North East RadioWatch: April 2, 1998

The Big Get...Smaller

by Scott Fybush

Finally this week, a quick look at what we heard as the NERW-mobile headed for Pennsylvania and New Jersey (and topped the 100,000-mile mark) last weekend:

The SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE simulcasts just keep growing, with WKQV-FM (95.7 Olyphant) joining WZMT (97.9 Hazleton) as "The Bear." Eclectic WMXH (750 Olyphant) was gone from the airwaves. NERW's quirky side enjoyed the small-town local feel of standards WEJL (630 Scranton)/WBAX (1240 Wilkes-Barre) and beautiful music WICK (1400 Scranton)/WYCK (1340 Plains). The towers of the old WTSS (1320 Scranton) on N. Keyser Avenue are gone now...

In the POCONOS, we heard local standards (and a pre-recorded local newscast) on WVPO (840 Stroudsburg). The former WPMR (960 Mount Pocono) is now WILT, a simulcast of WILK (980 Wilkes-Barre), and a sign on the studio door directs visitors to a local bait and tackle shop to find the public files; the old studio building is empty now. WESS (90.3 East Stroudsburg) was a nonstop BBC relay.

Not much has changed in ALLENTOWN-BETHLEHEM-EASTON since our last visit last fall, but we did enjoy a nice visit to the Capstar stations (WZZO/WAEB AM-FM/WKAP) with 'ZZO night jock Blake Dannen...not to mention a yummy lunch at the City View Diner. We rolled tape on WRNJ-FM (107.1 Belvidere NJ) one last time; it's now a relay of the Y107 country trimulcast from New York City, at least if the plans went right.

On we went into NEW JERSEY, where we saw the many changes at the Lyndhurst transmitter sites since our last visit in 1994. Gone are the stubby towers of WINS (1010), replaced by a tall four-tower array. Across Valley Brook Road, the two additional towers of WLIB (1190) are in place, awaiting that station's nightttime operation soon. Just behind it, WJWR (620) now holds forth with its five towers, replicating the array that's now demolished out in Livingston. And WOR (710) still dominates the neighborhood with its big sticks at the end of the street.

Your NERW editors took a drive through suburban North Jersey on an unseasonably warm Saturday afternoon, visiting (among others) the late WNJW (88.7) Franklin Lakes, oldies WGHT (1500) Pompton Lakes, WXMC (1310) Parsippany-Troy Hills, now in Spanish and with a very friendly staff greeting us, WMTR (1250) and WDHA (105.5 Dover) in Morristown, and the brand-new WJHR (1040) in Flemington, which was live, local, and rather unfriendly to visitors on a Saturday night. Was it something we said?

Sunday brought us back through North Jersey, seeing the now-defunct but still standing WRAN (1510) in Dover, WRNJ in Hackettstown, which has taken over the 1510 frequency and was doing a neat local show featuring VH1's top 100 artists of all time, and Sussex County's stations, which are all housed in one building now (if you're counting, that's standards WNNJ 1360 Newton, hot AC-ish WSUS 102.3 Franklin, classic rock WNNJ-FM 103.7 Newton, and country WHCY 106.3 Blairstown). Great DX spot: High Point, the highest point in New Jersey, from which we heard FM from NYC, Philadelphia, Allentown, Scranton, the Hudson Valley, and even Connecticut. Not a bad view, either...

And from there it was a stop at Port Jervis' WDLC (1490) and up through Monticello to NY 17 (soon to be Interstate 86) to NERW home base.

And that's it for this week; we'll be back next Thursday. See you then!

Previous issues of North East RadioWatch

The Boston Radio Archives
The Upstate New York Radio Archives