In any event, NERW hears that WMTW's old Mount Washington transmitter site will remain staffed for now, so those Marty Angstrom mountaintop weather reports aren't going anywhere right away. We'll keep you posted as we learn more about the future of the radio facilities atop the region's highest peak.
But wait, there's more: CHOM is also moving out of its longtime Westmount home at 1310 Greene Street this coming weekend, joining CJAD and CJFM (95.9) at 1411 Fort Street. (Former CHOM sister station CKGM will stay put at Greene Street, we believe.)
The plan calls for WGBH's offices to occupy much of an existing building on the property, which is also home to the headquarters of New Balance. The studios would go into a new building nearby on Market Street, next to the parking garage across Guest Street.
How big would this facility be? The office side would take up six of the seven floors in the 180,000-square foot building, while the studio building would fill another 130,000 square feet.
When this move is completed, tentatively by 2005, it would create an impressive media axis along Market Street; in addition to WGBH and Entercom, Infinity's radio operations are consolidating in the former WSBK studios on Birmingham Parkway, just across the street, while Infinity's WBZ TV/radio, WSBK and WBMX are less than a mile away on Soldiers Field Road, next door to Pax's WBPX.
Speaking of Infinity, it's without a program director at classic rock WZLX (100.7) with the departure of market veteran Buzz Knight, who's off to Philadelphia to program WMGK (102.9), about which we'll have more in a moment.
It's not looking pretty at Worcester's WORC (1310); news director Ann Kenda and executive producer Chad Varnas are the latest out the door at the upstart talker. We're hearing that problems at the station have included unpaid payroll taxes and cancelled health insurance, and we're told there's just one full-timer left doing programming there. We'll keep you posted as this one heads to state regulators for their attention...
Out west - so far west as to be in the Albany television market - the FCC is poring over eleven bids for channel 51 in Pittsfield. This facility, which was once granted a never-built construction permit under the calls WVUW, is one of four around the country up for bid in the latest auction, and bidders include Hubbard (which would create a duopoly with WNYT in Albany), TBN, Flinn Broadcasting and Equity Broadcasting. The new station would join a crowded market that already includes seven full-power players and a host of LPTV and cable-only telecasters. The auction began last week; no word yet from the FCC on when a winner will be announced.
We're sorry to report the passing of Bob Clayton, whose music shows on WHDH television (the old channel 5) and radio were among the city's most popular in the fifties. Clayton turned to the law when he retired from broadcasting in 1973, practicing on Cape Cod until recently. He was 87 years old when he died last Monday (2/4) at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington.
At WGCH (1490 Greenwich), Peter Mutino is the new general manager, replacing Peter Baumann (who stays with the station's owners to oversee WVIP in Mount Kisco). Mutino was the general manager at WFAS in White Plains.
Dick Alexander, who was the area's first black radio announcer when his career began decades ago at WICC in Bridgeport, died February 2 at Danbury Hospital. Alexander, whose deep voice became a fixture at WINE/WGHF in Brookfield, had been out of radio in recent years, working for the town of Brookfield. He was 74 years old.
Out on Long Island's East End, Jarad Broadcasting and Main Street Broadcasting are both asking the FCC to deny the transfer of the WCSO (92.9 Southampton) construction permit from Peconic Bay Broadcasting to AAA Entertainment, which already owns four FMs (WEHM, WBEA, WBAZ and WMOS) out there.
Speaking of Jarad, it lost WXXP (105.3 Calverton-Roanoke) PD/OM Skyy Walker this week; he's headed west to the Big Apple to be music and programming coordinator at WKTU (103.5). Assistant PD "Phathead" takes interim duties at "Party 105.3"
There's no Radio Disney yet in Albany; we hear Disney needed a few extra days to get a satellite dish installed at the WGNA (1460) transmitter site, so the country simulcast from WGNA-FM (107.7) continues until Friday.
We drove through Albany on Saturday morning, just in time to hear the end of the standards show that was the AM's only non-simulcast program. Host Bill Edwardsen made a reference to the "Mickey Mouse station" that was coming soon, then said he'd sign off and go down the hall to tell the "hillbilly girl DJ" to turn the simulcast back on - and thus ended that phase of AM 1460's existence! (We noted, too, that the FM programming is emphasizing that "FM" quite a bit this week...)
North Country correspondent Mike Roach tells us WWNY (Channel 7) in Watertown has received its DTV equipment, with programming on WWNY-DT (Channel 35) due to start in a few weeks. Mike also reports that the state Attorney General subpoenaed several boxes of records related to the dispute over religious WWJS (90.1 Watertown) from station manager Steven Bryant. Bryant didn't show up with the documents; instead, he sent his wife Shirley and his lawyer to deliver them. The station remains off the air, with its equipment locked up inside Bryant's building.
NASCAR fans in Binghamton will be tuning to WBBI (107.5 Endwell) this year, as the Clear Channel country outlet grabs the race package from previous rights-holder WCDW. B107.5 is also running a sixth day of its "Breakfast Flakes" show now; Jerry and Dave can be heard on Saturday in addition to their Monday-through-Friday schedule.
Here in Rochester, WPXY (97.9) has lost its assistant PD/MD, "Norm on the Barstool," who resigns after eight years at the Infinity CHR. We hear Norm will resurface soon with a PD gig (the vacant one at Binghamton's WMRV, perhaps?); in the meantime, 98PXY PD Mike Danger is handling MD duties.
And we note the passing of former WFAS (1230 White Plains) morning announcer Johnny Michaels, who died Saturday (Feb. 9). Michaels' career included New York's WMCA, WNBC, WCBS-FM (just prior to its switch to oldies), WOR-FM and WWDJ as well as several Hartford stations. Michaels was doing a morning talk show on WFAS until just a few months ago, when the station switched to standards.
Never heard of Elmer? You're hardly alone; the little community on Route 55 has a population of just over 1500. WSNJ-FM isn't proposing a transmitter move from its longtime site at Carl's Corners near Bridgeton just yet, but we suspect there's one in the works once the city-of-license change is complete.
Over towards the ocean, Atlantic City's WZBZ (99.3 Pleasantville) and WGBZ (105.5 Cape May Courthouse) jumped from modern AC to urban last week, keeping the "Buzz" nickname. Though there hasn't been an offical filing yet, we hear Margate Communications is selling WZBZ/WGBZ, along with urban AC WTTH/WBNJ and standards WMID AM/FM, to Equity Communications, which already owns WCMC, WZXL and WAYV in the market. No word yet on a sale price; we hear Equity will LMA the Margate stations until the deal closes.
We're sorry to report the death, at age 66, of James Normoyle, better known as Jay Edwards. He programmed several stations in Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey in the seventies, then ran WSUS (102.3 Sussex) in the eighties and nineties before buying the station in 1993. Edwards, who died Saturday (2/9), sold WSUS in 1997; it's now part of Clear Channel's Sussex cluster.
And that'll do it for another week; we'll be back with more news next Monday!