New England RadioWatch: October 29, 1996
- There's one fewer silent AM station in Massachusetts this week, with
the return to the airwaves of Worcester's WNEB (1230). The station
has been silent since 1991, but it signed back on last Thursday
(Oct. 24) under the ownership of Bob Bittner, who also owns WJIB (740)
Cambridge and recently sold WKBR (1250) in Manchester NH.
WNEB uses 947 watts, non-directional, from the old tower site on
Worcester's west side, near Chandler Street. Programming for now is
largely a simulcast of WJIB's beautiful-music, although plans include
Spanish-language broadcasts at night.
With WNEB's return, only two AMs in Massachusetts remain silent, and
in danger of losing their licenses in February: WBIV (1060) in Natick
and WCEG (1530) in Middleborough.
- In business news, SFX Broadcasting's Hartford group has hit
near-maximum size with last week's purchase of WWYZ (92.5 Waterbury).
"Country 92.5" was owned by the Gilmore family, who will keep their
WATR (1320) in Waterbury, along with $25.25 million of SFX's cash.
SFX's Hartford properties include WKSS (95.7, CHR), WHCN (105.9,
classic rock), WMRQ (104.1 Waterbury, modern rock), and WPOP (1410,
mews-talk). The company also owns WPKX (97.9 Enfield CT) in the
Springfield MA market and WPLR (99.1) New Haven, which has an LMA with
Yale University's WYBC (94.3).
- Boston University's public radio station is about to expand its reach
on Cape Cod. WBUR (90.9) already simulcasts most of its programming
on three small Cape noncomms, WSDH (91.5) at Sandwich High School,
WKKL (90.7) at Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable, and WCCT
(90.3) at Cape Cod Voc-Tech in Harwich. Now WBUR is buying car dealer
Ernie Boch's WUOK (1240) in West Yarmouth. WUOK has been simulcasting
sister FM WXTK (94.9) for a year or so...but it can trace its roots
all the way back as the Cape's oldest station, WOCB.
- Just across the state line in the Albany NY market, Dame Broadcasting
is growing. The Pennsylvania-based company has owned WGY (810) and
WRVE (99.5) in Schenectady for a few years, and now it's buying WHRL
(103.1) in Albany. After 30 years of owning the station, Robert Hill
cashes out with more than $2.6 million. WHRL has been using SW's
"Smooth FM" format for a year or two; look for a format change when
that format disappears at the end of 1996.
- Still more translators: Southern Vermont's "Wish FM" wants to be
heard in Claremont NH; it's applied for a translator on 107.5 there
for its WZSH (107.1) Bellows Falls VT. In other FCC news, 99.5 in
Jackson NH could get built after all; a few months after the CP for
WZJN was deleted up there, the commission has again opened the channel
for applications. You've got till November 18th if you're just dying
to own a class A FM way up there...
That'll close this issue...more to come later this week, as NERW
reports on our visit to New York's Hudson Valley last weekend.
Previous issues of New England RadioWatch
The Boston Radio Archives