Sunrise is the "small-market" television arm of media giant Hicks, Muse, Tate, and Furst. Elsewhere in the region, it owns WKTV (Channel 2) in Utica and WROC (Channel 8) in Rochester. Through its LIN Television arm, Hicks, Muse also owns WTNH (Channel 8) New Haven and WIVB (Channel 4) in Buffalo.
The broadcast scene in VERMONT was a busy one this week even before the WPTZ deal was announced. Up-and-coming rocker WCPV (101.3 Essex NY) is bringing back the "Corm and the Coach" morning show that was dropped last fall by rival WIZN (106.7 Vergennes). The show will replace Don Imus in morning drive on "Champ 101," with the I-man reportedly moving down the dial to WXPS (96.7 Vergennes). Over at WIZN, station manager Mike Bussiere is reportedly taking over the morning airwaves of "The Wizard."
Last week, we told you that the FCC had changed the call letters of WTBC(FM) in Williston. Now, the rest of the story...it seems an over-eager FCC was changing the calls on a CP that was deleted more than a decade ago! The 90.9 allocation is now being fought over on the New York side of the lake, with rival applications in Schuyler Falls and Champlain.
F. James Whalen has won the settlement for 101.1 MHz in Machias. No word on when the area's second FM signal will take the airwaves.
WROR (105.7 Framingham) has named a new afternoon jock, and it's not WXKS-FM alumnus J.J. Wright, who's been filling in since Joe Martelle was fired last month. Instead, Greater Media utility guy Dan Justin will get the gig.
Lindsy Parker is out as program director and talk host at Marlboro's WSRO (1470). CBS's Mary Matalin show gets Parker's 3-6 PM slot; former city councilor Natalie Lashmit will get a new local talk show from noon to 1 weekdays.
Worcester's WTAG (580) is keeping broadcast rights to the Red Sox for 1998. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports sports station WWTM (1440) had hoped to grab the Sox away from WTAG this season (its sister station WEEI in Boston is the flagship for the Sox network), but soon-to-be WEEI/WWTM owner CBS was more interested in keeping the rights with CBS affiliate WTAG. The paper speculates that the deal may show that CBS doesn't intend to keep WWTM once its purchase of ARS is complete.
Our best wishes go out to Gordon Swan, the legendary New England broadcaster who started out at WGI Medford Hillside (the first station in New England), and went on to program WBZ and launch WBZ-TV. Swan is now 93, and while he's still sharp mentally, we're told he broke a hip in a fall last week. Get-well cards can be sent to him care of Jordan Hospital, Room 367, Sandwich Street, Plymouth MA 02360.
And congratulations to Josh Binswanger. The erstwhile WBZ/WBZ-TV host has signed on to anchor the morning show at Fox O&O WTTG (Channel 5) Washington, D.C.
The second tower is up at WRYM (840) in New Britain, enabling the Spanish-language station to go 24 hours -- something it's reportedly been doing even with just one tower.
There's a new pirate in New Haven, a 104.5 running Spanish-language music under the name "Radio Musica." Meantime, "Praise 105.3" in Hartford remains on the air without benefit of license. The FCC, the pirate station's owner, and several licensed broadcasters will reportedly meet later this month to discuss ways to close down the station.
WNTY (990 Southington) is leasing out 12 hours of its broadcast week to Briarwood College; listen for students on the air from noon to 2 PM.
One more new Paxson callsign: WTWS (Channel 26) New London is now WHPX.
WSKS (102.5) in Rome is looking for a new PD; Bill Catcher's Kiss-ing the CHR station goodbye for a new gig in Panama City, Florida.
In Albany, Mason and Sheehan are back to being FM-only; the simulcast of their WXCR (102.3 Ballston Spa) morning show on WTMM (1300 Rensselaer) has been replaced by One-on-One Sports.
Monica Lewinsky in NERW? Sure enough...there's a connection. It seems the mother of the World's Most Famous Intern is marrying the owner of Straus Media Group, which owns WCKL/WCTW Catskill, WHUC/WTHK Hudson, WELV/WTHN Ellenville, and WKIP/WRNQ/WTND Poughkeepsie. And you thought NERW wouldn't touch that story...
More ratings, as promised last week...let's look at the Fall Arbitrons for some of the smaller markets:
Finally this week, a tip of the NERW antennas to Susan Bickelhaupt. Our colleague at the Boston Globe is leaving the radio beat after nine years. We wish her all the best, and should the Globe be looking for a new source of radio news, well, we have an idea where they might find one...