North East RadioWatch: July 3, 1998
WBPS is Sold (Really!)
- A brief NERW this week, starting with this item from
MASSACHUSETTS: Dedham-licensed WBPS (890) is one of several stations
being transferred to Z Spanish Radio from current owner TSG Associates
(which holds the stock of John Douglas' Achievement Radio Holdings).
NERW expects WBPS to begin running Z's nationwide Spanish programming,
which would mark the first time a national Spanish-language
broadcaster has operated an O&O in the Boston market. This also
explains why WBPS cancelled the proposed sale to Salem last month.
The full deal, which includes stations in Chicago, Houston, and San
Jose, is valued at $27 million.
Also in Massachusetts, it seems WHYN (560 Springfield) is making some
kind of programming change, but the e-mail we received about it came
across as some sort of digital hash, so we don't know what. If the
folks there will e-mail us again without the funky file attachments,
we'll tell you what's going on next week.
- In CONNECTICUT, the big buzz concerns a proposed 1700-foot tower for
WTIC-TV, which would be built where its current tower now stands in
Farmington. The tower may also replace the adjacent stick being used
by WVIT (Channel 30). Neighbors will have a chance to comment on the
proposal at a public hearing July 13; NERW hears there's
"considerable" local objection. WTIC-TV says it needs the new tower to
support digital TV antennas.
WTIC-TV also made some programming changes this week at new LMA
partner WTXX (Channel 20) in Waterbury. Tuesday night was the last
night WTXX viewers saw a WVIT-produced newscast at 10 PM; starting
July 1, the UPN affiliate is running a simulcast of the first 20
minutes of WTIC's "Fox 61 News at 10," followed by sports and weather
custom-produced by WTIC-TV for WTXX.
- An upstate NEW YORK station has changed cities of license;
Johnstown's WSRD (104.9) is now Altamont's WSRD (104.9), which NERW
suspects opens the way to a transmitter-site move that would make it
more of a player in Schenectady and Albany. NERW notes also that the
initial FCC information about this move misspelled the town name as
"Altamount," although it seems to be correct in the database.
Further east, Syracuse Community Radio is pressing forward with plans
to get WXXE (90.5 Fenner) on the air to serve communities east of
Syracuse. We're told that once WXXE is up and running, construction
could begin down in the southern part of the market on WXXC (88.7
Truxton). As for that 89.9 translator application we told you about
last issue? We hear from several sources that it was filed as a
grudge against Oswego's WRVO, which has reportedly been standing in
the way of several SCR applications - and we also hear WRVO wasted no
time filing a petition to deny the new translator.
Up north, it's a new format for Lake Placid's radio stations. North
Country correspondent Gavin Burt was up that way last week and found
WLPW (105.5)/WIRD (920) in Lake Placid and WRGR (102.3) in Tupper Lake
with AAA programming.
And back home in Rochester, we find one member of the WBBF (950) staff
didn't make the transition to the new WEZO calls; former PD and
morning host Todd Blide has left the building. Down the road at the
CBS group, morning guys Scott Spezzano and Steve Hausmann, PM driver
Pete Kennedy, and MD/night guy Mike Danger have all joined PD Clarke
Ingram in signing long-term contracts; they'll all be there through
From the rumor mill: Why did the on-line mention of a new group PD for
Jacor's east coast Mix stations give the calls of Rochester's 100.5 as
WHMX (which belong to 105.7 in Lincoln, Maine) instead of WVOR-FM?
- There's a new low-power FM on the way to Brattleboro, VERMONT.
"Radio Free Brattleboro" will reportedly run a whopping 100 milliwatts
from the Teen Center at 17 Flat Street. The new station on 88.1 is
supposed to fill a gap in youth-oriented programming in the
Brattleboro market, which we suppose it'll do for anyone within a few
dozen feet of the building. The volunteer-run station is supposed to
sign on July 13.
- One of NEW HAMPSHIRE's college stations is looking for some
engineering help to recover from a lightning storm that knocked it off
the air. WNEC (91.7) at New England College in Henniker suffered a
power surge last week that silenced it; faculty advisor Ambrose
Metzegen tells the Concord Monitor he's hoping an engineer will come
forward to help get WNEC back on the air. Anyone wanting to volunteer
help is invited to contact us here at NERW and we'll put you in touch
- And in RHODE ISLAND, WERI-FM (99.3 Block Island) has applied to move
its transmitter a few hundred feet to the southwest and boost power
from 4600 watts to 6000 watts.
That's it for this week's abbreviated edition. More trip thoughts in
a special issue sometime over the weekend or earlier next week, and
we'll be back to regular strength next Thursday. See you then!
Previous issues of North East RadioWatch
The Boston Radio Archives
The Upstate New York Radio Archives