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VARTV News Archives - 2000 & 2001
» If you have any news, updates, additions or corrections... e-mail them to editor@VARTV.com.


The Spot Factory

Radio and TV tidbits in Hampton Roads
December 23 2001

The Virginian-PilotLarry Bonko of The Virginian-Pilot gets more in-depth with Barnstable's WWSO-FM shifting from urban oldies 'Soul Classics 92.9' to 70s & 60s oldies 'Oldies 92-9'. You can read the entire article online along with other radio and TV news from Hampton Roads.....

Thomas Roberts of W-A-V-Y is moving on to HOT-lanta
December 23 2001

Roberts, who's been co-anchoring WAVY's (10/NBC) 5PM newscast since December of 1999 and doing '10 On Your Side' reports, leaves for Atlanta next month to join CNN Headline News. Roberts, who was considering a job in Philadelphia before the CNN opportunity said "It's a big career move and a big challenge''. Originally from Towson, Maryland (just outside Baltimore), Roberts is a graduate of Western Maryland College with a degree in Communications and Journalism. Prior to joining WAVY-TV, he worked at television stations in Maryland, as well as KNSD-TV in San Diego, KLKN-TV in Lincoln NE, and WFTX-TV in Ft Myers FL. No word yet who will replace him at 5PM along side of Alveta Ewell... maybe Carolyn Castleberry or Les Smith... "Stay tuned".....

December 21 2001

All of the young-oriented urban formats lost listeners in the latest Richmond 'Trends

ArbitronThe Winter Arbitrends (12+) Phase II (September/October/November) released shows AC 'Lite 98' WTVR at number 1 with a 9.7 share (-0.4 from the Phase I). 2nd urban 'Power 92 Jamz' WCDX... 8.2 (-0.5), 3rd news/talk 'NewsRadio 1140' WRVA... 6.6 (+0.6), 4th country 'K95' WKHK... 6.5 (-0.6), 5th mainstream CHR 'Q-94' WRVQ... 6.3 (+0.2), 6th urban oldies 'Majic 105.7' WJMO... 6.1 (+0.9), 7th sister urban AC '104.7 Kiss FM' WKJS... 5.8 (+0.3), 8th urban '106.5 The Beat' WBTJ... 5.5 (-0.5), 9th classic hits '96.5 The Planet' WKLR... 4.8 (+0.3), 10th sister hot AC 'B103' WMXB... 4.0 (-0.5), 11th rock 'XL-102' WRXL... 3.0 (-0.3), 12th alternative 'Y-101' WDYL... 2.6 (-0.1), 13th a tie between 80s & Beyond 'Star 107.3' WBBT... 2.3 (+0.2) and sister 'Smooth Jazz 93.1' WJZV... 2.3 (-0.6), 15th nostalgia 'Unforgettable 1320' WVNZ... 2.0 (+0.3), 16th hip-hop 'Hot 99.3' WRHH... 1.7 (-0.3), 17th country 'AM 950 Wolf Country' WXGI... 1.6 (+0.1), 18th sports 'SportsRadio 910' WRNL... 1.4 (-0.1), 19th talk 'Hot Talk WHAP 1340/Hot Talk WLEE 990' and WHAP-AM//WLEE-AM... 1.1 (+0.4), 20th black gospel 'Star 94.1' WXEZ... 1.0 (+0.1), 21st a four-way tie between classic hits '106.9 The Fox' WAFX... 0.7 (+0.1), gospel 'Your Gospel Connection' WGCV-AM... 0.7 (+0.2), religious 'Rejoice Radio AM 1540' WREJ... 0.7 (E) and adult standards 'EZ-100.5' WZEZ... 0.7 (never rated before! - the champagne is flowing), 25th a tie between urban oldies 'The Heart & Soul Of Richmond' WCLM-AM... 0.6 (+0.1) and gospel 'The Light' WFTH-AM... 0.6 (-0.1). Note: After having respectable ratings with a nostalgic format, the former AM 1380 WVBB now Salem's religious talk 'Richmond's Best Talk' WBTK falls off the radar scope. Biggest gainers were urban oldies 'Majic 105.7' WJMO (+0.9) and news/talk 'NewsRadio 1140' WRVA (+0.6). The biggest losers were religious talk 'Richmond's Best Talk' WBTK-AM 1380 (-0.7), country 'K95' WKHK (-0.6) and 'Smooth Jazz 93.1' WJZV (-0.6). Cluster totals... 1st Clear Channel 32.5 (+0.7), 2nd Radio One 22.5 (+0.3) and 3rd Cox 17.9 (-1.8).....

December 21 2001
The Clear Channel Hampton Roads cluster gains almost three rating points

The Winter Arbitrends (12+) Phase II (September/October/November) released puts urban '103 Jamz' WOWI at number 1 with an 9.8 share (+0.8 from the Phase I). 2nd AC '2WD' WWDE... 6.9 (+0.9), 3rd classic hits '106.9 The Fox' WAFX... 6.2 (+0.9), 4th sister active rocker 'FM99' WNOR... 6.0 (+0.2), 5th rhythmic CHR 'Z-104' WNVZ... 5.7 (-0.3), 6th heritage country 'Country Legends & Today's Favorites' WCMS... 5.4 (-0.1), 7th talk '790 TalkRadio' WNIS... 5.1 (+0.2), 8th new country 'Eagle 97.3' WGH... 5.0 (-0.4), 9th urban AC '95-7 R&B' WVKL... 4.7 (E), 10th sister hot AC '94.9 The Point' WPTE... 4.5 (-0.1), 11th black gospel 'Star 94.1' WXEZ-FM//WFOG-AM... 4.1 (-1.0), 12th smooth jazz 'CD 107.7' WJCD... 3.5 (+0.5), 13th alternative '96X' WROX... 3.1 (+0.6), 14th urban AC 'Vibe 105' WSVY... 2.7 (+0.6), 15th former urban oldies 'Soul Classics 92.9' (now 'Oldies 92-9')WWSO... 2.5 (+0.1), 16th a tie between hip-hop '92.1 The Beat' WBHH... 2.3 (-0.3) and AAA '93-7 The Coast' WKOC... 2.3 (-0.2), 18th news/talk '850 NewsRadio' WTAR... 1.6 (+0.5), 19th nostalgia 'Joy' WJOI-AM... 1.3 (-0.5), 20th a tie between sports 'ESPN Radio 1310' WGH-AM... 0.9 (E) and oldies 'Surf 92.3' WSRV... 0.9 (+0.1), 22nd gospel WPCE-AM... 0.6 (-0.4) and 23rd AC 'Xtra 99.1' WXGM... 0.4 (-0.2). Biggest gainers were AC '2WD' WWDE (+0.9) and heritage urban '103 Jamz' WOWI (+0.8). The biggest losers were black gospel 'Star 94.1' WXEZ-FM//WFOG-AM (-1.0), nostalgia 'Joy' WJOI-AM (-0.5) and new country 'Eagle 97.3' WGH (-0.4). Cluster totals... 1st Entercom 21.8 (-0.5), 2nd Clear Channel 18.3 (+2.9) and 3rd Barnstable 17.9 (-1.8).....

December 16 2001
Cox ready to ease @Home customers into their new system...Cox High Speed Internet

Starting next month, Cox will send conversion CD-ROM software to its 550,000 @Home customers, telling them how to click on its new $150 million Internet network within minutes. With that comes a change of address...screenname@home.com becomes screenname@cox.net. Customers can still reach e-mails sent to the @home.com domain until Feb. 28, when Excite@Home finally pulls the plug. You can read the entire article from the Virginian-Pilot online.....

December 16 2001
WWSO flips to oldies!

Hampton Roads gets a brand new radio station. Sometime today (12/16 - maybe noon) Barnstable's urban oldies 'Soul Classics 92.9' WWSO flipped to plain-old oldies. Their new on-air positioner is 'Oldies 92-9 The Greatest Hits From The 70's And 60's'. Hampton Roads had been without an oldies station for 11 months when Entercom's oldies 'Kool 95.7' flipped to urban AC '95-7 R&B' WVKL back in January. 'Oldies 92-9' will concentrate on the 70's and 60's... in that order. Their new website will be www.929oldies.com. Listen to some of their on-air imaging. 'Soul Classics 92.9' lasted just over two years from September 10, 1999 until December 16, 2001. A lot of stations around the country which HAD an urban/Jammin' oldies formats two years ago have since went in different directions.....

December 15 2001
B-101.5 slips in latest Arbitrends

WBQBThe Winter Arbitrends Phase II (September / October/November) for Fredericksburg released shows country '93 WFLS' WFLS at number 1 with a 17.1 share (+0.6 from Phase I). 2nd Hot AC 'B-101.5' WBQB... 11.1 (-2.6), 3rd news WTOP AM/FM... 6.9 (+2.0), 4th 1/2 mainstream CHR - 1/2 modern AC 'Z-104' WWZZ... 3.6 (-1.0), 5th oldies 'Virginia's Rockin' Oldies 95.9' WGRQ... 3.3 (+0.6), 6th a three-way tie between talk WJFK-FM... 3.0 (E), rhythmic WPGC-FM... 3.0 (-1.6) and alternative 'DC101' WWDC... 3.0 (+0.9), 9th a tie between 'Smooth Jazz 105.9' WJZW... 2.7 (-1.0) and urban WKYS... 2.7 (-0.7), 11th a tie between urban 'Power 92 Jamz' WCDX... 2.4 (+0.6) and classic rock '96.9 The Rock' WWUZ... 2.4 (+0.9), 13th a three-way tie between talk/nostalgia 'The Memories Station' WFVA-AM... 2.1 (-0.3), urban AC WHUR... 2.1 (+0.6) and modern rock 'Y-99.3' WYSK... 2.1 (+0.3), 16th a three-way tie between 'Classic Rock 94.7' WARW... 1.8 (+0.3), urban '106.5 The Beat' WBTJ... 1.8 (+0.6) and Hot AC 'Mix 107.3' WRQX... 1.8 (E), 19th a five-way tie between 'Oldies 100' WBIG... 1.2 (+0.3), mainstream CHR 'Hot 99-5' WIHT... 1.2 (+1.2), news/talk WMAL-AM... 1.2 (E), rock 'XL-102' WRXL... 1.2 (+0.3) and AC 'Lite 98' WTVR... 1.2 (E), 24th a five-way tie between contemporary Christian WAVA... 0.9 (+0.3), classical WGMS... 0.9 (-0.6), country 'Thunder 104.5' WGRX... 0.9 (-0.3), country 'Your Place In The Country' WJMA... 0.9 (E) and mainstream CHR 'Q-94' WRVQ... 0.9 (E), 29th a six-way tie between country 'Cruisin' Country C103' WCUL... 0.6 (E), mainstream CHR 'Hot 101-9' WHTE... 0.6 (E), Hot AC '92.5 WINC-FM' WINC... 0.6 (+0.6), country WMZQ... 0.6 (E), sports 'SportsTalk 980' WTEM... 0.6 (E) and rock '3WV' WWWV... 0.6 (+0.6). The following stations also received listeners but too low to register (0.0 rating)... soft AC 'Soft Rock 97.1' WASH, alternative '99-1 HFS' WHFS, country 'K-95' WKHK, classic rock '96-5 The Planet' WKLR, Hot AC 'B-103' WMXB and gospel 'Heaven 1580' WPGC-AM. The biggest gainers were news WTOP AM/FM... (+2.0) and mainstream CHR 'Hot 99-5' WIHT... (+1.2). The biggest losers were Hot AC 'B-101.5' WBQB... (-2.6), rhythmic WPGC-FM... (-1.6), 1/2 mainstream CHR - 1/2 modern AC 'Z-104' WWZZ... (-1.0) and 'Smooth Jazz 105.9' WJZW... (-1.0). Cluster totals... 1st Free Lance-Star 19.2 (+2.1), 2nd Mid-Atlantic Network 13.8 (-0.6), 3rd Clear Channel 12.3 (+1.7), 4th Bonneville 11.4 (+0.9) and 5th Infinity 7.8 (-2.1).....

December 15 2001
Hot 102.1 gets a PD

On Top Communications President/CEO Steve Hegwood appoints Parish Brown as PD at new urban 'Hot 102.1' WWHV. Brown held the APD title at Barnstable's urban oldies 'Soul Classics 92.9' WWSO which just flipped formats to oldies. Mr Brown starts at 'Hot 102.1' on January 2nd.....

December 14 2001
Clear Channel Expands Bill Cahill's Role In Virginia

Cahill, who will continue overseeing the programming of Clear Channel Richmond and remain OM of AC 'Lite 98' WTVR and Brand Manager in Roanoke and Charlottesville, adds VP/Operations duties for the Virginia Trading Area. Cahill will work with VP/Programming Harve Alan to maximize marketing, promotions and programming synergies for the region, which includes Richmond, Norfolk, Roanoke, Charlottesville, Staunton and Harrisonburg.....

December 14 2001
Gospel 94.1 WXEZ reimages as 'Star 94.1'

When WXEZ flipped from a lite AC format to black gospel back in July of 2000, they used the positioner 'Gospel Praise 94.1'. Now they have segued to 'Star 94.1' but the format remains intact. WXEZ has been a consistent ratings success. WXEZ has the same owners (Barnstable Broadcasting) as WWSO recently whose urban oldies 'Soul Classics 92.9' went jockless but have keep the format... for now... Definitely some changes happening at the Hampton Roads Barnstable cluster which also includes country WCMS, new country 'Eagle 97.3' WGH and sports 'ESPN Radio 1310' WGH-AM....

December 13 2001
'Hot 102.1' in Virginia Beach will have jocks on-the-air in January 2002

I had a quick chance to talk with someone at WWHV about putting DJs on-the-air. By the time new urban 'Hot 102.1' WWHV puts the jocks on, it will have been six months since sign-on.....

December 13 2001
'Sky 4' finally does something with their website

Independent 'Sky 4' WSKY in Manteo NC has a new look to their website. Even though there isn't much to it, it does look like it was professionally done. Check it out here.....

December 12 2001
Radio Disney returns to Hampton Roads

Radio DisneyAfter being dropped from AM 1450 WBVA over contract and purchasing the station out-right disputes, the 'Mouse' returns to the Hampton Roads airwaves on AM 1650 WHKT. WHKT previously was running an adult standards format... 'Timeless Classics'. The owner of WBVA told me that the 'suits' from Radio Disney really wanted to be in this market. The kids here in Hampton Roads lit up their toll-free request lines. So being silent for just three weeks, Radio Disney returns. Don't be surprised if ABC/Disney tries to buy this station out-right.....

December 12 2001
Judge OKs agreement to keep Cox online (Hampton Roads & Fredericksburg)

Cox Communications received the blessing of the court approved $160M deal to keep the juice flowing to its customers until the end of February 2002. Cox plans to 'move' all of its high-speed internet customers to their own network before the switch is turned off at Excite@Home on February 28, 2002. Read the entire article online from the Virginian-Pilot.....

December 11 2001
"What's going on at Soul Classics 92.9?"

Well that's $1,000,000 question here in Hampton Roads. They have been jockless but the format remains. The only thing they are doing is putting in 'drops' like "This is Soul Classics music" between each track. WWSO's numbers having been declining quite quickly over the last year and a half... now down to a 2.4 in the latest Arbitrends. There is a lot of competition here for the 'urban' audience. They still have 'stop-sets'. Are they finishing previous advertising obligations? Is WWSO going to relaunch? Are they going to flip formats? Maybe the folks at Barnstable (owners of WWSO) are so nice that everyone is on vacation until the New Year! Well... that one is far fetched. I also tried to email the 'Morning Soul Patrol' to find out what's going on but a minute later it was returned back to me as an 'unknown user'. The mystery continues.....

December 11 2001
Meg Lavigne of UPN 27 now joggles two stations... Norfolk & Atlanta

WGNTLarry Bonko of The Virginian-Pilot talks with VP and GM of 'UPN 27' WGNT in Portsmouth and 'UPN 69' WUPA in Atlanta. She recently got the new duties of VP and GM of WUPA from the higher-ups in Viacom. UPN 27 consistently ranks as one of the top 5 UPN affiliates in the country. Since 'Buffy' moved from The WB to UPN, what station has had the highest ratings for the show? You guess it... WGNT. Read the entire article online.....

December 10 2001
Bittany Suddith of WVEC moves on to CHKD

Brittany Suddith, co-anchor of Channel 13's early morning and noon newscasts, leaves WVEC 13/ABC on Jan. 4 to be the development officer for the CHKD (Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters) in Norfolk. Brittany, who is 32, said "After a lot of thought and prayer, I decided not to renew my contract with WVEC. It's time for me to take on a new challenge''. She also has directed the station's internship program for five years. Read the entire article online along with other TV news by Larry Bonko of The Virginian-Pilot.....

December 5 2001
Larry Bonko of the Virginian-Pilot talks about 'Sky 4' WSKY

Larry BonkoLarry Bonko recently talked to the president of new independent 'Sky 4' WSKY president Glenn Holterhaus. The article has general information about 'Sky 4' and Mr Holterhaus himself. Larry generally had good things to say about 'Sky 4' until the end of the article; comments like WSKY won't "wow the viewers", "Holterhaus has yet to make good on his promise to deliver extensive local programming" and "at times, the station looks like it's originating from a two-car garage in Nags Head." Read the entire article online.....



December 2 2001
AT&T cable bills going up in Richmond

AT&T Broadband announced its second cable-television rate increase in the Richmond area this year, and for the second time it's higher than the company's increase nationwide. Rates will increase on all levels of standard and digital cable service in Richmond and Ashland, and in the counties of Hanover, Henrico, Goochland and Louisa. Price increases will range from 6.7 percent to 19 percent, depending on where you are. Increases will take effect with January bills. Standard cable packages that now range from $28.98 to $32.26 will cost $34.49 in January. There was a similar increase in Hampton Roads where it ended up every subscriber pays the same rate no matter the locality.....

December 2 2001
Nobody in Richmond is ready to flip the HDTV switch

There was an interesting article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch about the readiness of the Richmond area television stations regarding HDTV. WWBT-12 NBC seems to be the closest to come on-the-air sometime early 2002 while others won't flip the digital switch until they are required to. We're not sure what's going with WUPV-65 UPN Ashland; the newspaper didn't add them. Read the entire article online here.....

November 29 2001
David vs Goliath
I spoke (11/26) with the owner of AM 1450 WBVA and inquired why the Radio Disney format was dropped. Ronn (Cowan) told me that Disney was VERY interested in buying WBVA [seven figures(!)] with many stipulations attached to the deal. Some were completely out of his hand i.e. the lease on the tower site etc... Ronn told me that Disney started to strong-arm him to sell the station to them. Several nights they were negotiating until midnight. It eventually got to the point where Disney was threatening Ronn with a lawsuit. He didn't want to continue the relationship with Disney under these circumstances and decided to drop the format. According to Ronn, WBVA was the number one Radio Disney affiliate in the country. Radio Disney uses unique toll-free numbers for each affiliate they have to 'gauge' how many listeners are calling-in; besting markets like Chicago and El Lay! Ronn told me it's just a matter of 'time and when' when Radio Disney returns to Hampton Roads - they WANT to be here! What becomes of WBVA? Well something brand new. Something so new that WBVA will be the first in the country to have. WBVA will be the first affiliate in the country of the new FOX News Radio Network slated to debut this weekend. It will offer 24 hours-a-day of FOX news and information and Ronn had nothing but praise for them. Listen to an on-air teaser. Coming soon will be a new website at sister station WVAB (wvab.com). Ronn told me that wbva.com is already taken by a beach volleyball association and will have to come up with something else.....

November 29 2001
WWHV is back on-the-air

Hot 102.1 made the transition to their new tower location just over the border in Chesapeake. It's almost twice as high as their previous location and it's much more centrally located to their target area. Since this area (southside of Hampton Roads) is relatively flat, this move greatly improves their reach.....

November 27 2001
Hot 102.1 is moving their tower

I got in touch with WWHV yesterday (11/26) to find out why they were off-the-air). New urban 'Hot 102.1' WWHV in Virginia Beach will be off-the-air until Thursday morning (pending no problems) so that they can move their tower. They were broadcasting from a small tower on top of the Dolphin Run Condominiums (167') but now are moving to a new existing location just over the border in Chesapeake. This will almost double their tower height (330') and provide much better coverage on the southside of Hampton Roads. Using WWHV's formula (Diffcomb) instead of the FCC methodologies, they accomplish the most important requirement to cover their city of license, Virginia Beach. Not only will they cover Virginia Beach but now almost all of Chesapeake. Norfolk is still somewhat protected because of a 34dBu signal reach of 'XL-102' WRXL in Richmond. The Russ Parr Morning Show with Olivia Fox will be coming to Hot 102.1 very soon.....

November 20 2001
Radio Stations flipping to all-Christmas sweeps the nation and comes to Hampton Roads

The good news is starting Thanksgiving Day thru Christmas Day, contemporary Christian 'Praise 105' WFMZ (104.9) down in Hertford NC will be broadcasting Christmas music 24 hours-a-day. The bad news is that their signal only reaches the southside of Hampton Roads. Today (11/20), I had a very listenable signal here in Virginia Beach around I-264. Years ago, the old easy listening stations 'EZ-95' WKEZ, 'EZ-94' WXEZ and 'Fog' WFOG would flip to Christmas but those stations are long gone.....

November 18 2001
Little W05CH in Chesapeake is relaunched

If your looking for a TV station that delivers gospel music four times a day, WJGN in Chesapeake is the place. It's not a full-power station, which is why Cox Cable is not obliged to carry it. They recently relaunched as WJGN(-CA) from W05CH(-LP), a LPTV to a 'Class A' television station. The schedule also includes 'Singin' With The Saints' weekdays at 6PM, 'Bonanza' on Saturdays at noon and church services on the weekends.....

November 16 2001
Costlier cable

Cox Communications Hampton Roads will raise its monthly rate for standard cable TV service (Cox Expanded Service) by $2.20 starting next month. Cox said the increase is needed due to a steady hike in costs to air Hollywood movies and sports events as well as ongoing upgrades to provide digital cable in the region. Cox, by far the largest cable provider in SE Virginia, has over 260,000 cable subscribers.....

November 16 2001
WCMS reimaging

Heritage country WCMS has shifted their imaging from '100.5 WCMS - Great Country Variety' to '100.5 WCMS - Country Legends & Today's Favorites'.....

November 15 2001
Hampton Roads gets FNC added, ESPN Classic shifted

Cox Communications Hampton Roads added FOX News Channel today on channel 64 (Expanded-tier service). ESPN Classic can now be seen on the digital tier [Digital Sports & Information package (220-230)] on channel 230. When Cox announced a new channel line-up back in the summer to begin August 1st with an additional 15 channels being added, we all assumed FOX News Channel would be one, right? Wrong! They didn't add the channel and got a lot of flack for it. Just six weeks after the new line-up, Cox acknowledged the public support for FNC and decided to add it to their analog tier. Initially, Cox stated there was no room for the channel and offered the FNC 'suits' a spot on the digital tier. FOX said no. Read the press release from Cox Communications.....

November 13 2001
WFVA picks up Sean Hannity

WFVA adds ABC Radio's Sean Hannity for afternoons, bumping Premiere's Dr. Laura Schlessinger to 7PM. WFVA also expands the 'Fredericksburg Tonight' show to a full hour at 6PM.....

November 10 2001
Suffolk's cable woes continue

Suffolk once again is considering revoking Charter Communications franchise there. This week, the cable company was notified it owed a whopping $225,000 in fines, based on an agreement the company made with the city a year ago. Charter, the fourth largest cable company, bought the system from Falcon Cable. The City Of Suffolk has stated that Charter has broken its promises of better customer service, equipment upgrades, an institutional network for the schools and regular reports to the city. The city sent the bill and a notice to Charter's headquarters in St Louis and gave them until 11/10 to respond. The service complaints range from long waits for service hookup to being put on hold for as long as 30 minutes when calling customer service. In a recent six-week period, about 90 cable complaints were lodged. They include the following: Technician took satellite dish but never installed cable boxes, channels change by themselves, no service for two weeks, TV only during daylight hours, channels disappear, damaged water lines, sprinkler lines, credit balance sent to collection agency, service rep at door with a handwritten, paper note (!) pinned to his pocket and no ID on truck and while residents where on vacation, Charter drilled three holes in a new patio, three more holes in a brick wall and poked a cord between the ceiling and vinyl siding. The Suffolk City Council has asked the city manager to start the process for revoking the franchise.....

November 5 2001
Fredericksburg listings are back

After receiving over 73,000 emails about the dropped Fredericksburg area stations listings, they have, for the most part, been returned. Any additional listings? please e-mail us. Since Fredericksburg is now under the VARTV page, I have broken down the Arbitrons that were released several weeks ago.....

November 5 2001
' 96-9 The Rock' hires a new morning show host

Our friends at Richmond Radio are reporting that it's Rich Creeger... a 14-year veteran of radio and most recently was the PD/morning show host at classic rock '100.7 KSLX' KSLX-FM/AM in Phoenix AZ. Prior gigs included PD/mornings at 'The Central Coast Classic' KZOZ-FM in San Luis Obispo CA and KZGL-FM in Flagstaff AZ. WWUZ continues to segue away from classic hits more towards a classic rock lean but the morning show will remain music intensive with traffic three times-an-hour and news updates at the top of each hour.....

November 4 2001
Russ Parr coming to Hampton Roads

Rumor had it early on that 'Hot 102.1' was going to carry the 'Russ Parr Morning Show with Olivia Fox'. Steve Hegwood the president of On Top Communications (owners of WWHV) came from Radio One and worked with Washington DC based Russ Parr (urban 93.9 WKYS-FM). Mr Hegwood still consults for Radio One. With Russ Parr coming to Hot 102.1, the urban-orientated morning show scene here gets a little crowded... there's Doug Banks on Clear Channel's hip-hop '92.1 The Beat' WBHH, Tom Joyner on sister station urban AC 'Vibe 105' WSVY and popular local shows 'The Soul Patrol' on Barnstable's urban oldies 'Soul Classics 92.9' WWSO and Clear Channel's 'The Supreme Team' on urban '103Jamz' WOWI. Hot 102.1 has brand new on-air liners and sound like a step closer to putting jocks on-the-air.....

November 4 2001
Hampton Roads TV news briefs

Viacom promoted (adds additional duties) Meg LaVigne, vice president and general manager of one of the most successful UPN affiliates in the country 'UPN-27' WGNT, to the same title at WUPA, its Atlanta UPN affiliate. Over at WVEC (ABC/13), with ND Jim Tellus leaving for a Seattle station the search is on for a replacement. Acting ND Bruce Moore is one of the candidates being considered says station manager Mario Hewitt.....

November 2 2001
Finally!

UPDATE: Nearly after a two month delay, new independent 'Sky 4' WSKY-TV in Manteo NC has been added to the Cox Cable system. For the last two months, WSKY was broadcasting at a reduced power. Expect to see reruns of 'Cheers' and 'I Love Lucy', syndicated programming to the like of 'Real TV' and 'To Tell The Truth' and Big East & Big 10 college football. 'Sky 4' is on Cox Cable channel 4. This brings the total to 10 'full-power' broadcast TV stations (WUND-2, WTKR-3, WSKY-4, WAVY-10, WVEC-13, WHRO-15, WGNT-27, WTVZ-33, WVBT-43 and WPXV-49) serving Hampton Roads. An eleventh station, Channel 21 in Virginia Beach, appears to be years off from coming on-the-air (click here for more on Channel 21 further down in the news).....

October 31 2001
The FCC grants WWHV's request to move their tower

radio tower UPDATE: Using WWHV's formula (Diffcomb) instead of the FCC methodologies, they accomplish the most important requirement to cover their city of license, Virginia Beach. The new tower site is just over the border in Chesapeake. Not only will they cover Virginia Beach but now almost all of Chesapeake. Norfolk is still somewhat protected because of a 34dBu signal reach of 'XL-102' WRXL in Richmond. This granted request will increase their tower height to 100 meters at the same power of 6kW.....

October 29 2001
WWSO's website is hacked!

Sometime very early Monday (10/29) morning someone hacked into 'Soul Classics 92.9' WWSO's website and rewrote it with added profanities, vulgarities and the statement "We hate white people." WWSO was first tipped off by morning show hosts Tommy & Rumble of rock 'FM99' WNOR. They called Carla Clark and Steve Crumbley of the 'Soul Patrol' at WWSO shortly after 6AM tipping them off and asking for their comments. Tommy & Rumble were tipped of by an email they received urging them to checkout the 'Soul Classics' website. The email address was from (a Yahoo! account). Yahoo! has been contacted to see if that email address can be traced. The person responsible didn't take any credit or responsibility for the act. Read the entire article at The Virginian-Pilot's website PilotOnline.....

October 25 2001
Legal 'legal IDs'

Well, it's time to stir up the legal ID pot. It was brought to my attention by a VARTV page reader, Parris Wood, that hip-hop '92.1 The Beat' WBHH's legal ID didn't include their city of license (Moyock NC). I gave them a listen and didn't hear their city of license either. Instead I heard Norfolk. Neither is this their city of license or tower site but their studios are located in Norfolk. Click here to hear one version of what WBHH is using as their hourly legal ID. Click here to hear another version during the 'Two White Boys' mix show. Is this legal? Is this an oversight on Clear Channel's part?.....

October 23 2001
Hot 102.1 wants to move their tower

A lot of paperwork recently with new urban Hot 102.1 WWHV. On Monday (10/22), WWHV filed with the FCC to a minor modification to their construction permit. They want to move their current tower location, which is on top of the Dolphin Run Condominiums (167') to a new existing location just over the border in Chesapeake. This will almost double their tower height (330') and provide much better coverage on the southside of Hampton Roads. The two concerns are... 1) to protect the signal of XL-102 WRXL all the way up in Richmond and 2) to make sure that their city of license, Virginia Beach, is adequately covered. The first is easy to do with a directional antenna... not really a problem. The second is not so easy. A signal from the new location, under current FCC methodology, will NOT cover the required 80% of Virginia Beach. WWHV is arguing, with the relatively flat terrain of Virginia Beach and some other tweaks to the formulas used, they can achieve over a 91% coverage rate. We'll see if their request is granted.....

October 16 2001
Hot 102.1 files with the FCC for a 'License to Cover'

Urban 'Hot 102.1' WWHV is still testing under their construction permit. On October 10, On Top Communications filed for a 'Program Test Authority' and a 'License To Cover'. It appears for a while that Hot 102.1 will only cover the city of Virginia Beach. This is based on their contour plots and on-air liners that Virginia Beach is getting a brand new radio station. Their tower is located on the top of the Dolphin Run Condominiums at Rudee Inlet, literally right on the beach. At 167 feet with 6kW of power, the tower basically just covers Virginia Beach and maybe Norfolk. Even though this is a very small coverage area, about half of all of Hampton Roads' population is located within their signal reach.....

October 16 2001
Meteorologist vs Weatherman

In Hampton Roads TV News not much is happening except for the weather departments. For most of the 90's the three major local news affiliates (WTKR CBS/3, WAVY NBC/10 & WVEC ABC/13) all had three weather... I'll call them 'personalities'. Then a couple of years ago, WAVY raised the bar by bringing on a fourth 'meteorologist' to 'Super Doppler 10' weather center, Fred Yco, in addition to Don Slater, Jon Cash and Jim Lawrence. They used this advantage in on-air promos for being the only local station with four. This past summer, WTKR added a fourth meteorologist to the 'Triple Doppler' weather team, Jeff Prior, in addition to Dave Parker, Mike Simon and Tal White. And not to be out done, WVEC added their fourth meteorologist, Jude Redfield, in addition to Jeff Lawson, Craig Moeller and Evan Stewart. So everybody is even, right? Not according to WVEC! Their station is the only one with four 'true' meteorologists. On their website, they ask the following question... what exactly is the difference between a "meteorologist" and a "weatherman?" The accepted professional standard for a meteorologist is a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Atmospheric Science or Meteorology. Some TV "weathermen" have no meteorological training at all, while others calling themselves meteorologists have either no training, or a "certificate of broadcast meteorology." Well!... If this is the 'accepted professional standard' then only Mike Simon of WTKR is the lone true meteorologist outside of WVEC. I guess this makes the 'WeatherLab' at Channel 13 the best!? WVEC is also touting on-air about their radar having 2.8 millions watts of power. I'm not sure what that REALLY means but it sure does sound good.....

October 10 2001
Clear Channel Richmond gets some flack

Ray McAllister of the Richmond Times-Dispatch sits down with Bill Cahill the director of FM operations (AC 'Lite 98' WTVR, mainstream CHR 'Q-94' WRVQ, rock 'XL-102' WRXL and urban '106.5 The Beat' WBTJ) for Clear Channel Richmond. He answers some questions including the recent firing of popular morning host Jeff McKee of XL-102 for Dee Snider out of Hartford CT (read further down for more). Read the online article here and Times-Dispatch readers vent back here.....

October 1 2001
New population estimates for 2002 for radio market according to Arbitron

Arbitron releases the new population estimates for January 1, 2002 for radio markets. Hampton Roads (Norfolk/Virginia Beach/Newport News) stays even at number 38. The overall population increases 2.1% to 1,241,500 people of whom 31.7% is black (a 1.7% increase). In Richmond, as with TV estimates, jumps two spots to market #56 with a 3.1% increase to 847,800 people of which 30.0% is black (a 0.5% increase). Down in Elizabeth City NC, they drop from #244 to #249 with a 2.4% increase to 118,900 people of which 25.0% is black (a 0.7 decrease). The entire list of all 285 radio markets can be found here with individual market analysis here.....

September 29 2001
Goodbye Jeff, hello Dee

Clear Channel's rock 'XL-102' WRXL drops its morning show hosted by Jeff McKee and picks up 'Dee Snider Radio' out of CC's modern rock 'Radio 104' WMRQ in Hartford CT. Yes, this is the Dee Snider of 80's hard rock band Twisted Sister. This is Snider's first affiliate and can be heard mornings on 'XL-102' starting Monday October 1, 2001.....

September 10 2001
Channel 13 adds a 5:30PM newscast

WVEC-TV 13 (ABC) drops Tom Bergeron & Whoopi Goldberg at 'Hollywood Squares', which moves to WTKR-TV 3 (CBS) at 4PM, for a 5:30PM newscast called 'The Newsroom At 5:30". With this move, Sandra Parker is now co-anchoring the 5PM newscast with Regina Mobley; the first full-time all-woman co-anchoring team in Hampton Roads news. David Alan now handles the 5:30PM segment solo. They have him standing up in the newsroom following him around with a mobile camera. Regina and David continue to do the 6PM half hour. Channel 13 now joins WAVY-TV 10 (NBC) and WTKR-TV 3 (CBS) with one and a half hours of continuous local news starting at 5PM. Also to note, Inside Edition hosted by Deborah Norville, which also was seen on WVEC (2:05AM!), is now at WTKR at 4:30 right after Hollywood Squares.....

August 26 2001
The revolving door at WTKR 'NewsChannel 3" never stops

Sports Director Pat Parris leaves Hampton Roads after just 10 months to go back home and anchor the 10PM and 11PM sports shows on FOX Sports Net in Pittsburgh. He had asked to get out of the remaining 26 months in his contract. Just recently, George Johnson anchoring WTKR's weekend sports left for a similar position at Comcast SportsNet in Washington DC. In the last several months, the New York Times Co owned WTKR has lost Sandi Yost (station manager), Tracye Fox (news director) and anchors Lyn Vaughn (CNN Headline News fame), LeAnne Rains (now a full-time mother) & Beverly Kidd (took a full-time anchoring job at a station in Phoenix AZ).....

August 18 2001
Hampton Roads gets a brand new radio station

102.1 WWHV Virginia Beach signed on as 'Hot 102.1, #1 For Hip-Hop and R&B'. This puts them in competition with Clear Channel's powerhouse '103 Jamz' WOWI and new sister station hip-hop '92.1 The Beat' WBHH, Entercom's rhythmic 'Z-104' WNVZ and two non-com's urban 'Hot 91' WNSB (Norfolk State) & urban 88.1 WHOV (Hampton University). 'Hot 102.1' is currently jockless and playing 20,000 songs in-a-row.....

July 3 2001
Will Channel 21 ever get on-the-air?

The battle for a new TV station in Virginia Beach continues, even though the FCC's Mass Media Bureau last month finally awarded the license for channel 21 to Winstar Broadcasting, a subsidiary of bankrupt Winstar Communication. Since bidding for the station closed in October 1999, runner up bidder Robert Copeland has been fighting to block Winstar's $8.75 million top offer on grounds that the winning company misled the commission about its ownership structure by transferring a 49% stake to Equity Broadcasting of Little Rock AR. The FCC ruled June 18th that the transfer was not a change in control and therefore did not disqualify Winstar. Copeland's attorney Lauren Colby on Monday (7/2) asked the FCC commissioners to review the Mass Media Bureau's decision.....

July 2001
TV longevity in Hampton Roads

What TV reporters have had the longest longevity on the airwaves? Nate Custer of WTKR 'NewsChannel 3'...35 years(!)...takes the crown. Over at WAVY (Channel 10), Ava Hurdle has been there since 1977 and at WVEC (Channel 13), Kathryn Barrett and Joe Flanagan started in 1982 (Kathryn a tad before Joe).....

June 2001
New population estimates for 2002 for TV markets according to AC Nielson

Richmond jumps two places in the new 2002 DMA rankings (viewers in a TV market). The increase of 3.2% now puts Richmond at #58 (504,990) for 2002 from #60 (489,320) in 2001... Hampton Roads gets bumped from DMA #41 (638,190) to #42 (654,150; +2.5%) in TV market size for 2002. The drop was not due to less people but to the fact that the West Palm Beach-Ft Pierce market grew so much (+7.7%). Their increase also dropped Memphis and New Orleans one spot each... Other state-wide markets...Roanoke/Lynchburg 68-67 (Place +1; Viewers +3.7%), Tri-Cities TN-VA 93-93 (E; +2.8%) and Harrisonburg 179-178 (+1; 6.6%). The website NewsBlues has put together a complete list of all 210 TV markets.....

June 2001
Cox Communications of Hampton Roads

Cox Communications of Hampton Roads does a channel shuffle and adds 15 new channels including a second PBS station (WUND-TV 2, Columbia NC), several new flavors of HBO, BBC America, Biography Channel, History Channel International and others on 8/1. Check out the new channel line-up from Cox....

January 2001 - May 2001

4M Communications received FCC approval in May to upgrade Richmond's WLEE (990 AM) to 4.4 kW during the day and 1.5 kW at night. 4M has also received clearance to start a new Richmond station on 1480 AM. Back in the 1960s, Richmond's legendary top 40 WLEE was located on 1480 before moving to 1320. In related news, on 5/18 4M closed on the sale of WRJR, Norfolk, as well as on the purchase of WVNZ, Richmond. 4M also owns WHAP in the Richmond area.....

Say goodbye to nostalgic music formatted WVBB (1380 AM) in Richmond. We hear on 5/16 that the station has been sold by Cox to Salem for $735,000. Expect it to go religious talk by fall. It's Salem's first station in Virginia's capital. Salem owns WAVA, WABS, and WITH (all with religious formats) in the DC/Baltimore region.....

Radio One's urban WCDX (92.1 FM) took the top spot in the Arbitron radio ratings for Richmond, out in early May, with a 12.4 share. Second place went to adult contemporary WTVR (98.1 FM) with a 9.6 share. News/talker WRVA took 3rd place with a 7.8 share, country WKHK was 4th with a 7.1, and contemporary WRVQ ranked 5th with a 5.8. Rounding out the top ten - adult urban WKJS, classic rock WKLR, hot adult contemporary WMXB, urban oldies WPLZ, and new smooth jazz outlet WJZV. Rocker WRXL took 11th place, while alternative rocker WDYL took 13th. Nostalgic WVBB was 15th. Down in the Norfolk market, urban WOWI takes the top spot, with hot adult contemporary WWDE in 2nd, contemporary WNVZ 3rd, rocker WNOR 4th, and country WCMS 5th.....

WGRX, 104.5 FM, hit the airwaves on 5/17 in the Fredericksburg area. Its format - "thunder country"....

Hoffman Communications brought the 100.5 frequency on the air in the Richmond area on 4/13 with an adult standards format.....

John Tansey, who devoted 50 years of his life to Richmond's WRVA (1140 AM), died on 3/19 after a battle with lung cancer. He was 84. Mr. Tansey, who spent more than two decades as the news/talk station's general manager and vice president, stressed the community-oriented, public service, and news reporting elements of 50,000-watt WRVA's ratings-winning legacy over the years. He retired from the station in 1981 but continued to consult for WRVA for another decade.....

Richmond country WJRV (105.7 FM) goes urban oldies as WPLZ "Magic 105.7".....

Former Virginia Governor Doug Wilder gives up his talk show on Richmond's WRVA (1140 AM). The Democrat has hosted a weeknightly 8 PM to 10 PM show on the Clear Channel station since 1994. Wilder stressed that it was his decision to leave even though news/talker WRVA has been plagued by dismissals of its on-air staff of late. He's been replaced by right-leaning Ian Punnett, who's based in Atlanta.....

June 2000

The spring 2000 Arbitrend radio ratings (age 12+) were released for the Richmond market on 6/29. Urban WCDX came in first place with a 10.4 share. Second was adult contemporary WTVR with a 9.4 share. Third was urban adult WKJS with a 7.2, fourth was contemporary WRVQ with a 6.7 share, and fifth was news/talker WRVA with a 6.6 share. Rounding out the top ten were country WKHK, hot adult contemporary WMXB, rocker WRXL, urban oldies WPLZ, and classic rock WKLR. In the Norfolk market, urban WOWI was in the top spot with an 11.9 share, with contemporary WNVZ in second place with a 7.3 share. Rocker WNOR was in third with a 6.8 share, hot adult contemporary WWDE was fourth with a 6.6, and contemporary WWSO was in fifth with a 6.2. Rounding out the top ten - country WCMS, classic rock WAFX, country WGH, hot adult contemporary WPTE, and smooth jazz WJCD with oldies WVKL (tied for 10th).....

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