The Boston stations used to belong to American Radio Systems until CBS bought them out -- and now we know what some of that money is being used for. American Tower Systems, which is still controlled by ARS' former owners, is spending $100 million to buy 322 radio towers in Atlanta, the midwest, and the southwest.
Hearty congratulations to WBZ (1030), which pulls down its second Marconi award in three years, with another Major Market Station of the Year award. After the last win, station staffers received nice varsity-style jackets; NERW wonders what's in this year's wardrobe? Our best wishes also to BZ talk giant David Brudnoy, who's being silenced for the next month or so as he undergoes surgery to remove a polyp from his throat. We'll miss his insight election night and look forward to hearing him back on the airwaves come December...
You can't keep him down: Central Massachusetts radio veteran Upton Bell comes back to the airwaves Monday afternoon, a few months after losing his gig at Worcester's WTAG (580). Bell's new 4-6 PM show will air on Alex Langer's WSRO (1470 Marlborough) and WRPT (650 Ashland).
You can't keep them accurate: Boston's largest daily told its readers on Thursday about new programming at ``WGBH-FM (90.7)''. By comparison, the newly-colorful tabloid competitition was on a completely different plane of existence with Dean Johnson's cogent, insightful summary of the Summer Arbitrons. Did we mention we're glad to have Johnson's column available on-line? (And speaking of the Summer book, you'll find more about it at the end of this week's column.)
Finally, congratulations to Barry Scott of WEGQ's "Lost 45s," who released his first CD compilation this week. Here's hoping "Barry Scott Presents the Lost 45s of the 70s amd 80s, Volume I" helps persuade more stations to add this nifty syndicated show to their lineups.
Manchester's WEQX (102.7) is on the air, but in need of a few good managers. PD Ian Harrison resigned this week, and the modern rocker's music director position is also open.
The readers of Connecticut Magazine have named their favorite radio stations, and on the FM side it's WKCI (101.3 Hamden), with WTIC (1080 Hartford) the pick as favorite AM.
On the TV side, Meredith has named Al Bova the new vice president, general manager, and group general manager at WFSB (Channel 3); he comes to Constitution Plaza from Independence Mall -- that is, Philadelphia's KYW.
And down in Danbury, WXCI (91.7) at Western Connecticut State College celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Alumni are asked to contact Bruce Goldsen at <email@example.com>.
New tower alert! A Syracuse-area reader reports the tower of Pax TV's WSPX (Channel 56) can be seen rising above the north shore of Oneida Lake. A NERW fact-finding mission is being dispatched; bulletins next week...
In other Syracuse-area TV news, WNYS (Channel 43) has added a secondary WB affiliation to its primary UPN hookup. WB programs will air weeknights after midnight and Saturdays during prime time. And WIXT (Channel 9) is advertising for staffers for a new early-access "infotainment" show to debut next year on WIXT and its Ackerley sister stations in Rochester (WOKR), Binghamton (WIVT), and Utica (WUTR). WIXT also brings in William J. Hart as its new assistant news director; he was news director at WWNY in Watertown.
Up in Watertown, low-power UPN affiliate WBQZ-LP (Channel 34) has been sparring with the cable company. Time Warner briefly pulled the audio feed of WOTT (100.7 Henderson) from its Watertown system after WOTT ran WBQZ ads that criticized the cable company for not carrying WBQZ and claimed (incorrectly) that there was no way to get "Star Trek: Voyager" on cable in Watertown. WBQZ moved its ads to WCIZ (93.5), and WOTT's audio went back on cable mid-week.
WPYX (106.5 Albany) garnered a lot of news coverage Thursday for morning guy Bob Wohlfield's "Bras Across America" stunt, in which the station strung 6,000 brassieres across the Hudson from Albany to Rensselaer. It was for a good cause; Wohlfield's mother died of breast cancer and the money raised from the event went to cancer research. Across town, Beverly Jordan's out as midday jock on WRVE (99.5 Schenectady), with weekender Rocky Kowalski filling in for now.
A correction: WHUC in Hudson is on 1230, not 1450 as we said in last week's list of Art Bell affiliates. Bell's show is being hosted by Hilly Rose for now, while Bell resolves whatever it was that took him off the air. He's supposed to make another announcement on Friday night's/Saturday morning's show; we'll be listening.
Down the Hudson Valley, radio station owner William Walker is wearing a different hat this fall. The apple farmer, who owns WRWD (107.3 Highland), WBWZ (93.3 New Paltz), and WBUG-AM-FM/WLFH and WOWB/WOWZ in the Mohawk Valley, is the Republican candidate opposing veteran Democrat Maurice Hinchey in the congressional district that stretches from Ithaca down into the Catskills.
Long Island's WRCN (103.9 Riverhead) has segued from "active rock" to classic hits, without GM Tony Michaels -- he's left the station.
Across the state line in North Jersey, WSPW (1170 Bridgewater) has been sold to North Jersey Radio, which owns WMTR (1250 Morristown), WDHA (105.5 Dover), and WRAT (95.9 Point Pleasant). Could WSPW become a simulcast of nostalgia WMTR? Wouldn't surprise us...
Inevitable translator/LPTV news: Family Life Radio applies for 90.5 in Olean to relay WCID (89.1 Friendship), which already puts a darned good signal into most of Olean. Buffalo's dark WBUF-LP (Channel 39) is being sold by Southtown's Christian Center to Word of God Fellowship. And Rochester's W47BM changes hands from Equity Broadcasting to Tiger Eye Broadcasting. NERW's hoping they don't change the station's unique programming; since the station signed on this summer, it's aired nothing at all but color bars, and frankly, we've gotten hooked on it.
And just in time for Halloween, Buffalo's WGRF (96.9) and WEDG (103.3) will air a new production of "War of the Worlds" on October 30, 60 years to the day after Orson Welles' original, and 30 years to the day after the late lamented WKBW did its own recreation. 'KB newsman Irv Weinstein was part of the 1968 production, and he'll be one of the Buffalo newspeople appearing in this year's as well. (And yes, the NERW-mobile will be parked somewhere within range, with tape decks rolling...)
A good auroral opening Monday night found the usually-Canadian channels like 540, 730, 900, and 940 replaced by Mexicans -- and that was listening in a hotel room in Canada!
Once more with feeling -- if you want to make sure you get NERW while it's still fresh and tasty, all you have to do is get on the mailing list, which you can do by sending e-mail to <firstname.lastname@example.org> with subscribe as the body of your message. And as always, if you don't like it, we'll gladly refund every penny you've paid...
More ratings next week...we'll see you Friday!