Once again, it's good news for the remaining modern AC in the Buffalo area, CKEY (101.1) in Fort Erie, Ontario. "The River" lost its biggest competitor in June, when CBS flipped WLCE (92.9 Buffalo) from modern AC "Alice" to rhythmic oldies "B92-9." WLCE, by the way, is picking up a new and very familiar set of calls -- WBUF. Those calls graced 92.9 from the early 1960s until the mid-80s, when they were dumped for the unmemorable WFXZ, then retrieved a few years later and retained until the mid-90s switch to smooth jazz and WSJZ. It's good to have them back on radio in Western New York (they've been hiding in plain sight on LPTV WBUF-LP, Channel 39 in Hamburg, which becomes WDTB-LP now).
Here in Rochester, former WFIL and WCBS-FM jock Dick Heatherton is returning to the airwaves on oldies WBBF (98.9), where he's been toiling behind the scenes as an account executive.
The FCC has dismissed Family Life Radio's application for a 105.7 Geneva translator of WCIY (88.9 Canandaigua), something we suspect FLR saw coming, since they've already applied for a different frequency there. In more good news from 12th Street Southwest, we note the FCC has dismissed a whole slew of abusive translator applications from the still-mysterious "Best Media." Good.
Over in the Albany area, bureau chief Gavin Burt checks in to let us know 94.5 in Ravena is still ID'ing as "WABY," not the heretofore-correct "WABY-FM" or the now-correct "WKLI-FM." Over in Johnstown, he hears WIZR (930) using the ABC/SMN Stardust service instead of the soft AC satellite service it had been using, and he's hearing news simulcast from WNYT (Channel 13) instead of WTEN (Channel 10), as it had been doing.
Down in Poughkeepsie, WCTJ is the new callsign on 96.1 "the Cat," ex-WTND "Thunder." And still further downstate, we hear WZZN (106.3 Mount Kisco) has been experiencing persistent silent periods.
Also departing is Billy Otwell, after seven years at WTNH (Channel 8) in New Haven, the last three as news director. No replacement has been named.
And after 75 years in Hartford, WTIC (1080) did its last broadcast from the 19th floor of the Gold Building Monday morning. The 10 AM legal ID was the last thing heard from the old studios, with the new ones in Farmington signing on with news immediately following. We hear the 'TIC talk hosts have been making repeated cracks about the (very) suburban nature of their new digs...
In the NERW mailbox this week: The 18th edition of Bruce Elving's FM Atlas, just published by the man who's spent more time boosting the cause of FM radio in the last three decades than just about anyone. The FM Atlas is one of just two surviving annual directories put out by hobbyists (the worthy companion being the excellent NRC AM Log), and remains unparalleled for accuracy of detail in things like stereo/mono status, subcarriers, and "non-IDs." It's one of the essentials on every NERW road trip, and we're hoping for many more editions to come. Find ordering information at Bruce's Web site and tell him we sent you! (Now all we need is an updated M Street Radio Directory and we'll really be happy...)
That's it for one of the least eventful weeks in Northeast broadcasting history. We'll be back next Friday with (we hope) a longer report, then we'll take Labor Day weekend off as we point the NERW-mobile down to Bridgeport, West Virginia for the annual National Radio Club convention.