On the radio side, Wilmington's WVAY (100.7) switched its simulcast from WKVT-FM (92.7 Brattleboro) to WHDQ (106.1 Claremont, N.H.) on August 1, after WKVT owner Richard Lightfoot's offer to buy WVAY expired. The Brattleboro Reformer reports the problem was WVAY's tower leases on Mt. Snow and Haystack Mountain. The leases from the state were non-transferable, and Lightfoot was unable to strike a deal to get the tower space. Further complicating matters was interference WVAY was allegedly causing to state police communications. Lightfoot offered to fix the problems, but he apparently wanted to reduce the purchase price by some $60,000 to cover the added costs. Now it's WHDQ owner Jeff Shapiro in the buyer's seat, offering a reported $180,000 for WVAY. In addition to WHDQ (plus its booster in Rutland and translators in Hanover and Keene), Shapiro owns WRSI Greenfield, Mass., WZSH/WSSH Bellows Falls-Marlboro, WTSV Claremont, and several Upper Valley stations.
WKVT(AM) in Brattleboro is now simulcasting a weekday morning news program with sister station WKNE(AM) in Keene. Bolton-licensed religious outlet WCMK (91.7) is applying to move to 91.5 and boost power to 1000 watts. And Brian Dodge's translator network is now relaying WJIV (101.9 Cherry Valley N.Y.) instead of the Troy-based WHAZ network.
The Bay State's first digital TV license has been issued to WGBH. 'GBH's digital service will operate on channel 17 from Great Blue Hill with 6,839 watts of power.
Beverly's little WNSH (1570) has been sold. Neil Whitehouse is buying the station from Robert Cutler.
Boston's WBZ (1030) has added a new weekday talk show. Restaurant owner Todd English will host a Friday night cooking show from 7-9 PM, pre-empting two hours of David Brudnoy's program.
Marlboro's WSRO (1470) has dropped Shep Sutton's local midday show, in favor of a delayed run of Doug Stephan's "Good Day USA" syndicated offering. Former WARA general manager Joe Mangiacotti joins the station as general sales manager.
We now know a bit more about the application WFHN (107.1 Fairhaven-New Bedford) has filed to move its transmitter; the new site will be the UMass Dartmouth campus halfway between New Bedford and Fall River, some 15 miles west of the present island site just off New Bedford. We're still waiting for details of WAAF's application on 107.3.
And from our "you can't keep a good callsign down" department comes word that the WDLW calls, which graced Waltham's AM 1330 from the late seventies until 1989, have resurfaced in Lorain, Ohio on AM 1380, formerly WELL (and before that WRKG).
The Spring ratings are in for Portland, and leading the pack 12+ are rocker WBLM and country WPOR AM/FM, followed by talker WGAN, rocker WMGX, and modern rock WCYY/WCYI. WGAN was the big gainer, up moe than two points from fall.
Hartford's WHCT (Channel 18) is now on the air 24 hours a day, seven days a week, up from its previous weekday daytime schedule.
A few Connecticut broadcasting websites to mention: A fan of "910 Jamz," WNEZ New Britain, has created a site that includes a brief station history. Connecticut Public TV and Connecticut Public Radio are now on line. You can find WBNE (Channel 59) New Haven on the web. And even LPTVs are getting into the act; check out WHTX-LP's entry.
The Monroe Board of Education isn't letting up in its attempt to keep KAWZ translator W220BS (91.9 Meriden) off the air. You may recall this translator as being the one originally requested for 91.3 in "Meriden, Mississippi," and later modified to reflect the correct state. Monroe filed a petition to deny, which was itself denied, and has now filed a petition for reconsideration.
Another Syracuse-area station is gone from the airwaves for now. "WLIV" was a Liverpool-based pirate on 90.3, but its owner says he's shut down the station due to declining listenership and his desire to try something new.
Syracuse's newest TV construction permit now has call letters; channel 56 will now be WAUP(TV), unless Syracuse Minority TV changes its mind before the station is built. A few other new callsigns in the Empire State: Sound of Life has picked WSSK for its 89.7 in Saratoga Springs, while WGWR will be the calls for 88.1 in Liberty. WSKG Public Broadcasting's outlet in Hornell on 88.7 will be WSQA. And the LPTV formerly known as W39BC in Buffalo has changed to WBUF-LP. Meantime, the Buffalo News is now showing WFHW-LP (Channel 58) as being off the air; anyone out that way know if that's really the case?
Buffalo's WBEN (930) is bringing a well-known voice back to the market. Sandy Beach will take over the 3-6 PM weekday spot August 25, replacing "Buffalo's Evening News."
Translator news: The FCC has granted a new translator for Port Jervis' WTSX (96.7). W239AC will bring WTSX programming to Middletown on 95.7. And we received e-mail this week from the folks at W201BE (88.1 Buffalo), advising us that the KAWZ translator is being run strictly by the rules, and is not using more than its authorized 10 watts as we had hypothesized a few weeks back.
In the Watertown market, WWLF (106.7 Copenhagen) dumped its rock format last week, and after a day of stunting re-emerged as a simulcast of CHR WBDR (102.7 Cape Vincent). No new calls yet for the latest outlet of "the Border."
And down in Newburgh, WGNY is fighting to stay on 1200 kHz. The station is licensed as a daytimer on 1220, but since 1989 has held a construction permit to go fulltime on 1200. For most of that time, it has operated on 1200 under special temporary authority, while awaiting environmental approval to build the planned permanent 1200 site just south of Orange Lake. Now WGNY has been ordered back to 1220, but it has filed a petition for reconsideration in hopes of getting its construction permit for 1200 back. This should be a long, complex process that affects not only WGNY, but also WKOX Framingham, Mass. (which has had its hopes for more power repeately dashed by WGNY's existence co-channel on 1200), and even WLIB New York, which might be able to expand its pattern more on 1190 were WGNY to remain on 1220.
Until next Thursday...that's it for another week in Northeast radio. See you then!