Elsewhere in CONNECTICUT, it's the sounds of silence for WNLC (1510 New London). The standards station is temporarily dark while engineers try to find a permanent fix for problems stemming from a fire in one of the doghouses of the (eight-tower) AM array last year. The standards roll on for now on co-owned WNLC-FM (98.7) East Lyme.
Pam Brooks is out from her midday gig at Hartford rocker WHCN (105.9), replaced by new PD Peter Delloro.
And there's a new old format at WINE (940) in Brookfield, as classic country returns to replace the Fairfield County News Radio simulcast with WSTC (1400 Stamford) and WNLK (1350 Norwalk).
Jacor finally made a move early Thursday morning with long-neglected AC WVOR (100.5). Despite the heritage calls and the killer signal, WVOR has been sagging in the ratings, dropping into a tie for ninth place in the Fall book. Now WVOR's changed positioners, becoming "Mix 100.5," with liners promoting "the best music of the 80s, 90, and 70s" -- in THAT order. Music thus far has ranged from "China Grove" by the Doobie Brothers to "No Rain" by Blind Melon. (We kid you not...we just heard that very segue.)
WVOR's been squeezed tightly on all sides, with ARS's WRMM (101.3) and WZNE (94.1 Brighton) staking out the soft AC and modern AC segments of the market, while Heritage's WKLX (98.9) and WQRV (93.3 Avon) grabbed oldies and classic-hits listeners.
Elswehere in the state...Buffalo's WIVB (Channel 4) will mark its 50th birthday on Thursday, May 14, with an hour-long special hosted by Rich Newberg. Alan Pergament of the Buffalo News raises a good question: will anyone be watching, seeing as how the 7 PM special will be followed two hours lated by the final Seinfeld? (Well, NERW will be tuned in with tape running, anyway...)
What's going on at 101.7 in Attica? The Batavia-area station is now listed in the FCC database with the calls WXOX -- but we just heard them (still) as "BT Country," with their longtime WBTF calls, and the supposed call change never made the FCC releases. An error on M Street, perhaps?
Utica's WOUR (96.9) is adding Bob and Tom to its morning drive, replacing Peter Hirsh.
Rockland County news-talker WRKL (910 New City) has been granted 800 watts of night power, using 4 towers. WRKL is currently licensed with 1000 watts day, 73 watts night, using 2 towers. The new pattern is a figure-8 with the main lobe aimed southeast into the city of license and the populated parts of Rockland, a smaller lobe pointed northwest, and deep nulls towards co-channel stations in Connecticut (WNEZ New Britain) and Pennsylvania (WSBA York).
The settlements keep flowing into the FCC, as competing broadcasters get ever closer to the end-of-the-month deadline for cash settlements to buy off competing applicants for new broadcast frequencies. Four FMs and two TVs have now been settled: 97.9 in Jewett (it's up in the Catskills) goes to Ridgefield Broadcasting. 105.3 in "Calverton-Roanoke" (really Riverhead, Long Island) goes to John Rose. 1340 Broadcasting gets 96.1 in Norwood (near Massena). And Citicasters (Jacor) gets 95.5 in Albion, near Rochester -- but then files to change the channel to 102.1, which would allow Jacor's W238AR Rochester to stay put on 95.5, and would create some very interesting possibilities for a facilities upgrade, seeing as how Jacor also owns 102.3, WMHX Canandaigua, on the other side of Rochester. The TVs are channel 52 in Ithaca, going to Kevin Kane (NERW wonders if that's not a typo for Kevin O'Kane, who just got 100.3 Sylvan Beach) and channel 61 in Saranac Lake, to "Channel 61 LLC."
From the rumor mill: Is the end of the line approaching for WHVW (950 Hyde Park)? That's what we're hearing from several sources...
Welcome to the, uh, 70s? Curry College's WMLN (91.5 Milton) is finally embracing stereo. The station made the jump during a special broadcast February 2. WMLN and WMFO (91.5 Medford) fight back and forth across large areas of Roxbury and Dorchester, and the mono-only signal helped WMLN overcome some of the multipath and co-channel problems in the area for many years.
More on the new owner at WMSX (1410 Brockton): Monte Bowens is a former general manager at WILD in Boston, and 1410 is expected to switch to an urban format when Bowens' Griot Communications takes over.
Clearer sailing for WKOX (1200 Framingham)'s attempts to raise power: WGNY (1220 Newburgh NY) owner Sunrise Communications has dropped its objection to WKOX's CP to go 50 kilowatts by day. That makes sense, since WGNY isn't even on 1200 anymore... (Incidentally, the FCC's text still shows the CP in question as being River Street, Newton -- even though the coordinates make it clear that it's actually for WKOX's current transmitter site on Mount Wayte Avenue in Framingham).
Chip Davis has left his post as assistant PD at WQSO (96.7 Rochester) for a new job with Prophet Systems in Nebraska (the folks who are developing voicetrack automation that will allow one company to use the same DJs at stations hundreds of miles apart).
And that's it for this week; next Thursday, the results of our weekend field trip to Glens Falls, southern Vermont, and southwest New Hampshire...see you then!