Also in the Worcester area, Mega Broadcasting is promising a better signal from its WARE (1250 Ware). An article this week in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette says WARE wants to increase power to 10 kilowatts from the current 5 by day. NERW notes that no such application has been filed, and suspects co-channel (with WKBR Manchester) and adjacent-channel (with WOON 1240 Woonsocket and WPZE 1260 Boston) issues would make such an increase a bit challenging, at least without adding towers and becoming ever more directional.
Speaking of 1260 Boston, it wins the honor of "Last Boston Call Change of the Nineties," as it prepares to become WMKI, reflecting its Radio Disney format. The WMKI calls had been in Birmingham, Alabama (on the once and future WYDE 850) during that station's Disney days.
Best Media is backing down without a fight on several of the company's abusive translator applications. The mysterious applicant withdrew its application for 88.5 Lawrence (to relay WMWM Salem) after WFCR Amherst complained. Best also withdrew applications for 88.1 Leonardo NJ, 90.9 "East Port" NY, 90.7 Staten Island, and 88.1 Hartford, not to mention several outside the region, after petitions to deny from the various licensed stations that would have been interfered with. So who is "Best Media" and why did they apply to relay secular noncomms like WMWM and WSHU? We still have no idea...
Speaking of holiday presents, we're listening to the best one of all as we write this: the long-awaited Webcast of Haverhill's WXRV (92.5), one of the best AAA stations out there. It's now available in both RA and Windows Media formats at <http://www.wxrv.com>, and we couldn't be happier.
On the syndication front, Howie Carr goes national January 3 via ABC Radio Networks; will his act play in Peoria? NERW kinda doubts it, but you never know...
WGME-TV (Channel 13) in Portland has a nifty new logo; check it out at <www.wgme.com> if you haven't seen it yet.
DTV in Maine? It's getting closer...Maine Public Broadcasting has applied for a license to cover for WCBB-DT (Channel 17) in Augusta.
Elsewhere in the Empire State, the WPTR calls are coming home to AM 1540 in Albany. Don Crawford has applied to change WDCD(AM) back to its original calls on January 1; the betting line is that the "Legends" adult-standards format now in place on Crawford stations in Rochester, Denver, and Dallas will follow. NERW wonders if the WPTR calls will go back in place on the station's towers now? (Religion continues on Crawford's other Albany station, WDCD-FM 96.7 Clifton Park).
WKLI (94.5 Ravena) has ended its holiday-music format to go soft AC, a subtle but distinct change from the ABC soft gold format it had been running before the holidays.
New calls for the new 90.1 Watertown: WWJS. Expect the new station on the air sometime next spring.
Out west, add Family Life Ministries to the list of those applying for 89.5 in Arcade. The signal would improve Family Life's reach into the Buffalo market, currently served by a weak signal from WCOU (88.3 Warsaw) at the other end of Wyoming County.
Finally, how better to end the year but with a correction? No matter what we reported last week, WIBX Utica is not a Clear Channel station (well, not YET, anyway). It's part of the cluster going from Forever to Regent. Clear Channel's Utica stations are the old Dame cluster (WRNY/WADR/WUTQ, WOUR, WSKS), none of which do any significant local news.
And that, as they say, is a wrap. We'll be back with an update on all the New Year's broadcast activities Friday, January 7. The Rant will hit your mailboxes early this coming week. Now...