North East RadioWatch: January 8, 1999
It's been such a quiet week out there that it almost doesn't matter
that your editor spent most of it recovering from That Cold That's
Going Around. It's almost enough to make one wish he were doing
SouthWest Radio Watch instead. But the cold, snowy Northeast it is,
so on with the week's news, such as it was:
- A Rome, NEW YORK AM station is about to change format, not that
anyone's likely to notice. WODZ (1450) is being sold to Bible
Broadcasting Network, which is sure to outfit it with WYF-something
calls and put the BBN satellite religious format in a few months.
WODZ has been nothing but an FM simulcaster for years, first as the old
WKAL (with 95.9), then as country WFRG after the FM moved to 96.1, then
as oldies WODZ after the WFRG format and calls moved to Utica's
104.3. The AM has also been used to park calls on occasion in the
last few years, most recently as WFRY.
Up the road in Lowville, public radio WSLU hopes to have its newest
translator on the air sometime next month on 88.1. It's being made
possible by an $8500 grant by the Pratt-Northam Foundation of
Remember Bill Baker from his many years at WSYR in Syracuse? He's
found a new gig, two years after leaving the Salt City. Bill and
partner Bernice start this month doing mornings at oldies WRCL (106.5)
in Richmond, Virginia.
Best wishes to Clarke Ingram of Rochester's WPXY as he recovers from a
crash that totalled his car in late December near Ligonier,
Pennsylvania. While the Jetta that visited so very many tower sites
is gone, the good news is that Clarke will be just fine once those
A few tidbits from Albany: The new "96.3 Jamz" is applying for the
WAJZ calls, to replace WPTR-FM on 96.3 Voorheesville. Tom Joyner is
holding down mornings via satellite, and the station is seeking air
talent for other shifts. Some is coming from sister station WFLY (92.3
Troy), including Fly 92 music director Ron "Sugarbear" Williams, who
moves to WAJZ as assistant PD and afternoons. WFLY PD Rob Dawes is
also holding down PD duties at "Jamz" -- wonder if Fly will now drop
the urban stuff for more mainstream CHR? And back in stereo is
WDCD-FM (96.7 Clifton Park), which had been in mono for a while.
- Up to VERMONT, where the second time was the charm for Harry Jacobs
and WIZN/WBTZ, as the former OM/PD of Rochester's WCMF (96.5) accepts
the offer to become GM at WIZN/WBTZ. Last fall, Jacobs almost said "yes,"
then changed his mind; this time, we're told it's a done deal.
- In RHODE ISLAND, another "almost" of 1998 was resolved in the opening
week of 1999, as WXEX (99.7 Wakefield-Peace Dale) dumped rock to
become a simulcast of classic rocker WHKK (100.3 Middletown). And a
big "huh?" award to Robert Whitcomb, editorial page editor of the
Providence Journal, whose loving tribute to New York's late
adult standards station referred to it throughout as "WQED." Suppose
he knows something about public broadcasting in Pittsburgh that we
- CONNECTICUT's WKCI (101.3 Hamden) is celebrating its twentieth year
as a hit radio station. "KC101" went retro this weekend, playing the
hits of 1979. Sometime this summer, the station will host a reunion
of its former jocks -- call PD Kelly Nash at 203-230-5210 if you're
missing and need to be found by the current crew at Radio Towers
Park. The reunion's tentatively set for July 24-25.
Over at WNEZ (910 New Britain), there's some shaking going on, as
PD/morning guy Mark Dennis leaves, J.J. Foxx moves from nights to
mornings, and Ricky Ricardo of WBLS (107.5 New York) comes on board as
- A MASSACHUSETTS "Where are they now?": Former WBZ program director
Brian Whittemore moves from general manager of KDKA Pittsburgh to the
Twin Cities, to CBS sister station WCCO Minneapolis. Congratulations!
- And we'll close in MAINE, where FMedia! reports WYAR
(88.3 Yarmouth) is now running a limited schedule with adult
standards. Anyone up there hearing this station, reportedly being run
from the GM's basement?
That's it for a short one this week...back with a bigger, better NERW
next week when we can once again breathe!
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