Clear Channel is already a major owner in New Haven (WELI/WAVZ/WKCI), Providence (WWRX/WWBB), and Springfield (WHYN AM-FM). It's a TV owner in Albany (WXXA-TV), and it's a major investor in Albany's WQBK/WQBJ, WXCR, and WTMM. The Dame purchase gives Clear Channel WGY (810 Schenectady), WRVE (99.5 Schenectady), and WHRL (103.1 Albany) to add to the group, along with six Utica-area stations -- the trimulcast standards WUTQ (1550 Utica)/WRNY (1350 Rome)/WADR (1480 Remsen), rocker WOUR (96.9 Utica), CHR WSKS (102.5 Rome), and AC WRFM (93.5 Remsen).
Binghamton's WIVT (Channel 34) remains off the airwaves, but cable viewers are again seeing local programming. Public broadcaster WSKG (Channel 46) leased space in its Gates Road facility in Vestal to WIVT, which was knocked off the air by a tornado that destroyed its tower and much of its studio building. It's something of an irony for the folks at WSKG, who were rumored to be contemplating buying Channel 34 a few years ago (when it was still WMGC) and running it as a commercial operation from the WSKG studios. Broadcasting & Cable magazine reports WSKG hopes to keep WIVT as a permanent tenant.
WGKP, we hardly knew ye: The Sound of Life religious network must think it's covering Albany well enough with its translator on 98.9; it asked the FCC last Friday to delete the construction-permit for never-built WGKP (89.9 Rensselaerville), which would have broadcast from the same New Scotland site that W255AJ is using. NERW guesses it must be much cheaper to run a one-watt translator than a 340-watt "real" station.
Up north, Ogdensburg's WZEA (98.7) went on the air "for real" this week, as hot AC "Yes-FM." New calls are already in place; list this one as WYSX from now on. We're told live jocks are now on the air at this Tim Martz-owned station. While we're in the area, we note that CJSS (1220) in Cornwall, Ontario has applied for 101.9 MHz; part of a slew of Canadian AM-to-FM applications in the last few weeks, it seems. Others include London's CKSL (1410 to 102.3), Sarnia's CKTY (1110 to 106.3; we're sure WBT likes this one), and St.-Georges-du-Beauce, Quebec's CKRB (1460 to 103.3, ending a regular DX catch in the Boston area). In Lindsay, CKLY has now gone silent on 910 and is only on 91.9.
A few more bits of Canadiana: The Toronto area's dance station, CING (107.9 Burlington), is now being simulcast into the London area on CKDK (103.9 Woodstock). And the CBC wants to start limited local service to London; it's applied to change CBCL (93.5) from a relay of Toronto's CBLA (99.1) to a separate license with at least 2 1/2 hours of local programming weekly. As it is, CBCL splits off from CBLA on weekday mornings, airing "Ontario Morning" instead of "Metro Morning."
The Lowell Spinners have started their season, and this year the Spinners radio broadcasts are only on WLLH (1400 Lowell and Lawrence). The other members of last year's network, in Nashua and Concord, did not return this year. Other single-A fun 'n' games: The Pittsfield Mets are reportedly on WBRK-FM (101.7) this year, and we understand the Batavia Muckdogs in upstate New York will be heard on college station WBSU (89.1) over in Brockport, whose signal into Batavia is adequate at best.
A few corrections from last week: We know better -- 96.9 in Boston is now WSJZ...and we hear its Soldiers Field Road studio location, shared with WBOS, will be the new home of WBMX (98.5) once CBS moves "Mix" out of the old ARS headquarters, and once Greater Media's new facilities on Morrissey Boulevard are ready this fall. Out of the ARS stations that can't be transferred to CBS, only WNFT (1150) is in trust for the moment. And a clarification on the WBPS (890 Dedham) situation: It's the WBPS folks, not prospective purchaser Salem, who asked the FCC to kill the application.
Tunneling deep for some news: With the demise of "Tunnel Radio," regular AM reception has returned to Boston's Dewey Square Tunnel deep below South Station. A new system, similar to those in the Callahan and Sumner Tunnels, provides in-car reception of most of the AM band. NERW idly wonders: what will drivers hear in the underground Central Artery when the Big Dig is finished?
WRKO (680) is gearing up for another Independence Day oldies marathon, again asking listeners to vote for their favorite songs of the sixties. As it's done the past few years, WRKO will use its talk hosts as prerecorded jocks when it goes back to music for a day July 4.
WJIB (740 Cambridge) "ADDs" more ethnic programming. It's contracted out most of Saturday (6AM-8PM) and Sunday afternoons (noon-8PM) to ADD Media, the leased-time operator of WRCA (1330). WJIB is also running Chinese programming weeknights from 5 until 7. On the flip side, the college broadcasts on weeknights from 7 till midnight have ended for the year.
And while it's not strictly broadcast, the demise this week of the daily "Haverhill Gazette" is certainly broadcast-related. The Gazette was recently sold to the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, which also controls all the AM stations (save for WLLH-S in Lawrence) in the Lawrence-Haverhill area through Costa-Eagle Communications. RIP, Gazette...
And just north of Burlington, Montreal's CJAD returned to 800 from its temporary lodging at CKGM (990) last Friday -- clearing the way for CKGM to return to doing its own programming, which turns out to be oldies, with jocks supplied by tape from CHUM in Toronto and the CHUM Group stations in Windsor. NERW's looking forward to hearing CKGM when we hit Montreal in a week's time -- and to seeing CJAD's new towers, replacing the ones that went down in the ice storm last winter.
Say goodbye to W288AX (105.5) in Lubec. Dudman Broadcasting asked the FCC to delete the construction permit from its records.
And that does it for the last regular NERW for two weeks. On Friday, we head off to Maine, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and eastern Ontario for a nine-day excursion. We're looking forward to meeting many of you, hearing a lot of good (and some pretty bad) radio en route, and seeing more radio towers than anyone probably should. Technology permitting, you can look forward to daily updates from the road...and a regular NERW on Thursday, July 2. [NB: NERW-on-the-road will be distributed by e-mail only. To subscribe, send only the word subscribe to email@example.com.] We'll see you then!