North East RadioWatch: January 1, 1999
Standards Die, Standards Live
- NEW YORK's WQEW shut down its standards format right on schedule at
midnight Dec. 27 with little fanfare. After a rebroadcast of their
tribute to the late Nancy LaMott, WQEW closed things out with
"Stardust" and a one-minute message from Stan Martin, then dumped into
Radio Disney with a Randy Newman tune. (Hanson, thankfully, didn't
play until later in the hour!) The Disney automation crashed briefly
about 15 minutes later while trying to play the legal ID.
With Disney on 1560, Long Island's WGSM (740) was released from its
contract with the Mouse and promptly went to a simulcast of co-owned
standards station WHLI (1100 Hempstead). The two are now claiming
"35,000 Watts" of power -- too bad the math doesn't really work that
- Meanwhile in MASSACHUSETTS, standards returned to the airwaves with
the surprise format change at WPLM (99.1/1390) in Plymouth that dumped
the smooth jazz of "Jazzy 99.1" for a female-oriented AC/standards blend
as "Easy 99.1." The AM still splits from the simulcast in mornings
for business talk. Also flipping to standards was WNBP (1450
Newburyport), which unveiled its new "Legends 1450" identity Christmas
- Up in MAINE, we're told WJJB (900 Brunswick) is simulcasting sister FM
WCLZ (98.9) for the moment. And we hear that WAYD (105.5 Islesboro)
will be on the air by month's end as adult standards "The Bay,"
serving communities up and down the Maine coast from Camden north to
Mount Desert Island. It's co-owned with WQSS (102.5 Camden) and will
operate from WQSS's facilities.
- One gleaning from the FCC this week in NEW HAMPSHIRE: Saga has allowed
the CP for translator W243AH (96.5 Laconia) to expire and be deleted.
NERW can't help but wonder if this has anything at all to do with
Saga's 1997 purchase of WOXF (now WQLL) in the Manchester market, a
former competitor that just happens to operate on, yes, 96.5 MHz...
- CONNECTICUT's first TV station marked its 50th anniversary six months
late, with an anniversary special this week. If you missed it, WTNH
(Channel 8) and WTNH-DT (Channel 10) will rebroadcast it January 3 at
- Tonight we're gonna party like it's...1983 all over again? That's
what the airwaves sounded like New Year's Eve, as stations that would
ordinarily never play the Artist formerly known as Prince gave "1999"
a spin to usher in the New Year. Our Boston-area listeners heard the
Purple One on WEGQ, WJMN, WBCN, WXLO, and WMJX (which broke format in
a big way to play it!). Rhode Island and southeastern Mass. heard it
on WRIU, WPRO-FM, WBRU, and WFHN at midnight. WBMX, WROR, and WXKS-FM
all hit it a few minutes after midnight. In northern New York,
Mike Roach reports hearing it in full on CKKL Ottawa and in part on
WYSX Ogdensburg -- but U2's "New Year's Day" was more popular, being
heard on Ottawa's CHEZ and CKQB and on Brockville's CHXL (and on
Boston's WBOS and WXRV, too.) Here in Rochester, we caught it on WZNE
and WPXY. Just after the New Year rang in, we also caught a new TV
spot for "The Nerve" (WNVE 95.1) promising a big expansion of the
station's playlist. Formerly a straight-ahead modern rocker, the
Jacor station is adding 70s and 80s hard rock like AC/DC and Aerosmith
to its mix. An attempt to inflict further damage on CBS rocker WCMF
(96.5)? Sure sounds that way...
On to the Year in Review, part 2.
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