No jocks have been heard so far on "104-point-9, the Point," but NERW Albany bureau chief Gavin Burt reports the new transmitter site gives WSRD solid coverage all over Albany, with the only trouble spots being to the south and east, where first-adjacent WAMQ (105.1 Great Barrington MA) begins fighting it.
In other NEW YORK news, it turns out the actual new owner of Kingston's WBPM (94.3) and WGHQ (920) is Roberts Radio, the same company that owns hot AC WBWZ (93.3 New Paltz) and country WRWD (107.3 Highland) a bit further down the Hudson Valley. All four stations now have a new vice president, as Jeff Frank arrives from Clear Channel's WODE/WIPI in Easton, Pennsylvania to become Roberts' director of Northeast operations.
Down on Long Island, it didn't take former WLVG (96.1 Center Moriches) PD Stefan Rybak to find a new job. He starts Monday as general manager of Long Island Multimedia, which includes WLUX (540 Islip) among its print, Internet, and broadcast holdings.
There's a new general manager at WQAR (101.3 Stillwater), Saratoga's "Star 101," as well. He's Scott Collins, former sales director for WKLI-WABY in Albany.
Heading north, it's the end of an 11-year era at WPAC (92.7 Ogdensburg), as Tony DeFranco leaves his morning drive slot to head to WIII/WKRT Cortland. NERW North Country correspondent Mike Roach reports the last song heard on DeFranco's last show on 93PAC was Sinatra's "My Way" (a bit out of keeping with the station's usual hot AC format!) Morning news guy Doug Craig takes over the slot, and WPAC is said to be seeking a replacement in the newsroom. And insomniacs in the St. Lawrence River valley will be pleased to hear that when Tim Martz takes over WMSA (1340 Massena) in a few months, the station will change its schedule. No more 10 PM signoffs (8 PM on Sunday!) -- WMSA will go 24/7 with syndicated shows.
Heading south again, the FCC has approved the sale of WODZ (1450 Rome) to Bible Broadcasting Network, so the call change to WYFY and the format change to BBN's religious programming is probably imminent.
More upstate New York sounds on-line: Geneva's WEOS (89.7) now has an on-line feed for its non-NPR programming (including what's probably the best lacrosse coverage on the radio anywhere in America); you can get there through the WEOS Web site. The site also lists March 21 as the target date for WEOS' transmitter to move to a new site on Lake to Lake Road, south and west of the studios on the campus of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. When the new 4000 watt transmitter signs on, WEOS will also add a Geneva translator, W212BA (90.3) with 88 watts, to serve the campus and other areas shadowed from the new site.
Another new webcaster is WGMC (90.1 Greece), the noncomm jazz station in the Rochester area. No pretense to impartiality here; NERW knows many of the volunteers who staff this station, and they do a great job. You can find the webcast through the WGMC site, and it's one of the better-sounding RealAudio feeds we've heard lately.
The folks at Jacor's Rochester stations (WHAM/WHTK/WVOR/WNVE/WKGS-WMAX) were shaken, but unhurt, after a man tried to get into the Midtown Plaza studio facility this week. When he was denied entrance into the stations' lobby, he reportedly picked up a signboard in the elevator waiting area outside and used it to break the window that separated the lobby from the elevator area. We're told several Jacor staffers, including WHAM news director Randy Gorbman and WHAM talk host Bob Lonsberry, heard the commotion and restrained the man.
On a happier note, congratulations to Rick Mackenzie, who adds PD duties at CBS' WCMF (96.5 Rochester) to his PD gig just down the hallway at WZNE (94.1 Brighton). Mackenzie fills the position left vacant by Harry Jacobs when he departed for WIZN/WBTZ in Burlington, Vermont earlier this year.
Southern Tier news: Justin Case has left the morning drive slot at CHR WKPQ (105.3 Hornell) to "pursue other interests." We're told WKPQ will simulcast the morning show from sister station WHHO (1320) for the time being. The stations already simulcast overnight.
Religious translator news: Family Life Radio has won approval for a translator on 89.7 in Albion; calls will be W209BF and the primary will be WCOU (88.3 Warsaw), which comes in there pretty well as it is. FLR is also applying for an 89.9 in Norwich to relay WCII (88.5 Spencer). And the Northeast Gospel Network has dropped its application for an 88.1 in Eagle Bridge.
We're told the FCC paid a call on the Spanish-language 94.3 pirate in Springfield earlier this week, but the word from western Massachusetts is that the station barely waited until the taillights on the FCC van had passed out of sight on the Mass Pike before turning the transmitter back on...
A few quick notes from central Massachusetts: Univision affiliate WUNI has a new Web site with sections in both Spanish and English so we can all comprende...Classic rocker WWFX (100.1 Southbridge) is importing Indiana's own "Bob and Tom" to serve as its morning show...WSRO (1470 Marlboro) is indeed operating from its new single tower in Hudson, having lost its old site just off Route 85, and the word on the signal is "miserable." The FCC database shows no record of the new site, and we're left to wonder if there's a valid STA for this or not...
Sandy Benson has hung up her headphones at Boston's "Oldies 103.3" (WODS). She had been out for maternity leave, and after returning for a day after the birth of her third child, reportedly decided the air shift was more stress than she needed. WODS is looking for a permanent replacement on the 6-9 PM shift.
A former WODS voice has surfaced in the overnight slot at WBUR (90.9 Boston). Dave Faneuf is filling in for Charlie Kohlhase, who's on the road in his other career as a musician. Faneuf was WODS' newsman for years before being dismissed a few months ago.
Is it a format change, or just an adjustment? In any event, WROR (105.7 Framingham) has dropped most of the '80s music from its mix and is playing just the '60s and '70s now. We'll go back to listing this one as just "Oldies" on the Boston Radio Archives unless someone has a better suggestion.
Corrections and updates: Jeff Wilks, the new owner of WWFX, is in fact the son of Wilks-Schwartz Broadcasting co-owner Don Wilks. And we hear WJYT (1320 Attleboro) will be back on the air any day now; it reportedly went silent after some money problems with the Portuguese broadcasters who were leasing time from owner ADD Media.
Where are they now? Former WBZer Jim Harrington has resurfaced on the radio after a lengthy stint off the air in Pittsburgh. NERW's Ohio bureau (now there's a tough job!) checked in to report that Harrington is now PD and morning-drive personality at WHBC (1480) in Canton, a station whose Art Deco studio building is worth checking out should you find yourself in downtown Canton for some reason. And we note, a bit belatedly, the passing on February 26 of Frederic Meisner, a.k.a "Doggy Daddy." The Methuen kennel owner was also a radio personality in the Merrimack Valley (on WCCM, WHAV, WCAP, and WLLH) and a frequent guest on the Larry Glick show. Meisner was 77.
We've solved one call change mystery from last week: WXHT (95.3 York Center) became WUBB because it's dropped its satellite modern rock for satellite country as "Continuous Country B95.3." An attempt by Capstar to shave a point or two off Seacoast ratings giant WOKQ (97.5 Dover), which consistently leads the market with its heritage country format? We can't imagine this little class A station chipping more than a point or so off WOKQ, in any event. Still no word from our Portland-area readers about the reported call change on WPOR (1490)...
WTIC-FM (96.5)'s morning team of Gary Craig "and Company" has added another affiliate to its syndication lineup. Already being heard in Buffalo (WLCE 92.9), the show is now also going to Baltimore, on CBS' WXYV (102.7).
Revival Christian Ministries is applying for 89.3 in Norfolk, up north of Torrington in the state's northwest corner.
Danbury's WDAQ (98.3) now has audio on the Web.
And we note the passing of former WAVZ and WDRC jock Joe "Highgear" Hager. After his Connecticut stints in the late 60s and early 70s, Hager moved on to WIFE Indianapolis, KDWB and KSTP in Minneapolis-St. Paul, and eventually to Florida, where he was last working at WKQL in Jacksonville. Hager was 54.
And what are we to make of the CBC's reported plans to launch a "Radio Three" English-language service targeted at a younger audience? Canadian papers report that the CBC will apply for 15 FM frequencies in large markets across Canada. But in big cities like Toronto and Ottawa, the FM dial has no more room for new stations. Could it be that Radio One might - gasp! - move back to AM to accomodate Radio Three on FM? We can hope, can't we?
That'll do it for this week; more, as always, next Friday...