CENTRAL NEW YORK -- When you think of all the station sales and format flips we recapped right here exactly one year ago, we wondered how 2010 would compare with 2009. After all, 2009 was a pretty busy year. But, as we once again review all that happened over the past twelve months... 2010 did a pretty good job in carving out an identity all its own.
Below, we've provided by chronological rundown of all the significant stories from 2010. Later today, in a separate article, we'll tally up our server traffic stats to count down the Top 10 Stories of 2010, based on how many "hits" stories received this year.
- 4th: Premiere Radio Networks announces Rush Limbaugh's plans to return to work after a brief health scare the previous week.
- 6th: Once music stations bring in syndicated talent at night, it usually stays that way for good... but Utica's Kiss-FM (WSKS/WSKU) bucks the trend by replacing Jackson Blue's Party Playhouse with local jock Johnny Lew.
- 6th: Two months before Galaxy takes over ESPN Radio affiliations in Syracuse and Utica, the company announces it has signed broadcast rights for the NCAA hoops tourney and New York Giants broadcasts for the 2009-10 season.
- 11th - Geneva-based NPR affiliate WEOS returns to full strength after a "snowstorm related power surge" keeps the station at reduced power for nearly a week.
- 15th - The National Association of Broadcasters declares February 1st will be "Broadcasters for Haiti Day," encouraging stations to join efforts to raise money following the deadly earthquakes that rocked Haiti earlier in the week.
- 25th - Newsradio 570 WSYR anchor Alex Silverman announces via Twitter that, among other format changes, Nikolai Busko will be joining him as a co-anchor during morning drive newscasts.
- 2nd: FCC paperwork shows Northeast Gospel Broadcasting is applying for permission to sell a Herkimer-based FM translator to Utica's Roser Communications Network for $30,000.
- 3rd: The sudden shutdown of the Air America network forces progressive talker WNYY to make extensive changes to its lineup.
- 4th: A big egg on Arbitron's face -- the ratings giant had to reissue the Fall 2009 book for Syracuse after rythmic AC MOViN 100.3 (WMVN) was inadvertently left out of the results.
- 6th: Syracuse morning duo Tom Owens & Becky Palmer of B104.7 (WBBS) are nominated for the Academy of Country Music awards.
- 8th: Syracuse's New Country WOLF 105.1 debuts its on-air talent lineup, with the syndicated "Big D & Bubba" show plugged in for morning drive, and PD Skip Clark (who is PD and morning co-host at sister station MOViN 100.3) on afternoon drive. The station has yet to name a midday talent. The station had been jockless since its August 2009 launch.
- 8th: Clear Channel announces it'll be dropping Don Imus from the lineup at Sportsradio 620 WHEN on March 5th -- the same date the market's ESPN Radio affiliation will move from Citadel's WNSS (1260) to Galaxy's WTLA, WSGO and two FM translators. But so far, nobody else claims to be picking up "the I-Man."
- 10th: After many years of simulcasting the same programming on AM and FM, Oneida's WMCR finally splits: 106.3 FM sticks with music, while AM 1600 starts simulcasting the "CNY Talk Radio" lineup from the Baldwinsville studios of sister station WFBL.
- 14th: Utica morning host Bill Keeler catches flak from National Grid, after a staffer for his show on 92.7 The Drive (WXUR) -- acting as a "human billboard" for a stunt -- attaches himself to one of the company's roadside utility poles.
- 16th: Syracuse wake-up duo Ted & Amy of 93Q (WNTQ) are named as one of 8 recipients for the 2010 Post-Standard Achievement Awards.
- 16th: Afternoon Syracuse sports talk host Brent Axe will get national TV time, he announced via Twitter, as part of the broadcast team for the Syracuse Crunch's outdoor game at the NYS Fairgrounds. The broadcast will be carried by the NHL Network, since the NHL is on hiatus during the winter Olympics.
- 19th: WRVO announces plans for Weekly Edition, a new locally-produced show set to launch in March.
- 21st: CNY Talk Radio midday host Jon Alvarez picks up national attention after Facebook shuts down a "fan page" he established, paying tribute to a suicidal pilot who also killed an IRS worker by crashing his plane into an IRS office.
- 22nd: A 2-for-1 from Citadel -- as expected, it announced the new program lineup for The Score 1260. Unexpectedly, the cluster confirms it's ditching Lite Rock 105.9 (WLTI) in favor of a new FM talk format.
- 24th: The Score 1260 changes call letters from WNSS to WSKO.
- 25th: Longtime traffic reporter Tony Bombardo, who provided drive-time reports for multiple stations from his own airplane, announces he's closing up the shop. Bombardo used the name "Captain Scott King" during his earlier days on the radio.
- 1st: Regent Communications, the owner of four Utica-Rome stations, files for a "prearranged" Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
- 1st: New Country WOLF 105.1 announces the hire of Chili Palmer for middays.
- 3rd: After a day of stunting with non-stop theme songs branded as "TV on the Radio," Citadel launches 105.9 The Big Talker. Highlights include the syndicated Bob & Tom mornings and local host Gary Nolan for afternoons.
- 3rd: MOViN 100.3/96.5 afternoon host Yo! Sunny Joe exits the building.
- 4th: Two familiar names return to local radio -- WRVO announces Dave Bullard will be joining the station as Senior Producer/Reporter and Citadel rocker 95X brings Matt "Big Smoothie" Jacobs back to its roster.
- 5th: The much-hyped sports radio shuffle in Syracuse is complete: Galaxy assumes the local affilation for ESPN Radio, while the former Citadel-owned affiliate, now known as The Score 1260, adds Don Imus for mornings. Imus was previously heard on Clear Channel's Sportsradio 620 WHEN.
- 5th: In the Utica-Rome market, where Galaxy also took over ESPN Radio, Arjuna Broadcasting's WNRS is forced to rebrand to a hybrid sports/financial news format.
- 5th: CNY Talk Radio midday host Jon Alvarez abruptly announces his resignation from his weekday hour-long show.
- 6th: In Syracuse, the syndicated Delilah moves down the dial -- formerly heard on 105.9, she's now on Y94FM.
- 8th: K-Rock signs with "Jelli," a Triton Digital Media service that allows listeners to vote online for the songs the station plays.
- 9th: After 40 years working in various capacities at WRVO, John Krauss announces he's retiring at month's end.
- 9th: Ithaca's Q-Country 103.7 adds HD Radio. Subchannels offer simulcasts of sister stations WHCU and WNYY.
- 12th: WSYR morning anchor Alex Silverman is leaving; he's headed to Seattle's KIRO-FM. Silverman also served as GM of student-run WJPZ while attending Syracuse University.
- 18th: Bill Keeler of 92.7 The Drive (WXUR) gets national exposure when TMZ picks up his interview with the infamous mistress of golf pro Tiger Woods.
- 25th: WRVO is named one of five public broadcasters to receive grant funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to establish a new "Local Journalism Center" to cover technology's role in the region's economy.
- 27th (reported on the 30th): Known as a pioneer for women in local radio, Betty Cushing Griffin Allinger dies at the age of 93.
- 29th: Galaxy announces it's ESPN Radio stations will carry live coverage of Boston Red Sox games and the PGA Masters tourney.
- 29th: The Syracuse Chiefs announce Jason Benetti is their new play-by-play announcer. He replaces Bob McElligott, who earlier took a new job with the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets.
- 1st: Oldiez 96.1 (WODZ) recently switched networks, from Citadel Media's "Classic Hits" network to the "True Oldies Channel." Except for the locally-hosted morning drive show and some weekend features, the syndicated format is hosted by Scott Shannon around the clock.
- 3rd: Less than a week after emerging from bankruptcy, Regent Communications is history. New management takes over and renames the company Townsquare Media.
- 5th: Former Big Frog 104 (WFRG) midday personality Karie "Crickett" Shields dies in Pennsylvania, where she had been the midday hostess on another Frog-themed station for the past ten years.
- 5th: Longtime Syracuse sportscaster Claude "Red" Parton dies. Parton's career spanned six decades.
- 6th: Galaxy announces a new locally-produced afternoon talk show on its ESPN Radio stations. Disturbing the Peace is set to debut on the 17th.
- 17th: Public broadcaster WRVO wins the most radio awards at the Syracuse Press Club's annual awards dinner.
- 18th: Technical glitches delay the debut of Disturbing the Peace on ESPN Radio.
- 18th: Citadel's The Score 1260 is the new home of Syracuse Crunch games for the 2010-11 season. Crunch games were previously heard on Clear Channel's SportsRadio 620 WHEN (and occasionally on 570 WSYR).
- 24th (reported on 26th): WITH 90.1 debuts in Ithaca. The station, a joint venture between Geneva-based WEOS and Rochester's WXXI, launches with an HD2 subchannel out of the gate.
- 26th: Albany-based journalist Jay Gallagher, a frequent contributor to the Morning Newswatch at Ithaca's WHCU, loses his battle with pancreatic cancer.
- 27th: The Score 1260 hires Danny Parkins to host a local midday sports talk show.
- 29th: After months of commercial-free music that's been non-stop other than quick, no-frills legal IDs, WUTI in Utica is now branding itself as "Ed 1150".
- 1st: Galaxy says 15,000 people attended K-Rockathon 15.
- 2nd: Former WTVH weatherman Jack Slater dies at 76.
- 6th: Ithaca's ESPN Radio 1160 (WPIE) is sold from Pembrook Pines to Taughannock Media, owned by Todd Mallinson, the former GM of the former Ithaca/Cortland Citadel cluster.
- 12th: Hot 107.9 (WWHT) installs NYC-based "Elvis Duran and the Morning Show," displacing local morning co-hosts Marty and Shannon to other shifts.
- 15th: Brad Stone says his web-only Kiss-FM will not be returning, following a serious fire earlier this summer.
- 18th: A week after using "the N-word" several times on-air during a live conversation with a caller, syndicated host Dr. Laura Schlessinger says she's leaving radio at the end of the year.
- 18th: Utica's B95.5 launches a new midday local talk show, hosted by Mike Walsh.
- 18th: 93Q weekender and frequent morning show guest host Josh Grosvent will soon be co-hosting mornings every day for sister station 95X.
- 26th: In television news, WTVH announces it's stealing the popular syndicated "Live! with Regis and Kelly" away from longtime affiliate WSYR-TV. Channel 9 replaces the duo with Rachel Ray.
- 26th: In that same article, we announce that CNYRadio.com is taking over CNYTVNews.com after that site's original owner was unable to keep his original site active.
- 30th: Local TV News expansions - ABC affiliate NewsChannel 9 announces "The Morning News" will expand by 30 minutes, starting at 4:30am. There will also be a new 15-minute newscast airing continuously during the 10pm hour on subchannel 9.2. Across town, CW6 (WSTQ-LP) announces its 10pm newscast is expanding to a full hour.
- 3rd: A "Mega Picture of the Week" includes photos of nearly every station that had a presence at the 2010 New York State Fair.
- 3rd: Ithaca's WHCU 870AM adds an FM translator simulcast at 95.9FM.
- 3rd: Fox 68's Vinny Lopez is re-elected President for the Society of Broadcast Engineers.
- 8th: WIBX replaces syndicated host Laura Ingraham with Sean Hannity.
- 14th: TV program guides show Joe Galuski and Jim Reith simulcasts on WSYR-DT 9.2, but the simulcasts never actually air. No explanation from Clear Channel, but the chief engineer at channel 9 says it was an error. Anonymous sources say simulcast plans were postponed so channel 9 could focus on upgrading to HD.
- 15th: National talkers in town - Power 106.9 (WPHR) brings Michael Baisden to Syracuse, while WNYY announces plans to bring Bill Press and Stephanie Miller to Ithaca.
- 17th: "A major electrical problem" shuts down the transmitter of Ithaca's WNYY, but HD Radio owners can stay tuned via WQNY-HD2.
- 19th: Leatherstocking Media Group buys WUTI 1150, announcing the Utica station will join Syracuse's WFBL and Oneida's WMCR(AM) in simulcasting "CNY Talk Radio."
- 20th: Slightly outside of our normal coverage area, but a precursor to happenings in Syracuse, Clear Channel flips alternative rocker "Channel 103.1" (WHRL) to WGY-FM, a simulcast of big sister 810 WGY.
- 20th: FCC cancels a $7,000 fine against former WAMF owner Don DeRosa, after learning DeRosa passed away three months earlier.
- 21st (reported October 4th): WSEN co-founder James Lowery dies at 84.
- 21st: Z95.5 Ithaca night jock Mikey V announces he's leaving for a new gig in Indianapolis.
- 24th: Galaxy Communications strikes a deal to stage a New Year's Eve concert called "First Night CNY" at Lights on the Lake in Liverpool.
- 27th: The Syracuse Press Club says recently-retired WRVO GM John Krauss and current YNN GM Ron Lombard are among 5 people who will be added to its "Wall of Distinction" this year.
- 27th: Former Fox News Radio anchor/reporter Chris Barnes will be joining Syracuse's 570 WSYR as morning news anchor.
- 28th: NewsChannel 9 morning co-anchor Christie Casciano shares her experience as a "hockey mom" through a new children's book called "The Puck Hog."
- 4th: 93Q announces night jock Mike Cauchon is leaving for a new gig in Portland, Maine.
- 5th: In Ithaca, Z95.5 hires "Anthony from the Deli" for nights and WPIE hires Jim MacKay for local talk show hosting and play-by-play duties.
- 6th (reported on 18th): Robert H. Chetney, known for hosting the "Irish-American Hour" for more than 40 years on WSGO, dies at 83.
- 8th: Computer advice host Kim Komando's syndicated show moves from Leatherstocking Medias' CNY Talk Radio trio (WFBL/WMCR/WUTI) to Citadel's 105.9 The Big Talker (WXTL).
- 8th: Galaxy Communications is inducted to the SAMMY Hall of Fame. Tommy Nast returns to Syracuse to emcee the ceremony.
- 12th: Days after losing Kim Komando to a competitor, CNY Talk Radio adds "Tech Guy" Leo Laporte.
- 12th: Clear Channel's Syracuse cluster is briefly taken off-air after a pipe bursts over the WSYR newsroom, causing a flood, which in turn trips studio circuit breakers.
- 13th: Former WSYR morning news anchor Nikolao Busko tells CNYRadio.com he's doing well at his new job as news director at Albany's WROW. Clear Channel management never responded to our query following Busko's disappearance from WSYR in August.
- 19th: FCC documents reveal Leatherstocking Media paid $130,000 to buy Utica's WUTI 1150 from Digital Radio Broadcasting.
- 20th: Utica native and former WTLB jock Joseph Motto, who spent over 40 years on-air in Albany as "Boom Boom Brannigan," dies.
- 22nd (reported 25th): Syndicated talk host Stephanie Miller hosts her show from the studios of Syracuse affiliate WXTL.
- 25th: Three workers upgrading WUNY's transmission antenna on Smith Hill near Utica are hurt after the top of the tower partially collapses. The dangling tower forces staffers to evacuate WKTV's main building, causing the NBC affiliate to miss its noon newscast. Arjuna's 92.7 The Drive (WXUR) is taken off the air for a few hours.
- 29th: SUNY Oswego names Dr. Michael Ameigh as the new GM for campus-based NPR affiliate WRVO.
- 30th: CNYRadio.com, already on Twitter for quite some time, finally launches a presence on Facebook.
- 1st: As expected, the first Monday in November is also the first day of around-the-clock Christmas music for Galaxy's Mix 102.5 (WUMX) in Utica and Sunny 102.1 (WZUN) in Syracuse.
- 2nd: Former Syracuse broadcasters Steven Portnoy and Aaron Katersky are part of ABC News Radio's nationwide Election Night coverage.
- 4th: The God's Country Network folds. Local affiliate 93.5 WOKR/Remsen, previously LMA'ed by GCN, reverts back to station owner EMF's Christian rock "Air1" satellite feed.
- 5th: Syracuse's NewsChannel 9 (WSYR-TV) announces longtime anchor Rod Wood has been off from work because he's recuperating after successful prostate cancer removal surgery.
- 15th: Syracuse Fox affiliate WSYT adds "The Country Network" to its 68.2 subchannel.
- 16th: Producers of the independent "Irish Power Hour" renew their deal with WXTL for another year.
- 18th: WSYR-TV temporarily moves weekday gabfest "Bridge Street" to Shoppingtown Mall, likely so the old set can be renovated for channel 9's eventual upgrade to high-definition local programming. (Incidentally, when channel 9 debuted in the 60s, the original studios were at Shoppingtown.)
- 18th: Sinclair Broadcast Group, the owner of Syracuse's Fox 68 and My43, say the stations will be removed from Time Warner Cable lineups on December 31st, unless the two companies can reach a new retransmission agreement.
- 21st: Clear Channel's Y94FM (WYYY) becomes the latest in Syracuse to go all-Christmas. Two days later, WCNY launches wall-to-wall holiday jazz for HD Radio listeners on WCNY-HD3.
- 22nd: NewsChannel 9's Carrie Lazarus announces she's anchoring from the newsroom -- and will be for awhile -- as the station renovates its old set, which had been in place since 1999.
- 25th: Smith Media, owner of Utica's WKTV and CW11, says it'll pull the stations off certain Time Warner Cable lineups unless a new retransmission agreement is reached by December 15th.
- 26th: The all-Christmas flips continue; this time, Utica's Lite 98.7 (WLZW) joins the pack.
- 30th: Clear Channel stations 570 WSYR and Hot 107.9 (WWHT) host a three-day "Radiothon for Kids" to benefit Children's Miracle Network services at the Golisano Children's Hospital.
- 30th: CBS News names former Syracuse TV anchor (WSTM) Jeff Glor as news anchor for the CBS Early Show starting in 2011.
- 2nd: Longtime syndicated medical advice host Dr. Dean Edell announces he's retiring at the end of the year.
- 9th (reported on 15th): Clear Channel issues a number of layoffs across the U.S., as reported by national radio industry websites. In Syracuse, Clear Channel management refused to respond to our inquiries about any local layoffs, but multiple anonymous sources tell CNYRadio.com the cluster's accounting manager was pink-slipped.
- 13th: The three stations of "CNY Central" (WSTM/WTVH/WSTQ-LP) begin broadcasting their local news in "enhanced widescreen." While it's not exactly true high-definition, the station also debuts a brand new set and new graphics to go along with the widescreen picture format.
- 13th: Utica's Kiss-FM (WSKS/WSKU) wins an award for its dedication to working with potential future broadcasters.
- 13th: Former CNY Talk Radio (WFBL) midday host Jon Alvarez is back in the news, as he tries to start a militia in Oswego County.
- 15th: No deal between Smith Media and Time Warner Cable -- as promised, Smith pulls dominant Utica station WKTV and sister station CW11 off Time Warner lineups in and around Utica. Time Warner counters by importing Scranton, Pa. NBC affiliate WBRE.
- 15th: Townsquare Media unveils brand new websites for its four Utica-Rome radio stations.
- 17th: Utica TV soap opera update -- Perry Sook, CEO of Nexstar, demands that Time Warner take his WBRE off Time Warner's Utica-area lineups. He also demands Time Warner remove ABC affiliate WUTR from lineups in the Burlington area, where Smith pulled WVNY off cable.
- 20th: The "Net Gnomes" at RadioInsight.com find five new internet domain registrations that indicate Clear Channel could be preparing to flip urban AC Power 106.9 (WPHR) to a simulcast of Newsradio 570 WSYR.
- 21st: WCNY is promoting a New Year's Eve party to be held at the Oncenter Ballroom in Syracuse. The party, which will also be televised live, will highlight major events from the past year.
- 21st: Galaxy Communications is named "Business of the Year" by the Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce.
- 22nd: Clear Channel flips SportsRadio 620 WHEN to a simulcast of Power 106.9 -- but re-brands the simulcast "Power 620," rumored to be a transitional move before 106.9 ultimately becomes a simulcast of 570 WSYR.
- 28th: More evidence of the still-unconfirmed future simulcast of WSYR on 570 and 106.9 -- Clear Channel and Aloha file the necessary requests with the FCC to bring the WSYR-FM call letters back from a station in Florida, in exchange for the WPHR call letters currently in place on 106.9 in Syracuse.
- 29th: Utica/Syracuse TV soap opera update -- Local lawmakers urge the FCC to force Time Warner and Smith Media to reach a retransmission agreement. In Syracuse, Sinclair says its own talks with Time Warner have reached a standstill.
- 29th: Utica TV soap opera update -- Nexstar (owner of WBRE/Scranton and WUTR/Utica) petitions FCC to block Time Warner from exporting those stations into Utica and Burlington, replacing Smith Media-owned stations in those markets.
- 31st: A report on Bill Keeler's Utica Daily News website says Keeler has been fired by WXUR; his morning show will be replaced by the syndicated Bob & Tom Show.
What's ahead for 2011? Only time will tell. Thanks to all of you for reading, and double thanks to those of you who've submitted press releases, informal announcements, and anonymous tips to help fuel many of the stories you see in the list above. Just like a radio station or a TV station -- this website is nothing without its audience. As always, the email box at email@example.com is always open for your news tips and your feedback about the site.