At the opposite end of the state, independent WNDS (Channel 50) suffered a transmitter fire Wednesday morning that left it off the air for (we hear) several days.
Bob Vinikoor of WNTK (1020 Newport/99.7 New London) checked in to let us know he's still looking for a morning co-host to share wakeup duties with Pete Ferrand.
And out on the seacoast, soon-to-be-Citadel country station WOKQ (97.5 Dover) is playing some 'Net games with Capstar competitor WUBB (95.3 York Center ME). Entering www.wubb.com or www.b953.com takes browsers to the WOKQ site. Real mature, guys...
Portland's WGAN (560) is reconfiguring its weekend schedule, pulling the satellite offerings of Bob Brinker, Mitch Albom, and David Essel and moving John McDonald's Saturday morning show to the 9-noon slot in place of its old 6-10 AM, now filled by taped reruns of the weekday "Dave & Willy" show. After McDonald, WGAN listeners now hear taped reruns of the weekday lineup of Rush Limbaugh, Howie Carr, John & Ken, and Dr. Joy Browne. On Sundays, McDonald now hosts the gardening show after the resignation of 20-year veteran Dr. Gordon "Bud" Johnston (who was reportedly upset that the program was being moved from Saturday). McDonald's "Tag Sale" show on Sundays has been cancelled. Sunday afternoons are now filled with Handyman Glenn Hague (moved from Saturdays), Handel on the Law, Kim Komando (both new to the station), and Dr. Dean Edell. While we're at Saga/Portland, we hear WBAE was to have debuted this week on 1490 (ex-WPOR) in Portland...more next week on this one.
Over at 116 Huntington Ave., "Star 93.7" unveiled most of its new jock lineup this week, with Ann Duran coming back to the region (after a stint in Los Angeles that followed the demise of the old WBIX in New York) to do 10-3PM, Michael Knight doing 3-7PM, Danny Meyers coming from WPLJ in New York for nights, and sole Eagle survivor Steve York handling overnight duties. Still to be named is a morning show. A note, by the way, to the usually reliable Dean Johnson at the Herald: the calls on that Lawrence-licensed station are now WQSX -- or is this just payback for the Other Paper continuing to call 93.7 "WCGY" for years after it changed to WEGQ?
Do Worcester TV viewers want to see religious programming from West Texas? Beats the heck out of us, but it's there if they want it, thanks to brand-new WYDN (Channel 48), which began operating late last month from Mt. Asnebumskit in Paxton, rebroadcasting the "Prime Time Christian Broadcasting" network from KMLM (Channel 42) in Odessa, Texas. Find more at their Web site.
Gavin Spittle's leaving Cape Cod's WXTK (95.1 West Yarmouth)/WWKJ (101.1 Mashpee) for a new gig as program director of talk station KXNT (840 North Las Vegas) in sunny Nevada.
And out west, Saga is parking a new set of calls on AM 1600 in East Longmeadow. WPNT has replaced WAQY on the AM side of that simulcast for the moment. The calls were recently benched by Saga's Milwaukee FM, which ditched the "Point" moniker for (what else?) rhythmic oldies as "WMJO." (Extra radio-geek points if you've noted that those calls were assigned to a now-defunct AM CP in Webster, New York...)
Is that WABC legend Chuck Leonard being heard on "Jukebox Radio" across the river? (W276AQ Fort Lee NJ and alleged primary WJUX 99.7 Monticello NY)
Heading upstate, Albany's "Z-104.9" finally has call letters with a "Z" somewhere in them, as the FCC officially replaces WAAP with WZMR on the Altamont-licensed station.
Heading even further upstate, Rick DeFranco is moving from WGIX (95.3 Gouverneur) and WSLB (1400 Ogdensburg) to sister station WPAC (92.7 Ogdensburg), and switching from afternoons to mornings after 15 years. Replacing DeFranco (who's also manager of all three stations) is WGIX/WSLB weekender Nate Townsend. DeFranco will take over from current "93PAC" morning host Doug Craig on June 1, after a brief vacation.
And we heard this week of the death May 10 of Si Goldman, who bought Jamestown's WJTN (1240) back in the early 1950s and ran it and sister station WWSE (93.3) for decades. Goldman had been living in Florida in recent years, but was still involved in running the stations.
Finally this week, we have more details to offer on the NERW Get-Together scheduled for Saturday, June 12 in Providence, R.I. After lunch at a yet-to-be-determined site, we will be able to take a private tour of the "Live from Studio 1-A!" exhibit on the history of Rhode Island television at the Rhode Island Historical Society. The RIHS has graciously agreed to open its doors on a Saturday when it would normally be closed, and we look forward to seeing many of our R.I., Massachusetts, and Connecticut readers there. There will also be opportunities to do some tower-hunting, sticker trading, and of course, plenty of good talk about broadcasting of all kinds.
If you've yet to RSVP, drop us a line this week. We'll have complete schedule and location information in next week's issue, or check the Get-Together page for all the latest details.
"Providence"...it's more than just a sappy NBC Friday night drama, it's a radio experience. See you there!