This is the first time in a few years WBYA has had its own format; before the WVOM simulcast, it relayed classical WAVX (106.9 Thomaston, now WBQX). We hear the Moon Song folks wanted to use the old "Wave" nickname, but WBQX (now "W-Bach") put a halt to that.
Also in the Pine Tree State, we hear Pax TV took to the airwaves a few weeks back via WMPX-TV (Channel 23) in Waterville. Down the road a bit in Auburn, WMWX (99.9) has segued from hot AC to full-fledged CHR, albeit with quite a bit of older material still in rotation.
One more bit of TV news: Portland's WCSH (Channel 6) has dropped its 12:30 pm "Lunchbreak" show; host Jim Crocker keeps his "day job" as morning host on WGAN (560).
Down Manchester way, WKBR (1250) finally flipped to Real Country at noon Friday (9/24).
A big TV change in the Big Apple, as WABC-TV (Channel 7) anchor Bill Beutel announces he's leaving Eyewitness News at 11. The veteran of New York City TV will remain as co-anchor of the 6PM show.
Up in Spring Valley, the Tsooris Corp. has applied to sell WLIR (1300) to Alexander Broadcasting, for a reported $270,000.
As goes Boston, so goes Albany? Maybe not...but we do note that smooth jazz is about to make an exit in New York's capital city, as WHRL (103.1) prepares to make a format change October 1. We hear station manager Peter Baumann is out and PD Brant Curtis has been bumped down to production director. Hmmm...Clear Channel, upstate New York...why do we suspect a CHR "Kiss" clone could be next?
Speaking of Albany, the Spring book had to be reissued after someone found that some of the listening that should have been credited to WZMR (104.9 Altamont) was credited to, of all things, WYRY (104.9 Hinsdale NH). Someone send the Arb guys down in Maryland a good map, please...and hurry!
Forever Broadcasting made the official FCC filings this week to sell its Utica and Watertown groups to Regent.
Some PD movement in Syracuse, as Dave Frisina moves up from MD to fill the vacant PD shoes of John McCrae at Pilot's WAQX (95.7 Manlius). McCrae left 95X a few weeks ago to head west to Rochester's WCMF. Meanwhile on James Street, Tom Mitchell keeps his PD duties at WNTQ (93.1) but also adds OM stripes for both 93Q and 95X. With his new duties, Mitchell drops his midday airshift on 93Q, moving Jimmy Olson up from nights (and adding APD to his MD title, too).
Down in Binghamton, the city-of-license shuffle rolls on, this time with applications from WCDW (100.5 Conklin) and WKGB (92.5 Susquehanna PA) to swap communities. WCDW would continue to serve Susquehanna from the tower in the hills 10 miles east of Binghamton now shared by it, WKGB, and WJIK (90.1 Binghamton), but WKGB would get to move much closer into town, solving some of the signal problems the rocker now faces. No word on whether any money would change hands to allow WKGB to make the move...
More fun with the FCC: Your tax dollars helped solve a dispute over a new FM allocation in western New York this week. Check out <http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Mass_Media/Orders/1999/da991889.txt> to see the decision that kept the new 92.1A allocation in Amherst instead of Lockport -- because Amherst (which is blanketed, mind you, by something like 30 Buffalo stations, not to mention a dozen or so from Toronto and St. Catharines) needs its "first full-time aural broadcast service." At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the COL rules need revision. Now.
And we note another possible reason for the CBC's haste in moving to FM in major cities: Only by having an FM signal like CBLA (99.1 Toronto) can the CBC lease out subcarrier space -- which is just what they're applying to do on both 99.1 and CBL-FM (94.1), apparently to Spanish and Portuguese broadcasters.
And that's it for two weeks for us, as we load what's left of the radio room into boxes for the move across town to the new home of NERW Central. Once we've unpacked, we'll be back in business with the October 8 issue. See you then!