In its place has been a series of one-day simulcasts of other ARS stations from the Seacoast and Boston markets (so far, WEEI, WAAF, and WERZ have been heard there) with promises of a brand-new format Monday morning (September 29) at 10am. We'll let you know what shows up on 96.7 when the dust settles.
Meantime, staffers at ARS stations across the region are waiting anxiously to see what the sale will mean for them. The voicemail of one ARS program director this week announced that his department has been renamed "Eye on Programming!"
Elsewhere in MASSACHUSETTS, Bob Bittner Broadcasting's application to transfer Worcester's WNEB (1230) to Heirwaves, Inc. has been granted; expect a new locally-programmed format at 1230 soon. The Deane brothers' WJDF (97.3 Orange) has applied for an Athol translator at 94.3, while Cardwell Broadcasting's WPVQ (93.9 Turners Falls) is applying to relocate its 97.1 Amherst translator, W246AM, to WFCR's Mount Lincoln site.
In TV news, Frank Mallicoat is returning from WJBK (Channel 2) in Detroit to WLVI (Channel 56) as lead sports anchor, replacing the departing Michael Barkann. NBC president Neil Braun says he wants an owned-and-operated station in Boston; the Globe quotes Ed Ansin, owner of current NBC affiliate WHDH-TV (Channel 7) as saying he has no interest in selling. NBC 68, anyone? And if you live in the greater Plainfield area, check out channel 35. A new low-power station, W35BK, should be on the air there any day now.
There's yet another new pirate on the air in Worcester. "WDEN" on 90.1 has been on the air several evenings, running oldies and local rock, including tapes of shows from area clubs. Not yet heard this year is Holy Cross' WCHC (88.1); we'll keep you posted if they fail to materialize this school year. WCHC has always had a somewhat erratic schedule, so its absence from the dial comes as no huge surprise.
Three Boston radio voices were silenced this past week. Roland Nadeau, the longtime host of "A Note to You" on WGBH (89.7), died of cancer at his West Bridgewater home on Monday. Nadeau founded the music department at Bridgewater State College, and hosted "A Note to You" for 34 years, first on WHDH and later on WGBH and many other public radio stations. Nadeau was 69.
William Pierce, the voice of the Boston Symphony Orchestra on the radio for more than three decades, also died this week. Pierce began his broadcast career at WNBH in New Bedford, moving to WGBH in 1954 as the station's announcer (he remained with WGBH radio and TV until 1983). Pierce introduced BSO radio broadcasts until his retirement in 1991.
"Emperor" Bob Hudson died in his sleep Saturday at age 66. While best known for his years in Los Angeles radio, Hudson also worked in Boston in the sixties.
Two new religious translators are on the air; W205BA (89.9) Jamestown and W211AR (90.1) Watertown both relay Bible Broadcasting's WYFG in Gaffney, S.C. On the air in Jamestown is WHUG's new facility on 101.9, doubling its power from the old 101.7 frequency. Also in the Twin Tiers, the Family Life Ministries network is extending its reach with two new Pennsylvania translators. W231AH (94.1) in Bradford will relay WCID (89.1 Friendship NY), while W202BE (88.3) in Kane will relay WCOT (90.9 Jamestown NY).
In Syracuse, the Radio Corporation has been granted a new translator for its WKRL (100.9 North Syracuse). W267AL will operate at 101.3. On the pirate side, "Rick" of Liverpool has shut down his short-lived "WHIT" (103.3), returning to his original frequency of 90.3 and "WLIV" station name.
Could a format change be in the works at Buffalo's WWKB (1520)? The shell of the once-great WKBW is reportedly about to dump its Real Country satellite format in favor of sports. The Buffalo News' Alan Pergament reports the format would include The Fabulous Sports Babe from 10-1 and Jim Rome from 1-4, with One-on-One Sports most of the rest of the day. Rome and the Babe were formerly heard on sister Sinclair outlet WGR (550). Meanwhile, former 'KB jock Tom Shannon is coming back to Buffalo, joining oldies WHTT-FM (104.1) beginning October 6 for afternoon drive. This is Shannon's second return to the market following a comeback at 'KB in the 80s. He had been working in cable TV in Tennessee. Afternoon jock Craig Matthews moves to evenings at Oldies 104, displacing Ray Geska, who becomes a morning show producer for Danny Neaverth.
In sports...If there was an official announcement, we missed it, but Rochester's WHAM (1180) has apparently acquired broadcast rights to the minor-league hockey "Amerks" for the upcoming season. The Amerks had been on WBBF (950), WGMC (90.1), and WBER (90.5) in recent years.
In TV news, Schenectady's WRGB (Channel 6) has a new news director. Joseph Coscia comes to WRGB from sister station WLNE (Channel 6) in New Bedford-Providence, replacing Jim Parisi. Parisi and his wife, morning anchor Valerie Cavazos, both resigned within the past month. No word of a replacement for Coscia at WLNE yet. Albany viewers should have yet another station on their dials this fall; the Albany Times Union reports a new LPTV on channel 25 is planning to sign on soon. A check of the FCC database shows channel 25 is an application by translator W04AS Prattville to change location and channel. W04AS is currently owned by Binghamton public TV outlet WSKG, with a transmitter on Jump Hill, near Grand Gorge in the Catskills. If the application is granted, the new channel 25 will be a commercial station, running 79 kW visual from the tower farm in the Helderbergs used by most of Albany's TV and FM stations.
And that's it for another week of radio across the NorthEast. We're off to Boston for a few days...expect all the latest updates from across the I-90 corridor next Thursday!