Back in radio-land, WQSS (102.5 Camden) is being sold to Gopher Hill Broadcasting, the folks who own Bangor's WABI (910) and WWBX (97.1). The new owners say they have no plans to tamper with "Coast 102"'s soft rock format or sports play-by-play (Sox, Celtics, Patriots).
Pax TV has signed an affiliate in the Bangor market; WBGR-LP (Channel 33) will carry the new network's family programming. Still no sign of Waterville's Channel 23 -- but in preparation, the FCC has cancelled the licenses and calls of W23BO and W30BP in Lewiston.
Sanford's WCDQ (92.1) is finally back to full power, half a year after the ice storm that nearly silenced it, but without its longtime GM/PD. Russ Dumont left the station in July to pursue a more lucrative career in the financial industry; we wish him well.
Some personnel moves at Saga's Portland stations: Don Mattsen is out as PD of oldies WYNZ (100.9 Westbrook); so is afternoon driver/music director/asst. PD Doug Erickson of WMGX (93.1). He's moving to Florida to run a few stations in the Panama City market, and Ethan Minton will replace him.
And WCME (96.7 Boothbay Harbor) has been silent for a few days with transmitter problems.
M Street reports WCFR (1480 Springfield) has changed formats from adult standards to business news.
Howard Stern is adding another Bay State outlet, Cape Cod's WPXC (102.9 Hyannis). So what about R.J. Makkay, recently hired to be "Pixy 103"'s morning guy? He's going to sister station WCIB (101.9 Falmouth) instead, replacing Doug Frye and Mina Greene. He'll also serve as PD for WCIB.
WNSH (1570 Beverly) is back on the air, six weeks after a lightning strike fried its old transmitter.
Steve Provizer, the former proprietor of Radio Free Allston, is getting back in the community media game. He's founding a group called the "Citizens' Media Corps," with the purpose of "bringing direct media access to the people of Boston." CMC's first meeting will take place September 24 at the Jackson-Mann School in Allston.
Call change: Webster's WXXW-FM (98.9) has applied to become WORC-FM, matching its new sister station on 1310 in Worcester.
Boston may move to the Herald, but WBCN afternoon jock Nik Carter certainly doesn't. Herald publisher Pat Purcell was a guest on Carter's show this week, ostensibly to promote the paper's redesign. Instead, the two ended up in an on-air spat about the Herald's coverage of racial and gay issues, leading to the Herald's decision to pull some $200,000 in advertising from WBCN. Carter says Purcell knew what to expect when he came on the show; the Herald folks say Purcell was ambushed.
Danbury's WLAD (800) adds Rush Limbaugh from noon to 3, now that WABC's territorial exclusivity for the show has been reduced.
A call change for Paxson's WIPX (Channel 43) in Bridgeport: It's now WBPT. NERW isn't sure this one is part of the new Pax TV network. WHCT (Channel 18) in Hartford is not carrying Pax programs; WHPX (Channel 26) New London is serving as the Pax affiliate for Hartford. WHCT is running Worship Network programs, Shop at Home, and Red Sox games that conflict with the WBNE (Channel 59 New Haven) schedule.
Our apologies, by the way, to WHCN PD Peter Delloro for misspelling his name last week...
WNPE's other transmitter, on Channel 18 in Norwood, remains WNPI, with a one-line ID at the bottom of the screen identifying it as such.
Two other call changes: AM 1190 in Cobleskill moves from WLAL to WXBH, and William H. Walker's new 102.1 in Jeffersonville is assigned WWHW.
No new FM in Brooklyn for the Brooklyn Salvation Radio Corporation; its application for 91.9 has been returned. Meantime, there's a second applicant for 88.1 in Montgomery (a small hamlet along I-84 between Newburgh and Middletown). The latest applicant for 10 watts on the frequency is "Montgomery NYC Broadcasting."
In Western New York, WNUC (107.7 Wethersfield) has applied to boost power from 11.5 kW non-directional to 18 kW with a directional antenna. It'll improve WNUC's signal to the east; the signal towards the west (and WNUC's primary market of Buffalo) can't get any stronger because of adjacent-channel CING (107.9 Burlington ON) and the 107.5 allocation at Welland ON.
Wish we'd heard this one: After the release of the latest Arbitrends, WCMF (96.5 Rochester) morning guy Brother Wease reportedly took a call Monday morning from Erick "E-Man" Anderson, PD of rival modern rocker (and Stern affiliate) WNVE (95.1 South Bristol, or is that Honeoye Falls?). Took a call, that is, on the air. Nasty language reportedly flew...but the tape has apparently disappeared from the WCMF studios. Wonder why...
Another new affiliate for Bob and Tom: The Indiana-based duo pick up mornings at WNGZ (104.9 Montour Falls) in the Elmira market. While we're in the market, we note the FCC has approved Family Life Radio's 88.3 translator in Corning. W202BN will relay WCIH (90.3 Elmira).
And Syracuse-based Mars Hill wants to add a fourth station to its religious network. The broadcaster has applied for 90.1 in Malone.
Ottawa's CHEZ (106.1) and sister stations CFMO (101.1) and CJET (630) in Smiths Falls are being sold to Rogers for a reported C$15 million. Rogers already owns country CKBY (105.3) and oldies CIWW (1310) in Ottawa.
Another CBC retirement: Max Ferguson does his last broadcast Saturday morning on CBC Radio Two, ending a 52 year career that started out in the Maritimes, quickly went national with the "Rawhide" show, and has continued ever since. With the end of Ferguson's show come some other schedule changes at Radio Two, including the end of "Stereo Morning." See the new schedule at http://www.radio.cbc.ca for all the details.
Down in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, we hear the WILK news-talk network, based at WILK (980 Wilkes-Barre), is about to add two FMs to its four AM outlets. WWSH (102.3 Pittston) and WWFH (103.1 Freeland) will reportedly dump their satellite AC format for a WILK simulcast later this month.
The FCC released a list this week of mutually-exclusive LPTV displacement applications. They include:
Stations have 90 days to negotiate amongst themselves to clear up the disputed channels. If they can't reach an agreement, the channels will be put up for competitive bidding.
And that's it for this week. Please note that, at least for the next few months, NERW is shifting to a Friday publication date to better fit in with the Sunday-Thursday "day job." So...we'll see you next Friday!