Up the coast, some sad news to report from Rockland, where WMCM/WRKD owner Peter Orne Sr. died this week in the crash of the private plane he was piloting. Orne grew up in Rockland, attended Bowdoin College, and went into TV sales and management, eventually ending up at WTNH in New Haven, then as general manager of WVII in Bangor, a post he left to go into radio ownership (at one time including WABI/WWBX Bangor in addition to the Rockland stations). Orne's son, Peter Jr., takes over management of WMCM/WRCD. Peter Orne Sr. was 64. A memorial service will be held Saturday.
Out on the Cape, word is that WCDJ (102.3 Truro) is truly on the air with a whopping 70 watts and a CD of jazz music. Our Cape spies also note that WWKJ (101.1 Mashpee) is on with the new 6kw facility at the Mashpee Industrial Park, and that WCOD (106.1 Hyannis) is at long last running its full licensed 50kw (it had been at 45kw for some time).
A correction: WHKK and WXEX are Citadel stations, not Capstar (too many C-groups out there!)
Over in Farmington, Robin King's not sticking around at the new office-park studios of WTIC (1080 Hartford). Friday (8/27) was her last day as morning co-host; she's leaving to spend more time being her kids' mom (as opposed to talking about it on the radio!)
Up in Middletown (well, "down" in Middletown from our perspective, actually), Crystal Communications is making some big changes at WALL (1340), as the station's local programming gives way to a relay of WEOK (1390) in Poughkeepsie. Morning host John Moultrie was to have remained on WALL until next Friday (9/3), but after he voiced his opinions on the changes a bit too loudly, the plug was pulled a bit early. Also leaving is polka guy Jimmy Sturr, who returns to nearby WTBQ (1110 Warwick). Speaking of WTBQ, which we really should do more often, Dale Anderson is departing as news director to go home to New Jersey. OM Chris Cordani will fill in for now. And former morning guy Rob McLean rejoins the station as evening jock.
Do the Catskills really need a new radio station? Any sane person might look at the plethora of Poughkeepsie relays, "originating stations for New Jersey translators" (speaking of which, WJUX Monticello won a reprieve from its license-cancellation battle this week, as the FCC overruled a staff decision that Monticello Mountain Broadcasting had surrendered control of the station to Gerry Turro), and newly-built, interim-programmed jukeboxes, and might conclude that the answer is "no." Not the folks at the FCC -- they've opened up 102.9A at Narrowsburg, over there in the hills just east of Honesdale, PA.
A Johnstown correction: that's WIZR on 930, not "WIZN," which is of course up in Vergennes, Vermont (and a much more fun station to listen to, to boot!)
Up north, WVNC (96.7 Canton) is running nothing but a loop of 70s and 80s hits as it prepares to relaunch itself on Wednesday (9/1) as "the new 96.7" playing -- you guessed it -- 70s, 80s, and 90s hits. WVNC had been hot AC as "Mix 96."
Down in Elmira, Pensacola Christian Church has applied for a change of frequency for its WPCS translator. W209BG wants to move off 89.3 to 88.9 with a directional antenna.
And while the trades are reporting a sale of WUTV (Channel 29) in Buffalo and WUHF (Channel 31) in Rochester, it's really not much of a big deal. The stations were to have been sold directly from Sullivan Broadcasting to Sinclair, but they'll take a detour first while Sinclair waits for the sale of WROC-TV (Channel 8) in Rochester from Smith Broadcasting (which has ownership ties to Sinclair) to Nexstar to clear. So until then, WUTV and WUHF will be owned by a shell company called BS&L Broadcasting, controlled by one Joseph Koff -- but they'll be LMA'd to Sinclair, which will keep operating them. Clear as dirt? Good...we're confused too.
Over in Quebec, the CBC wants to add English-language Radio 2 service to Sherbrooke, with a 23.4 kW relay of CBM-FM (93.5 Montreal) on 89.7, presumably from the usual Mont Orford site. Speaking of Montreal radio, a group of disgruntled listeners marked Friday's first anniversary of CHOM's cancellation of Howard Stern by staging a "Great Montreal Radio Turn-Off." Check out all the details at their Web site.
Maritimes? We've got that, too, as CJYC (98.9 Saint John NB) again applies to the CRTC to drop power from 50kw to 12kw. "C98"'s old owners, NewCap, had been granted that drop (which would have allowed them to move the transmitter from Sandy Point just north of Saint John to Mount Champlain, halfway between Saint John and Fredericton), but never built it. Now Maritime Broadcasting System, the new owner, is applying to try it again.
And that'll do it for another week of Northeast radio. Please note that NERW will NOT appear next Friday, September 3. We'll be out of the region, enjoying the start of the MW DX season with our friends from the National Radio Club in scenic Bridgeport, West Virginia -- but be with us September 10 as we recap the drive down and back (via such hotspots as Oil City, Washington, Johnstown, and Lock Haven, PA), as well as all the news from the NAB Radio Show in Orlando. See you in two weeks!