New England RadioWatch: September 26, 1996
Full Moon Miscellany
As NERW prepares to put down its radio and head outside for tonight's
lunar eclipse, here's some of what's been cluttering the desks...
- The ubiquitous Dr. Laura Schlessinger has added yet another New
England outlet. Hartford's WTIC (1080) has bumped Hartford Courant
columnist Colin McEnroe from his mid-morning slot and dropped in
Dr. Laura instead. McEnroe will be heard doing commentaries on TIC's
morning and afternoon drive shows, as well as on a Sunday night talk
show. Across town at WDRC (1360), Bob Grant has been dropped from the
schedule, reportedly because programmers there don't think his
abrasive talk fits with WDRC's standards format. Phil Callan moves
from middays to PM to fill Grant's timeslot. And at WHCN (105.9), new
owner SFX is moving towards classic rock, both to pull WHCN away from
its new stablemate, modern-rocker WMRQ (104.1), and to go after ARS's
70s rocker, WZMX (93.7).
- A bit further south in Connecticut, Quinnipiac College seems to be
making big plans for its newly-purchased AM. The former WXCT (1220)
in Hamden is now dark, but will reportedly resurface sometime in
January with the WQUN calls. Quinnipiac has been advertising in the
trades for a GM/PD, a morning host/operations manager, and two
newspeople to work alongside the student staff. The station's in good
hands; NYC radio veteran Lou Adler is apparently the driving force
behind the project.
- Two dark stations that probably won't return: WLVC (1340) Fort Kent
and WSJR (1230) Madawaska, way up there in northern Maine. It's been
two and a half years since these stations were on the air, and their
authority to remain silent expired a year ago. The FCC is asking
owner Lamoille Broadcasting for a written explanation of why the
licenses shouldn't be revoked.
- Back on the air, and with a much-improved signal, is Holliston High
School's WHHB(FM) in Holliston, Mass. The station has finally made
good on its plans to move from 91.5 to 99.9, and from a short tower
atop the high school to a taller cellular-phone stick down the road.
- NERW will be keeping a close watch on modern-rocker WFNX (101.7)
Lynn-Boston this weekend. The station has gone mostly jockless as it
gets ready for the debut of "Radio Anarchy Boston" on September 30.
The 'FNX folks are being tight-lipped about it, but it sounds like it
will be a minor format change, as 'FNX tried to reposition itself to
better compete with WBCN (104.1). 'FNX has been doing modern rock
since 1983, while WBCN is a relative newcomer to the format...but BCN
has the advantage of a much better signal, not to mention the massive
financial muscle of Infinity. More in next Monday's NERW...
- The new WROR-FM (105.7) Framingham-Boston debuted its first TV ads
this week. The ads play heavily on the familiar call letters, which
graced 98.5 (now WBMX) until 1991. They also promote star morning
hosts Loren Owens and Wally Brine...as well as afternoon jock Joe
Martelle, whose name and face are bleeped out of the current version
of the ad because he's still under a non-compete agreement with WBMX.
By the way, 105.7 is now legally WROR-FM. 1150 AM has recut its
top-hour ID into a very rushed, and nearly legal, "WROR AM Boston."
Oddly, the third player, 96.9 FM, still hasn't changed its calls from
WBCS(FM). There's still a whispered "WBCS Boston" just before the
top-hour "WKLB Boston" jingle...which won't be legal either, unless
Greater Media has found a way to persuade WKLB(AM) in Manchester KY
to give up the calls. Otherwise, 96.9 will become WKLB-FM Boston once
the call shuffling is complete.
- And from the "Duh" file: NERW knows full well that WGAM (1520) is in
Greenfield, not Westfield. My fingers slipped, OK? By the way, NERW
hears that WGAM/WRSI(FM) owner Ed Skutnik will be staying with the
stations as GM once they're sold. This could bode well for the
survival of WRSI's AAA format.
- Out of time for this edition...but we WILL get to the Washington DC
material next time, I promise!
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