CONNECTICUT was the scene this time, and Infinity's "dancin' oldies" WZMX (93.7 Hartford) the station in question. As 5 PM rolled around, "Z93-7" launched into Donna Summer's "Last Dance" and part of a promo before announcing "Now...Hartford has become HOTford" and relaunching as "Hot 93.7," the city's first true urban FM.
The move should put some pressure on crosstown urban-leaning CHR WKSS (95.7 Hartford), which has been engaged in an on-and-off CHR war over the years with Infinity's WTIC-FM (96.5), though the latter leans more towards the hot AC side of things these days. It's also likely to mean some changes at the two little AMs that have been serving hard-core urban listeners in the area, Mega's WNEZ (910 New Britain) and ADD Media's leased-time WNTY (990 Southington). This should be fun...stay tuned!
Here at NERW Central in Rochester, WTIC's signoff at 1:35 AM was followed by two dueling Spanish-language stations, which we believe to have been WVCG (Coral Gables FL) and a Cuban. Just after 2:00, KRLD returned to the air; check out the audio clips below to hear just how well we heard the Dallas station up here. WTIC returned to the air at 2:30.
We're looking forward to hearing from WTIC chief engineer Jeff Hugabone as he tallies the reception reports from the experiment; thanks to him and the rest of the crew at Infinity for making an event like this possible for the DX community!
The move basically means the elimination of the pre-1979 cuts and a handful of 90s tunes from the Z100 playlist; no change thus far to the jock lineup that we've heard about.
Dave Allen is leaving WADK (1540 Warwick) at the end of April for a new challenge in Pennsylvania: he'll be the first news director for Kevin Fennessy's WFBS (1280 Berwick), doing the morning news thing at the little AM southwest of Wilkes-Barre.
Lydon will try a one-hour Webcast Tuesday morning (March 20) on his site. Is it a prelude to a more permanent return to the airwaves, a test run for a full-time Webcast, or just a way to say hello to his audience? We're not sure yet, but we'll be listening at 10 AM.
MIT's WMBR (88.1 Cambridge) is getting ready to celebrate its fortieth anniversary, and we hear there's quite the party being planned for Saturday night, March 31, to honor WMBR/WTBS veterans past and present. It all starts at 7 PM at (where else?) the Walker Memorial Building of WMBR callsign fame; if you're a veteran of this fine college station and you haven't received an invitation, contact Melitta King, <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Radio People on the Move: The WFNX modern rock network (WFNX 101.7 Lynn, etc.) loses assistant PD Mike Murphy. He's heading south to Richmond to be PD at Cox's WDYL (101.1), joining former ex-New Englander Bill Weston down south. Out west, WMAS-FM (94.7 Springfield) loses assistant PD/music director/PM drive jock Keith Stephens, who'll start doing nights for Greater Media's WKLB-FM (99.5 Lowell-Boston) at month's end. Across town in Springfield, WPKX (97.9 Enfield CT) promotes promotions assistant Heather Tower to promo director to replace the departing Jerry West, who'll take on the same job in Buffalo at the new WBUF (92.9). And up in Northampton, Ben Casey comes on board as the new PD at WEIB (106.3), allowing Lydia Vance to go back to focusing on afternoon drive and promotions duty at the NAC/smooth jazz outlet.
Where Are They Now?: A hearty congratulations to former WXLO (104.5 Fitchburg) PD Rob Walker, who just got promoted from assistant PD to PD at KSD-FM (93.7) out in St. Louis. And the "WCAS" calls that once graced AM 740 in Cambridge landed in a new home this week, at AM 1290 in Saline, Michigan (outside Ann Arbor), the former WYBN (and a host of other calls, too!)
Incoming chairman Michael Powell lifted those flags, saying they violated the numerical station limits set by Congress in the 1996 Telecom Act, so several stalled deals are now cleared to proceed (we'll hit more of them in New York; stay tuned!)
While we're in the Pine Tree State, Steve Mindich wants the FCC to reconsider its decision to dismiss a power-increase application from his WPHX (92.1 Sanford). The WFNX relay had applied to jump from 1800 watts and a directional antenna to 2550 watts, non-directional, with Mindich willing to tolerate increased co-channel interference with WFEX (92.1 Peterborough NH), another link in the WFNX chain.
The FCC's decision on flagged applications was good news for Clear Channel in central New York; the company gets to add Kenneth Roser's WLFH (1230 Little Falls) and WOWB (105.5 Little Falls)/WOWZ (97.9 Whitesboro) to its group. Just to the west, outside of Syracuse, Clear Channel also gets to add Cram Communications' WVOA (105.1 DeRuyter).
Here in Rochester, 98PXY is dead -- at least, that's what the liners on the suddenly jockless Infinity CHR (WPXY 97.9 Rochester) have been claiming since Friday morning. The stunt ends Monday morning, when 'PXY will apparently announce it's "dead serious" about the latest Infinity group-wide contest...
A new FM signal will soon be on the air in Corning, now that Family Worship Center has been granted a construction permit for W208BL (89.5), with the FCC dismissing a petition to deny filed by WEOS (89.7 Geneva) just up the dial and 70 miles north.
Speaking of Corning, the Sabre group there is bringing in some talent from Binghamton: Tom McDonald leaves WLTB (101.7 Johnson City) to do afternoons at Sabre's country WPGI (100.9 Horseheads) and nights at Sabre CHR WNKI (106.1 Corning).
Speaking of Binghamton, the little low-power NBC affiliate there changes calls from WBGH-LP to WBGH-CA as it attains "Class A" status, which means it will have some protection from interference when it moves from its current spot on channel 8 to its DTV-displacement home on channel 20.
Moving downstate, Aurora is one of the big winners in the FCC's lifting of concentration red-flags, winning clearance to pick up all of Rob Dyson's Crystal group: WKNY (1490 Kingston), WALL (1340 Middletown)/WEOK (1390 Poughkeepsie), WPDH (101.5 Poughkeepsie)/WPDA (106.1 Jeffersonville), WCZX (97.7 Hyde Park)/WZAD (97.3 Wurtsboro) and WRRV (92.7 Middletown)/WRRB (96.9 Arlington).
In New York City, it looks like Tom Poleman will be staying put as program director of Z100 (WHTZ 100.3 Newark NJ) after all. Poleman, recently promoted to an executive VP spot within Clear Channel, reportedly blamed the economic downturn in his memo announcing that the search for a new Z100 PD is being suspended and he's keeping both jobs.
Clear Channel also moved this week to fill the gaps created by the resignation of Rona Landy as general manager at WLTW (106.7 New York) and WTJM (105.1 New York). Andrew Rosen, Clear Channel's market executive VP for New York, will add GM duties for Lite 106.7, while WKTU (103.5 Lake Success) VP/GM Scott Elberg will add Jammin' 105 to his portfolio.
Out on Long Island, Clear Channel dismissed WALK-FM (97.5 Patchogue) PD Gene Michaels and veteran GM Bill Edwards, moving general sales manager Mark Clark into the GM office for now and promoting assistant PD Rob Miller to the PD chair.
One more personnel move on the Island: Cox moves WBLI (106.1 Patchogue) midday jock Fisher to a bigger post within the company, as PD at Cox CHR WPEK (98.1 Seneca SC) in the Greenville, S.C. market.
Two spots on the Web to check out this week: Veterans of WNYG (1440 Babylon) have created a site chronicling the history of their station -- and of the rest of the Long Island dial, with special attention to now-defunct WGLI (1290 Babylon). Meanwhile, a group of fans who don't want New York's WEVD (1050) to die have started a page to promote their efforts.
The stations are AC WFPG-FM (96.9 Atlantic City), country WPUR (107.3 Atlantic City), Comedy World affiliate WFPG (1450 Atlantic City) and the LMA on modern AC WKOE (106.3 Ocean City), which had been Citadel's only Garden State properties.
(Turns out, by the way, that Banta is also a major partner in the groups that bought Elmira's WENY-TV and WENY AM/FM last year.)
Meanwhile, that "Broadcasting for the Challenged" group still wants a new station on 88.9 in Chatham; it's filed for reconsideration of the FCC's decision to dismiss its application for a new station there.
The station, presently an obscure daytimer at the southern edge of the state about halfway between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, would move to 1180 and change city of license to King of Prussia, a suburb of Philadelphia. The new 1180 would run 2300 watts, daytime only, from three towers at the WWDB (860) site on Germantown Pike (from the looks of it, one of the three would be part of the 860 array and the other two would be new 60-meter sticks).
The FCC accepted the move-in application this week; we'll keep you informed as it works its way through the system.
The FCC cleared two station transfers in the Williamsport market: WSFT (107.9 Bald Eagle) can go from Bald Eagle Broadcast Associates to the Sabre group there, while Clear Channel gets permission to add WVRT (97.7 Jersey Shore) to its cluster.
What's Keymarket up to in the Franklin-Oil City area? We hear WOXX (99.3 Franklin, the former WFRA-FM) is now simulcasting with WXXO (104.5 Cambridge Springs) near Meadville, and that both are running a repeating loop of "Kiss Me." We'll keep you posted on what looks like a format change in progress in this corner of northwestern Pennsylvania...
Meanwhile, Keymarket gets a new PD for its Steubenville "Froggy" country station; Mark Lindow, formerly of Buffalo's WYRK, moves down to WOGH (103.5 Steubenville), while former WOGH PD Steve Kline switches Froggys and takes over WOGF (104.3 East Liverpool) just up the road a bit.
And that's that for another week around the dials...see you next Monday!
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