But if the Sporting News flagship is granted its latest application, those problems will be replaced by a powerful signal over the region. In its application, WSNR wants to build seven new towers (painted, lit and 107 meters tall!) in the Hatfield Swamp of West Caldwell, near where US 46, I-80 and I-280 all meet.
That's not very far from the site in Livingston that AM 620 used for much of its life (as WVNJ, WSKQ and WXLX) before losing the land to residential development. Since that site was leveled in 1998, 620 (under later calls of WJWR and WSNR) has used a five-tower array it built just south of WLIB (1190 New York) in the Lyndhurst, N.J. tower farm.
But while that site offered decent penetration into Manhattan, it forced 620 to throw a null over the very areas in New Jersey it was licensed to serve. That problem should be solved if WSNR is granted this application, which calls for 8200 watts day (from all seven towers) and 5000 watts at night (from five of the seven). We'll keep you posted...
The National Radio Club's DX News reports this week that WNRK was purchased by John Vincent (owner of nearby WAMS 1600 in Dover), who's got the station running Christmas tunes from a 197-foot longwire antenna at a site less than 1000 feet from the old WNRK location.
The plans for WNRK call for its new 250-watt nondirectional signal to move to a Valcom fiberglass antenna (like the one in use at WSHP 1480 Shippensburg PA and proposed for WGCH 1490 Greenwich CT) sometime next year.
Across town at WPLY (100.3 Media), Suzie Dunn departs as assistant PD, with no replacement being named for the position.
And out west, M Street reports Cumulus is buying WLSW (103.9 Scottdale) after all, so expect some changes at this Pittsburgh move-in, including the likely demise (alas) of the "Music Power 104" format that's kept many an airchecker occupied while visiting the area.
Speaking of Clear Channel, Dave Perkins has departed as assistant PD of WHEN (620) and WSYR (570); no replacement has been named yet, and Perkins will keep his night job, as PA announcer for the Syracuse SkyChiefs and Syracuse Crunch baseball and hockey teams.
A bunch of news from up north this week, beginning with two new LPFM grants: Jesus Christ's Community has been granted 94.3 in Jefferson, while West Canada Christian Resources has been granted 105.9 in Newport.
In Watertown, WRVJ (91.7) has applied to move out of town. The relay of Oswego's WRVO (89.9) wants to boost power from its current 210 watts at 7 meters AAT (on a state office building downtown) to 1600 watts from 135 meters. The antenna would move out to Route 194 near Copenhagen, on the WPBS-TV (Channel 16) stick that's also home to rival public broadcaster WJNY (90.9 Watertown), which relays Syracuse's WCNY-FM (91.3).
North Country bureau chief Mike Roach also let us know this week about some new interference to the SUNY Potsdam student outlet, WAIH (90.3 Potsdam). A new translator for North Country Public Radio/WSLU Canton, W212BQ Morristown, has just come on at 90.3, limiting reception of the Potsdam signal to the immediate vicinity of the campus, Mike tells us.
Down in Binghamton, we checked out the TV dial during a visit last week, and we can report that NBC LPTV WBGH-CA has indeed moved from channel 8 to channel 20, not that most cable viewers (who get WBGH on channel 5) would ever notice. We also had a nice visit up at the Windy Hill site of WINR (680) and WKGB (92.5), and can tell you that the Clear Channel cluster in Binghamton will soon be moving across the river, trading its longtime home in the Credit Union Center in Endicott for a new space on Jensen Road in Vestal. More details to come...
Way downstate, we were pleased to see friend-of-NERW Tom Zarecki get some nice press (including a big picture!) in the New York Post for his "Steppin' Out" radio show, which airs Saturdays at midnight on WEVD (1050 New York).
The show, which was just about the only survivor of the station's change from talk to ESPN sports, is a sort of 12-step meeting of the air, one of the few forums we know of in the U.S. for addiction recovery on the radio (you may recall a recent mention of "People Helping People," Mark Elliott's similar show from Canada). "Steppin' Out" is about to enter national syndication, the Post reports, and we wish Zarecki (whose day job is PR with the RCS software folks, and who's heard weekends on Hartford's WDRC-FM spinning the oldies) all the best with the project!
That, we're told, is just an interim move while owner ADD Media figures out what to do next at WNTY; we'll keep you posted on this one as well.
Radio People on the Move: Dave Ashton, last spotted at WKHL and WICC in the Bridgeport-Norwalk area, has slipped across the border into Westchester County as the new operations manager and PD at WFAS in White Plains.
We also had a chance to visit the new Entercom facility around the corner on Guest Street (thanks, Sid!) and admire the many well-equipped studios in the new home of WRKO, WEEI, WQSX and WAAF - and then, just an hour later, to join Bob Bittner across the river at WJIB (740 Cambridge) for a special guest spot on "Let's Talk About Radio."
On the Clear Channel front, WKOX (1200 Framingham) has amended its application to move into Boston: the latest version finds WKOX applying for 50 kW day and night from the WUNR site on the Newton/West Roxbury line, using three towers by day and four at night. We suspect this one has a decent chance of getting FCC approval, but we're still dubious about the political chances of getting four new towers built in Newton...
Out on Nantucket, the "Nantucket Public Radio" folks have been granted calls for their 89.5 CP: mark down "WAZK(FM)" until they apply for something better.
And we note the passing of Roy Lind, the WJDA (1300 Quincy) program director who served the South Shore station from 1960 until his retirement just six months ago. Lind, who hosted morning drive and the "Party Line" show on WJDA for much of that time, was 69 when he died last Sunday (Dec. 2).
The CBC is pulling out all the stops for a "Tuning the World" special that will run from 8:30 AM until 1 PM on Wednesday on Radio One, featuring live broadcasts from around the world. There's more going on as well on the CBC; check out their special site at www.tuningtheworld.com for all the details.
(LATE UPDATE: A labor-management dispute at the CBC forced the cancellation of the live portions of the broadcast; taped segments were heard for much of the day on shows such as "This Morning" and "Ideas".)
A few more celebrations: Noted Massachusetts DXer Mark Connelly, WA1ION, is calling on DXers everywhere to hit the dials on the 12th to see what they can hear in honor of Marconi. One possibility, should you tune just above the AM broadcast band, is a special DX test being conducted by Canadian ham operator David Wilson, VE3BBN, near Niagara Falls. He plans to use a homemade spark-gap transmitter on 3550 kHz to transmit a special Morse message beginning at 9 PM eastern on the 12th; if you hear it, you can QSL him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stateside, the Marconi site in Eastham on Cape Cod will be the scene of memorial events all week. The Marconi Radio Club and the Falmouth Amateur Radio Association will be demonstrating ham radio at the site (part of Cape Cod National Seashore) from Dec. 11-16; on Wednesday, events will include the launch of a balloon-borne antenna similar to Marconi's. Expect more celebrations out there next year and in 2003, when they mark the centennial of Marconi's first two-way communication between Cape Cod and Britain.
The ratings service that measures Canadian audiences has a new name, sort of: the former "Broadcast Bureau of Measurement" is becoming simply "BBM Canada," with a new logo to match.
And a correction of sorts from last week's issue: most cable viewers in Halifax and St. John will continue to see Rochester's WUHF as their Fox affiliate. The only ones switching to WFXT from Boston are customers of the tiny upstart cable operation run by the area phone company; everyone else stays with the incumbent operator and keeps WUHF on cable.
That's it for another week here at NERW. There's plenty of excitement behind the scenes, where the Tower Site Calendar 2002 is due back from the printers any moment now (we saw a final proof today, and we think you'll like it.)