This being NERW, we'll start with the radio station. After 73 years, Hartford's WTIC will have its main studio somewhere other than the Insurance City beginning next year. WTIC signed on back in 1925 from the Travelers Insurance building on Grove Street, and remained there until 1961, when it moved to Broadcast House on Constitution Plaza along with WTIC-TV 3. When the stations were sold separately in 1974, WTIC-TV became WFSB and stayed on Constitution Plaza, and WTIC AM-FM moved to the Gold Building at Pearl and Main Streets. Its lease there expires next year, and so AM 1080 and FM 96.5 are heading off to the 'burbs -- to the 10 Executive Drive, Farmington home of sister stations WZMX and WRCH.
As for the football team: New England viewers and listeners would had to have been hiding in a Faraday cage all week to miss the fuss over the Patriots' planned move from Foxboro to Hartford in 2001. On the broadcasting side of things, CBS looks like the big loser in this deal, since Boston was one of the very largest markets in its AFC deal, and the folks at CBS-owned WBZ-TV and WBCN were hoping for big things from their Pats contracts. Now it's not even clear whether WBZ will have Pats telecasts for games that don't sell out in Hartford; the Boston Globe quotes NFL sources as saying that Boston will be in the blackout zone. The big winner, clearly, is Hartford's WFSB, which becomes the Pats' home-town station in three years. Will CBS' WTIC and WZMX step up to the plate (now there's a mixed metaphor!) and make the radio bid, too? We'll be watching...
As for the TV and radio coverage, it sounds like WEEI broke this one on radio Wednesday, with all the stations in both markets jumping on board by the evening newscasts. When Pats owner Bob Kraft held his Hartford news conference Thursday morning, WBZ-TV and WHDH cut into their impeachment-hearings coverage (as did all three Connecticut affiliates and Providence's WPRI and WJAR), while WCVB and WLNE stayed with Kenneth Starr.
One more bit of Connecticut news before we move on: The folks at WTNH in New Haven are getting around to marking their 50th anniversary (no hurry, apparently, seeing as how they signed on in June, 1948!) and are looking for station veterans, old film and videotape, and newspaper clippings about WTNH and WNHC-TV. Contact Nina Bradley at email@example.com or 203-784-8807 if you can help...
Former WBOS GM John Laton returns to the business as GM of Metro Networks' Boston operations.
Remember WYDN? The long-unbuilt Worcester noncomm on channel 48 has received FCC permission to move the transmitter site that it still hasn't started building. After a series of CPs that specified first Mt. Asnebumskit, then a site in Palmer, then Steerage Rock in Worcester, WYDN's latest CP once again puts it at Asnebumskit. Maybe it'll actually get built this time...
Another Vermont morning voice is leaving the state after a much shorter career. Kyle Smith's making the move from WBTZ (99.9 Plattsburgh NY - Burlington) to mornings at noncomm AAA WYEP (91.3) in Pittsburgh.
WBYA (101.7 Searsport) is now simulcasting the news-talk format of new sister station WVOM (103.9 Howland).
Mars Hill's application for an 89.1 translator for its WMHR Syracuse in Riverhead, Long Island, has been dismissed.
Here's the new (interim) lineup at WNEW, in the wake of Scott Muni and Dave Herman's dismissals: Matt DeVoti 6-10am, Lisa Garvey 10-3pm, Opie and Anthony 3-7pm (guess they're not coming back to Boston after all...), Carol Miller 7-mid, Harris Allen overnight.
Some staff changes at WTBQ (1110) in Warwick: PD Bob Taylor becomes Operations Coordnator, PM driver Rich Ball adds PD duties, and news director Chris Cordani heads for the richer lands of all-news television at WRNN in Kingston.
Another historic broadcasting name bites the dust: "Interstate Broadcasting," the alias for the New York Times Company that's graced the licenses of WQXR and WQEW in New York since the 1940s, is being replaced by the "New York Times Electronic Media Company."
Upstate, we've been listening as the CBS stations in Rochester make their studio moves. WCMF's Brother Wease has been broadcasting from a makeshift couch in his now-stripped studio all week...and WPXY (97.9) sends its jocks home for the weekend while its studio equipment is moved. The Audiovault will be playing the songs, liners, and spots (but no jock breaks or phone calls!) for "Shut Up And Listen Weekend." A correction, by the way: the new main phone number after Thanksgiving for 'CMF, 98PXY, WZNE, and WRMM will be 716-399-5700.
Rochester's "Box" affiliate is back at full (low) power. We can once again watch WBXO-LP on channel 15 here at NERW Central, some 4000 feet from the Pinnacle Hill towers -- and now we're just waiting for someone less cheap than us to actually call up and request a video or two...
And Lowell Paxson's Batavia ("Buffalo-Rochester") Pax TV construction permit finally has the inevitable "PX" calls. Mark down WPXJ-TV, instead of WAQF, for channel 51.
Back in business: Newsblues has returned to wreak havoc with news directors' appetites everywhere...it's now on a more powerful server at www.newsblues.com.
And that's it for another week of NERW. With the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, followed by a NERW-mobile excursion to the wilds of Fort Wayne, Indiana and Dayton (and Mason), Ohio, we'll be on a modified schedule. A brief NERW will come your way sometime Thanksgiving Day while the NERW turkey cooks (and we listen to see how many stations are playing "Alice's Restaurant" this year), and after that, we'll take a one-week hiatus. NERW will return to brighten your Fridays on December 11. Bulletins, as we used to say on WCAP, at once!