Northern Maine will be a busy place this weekend, as 50,000 fans are expected to fill the former Loring Air Force Base in Limestone for "The Great Went," a weekend-long concert event organized by the band Phish. You won't hear many Phish songs on AC "Channel X" (WCXU 97.7 Caribou and WCXX 102.3 Madawaska), but the station is nonetheless going all-out with remotes and live simulcasts of the concert. What's more, newspaper stories about the "Great Went" have been claiming that Phish has obtained an FCC license to use 88.9 for on-site broadcasts during the event. License or not, it sounds like that will be the frequency to listen to (and, we hope, aircheck) if any NERW readers are headed up that way.
Dennysville's WHRR (102.9) is on the air for real, but not with original programming. Instead, the Down East station is relaying Presque Isle's WQHR, which is now boasting "200,000 watts of power" in its IDs.
Moving down the coast, the construction permit for WAKN (97.7) in Winter Harbor has been transferred. The new permittee is R. Scott Hogg, who also holds the unbuilt permit for 93.7 in Millbridge, Maine. NERW suspects we see a simulcast coming...
Another Maine station was the target of vandals last weekend. WABK-FM (104.3) Gardiner-Augusta was knocked off the air early Sunday morning, and station officials found a series of holes that had apparently been drilled in the station's transmission line some 35 feet up the tower. The station (as well as its simulcast, WIGY-FM 97.5 Madison) was off the air for several days while awaiting replacement hardline. Also still off the air is WSYY (1240) Millinocket, which was felled by vandals earlier this year.
Off the air for different reasons is New England's only shortwave broadcaster. WVHA in Scotts Corners (actually the town of Greenbush, north of Orono) is dark after lender Finova Capital foreclosed on the station. Owner Prophecy Countdown, Inc. had been having trouble meeting the bills; power to the station was cut off three weeks ago. Prophecy Countdown (a Seventh Day Adventist group) bought then-WCSN from the Christian Science Monitor in 1994.
WMPG (90.9 Gorham) at the University of Maine/Gorham has applied for a 104.1 translator in nearby Portland.
And we're told an unlicensed station called "CRAMP-FM" is maintaining a regular schedule on 88.1 with 9 watts in Houlton.
(And one Vermont correction: WVAY Wilmington's translator, W284AB Jamaica, is on Stratton Mountain, not Haystack as we said last week. And WVAY's simulcast switch from WKVT-FM to WHDQ took place August 4, not August 1.)
Meantime, the word "daytimer" was apparently a foreign concept to WCAT (700) out in Orange this week; the Talk America outlet was being heard quite clearly in many parts of the state well after dark.
There's been a settlement of some sort between UMass/Boston's WFPB (91.9 Falmouth) and the Nantucket Public Radio group. The Nantucket folks have agreed to give up their application for 91.9, and WFPB has done the same with its application for a directional antenna and higher power for its 91.9. NERW hasn't seen the settlement, but we suspect WFPB (and parent station WUMB) took advantage of the FCC's liberal settlement rules to buy off the competing applicant on the frequency and get 91.9 to itself. Nantucket will get public radio anyway; Cape and Islands Public Radio has a CP for 91.1 WNAN on the island.
Steve Provizer's "Radio Free Allston" got a boost from Boston City Council this week, as it passed a resolution supporting RFA's quest for nonprofit status. RFA is now running 20 watts on 106.1 from the "88 Room" art gallery on Brighton Avenue, with a 5pm-2am broadcast schedule four nights a week.
Boston WB affiliate WLVI-TV (Channel 56) is looking for sportscasters. The station lost number-two sports anchor Frank Mallicoat to Detroit last winter; now lead sports anchor Michael Barkann is leaving for Philadelphia and the Comcast Sports Network.
And we're told Lynn's WLYN (1360) is now running AM stereo, though we wonder if anyone besides NERW and its readers would notice...
WTNH shuffled anchors this week, by the way, moving Brian Burnell to weeknights to co-anchor the 5, 6, and 11 pm newscasts with Ann Nyberg.
And there's some weirdness going on in New Britain, where WRYM (840)'s construction permit to add night service with 125 watts was cancelled this week...even though NERW readers in Connecticut are hearing WRYM after dark.
Buffalo's WLCE (92.9) has a new on-line presence if you're curious.
Don't forget to check out our web sites, too. The Boston Radio Archives has been newly expanded with radio market lists for more of New England. And the Upstate New York Radio Archives is now on-line with lists for all of the Empire State.
And that's it this week...see you next Thursday!