North East RadioWatch: October 2, 2000

Spinning the Dial in Connecticut

by Scott Fybush

We'll recap that Ohio trip next week -- we promise. This week, though, we have something else to offer: some early clues from the FCC to what's next on the AM and FM dials in NERW-land.

AM first: The Commission released a list of uncontested major AM applications last week, based on the applications submitted during January's window for new AM authorizations. We'll know all the details on these later this month, when the full Form 301 applications are due, but here's what's being proposed:

Up in Maine, a Daniel Priestly has applied for 1230 in Hermon and 1340 and 1400 in Veazie.

New Hampshire finds Bob Vinikoor (of WNTK and yet-unbuilt WQTH fame) applying for 1490 in Lebanon as well. In addition, one Jeffrey Steven Wendell wants 540 in Jaffrey.

We already knew about the Connecticut proposals: Fair Communications for 1590 in Oakville, and Dennis Jackson's 1490s in Torrington and Uncasville and 1400 in Falls Village.

Heading into Massachusetts, things start getting interesting. Remember our speculation that Alex Langer bought 1470 in Portage, PA (near Johnstown) with an improvement to WSRO Marlborough in mind? Seems he's applying to move WSRO to Watertown with a significant power upgrade...and to move the Portage station, WFJY, down the dial to 660 and an hour west to the Pittsburgh suburb of Wilkinsburg. (He's also applying to move WVFC 1530 in McConnellsburg PA a few hours east to the Philadelphia suburb of King of Prussia, and on 1180, to boot!)

Also applying to change city of license to Watertown is Waltham's WRCA (1330) -- related, perhaps, to the proposed tower move?

In New York, Arthur Liu's WNYG (1440 Babylon) would move to Islip Terrace on Long Island. Michael A. Sleezer wants a new station on 1440 up in Gloversville. Long-unbuilt WKNJ (550 Lakeside NJ) wants to slide across the state line to Harriman, NY. And in the Syracuse area, WOLF Radio wants a new DeRuyter station on 780, WSIV (1540 East Syracuse) wants to move to DeWitt and 720, while Craig Fox's Renard Broadcasting wants to put a 1510 on the air in Mexico, near Oswego.

We'll have technical details on all of these, we hope, when the applications are filed later in October.

Meantime on FM, the FCC is asking for comments on a proposed February 21, 2001 auction that would clear the backlog of newly-allocated FM frequencies. The commission has released tentative starting bids for the channels...and check these out:

In Massachusetts: 94.3A Brewster ($170,000) and 104.3A West Tisbury ($75,000).

In New Hampshire: 93.7A Groveton ($40,000), 97.3A Jefferson ($60,000), and 99.1A Whitefield ($60,000).

In Vermont: 100.3A Barton ($60,000) and 105.9A Hardwick ($75,000).

In New York: 97.1A Canaseraga ($115,000), 97.9A Dannemora ($140,000), 97.5A Delhi ($90,000), 107.1A Livingston Manor ($115,000), 92.5A Old Forge ($5,000), 107.1A Saranac Lake ($40,000), 96.5A Speculator ($5,000), 93.5A Wellsville ($90,000), 106.7A Windsor ($115,000), and -- sitting down? -- 92.1A Amherst ($800,000). That's right, nearly a million dollars just to apply for the last available FM frequency in the Buffalo market.

And on that revenue-producing note, we'll sign off for another week. See you in seven...

As of market close, September 29, 2000
NERW's Northeast Television Index 98.45

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