Capstar continued to make staff cuts at Manchester's WGIR (610/101.1) this week, starting with the entire morning show on the FM side. Alan Baxter (known on air by last name only, Elle B., "Silent Steve" Gamelin, and "Jeff the Intern" were notified after Monday's show that they're out of work. Afternoon host Fil Robert Kaye is handling morning duties temporarily, but NERW hears that the long-term plan is to simulcast the Greg Kretschmer and Jeanmarie morning show from sister station WHEB (100.3) in Portsmouth. On the AM side at WGIR, sports director Rich Levine is the latest to be fired. Former news director Bill Rossi, meantime, has taken a job with Metro Networks in Boston.
It's not just Capstar, though; down the Everett Turnpike in Nashua, five staffers at WSMN (1590) are out of work, including longtime WSMN personalities John Halbert and Nick Diamond. New PD Ned Crecilius (of WADN Concord MA) is installing a local talk format at WSMN, with hosts including Woody Woodland, a former sportscaster and salesman at the late WOTW-FM (106.3). WSMN is playing adult contemporary music in middays and evenings for now.
Up north, we hear WQTH (720) in Hanover is going back to the drawing boards to build its four-tower array, after a local zoning board gave a thumbs-down to the 266-foot towers. Will Bob Vinikoor's new 50-kilowatter make its fall target date? We'll keep you posted...
Up the road in Hamden, the town zoning board is considering an application by WKCI (101.3) to build a new 625-foot tower on Gaylord Mountain Road, just down the hill from WKCI's current site on the tower of WTNH (Channel 8). WTNH isn't renewing WKCI's lease for tower space -- so WKCI needs the new stick to stay on the air from its current site. Neighbors are expressing the usual concerns about a "tower farm" in their backyards...
Expanding on last week's obituary for T.J. Martin: The former WAVZ jock had another claim to fame as well -- he was the ex-husband of Grace Metalious, the author of "Peyton Place." The two met while he was working as a DJ at WLNH (1350) in Laconia NH during the '60s, and he's said to be the model for a character in the book.
And the Boston Red Sox are supposed to be seen in Connecticut on WBNE (Channel 59) in New Haven. So what was their first preseason game Tuesday doing on WHCT (Channel 18) in Hartford instead -- with no graphics and very low audio?
Eddie Zack's "Hayloft Jamboree" show is back on the air after the format change at WHIM (1450) in West Warwick left the show homeless. Zack's show can now be heard Sundays from 11 till 2 on WJJF (1180) in Hope Valley.
General Teleradio put WNAC-TV (Channel 7) on the air that June, and grew over the next decade to include stations in New York (WOR) and Los Angeles (KHJ) as well. In 1954, O'Neil bought RKO Radio Pictures from Howard Hughes and General became RKO General.
O'Neil remained chairman of RKO General until his retirement in 1985, as the company was forced to sell many of its licenses (including WRKO radio and WNAC-TV) following accusations of billing irregularities.
O'Neil died Saturday of heart failure at his home in Greenwich, Connecticut. He was 82.
In other Bay State news, WCCM (800) in Lawrence has been granted FCC approval of its sale from Curt Gowdy to Costa-Eagle -- but "with conditions," according to the FCC database. We'll let you know more as we learn it.
The Boston Globe's new radio column is batting 1.000 -- or should that be .000 -- so far; this week's features "WHCH" at Holy Cross in Worcester. Funny, last time we were out there, the station was WCHC on 88.1...
Radio people on the move: Mike Cannon has left his post as producer at WBZ (1030) to go into sales; he'll start March 30 at WMJX (106.7).
Two LPTVs have been deleted. Craig Ministries' W54CB in Waterville and W56DD in Bridgton were denied extensions of their construction permits.
New calls on the religious shortwave station in Greenbush. The former WVHA Scotts Corners is now WHRA under new owner World Harvest Ministries.
And from the Dept. of Nitpicking: A very attentive NERW reader wrote in to point out that when J.J. Jeffrey was growing up down the road from AM 900 in Brunswick, the calls were WCME, not WKXA. Jeffrey's partner, Bob Fuller, tells the Portland Press Herald that he plans no changes when Fuller-Jeffrey takes over what's now WCLZ (98.9/900) from Mike Waggoner and Riverside Broadcasting. For his part, Waggoner says he never would have sold the station to anyone but locals Fuller and Jeffrey. Waggoner is staying with 'CLZ for now.
More Albany radio news: WXCR (102.3 Ballston Spa) and WKLI (100.9 Albany) are both looking for new PDs. Scott Hawk is out of the job at WXCR after just a few weeks, while WKLI has dropped PD Louie Diaz and consultant Todd Pettengill (of WPLJ in New York).
Johnstown's WSRD (104.9) has applied to change its city of license to Altamont, just a little closer to the Albany market.
On the TV side, the Albany Nielsen ratings had to be reissued after a diary check by WRGB (Channel 6) in Schenectady found that one diary had been filled out by the household of a staff member at WXXA (Channel 23). Oddly enough, the viewers in that particular household were watching WXXA -- and nothing but WXXA -- as much as 13 hours a day.
Moving west, we're told Utica's WRUN (1150) is in fact simulcasting country WFRG (104.3) all day, every day, and has been since last fall.
Up north, Tupper Lake's WRGR (102.3) is being sold by Calvin Carr to the Nardiello family of Lake Placid's WIRD (920)/WLPW (105.5). WRGR has been a WLPW simulcast for some time now.
In Rochester, veteran radio/TV news and sports guy Steve Hausmann has changed his radio affiliation, moving from Jacor's WHAM (1180), WVOR (100.5), and WYSY (106.7) over to American Radio Systems, where he started Tuesday as news anchor on WPXY-FM (97.9) and WCMF (96.5). Hausmann keeps his weekend gig as sportscaster on WHEC-TV (Channel 10).
Buffalo's WUTV (Channel 29) and its soon-to-be sister radio stations could soon be moving. Sinclair Broadcasting wants to consolidate all its Buffalo operations in a building on the Buffalo waterfront. Currently, WUTV's studios are at the transmitter site on Grand Island, while WGR (550), WBEN (930), WWWS (1400), WWKB (1520), WKSE (98.5, and not -- as the Buffalo News had it recently -- "KYSE"), and WMJQ (102.5) are scattered in various studio locations around the city, including the WIVB (Channel 4) building on Elmwood Avenue and a facility at 695 Delaware Avenue.
Across the border, say hello to "C-101." Mohawk College's new station, legally CIOI, begins broadcasting on 101.5 in Hamilton on Monday. And don't look to the CN Tower for the CBC's new Toronto FM later this year. When CBL moves from 740 kHz to 99.1 MHz this summer, the transmitter will be with CISS (92.5) on the First Canadian Place tower instead of with the other CBC outlets (CJBC-FM 90.3, CBL-FM 94.1, CBLT 5, CBLFT 25) on the CN Tower. NERW hears the cost of installing the directional antenna on the CN Tower would have been prohibitive.
Which brings us to last weekend's field trip to New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and a few quick observations therefrom:
From our Internet-domains department... We now have a new domain name for all our services here at North East RadioWatch and the Boston and Upstate New York Radio Archives. Here are the new addresses you'll want to bookmark at bostonradio.org:
That's it for this week...see you next Thursday with more from the snowy Northeast.