While We Were Out: Memorial Day Weekend Edition

May 29, 2012 by

Following a long weekend out of town, your editor has returned to HQ.  As has been the case after some previous trips away, we're back with a quick recap of some items missed during the time off.

Dave Frisina on the Cover

Just about four years since Dave Frisina appeared on the cover of the Syracuse NewTimes, you'll find his face on local supermarket magazine racks again.  And this time, he'll be there for more than just a week -- he's the cover story on 55 Plus magazine's June-July issue.  Among other topics, the article by Aaron Gifford details Frisina's start in radio, his recent station change, and a bit about his family life.

55 Plus magazine is available for free at many local supermarkets and other retailers.  If you can't find it anywhere, the entire issue is available online and the article we're talking about begins on page 27.

Jim Reith Also on the Cover

Not too far from Frisina's cover photo, you'll also catch Jim Reith on the cover of this week's edition of the Syracuse NewTimes, free at hundreds of locations throughout the area today, and online as well.

Editor-in-Chief Molly English-Bowers doesn't hold back with criticizing "the corporate bozos at Clear Channel" for sending Reith packing last October, after 27 years with WSYR radio.  In the article, Reith reveals he's still beholden to a non-compete as part of his severance package from Clear Channel, but the clause only prevents Reith from taking other work in radio -- not from doing the podcasts, blogging or TV show he's been hosting for pubcaster WCNY. The former two activities started in April and the latter earlier this month.  A radio show is planned to launch "around Thanksgiving," when WCNY completes its move from Liverpool to new facilities currently under construction on Syracuse's Near West side.

Remembering Chris Ulanowski, Personal Struggle Revealed

It was a year ago we were surprised and saddened to hear of the passing of former WRVO news director Chris Ulanowski. Over the weekend, the Syracuse Post-Standard ran an article from contributing writer Janet Gramza, revealing that Ulanowski's untimely death came at his own hands, following a long struggle with borderline personality disorder.

Although family members interviewed for the article were aware of the emotional problems Ulanowski suffered at home -- both before and after his 2009 dismissal from WRVO -- many colleagues remembered Ulanowski as a consummate professional. Most said they never had known of the personal struggle Ulanowski faced outside of work.

The article not only shares the story of Ulanowski's struggles, but also to draw awareness to borderline personality disorder, and the symptoms which are often ignored or unnoticed. For example, the article mentions Ulanowski had lost his license briefly in 2004 for DWI, but colleagues likely overlooked the indication of deeper issues because of Ulanowski's success as an award-winning journalist and a well-respected manager.

In a separate piece, a number of former colleagues and listeners shared memories and tributes for Ulanowski.

New Details on ESPN Utica FM Expansion

A tip of the hat to Scott Fybush, who reports in this week's edition of NorthEast Radio Watch, that there are new details about a previously-reported translator purchase that's expected to bring ESPN Radio Utica to the FM band.  Fybush cites an application filed with the FCC, seeking permission to move the transmission site of translator W265AJ (99.1FM) from the roof of Hotel Utica up to the Smith Hill antenna cluster already used by many other stations in the market.

Specifically, Galaxy Communications is looking to move the translator to the same tower currently used by 96.9 WOUR. The higher elevation will allow the 250-watt directional signal to cover much more terrain than it does now (the maroon line in this "before-and-after" map is the border between Oneida and Herkimer counties).  Currently, W256AJ is operated by Christian Broadcasting System, simulcasting religious station WJIV from Cherry Valley.  The application was filed by Christian Broadcasting, as the sale hasn't yet closed.

ESPN Radio Utica is currently heard on three AM stations: 1310 WTLB/Utica, 1350 WRNY/Rome, and 1230 WIXT/Little Falls.

Tanja Babich Welcomes Second Child

Congratulations to NewsChannel 9 (WSYR-TV) morning co-anchor Tanja Babich and her husband, who welcomed another addition to their family today.  Lorelei Elizabeth was born at 9:04am, weighing 8 pounds and 10 ounces.  The ABC affiliate posted a photo on its Facebook page.  The station has Staci-Lyn Honda filling in alongside Dan Cummings for now.


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