- The FCC has shut down a CONNECTICUT pirate station for a third time.
Agents visited La Nueva Radio Musical's latest location, on
Saltonstall Avenue in New Haven, on Wednesday afternoon to pull the
plug on the unlicensed 104.5 MHz operation.
The station's operators tell the New Haven Register they
hope to be back on in a few days, and they say they're disappointed
that Congresswoman Rosa De Lauro hasn't been more responsive to the
petition they presented to her office at a rally last month.
Two Hartford-area pirates remain on the air undisturbed, meanwhile.
Praise 105.3 continues its gospel programming, which NERW first heard
on the air back in 1996, and a Spanish-language station on 97.1 is
still being widely heard as well.
The New Britain Rock Cats have added Hartford's WPOP (1410) to their
broadcast network. Down the coast in the New London area, 1510
remains off the air, while its sister FM station in East Lyme has
technically changed calls from WNLC-FM to WNLC(FM). And Groton's WSUB
(980) and WQGN (105.5) have moved studios; they're now in new digs at
7 Governor Winthrop Blvd. in New London.
- The FCC has been busy with a lot of little changes in NEW YORK. WNYR
(98.5 Waterloo) has been granted its translator on 98.1 in "Melrose
Park," a community this native upstate New Yorker had never heard of.
So when we plugged the coordinates into the ol' mapping software --
sure enough, the new W251AJ will be transmitting from downtown
Auburn. The FCC also approved new religious translators W201AL (88.1
Dansville, relaying WMHN Webster and hoping to move to 88.7) and
W201AC Utica (88.1, relaying WPCS from Florida). Rochester's "Zone,"
WZNE (94.1 Brighton), has been granted a change to a non-directional
antenna, radiating 3100 watts from Pinnacle Hill.
From the call-letter desk: Entercom's WBBF (950) in Rochester has
applied to ditch the calls it's held since 1953 and become WEZO,
another heritage set of Rochester calls. The WBBF calls will move to
what's now WKLX (98.9), which is already going by "99-BBF" on the
air. The new 96.1 in Norwood has been assigned the sequential calls
WAZV. A handful of new LPTV calls: W34BT Watertown, which is supposed
to sign on soon, becomes WBQZ-LP. Craig Fox's "The Box" LPTVs in
Rochester and Syracuse switch from W15AL and W35AQ to WBXO-LP and
WOBX-LP, respectively. W56CV in Niles becomes WTVU-LP. And we hear
the soon-to-be PaxNet station in Syracuse will be WSPX, instead of
WAUP, when it hits the airwaves.
The Sound of Life folks have turned on their latest station in the
Hudson Valley. WHVP (91.1) in Hudson took to the airwaves this week.
Meantime, the North Country may have lost an AM station. We hear the
"FSR Network" is no longer IDing WIGS (1230 Gouverneur) along with
WGIX (95.3 Gouverneur) and WSLB (1400 Ogdensburg).
NERW took a drive out to Youngstown, New York (north of Niagara Falls)
to see for ourselves the new three-tower array of WTOR (770). It's
really there -- and self-supporting towers, no less -- but so far
there's been no sign that we've heard of this new Toronto-oriented
station testing. In fact, we could just barely hear WABC in the car
while parked down the road from the WTOR site.
- Across the border, it's duopoly in the works. The new broadcasting
rules unveiled by the CRTC will allow a single owner to control four
stations in larger markets, three stations in smaller ones. The
CRTC's also tightening Canadian content rules, requiring 35 percent
Cancon on commercial stations -- and, oh yes, they'll have to play the
songs "in their entirety." (Seems a few stations were skirting the
rules by playing montages of Canadian songs...) The CRTC also
approved a new religious TV station in the Toronto area. Channel 36
will broadcast from Hamilton.
- In MASSACHUSETTS, there's a new digital TV applicant. WHSH (Channel
66) in Marlborough has applied for WHSH-DT on channel 23. In
preparation, Providence's WRIW-LP and Long Island's WVVH-LP have both
applied to move from 23 to channel 50.
More pirate news: we're hearing about a 1640 signal out of Dorchester
with Haitian music, and a new 89.3 in Chelmsford, "WMBG."
Some changes at Marlborough's WSRO (1470) as it prepares for a sale to
Alexander Langer: The WSRO-produced "Handling Change" show is now
being simulcast on Langer's WRPT (650 Ashland) from 3 till 4 PM
weekdays, while WRPT's "Money Works" and "Don Feder Show" air on WSRO
from 4 until 7.
NERW notes that Langer is buying *another* AM 1470, WFJY Portage PA.
We wonder whether the man who moved WRPT across state lines and down
the dial 400 kHz last year has something up his sleeve for 1470,
especially given rumors that WSRO will have to leave its three-tower
directional array for a single tower and lower power.
- Quick hits from the rest of the region: RHODE ISLAND's WHJY (94.1
Providence) has a new PD. He's Joe Bevilacqua, last at WWBR (102.7
Mount Clemens-Detroit MI). In NEW HAMPSHIRE, Claremont's WHDQ (106.1)
has applied to move its transmitter across the state line to Mount
Ascutney in Vermont. Power would drop from 9500 to 1650 watts, but
from a transmitter twice as high. On the NEW HAMPSHIRE-MAINE line,
WXHT (95.3 York Center ME) has switched to modern rock. We're told
the new CHR in Maine will be WHRR (102.9) in Dennsyville, near Calais,
and it should be on in time for us to hear it when NERW visits the
area next month. And that channel 23 in Waterville? The PaxNet Web site says it'll be one of
theirs when it debuts.
- Ratings, part two: This week's Winter books find us along the
Thruway, starting in ALBANY, where CHR WFLY and news-talk WGY both had
strong books, dropping perennial market leader WGNA from first place
to third 12+. In fifth place 12+ is WABY-AM/FM, the best showing yet
from that standards station. SYRACUSE market leader WBBS stayed in
first place, trailed by a surging news-talk WSYR, rocker WAQX, and CHR
WNTQ. In ROCHESTER, Howard Stern is bragging about his first 12+ win
over market veteran Brother Wease, with Stern's WNVE edging Wease's
WCMF by a tenth of a point. Wease still wins 25-54 men, while Stern holds
his 18-34 edge in mornings. Elsewhere in NERW's home market, WVOR's
new "Mix 100.5" format (and tons of TV and direct mail) paid off with
a first-place showing among 25-54 women. Overall 12+, news-talk WHAM
dips but holds first place, followed by country WBEE, AC WRMM, and a
rebounding CHR WPXY. Making no splash yet are soft AC WYSY/WISY
(formerly AAA WMAX/WMHX) or dance-CHR "Jam'n" WMAX (formerly WRCD).
And that's it for another week in NERW-land. See you next Thursday!