New England Radio Watcher: WPLM goes smooth

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Scott D Fybush

Jun 29, 1995, 3:00:00 AM6/29/95

*Apologies for my absence; spent a weekend in Binghamton and Ithaca
NY, about which more in another post.

*The big news is on 99.1, a Boston rimshotter out of Plymouth, some
50 miles south. WPLM-FM made its name as a big-band station from
1961 until 1993, when it became ac "Variety 99.1" and went up against
big Boston ac's WBMX 98.5 (hot ac), WSSH 99.5 (soft ac, Lowell), and
WMJX 106.7. Never made much of a dent, and as of Sunday morning,
they've flipped to smooth jazz, a format last tried here by Emmis'
WCDJ 96.9, until they flipped to country WBCS under new owners
Greater Media two years ago. "Smooth FM 99.1" is the tagline, and
programming is part-live, part-satellite. WPLM(AM) 1390 continues
to simulcast, though its signal is negligible anywhere inland.

*WZLX (100.7, classic rock) has parted ways with morning man Ken
Shelton, who was part of the classic Laquidara/Shelton/Parenteau
lineup for years on WBCN before moving to sister WZLX a couple of
years back. Rumor has it that Shelton wanted the big (high 6 figures)
money being made by Charles Laquidara over on WBCN, and argued that
since his ratings were comparable, he deserved similar pay. ZLX's
Chuck Nowlin is filling AMD for now. Some rumors have Infinity
moving Stern over from evenings on WBCN, but that would break
Infinity's promise to the FCC not to put Stern on any of the 3
Cook Inlet FMs (WZGC Atlanta, WUSN Chicago, and WZLX) when it bought
them a few years back...and more importantly, it would no doubt
eat into the numbers for which Laquidara gets the big bucks on BCN.

*WBUR is moving. The Boston University-owned NPR outlet is leaving
its very cramped and dingy quarters in the School of Communications
building at 630 Commonwealth Ave. for new space further west at
890 Comm. Ave. The move should be complete early next spring.

*WSBK-TV 38 is moving further from its local image. The veteran
indie is now known on-air exclusively as "UPN 38."

*Back to the radio now -- the FM skip is finally rolling in tonight,
and 96.5 (about the only really open FM channel for me) has been

-=Scott Fybush -

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