Entercom officially takes control of the former Heritage Media group in Rochester Saturday night, when Sinclair closes on its purchase of WBBF (950), WBEE-FM (92.5), WQRV (93.3 Avon), and WKLX (98.9) from Heritage, then immediately LMAs the stations to Entercom in preparation for sale. The official word is the standard "no immediate changes," but NERW's heard that one often enough...
On the TV side, Sinclair is buying 14 TV stations from Sullivan Broadcasting (owned by Boston-based ABRY), including Fox affiliates WUHF-TV (Channel 31) in Rochester and WUTV (Channel 29) in Buffalo. Sinclair is already a dominant radio player in Buffalo, with WGR (550), WBEN (930), WWWS (1400), WWKB (1520), WKSE (98.5 Niagara Falls), and WMJQ (102.5) under its corporate belt -- and it's planning to apply for a waiver to keep all six plus the TV.
More from upstate NEW YORK: The third shoe dropped this week in the Jacor format shuffle in Rochester, as WMAX-FM (106.7 Irondequoit) and WMHX (102.3 Canandaigua) put their all-Delilah stunt format to bed in favor of very soft, gold-based AC as "Sunny 106." NERW notes that Jacor's new gold-based soft AC in Des Moines, also "Sunny 106," has taken the calls KYSY; could the WYSY calls (last seen on 107.9 in suburban Chicago) be in the Flower City's future? Jerry Reo's handling mornings on Sunny; Delilah remains on the station from 7 till midnight.
The WXOX calls have been installed on the former WBTF (101.7) Attica-Batavia, with modern rock replacing "BT Country." More on this one after a NERW fact-finding expedition to Genesee County this weekend...
Up north, Watertown's WCIZ has applied to boost power from 4200 to 6000 watts, move its transmitter from route 12 north of town to the tower of co-owned WFRY (97.5) on route 126, and -- oh yes -- change frequency from 93.5 to 93.3.
David Covey's Entertronics has been operating Glens Falls' WCQL (95.9) and WWSC (1450); now he's filed to purchase the stations from Normandy Broadcasting for a reported $275,000.
Majac already owns the largest group of Binghamton market stations -- WENE (1430 Endicott), WKGB (92.5 Susquehanna), WMXW (103.3 Vestal), and WMRV (105.7 Endicott) -- and now it's adding one more, with the granting of a new CP for 107.5 in Endwell, transmitting from the WMRV site above Endicott. An earlier 107.5 CP, with the calls WRGG, was never built, and the frequency has been in use by a pirate running right-wing talk programming. Down the road in Owego, we hear WEBO (1330) is splitting from its simulcast with soft-rock WGRG (101.7) to go modern rock. Yep, modern rock on AM. We'll be passing through the area next month to bring you a complete report on this one.
WDST (100.1) in Woodstock wants to move its transmitter from Jockey Hill a bit closer to I-87, onto Halihan Hill.
Newburgh's WGNY keeps trying; not only have they filed a petition for reconsideration for their cancelled CP on 1200, they've also asked the FCC to let them move to 1620, even though they weren't on the latest expanded-band allocation list. What's more, the 1620 facility would be directional, and apparently daytime-only, to judge by the FCC record.
And WZZN (106.3) Mount Kisco has flipped from classic rock to smooth jazz.
Bloomberg is back on the air in Boston, as WXKS (1430) drops satellite standards in morning drive to join the network that includes WADN (1120 Concord), WPLM (1390 Plymouth), and WARA (1320 Attleboro). After 10 AM it's back to the big bands and ballads on the Evergreen-owned AM.
Austin of Boston is adding to his fill-in gigs. The former WODS (103.3) morning man has been heard subbing on classic rock WEGQ (93.7 Lawrence), soon to come under the same CBS umbrella as Oldies 103.
We mentioned Babson College Radio last week, and we're now told that in addition to its on-line broadcasts, BCR can be heard on the Babson campus via a low-power transmitter on 89.3.
And a familiar voice will once again grace the airwaves this weekend on Lowell's WCAP (980), as Bill O'Neill returns to his old Saturday morning stomping ground for a fill-in shift. NERW has a particular sentimental attachment to that shift...it's where yours truly had his first regular radio-news gig (usually followed by at least a solid hour of radio gossip in the production studio, of course...)
If that's not enough, Howard Stern is entering the Providence market next week. Stern's newest affiliate is rhythmic CHR WWKX (106.3 Woonsocket)/WAKX (102.7 Narragansett Pier). He's already heard in much of the market via Boston's WBCN (104.1).
Last week we told you WKFD (1370 Wickford) is being sold to Full Power Radio; this week we can tell you that Full Power Radio is John Fuller, the owner of WJJF (1180 Hope Valley) and WBMW (106.5 Ledyard CT).
Now that Gannett owns WLBZ (Channel 2) in Bangor, it's installing new call letters on the NBC affiliate's translator in Waterville. W04AK is becoming WGCI-LP; the WGCI calls remain on the AM and FM stations in Chicago that were Gannett-owned for many years.
On the TV side, no sooner is Hicks, Muse's Sunrise Television Corp. taking control of WPTZ (Channel 5) Plattsburgh and WNNE (Channel 31) White River Junction than it's trading them away. Hearst Argyle gets WPTZ, WNNE, and KSBW (Channel 8) Salinas CA, and Sunrise gets WNAC (Channel 64) Rehoboth-Providence along with WDTN (Channel 2) in Dayton, Ohio.
That's a wrap for this Thursday; we'll return next week with still more Northeast broadcast news. See you then!