
- MAINE broadcaster Allan Weiner got a nice New Year's gift from the
FCC: They've approved his application for a new shortwave station in
Monticello. No word on when the station might be built, or what
Weiner will program. He's well known in the radio community for his
long history as a pirate, from small stations near New York in the
late 60s all the way to Radio Newyork International a few years back.
Stick an asterisk next to WHMX (105.7) Lincoln; the station has been
granted noncommercial status. It's already been running
noncommercially ever since being returned from the dead as a simulcast
of religious WHCF (88.5) Bangor.
- VERMONT's WVAY (100.7 Marlboro) has returned to live, local operation
part-time during ski season. 'VAY breaks away from the AAA format of
sister station WRSI (95.3 Greenfield MA) on Friday nights and
Saturdays, to allow for remotes from southern Vermont's ski country.
WJSC (90.7) at Johnson State College has applied to increase power
from 160 to 200 watts.
- In CONNECTICUT, there's a format change on the way at Yale's student
station. WYBC (94.3) New Haven will drop most of its specialty
programming, including folk, blues, industrial, and techno music, as
the result of a vote by the station's governing board. The music will
be replaced by a "more homogenous" format, possibly the urban AC that
already runs on 'YBC during the hours that it's operated under an LMA
with SFX's WPLR (99.1 New Haven). WYBC says it's seeking a way to
program a second station with the more diverse music being dropped
from 94.3. The student and community DJs whose shows are being
cancelled will be allowed to stay on the air -- if they agree to work
within the confines of WYBC's new format.
On the TV side, NBC O&O WVIT (Channel 30) New Britain-Hartford has a
new news director. Liz Grey returns to Connecticut after two years as
assistant news director at WABC-TV (Channel 7) in New York City. As
Liz Crane, she ran the newsroom at WTNH (Channel 8) in New Haven from
1990 until 1995.
- RHODE ISLAND? Not this week...
- There could be a new FM station in upstate NEW YORK within a few
years. The latest FM allocation opened by the FCC is a class A on
106.7 in Windsor, east of Binghamton in the sparsely-populated area
already served by an established AM-FM combo in Walton (WDLA
1270/92.1) and by two more recent drop-ins (WIYN 94.7 Deposit and WDHI
100.3 Delhi). NERW suspects this one will end up as another
rimshotter in the already-overbuilt Binghamton market.
Pilot Communications is moving south from its base in Syracuse, where
it owns CHR WNTQ (93.1), news WNSS (1260), AC WLTI (105.9), and
classic rock WAQX (95.7 Manlius). Pilot's latest acquisitions are
Cortland's WKRT (920), which runs satellite oldies, and WIII (99.9),
another classic rocker, which aims at the Ithaca market, where it has
translator W262AD (100.3). WIII also holds an unbuilt CP for a
booster, WIII-FM-1, in DeWitt (actually to be on the WSYT-TV tower in
Otisco), serving the Syracuse area. No purchase price has been
Still looking for that perfect 1998 calendar? The Buffalo Broadcast
Pioneers have collected 13 historic photos of Buffalo radio in their
first calendar. It's $8.75 including tax and postage; proceeds
benefit the Pioneers. You can reach them at 3380 Sheridan Drive,
Suite 350, Amherst NY 14226.
See also part 2 of NERW's 1997 Year in
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