WMTW moved its transmitter to Baldwin, Maine a few months ago, leaving the channel 8 building on Washington nearly empty (veteran transmitter engineer/air personality Marty Engstrom delivered his last on-air report from the mountaintop in May before retiring) - and leaving the Mount Washington Observatory and the two FM stations on the mountain (WHOM 94.9 Mount Washington and WPKQ 103.7 North Conway) to figure out how to get power, which had been provided by WMTW under contract.
No word yet on the price or timetable for the transfer, but stay tuned to NERW for more in the weeks to come...
Up in Beverly, WNSH (1570) is trying to end years and years of STA (Special Temporary Authority) operation, stemming from the 1992 fire that destroyed the old 1570 (WMLO/WBVD) site in Danvers. WNSH has been running with 500 watts daytime from a new three-tower array on the Endicott College campus, according to its latest FCC filing, but has been shown on the books as a two-site operation, with night facilities still at the old Danvers location.
In reality, WNSH was operating with an STA to transmit non-directionally from the middle tower of the new day array, having concluded that it couldn't win political permission to build the extra towers needed for full night power from Endicott. The latest plan calls for a licensed 125 watts non-directional at night from the Endicott College site, still using that 99-foot middle tower.
Over in Ware, WARE (1250) has dropped the oldies it was running, in favor of a musical mélange that includes 70s disco and 80s and 90s pop, with some mid-morning polka music weekdays and some leased-time talk on the weekends. NERW says: this sounds very much like the "format" that WARE owner Mega Communications used to fill unsold time on its AM 900 in Philadelphia a year or so ago...
In greater Boston, Mega's WBPS (890 Dedham) is still carrying CNet Radio at press time, with no word on when the rumored talk format will materialize to replace it. Meanwhile, WBIX (1060 Natick) has added the Dolans (from the WOR Radio Network) from 1-3 PM weekdays, followed by an hour of Upton Bell.
Telemundo programming has disappeared from WWDP (Channel 46) in Norwell, replaced by English-language home shopping. Most AT&T Broadband customers in greater Boston now have low-power WTMU-LP (Channel 32) on their systems. WTMU had been simulcasting WWDP and keeps the Telemundo feed.
And we're sorry to report the passing of William J. Flynn, who helped create the "Ask the Manager" show during his tenure as GM of WSBK-TV (Channel 38). Flynn, who was also instrumental in the creation of the New England Sports Network (NESN), died of cancer last week in Naples, Florida.
The FCC's asking anyone with a workable suggestion for an available alternate site to file comments by August 1.
Out on Long Island, Muriel Horenstein died July 1. She's remembered by many of the Island's radio veterans for her decades running WBAB (1440/102.3) in Babylon and its AM successor, WNYG (1440 Babylon), which she owned with her husband Sol.
Further out on Long Island, WDRE (98.5 Westhampton) has been granted a transmitter site move, relocating about five miles west from the site in East Quogue it now shares with WWXY (107.1 Hampton Bays). WDRE will run 3000 watts at 100 meters, with a directional antenna nulled towards New York and New Haven, from the WRCN (103.9 Riverhead) tower near the end of the Long Island Expressway.
And as long as we're out that way, how about a call letter change? The former WPBX (88.3 Southampton), bringing jazz and news and such to the East End of Long Island, picked up the new calls "WLIU" this week, reflecting its owner, Long Island University. WPBX, er, WLIU is a very frequent summertime visitor to eastern Massachusetts via tropospheric ducting, so keep an ear out for those new calls if you live that way. (The WLIU calls had been at Lincoln University's 88.7 in Lincoln University, PENNSYLVANIA; that station changes calls to WWLU.)
More staff changes at WTBQ (1110 Warwick): Frank Lowell moves from sales manager to operations manage, while "Uncle Mel" Cohen leaves his 9-11 AM airshift. Replacing him is Hudson Valley news veteran John Moultrie, who joins WTBQ as news director.
Just one bit of news upstate: WDTB-LP (Channel 39) in Hamburg, near Buffalo, has had its application to move to channel 13 dismissed. NERW hears that WDTB is still operating with Daystar religious programming, despite the recent sign-on of WIVB-DT, also on channel 39, a few miles away. (Meanwhile, Buffalo's channel 2, WGRZ, is operating at low power this week while crews install the new WGRZ-DT antenna on its tower.)
In Newcastle/Miramichi, N.B., CFAN (790) will take its AC format to 99.3 FM with 17.8 kW, while CKEN (1490) in Kentville, N.S. will move its country music to 94.9 with 100 kW, joining FM sister CKWM-FM (97.7) there.
A university station in St. Catharines, Ontario is no more; Milkman Unlimited reports that CFBU (103.7) at Brock University signed off for good last week after running up a debt of over C$80,000 for the student government there. The station tried to stage an emergency fund-raising drive, but it appears to have failed.
The rumor mill up in Toronto says Brian Depoe, former PD of CJEZ (EZ Rock 97.3) in Toronto, is headed to CING (Energy 95.3) in Hamilton.
With thanks to Sheldon Harvey of the Canadian International DX Club, who's been the DX community's chief source of news on this one, we can tell you the latest on that new AM 1610 in Montreal. The calls on the new ethnic station are CJWI, and they're now being heard every few minutes during the test announcement the station has been presenting. Sheldon reports that CJWI hopes to be on the air with its full ethnic format (aimed primarily at Montreal's West Indian community, it seems) within a few weeks.
Want to hear what the CJWI test announcement sounds like (from a few hundred miles out)? Visit the multimedia edition of NERW, posted every Monday to www.fybush.com!
And that's it for this holiday-shortened week; we'll see you next Monday with much more NERW!