We begin this week's news with the passing of two of the industry's giants.
W. Gordon Swan was on the air at the Boston area's first radio station, Tufts University's WGI Medford Hillside...way back in 1922. Two years later, he joined the staff of Westinghouse's WBZ/WBZA in Boston, rising through the ranks until becoming program director.
Swan was instrumental in bringing television to New England, as program director of WBZ-TV when it signed on in 1948. Swan remained with WBZ radio and television until his retirement in 1968.
In recent years, Swan was writing a memoir of his days in broadcasting. Gordon Swan died Sunday at a nursing home in Kingston, Massachusetts. He was 92 years old.
The medium Swan helped create was later polished to a high sheen by Fred W. Friendly. As Ed Murrow's producer on "See It Now," and later as president of CBS News and as a statesman of the industry, Friendly stood for the highest values of broadcast journalism throughout his long career. He was also a veteran of New England radio, having started his career at WEAN (now WSKO) in Providence. Friendly was 82.
On with the rest of the week's news...
The NERW-mobile headed down to Genesee County last weekend, and sure enough, there was WXOX (101.7 Attica) doing modern AC as "the Spot." The former "BT Country" is now promoting itself as "Attica, Amherst, and greater Buffalo," quite a reach for the little class A signal.
Up north, Ogdensburg's WZEA (98.7) has applied for a license to cover--expect that signal on the air soon.
Big City Radio's New York City-area stations are all getting power boosts. The FCC has approved power increases for the "Y107" trio of WWXY Briarcliff Manor, WWVY Hampton Bays, and WWZY Long Branch NJ will all increase their power in the next few months on 107.1.
The Albany market's commercial classical station has switched affiliations. WBKK (97.7 Amsterdam) has joined up with he programming service offered by Boston's WCRB, in the wake of its old network (SW Classical) shutting down.
Pensacola's WPCS will be getting another translator, this time in the Catskills. W201BV (88.1) in Middletown was granted this week by the FCC.
Where are they now?: JoJo Kincaid has surfaced in the Motor City, holding down afternoons on Detroit's WKQI (95.5). And Friday is the last day as a radio newsman for Rod Fritz. The veteran of WHDH, the old WROR, WMJX, WMEX, and WBZ is leaving his post at Metro Networks to enter the world of public relations with Newman Communications.
NERW heard from veteran Boston radio engineer Dana Puopolo this week. He's now the general manager at soon-to-be PaxNet affiliate WBPX (Channel 46) Norwell, and he's got a web site with information on the station, which is now up to 27 percent cable penetration in the market.
Out west, Greenfield's WHAI (1240/98.3) is no longer calling itself "Franklin County's First." Now it's just "The First." Hmmm...
A correction: The Bloomberg business programming on WXKS (1430 Everett) in morning drive is not simulcast with the WADN/WARA/WPLM business network.
So long, Waltham: Barnstable Broadcasting CEO David Gingold is trading his view of Route 128 for Beale Street, relocating to Memphis to oversee Barnstable's operations from the station group there.
The FCC paid a call on "La Nueva Radio Musical" in New Haven on Tuesday, warning operators Pedro Jimenez and Hipolito Cuevas that they faced a $10,000 daily fine if they continued operating the unlicensed station on 104.5 MHz. The New Haven Register reports Jimenez and Cuevas told the FCC that their station wasn't a pirate but a "microbroadcaster," but agreed to shut the transmitter off. Jimenez and Cuevas told the Register they think the FCC crackdown was prompted by a complaint from WYBC (94.3), which they accuse of being unfriendly to community broadcasters. WYBC has been in the media spotlight recently for its attempts to take over urban-formatted WNHC (1340).
NERW notes that most of the pirate activity we've been hearing about of late has been in Connecticut. We're interested in hearing from our readers in other areas about the aftermath of last Halloween's FCC crackdown across the region.
WNTY (990) in Southington has been picked as the flagship station this season for the New Britain Rock Cats of the AA Eastern League.
Danbury's WDAQ (98.3) has been granted a power decrease. 98Q will drop from 1300 watts to 850 watts...but its antenna will rise 28 meters in the process.
And the former owner of WFAN in Stonington (102.3, now WVVE) has died. Danny Lennon was 49 years old when he died of an apparent heart attack on Monday. He had been an announcer at WPRO (630) in Providence before getting into station ownership at WFAN and at WASY (1590, now defunct) in Gorham, Maine.
CHSJ's not the only one vacating FM across the border; CKLY (910) in
Lindsay, Ontario has been granted 91.9 MHz and will leave AM three
months after the FM signs on. And CJEM in Edmunston, New Brunswick,
just across the border from Madawaska, Maine, has been granted a move
from 570 kHz to 92.7 MHz.
CHSJ's not the only one vacating FM across the border; CKLY (910) in Lindsay, Ontario has been granted 91.9 MHz and will leave AM three months after the FM signs on. And CJEM in Edmunston, New Brunswick, just across the border from Madawaska, Maine, has been granted a move from 570 kHz to 92.7 MHz.
We'll see you next Thursday with more news from across the dials...