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SOWNY » An unusual request from your American friend » September 12, 2022 11:00 am

fybush
Replies: 12

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Of all the ways this thread could have turned after I started it, this is certainly an unexpected one! (And thanks again to Ms. C or Geo, either way!)

SOWNY » September 1 1966 CTV and CBC Start Broadcasting in Colour » September 11, 2022 11:40 pm

fybush
Replies: 25

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Across the lake, I believe my parents got their 25" colo(u)r Zenith as a wedding gift in 1969, a few years before I came along. That TV moved with us from apartment to house, got a cable hookup in 1980, and broke for good a year or so later, replaced by what I recall was a GE. 

I'm not sure if the 13" color Toshiba in their bedroom also came from the apartment or was a new purchase when they bought the house in 1975. 

Someone mentioned Admiral upthread, and I vividly recall going with my mom to the Two Guys discount store around 1976 when they had a 12" B/W Admiral on special. That became their first kitchen TV set and lived a good long life, well into the late 1980s. I remember late-night snacks while watching some of Johnny Carson's last shows on that little set. 

SOWNY » An unusual request from your American friend » September 11, 2022 6:46 pm

fybush
Replies: 12

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Ms. C. wrote:

Friday's edition had a special photo cover and 99% of reporting was in the front (news) section.     Very little in other sections.     

Saturday's Globe 'n Mail and Saturday's National Post had special covers, again, plus in-depth interviews w. politicians and public people.    The weekly column by Conrad Black, a man who seldom (if ever) generates positive commend from the brilliant denizens of the B.Y.B., was compassionate, interesting & entertaining to my husband, Geo, who left the B.Y.B. in disgrace earlier this year

I will be happy to fwd those issues to you if you send me a private message with snail mail address


Ms. C. 

Thanks so much! Sending you a PM now.

SOWNY » An unusual request from your American friend » September 11, 2022 6:04 pm

fybush
Replies: 12

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In addition to archiving broadcasting, I collect historic newspapers, too. Knowing that I'd be up in the GTA this weekend, I called ahead to a couple of stores to have them save Friday's papers with the news of the Queen's death.

It almost worked - except that the Sobeys in Mississauga didn't save the entire Friday Globe and Mail for me, just a few sections.

The Globe doesn't sell back issues directly, and most stores seem to get rid of the previous day's papers immediately these days.

Anyone know of anywhere in the GTA that might still have Friday's Globe around? Anyone still have it in their recycling bin?

Thanks for any suggestions from the brilliant denizens of the Big Yellow Board...

SOWNY » The Popular Toronto Mic'd Podcast Turns 10 Today!! » September 6, 2022 3:28 pm

fybush
Replies: 2

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torontomike wrote:

Thanks! It's been a heckuva ride.

Here's a handy cheat sheet of notable episodes.

Hey, Mike - would you ever want to talk with a US-based radio guy who spends a lot of time listening to and following Canadian radio? I'm going to be up your way next week... 

SOWNY » Are These Really The "10 Best Radio Tuning Apps" On The Web? » August 19, 2022 9:12 pm

fybush
Replies: 10

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RadioActive wrote:

I think most of the signals uplinked to the web are in stereo.

Very much so. There's no rule that says the stream has to go through the same processing chain as the broadcast, and usually it doesn't. For US stations, there's also usually a replacement set of spots that go out on the stream, separate from what's on the broadcast signal.

SOWNY » Are These Really The "10 Best Radio Tuning Apps" On The Web? » August 19, 2022 6:35 pm

fybush
Replies: 10

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The WUFO stream is the same whether it's "1080" or "96.5" - they are required to be exactly the same programming. (Except after dark when 1080 is off the air!)

SOWNY » Amber Alert Question » August 2, 2022 8:16 pm

fybush
Replies: 15

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Assuming the system works more or less the same way north of the border as it does down here, it's only the actual alert part that comes via Pelmorex. It's sent with header and end tones that tell the local station what type of alert it is, who issued it, and so on. The voice you hear at the end? That's not part of the alert coming from Pelmorex. That's programmed and played out (or not) by each individual station at its own discretion. It's pretty easy to set up automation to get the EOM (end of message) from the alert decoder and then play out a specific audio file before returning to regular programming. 

SOWNY » The slow death of AM/FM radio in your car » July 26, 2022 11:38 pm

fybush
Replies: 17

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The key, I think (and I say this as a keen cross-border observer of CRTC doings) is that CHIN already *had* that "precious Toronto FM frequency." Because the 91.9 signal was already on the air as a CHIN(AM) relay, the frequency wasn't available for anyone else to use, no matter what, and so what CHIN decided to do with its programming got treated more as an internal Lombardi matter and less as a larger public concern worthy of a hearing, as it would have been had they applied for a new 91.9 signal that didn't yet exist.

My read of the decision also appears to say that CHIN was required to simulcast 1540 on 91.9 at night. That appears to no longer be the case, though, at least based on online schedules. (I can barely hear 1540 here in Rochester and of course can't get 91.9 at all!)

SOWNY » The slow death of AM/FM radio in your car » July 25, 2022 5:46 pm

fybush
Replies: 17

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The Lombardis did go through a CRTC application process to convert CHIN-1-FM 91.9 from a transmitter of CHIN 1540 into a separate license, back in 2017.

https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2017/2017-136.htm

SOWNY » Transmitter work at First Cdn Place » July 4, 2022 10:58 am

fybush
Replies: 5

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It wasn't pretty but could have been much worse! Her flight from Greece landed just before 7, they held her on the plane for over an hour because of backups at passport control, and it was about 8:45 by the time she was out at the curb and waiting for us to fight through the traffic backup into terminal 3. 

SOWNY » Transmitter work at First Cdn Place » June 29, 2022 10:55 pm

fybush
Replies: 5

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The NPR on 90.7 was WMFV Cedar Creek-Ocala FL. I had it in the car from downtown Toronto that afternoon as well (en route to Pearson to pick up my daughter.) 

SOWNY » Buffalo's WBUF-FM Tries Yet Another New Format » June 15, 2022 8:27 pm

fybush
Replies: 29

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Up in the hills south of Rochester, you gain enough elevation fast enough that you get line of sight to Toronto again, and the bigger CN signals start coming in pretty clearly in most areas except where they're blocked by translators on this side of the lake. 

SOWNY » Buffalo's WBUF-FM Tries Yet Another New Format » June 14, 2022 9:33 pm

fybush
Replies: 29

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mace wrote:

RadioAaron wrote:

Radiowiz wrote:

Those were the diary days when Jack & Jack were side by side. 
 

Do the non-CN tower signals even make it into Buffalo?

88.1 definitely not. Gospel translator there. 88.9-splatter from 88,7. 89.5-splatter from 89,3 WCOM. 91.9-splatter from 92.1WZDV. 93.5-squeezed out by 93.3 Cheektowaga and 93.7. 96.3-splatter from 96.1. 99.1- splatter from hip-hop translator on 98.9. Of the CN Tower stations, Q107 would be challenging caught between a 106.9 Grand Island Gospel translator and a 107.3 Buffalo Urban translator. This is not from my own personal band scan but from the Radio Locator Buffalo FM dial section.

I'm frequently in Buffalo. The bigger Toronto signals power past the low-power translators in most areas. Q107 is easily heard, as are CBLA and CIUT.

Some of the others you mentioned are not only lower powered but also directional away from the US, especially 91.9 and 93.5.

Get up by the lake in Niagara County and the dial changes. I can hear CIND's HD2 at Fort Niagara, for instance.

SOWNY » One For Scott Fybush: The Towers Of Power » April 20, 2022 12:13 am

fybush
Replies: 1

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Very cool! I'll have to check that out.

SOWNY » WBLK and WMSX Buffalo Reception Issues » April 6, 2022 4:24 pm

fybush
Replies: 5

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They recently did an antenna replacement atop the Rand Building, which would explain the improved signal. 

SOWNY » Another Professional Musician Tries His Hand At GTA Radio » March 29, 2022 10:52 am

fybush
Replies: 8

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We have a few examples across the lake - Scott Regan, the mid-morning "Open Tunings" host at WRUR 88.5, is part of the local band Watkins and the Rapiers here in Rochester, and WXXI-FM 91.5 has several very talented classical musicians as fill-in hosts, including the singer Kearstin Piper Brown. 

SOWNY » Two Cdn Radio Stations With The Same Call Letters? Is That Possible? » March 25, 2022 11:08 pm

fybush
Replies: 14

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And also CFPL-TV, whose sister radio stations compete against CFPL and CFPL-FM.

As noted earlier, the FCC considers WXXX-FM to be a separate callsign from WXXX on an AM station.

Here in Rochester, WHAM and WROC on the AM dial are owned completely separately from WHAM-TV and WROC-TV.

In Boston, WBZ, WBZ-FM and WBZ-TV are three separate owners.

The FCC considers callsigns as something of a vanity thing. The unique identifiers it uses internally are facility ID numbers, which are tied to an individual license and which never change.

SOWNY » A Word To The "Y's" - Can TV Spell The Ukrainian President's Name? » March 16, 2022 10:01 am

fybush
Replies: 4

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The answer is "neither"... it's spelled in the Cyrillic alphabet and all we can do is transliterate.

There's a fantastic explanation here:

https://blog.duolingo.com/ukraine-language/

SOWNY » 44 Great Radio Pics From The Past 100 Years » February 16, 2022 5:39 pm

fybush
Replies: 2

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Great stuff! The WGY tower is actually the cover image of my calendar this year, and I'm hoping to be at WGY's 100th anniversary celebration this weekend. 

As with so many of those early callsigns, the "meaning" was derived after the fact. The calls were assigned sequentially, but that's not a fun story!

SOWNY » Something's up at Flow » February 9, 2022 4:03 pm

fybush
Replies: 153

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Does CFXJ have any format conditions on its license these days? Or is Stingray free to do whatever with it?

SOWNY » Something's up at Flow » February 9, 2022 2:35 pm

fybush
Replies: 153

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tvguy wrote:

They've turned on their HD-1 signal for what it's worth.

Which explains why WBLK is getting wiped out around the GTA now. (I can hear just enough of a fringe WBLK signal around Rochester that I'm pretty certain it's still at full power from the Rand Building.)

SOWNY » Something's up at Flow » February 9, 2022 2:09 pm

fybush
Replies: 153

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Hearing buzz from across the border that the airstaff is out and there might be something changing at 2 this afternoon... stay tuned! 

(No, you can't hear 93.5 from Rochester, but with my VPN engaged, I can at least stream it...)

SOWNY » Did Buffalo Radio Start In Lockport, N.Y.? One Article Suggests It Did » January 22, 2022 8:56 pm

fybush
Replies: 1

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Good stuff - and yes, Lockport played an important role in the start of radio in WNY.

But...

Before WMAK hit the air in October 1922, Buffalo had two stations earlier in the year. WWT didn't last, but WGR did. 

I talked about this (and a lot more 1922 history) in a talk I gave last year at the Antique Wireless Association convention here... go to 13:20 or so in this video to get to the Buffalo part. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHADSvgsO1k

SOWNY » Why No AM Station Antennas On The CN Tower? » January 18, 2022 9:07 pm

fybush
Replies: 14

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The vertical portion of a standard series-fed AM tower is only half of the antenna. The other half is the ground system, which is typically half a wavelength long and made up of 120-180 buried copper radials. You can't do that around the CN Tower, and you wouldn't want an AM station there, anyway - you want them in wet, swampy areas, which is why the best TO AM signals come from places like the edges of the island or across the lake. 

Also, the elevators going up and down would have an electrical effect on an antenna, even if it's a wire stood off from the side of the tower itself. 

SOWNY » Will The Feds Try To Wean The CBC Off Of Ad Revenue? » January 18, 2022 9:00 pm

fybush
Replies: 6

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paterson1 wrote:

.
PBS is not commercial free either.  They often feature a couple of commercials at the beginning of original productions.  I sometimes watch Motor Week on PBS Detroit and there are always two commercials at the start of the show.  And the fund raising pledge breaks are really lengthy commercials or infomercials. 

They are, technically, not commercials, though I admit the distinction gets blurrier as time goes on. 

They're "underwriting announcements," which come with much stricter rules than commercials on commercially-licensed stations. While commercials can say pretty much anything in their 30 or 60 seconds, underwriting announcements are supposed to be purely for identification of donors. The rules say you can't use comparative language ("Ford makes the best trucks"), include any pricing information, or any "call to action" ("come to your local McDonald's"), and most public broadcasters have strict category limits on who can get underwriting announcements - no alcohol, no gaming, etc. 

Until the late 1980s, the FCC didn't even allow these announcements to include moving video, and it's only in recent years that they've sometimes been allowed to include music. 
 

SOWNY » Network TV Show Celebrates Milestone 70th Anniversary On Friday » January 14, 2022 9:31 pm

fybush
Replies: 8

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mace wrote:

Interesting that the three longest still running television programs [Meet The Press-1947, Today-1952, Tonight-1954] all air on NBC. The article mentioned only 14 affilliates carried the premiere episode. The only two NBC stations broadcasting in 1952 that were moderately close to the GTA were WICU and WROC that may have aired the premiere. I don't know if WBEN would have run it being a secondary NBC affilliate at that time.

What's now WROC was WHAM-TV back then, on channel 6. I'd have to go digging in old newspaper listings to see if they were on board for the premiere. It would have cost a not insubstantial amount of money to staff up to sign on that "early" in the morning - you'd have needed engineer(s) at the transmitter site and someone running master control back at the studio, and then either sign off again or find programming and staff to fill the empty hours until the movies and kiddie shows started in the afternoon. My mom recalls seeing a test pattern on TV before Howdy Doody came on (at 5:30!), and that would have been 1952-53ish, I think. 
 

SOWNY » GNR640's Bizarre Holiday Schedule/Jamil Jivani Gone From CFRB? » January 2, 2022 11:26 pm

fybush
Replies: 49

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I am indeed well aware of the Saturday paper being the main weekend edition in Canada. I remember visiting Ottawa in the 1980s when the Citizen published Mon-Sat and there was a Sunday-only paper, the Sunday Herald. (I believe it eventually became the 7-day Ottawa Sun.) I recall the Citizen and the Montreal Gazette experimenting with Sunday editions later on that didn't succeed, too. 

(I note also that the Buffalo News never had a Sunday paper for most of the time it competed with the morning Courier-Express. It was only with the demise of the C-E that the News shifted completely to 7-day morning publication, and even at that it continued to put out an afternoon edition for home delivery well into the 1980s.) 

Interestingly, with the start of the pandemic, some of the smaller dailies down here that had added Sunday papers in the 1980s or 1990s pulled back - the papers in Niagara Falls NY, Geneva, Jamestown and Dunkirk went to a "weekend" edition that's published on Saturday. The more things change... 

 

SOWNY » GNR640's Bizarre Holiday Schedule/Jamil Jivani Gone From CFRB? » January 2, 2022 8:43 pm

fybush
Replies: 49

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It's interesting to me to see how the holiday coverage situation seems to differ on opposite sides of the border. 

Here in Rochester, up until this year, it was unimaginable that the local daily newspaper wouldn't publish every single day. There's a lot of local disappointment that the Democrat and Chronicle here decided (as part of a national mandate from its owner, Gannett) not to publish on the 24th/25th and again on the 31st/1st. It's seen as one part of a larger decline in that paper's reputation here. It's still unusual in a larger US city for the newspaper to take a holiday off, the way the Toronto papers all did on Christmas (and did they do it again this weekend for New Year's?) The Buffalo News still publishes every single day, and I've taken to reading it on the days we don't have a local paper here anymore. 

As for radio and TV, the general expectation on this side is still that most of the local TV newscasts keep going right through the holidays, even if it's usually with a lot of second-stringers and an overall reduced staff. 

I can testify that on radio, we didn't miss a single newscast at WXXI all the way through the holidays - and 
I know that for sure because I was the one filling in for most of them, including on Christmas morning. (It's fine, really... for 30 years now I've happily been the "newsroom Jew" working that day so my colleagues can have it off!)

Our local talk show on WXXI scaled back for the holidays - we had a couple of days when we ran holiday specials for those two hours, and we did some "best ofs," but mixed in some fresh shows as well. 

The theory here, I think, is that even if there's an expense involved in staffing those days that doesn't immediately return to the bottom line, there's a longer-term value to making sure our listeners know that they can depend on us all the time - and that keeps them engaged with us and listening and donating into the new year when we get back to a regular schedule. 

So, yes, it's a l

SOWNY » The Year In SOWNY 2021 » January 2, 2022 8:33 pm

fybush
Replies: 7

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RadioActive wrote:

Thanks for the correction, as always Mr. Fybush. I think I just didn't express it well. What I meant to infer was that Bongino won most of the freed-up timeslots on the stations that previously aired Limbaugh. It just didn't quite come out that way!

Either way, thanks to all of you for your kind comments. The list takes about two or three weeks to compile every year, as I painstakingly go over each and every thread that boasted a 2021 date on it. Then it takes another few days to write, proofread and a further few days to check all the links. It's hard to leave stuff out, but I don't want it to go too long. I appreciate you guys being willing to spend so much time on such a long list and am happy someone looked at it after all that trouble!

I wonder what the top story of 2022 will be - and if we'll ever find out what really happened to Ryan Doyle!

Some of those questions never do seem to get answered, do they?

As for Bongino, it's probably not even correct to say that he ended up with "most" of the former Limbaugh stations. It ended up dividing among ownership lines - stations owned by Cumulus had a corporate mandate to take Bongino, who's syndicated by Cumulus-owned Westwood One. Stations owned by iHeart all took Travis and Sexton, from iHeart-owned Premiere. (That included WHAM here.) 

Audacy's stations (including WBEN) mostly went to local hosts in that slot, and smaller players were all over the map... and that's really the story, at least as I wrote it: Limbaugh, for better or worse, was the last host who had truly national reach - if you were a major talk station, it was pretty much expected that you'd have him on your lineup unless you were in a competitive market where the other major station got him first. Now it's a bunch of voices all fighting to be heard in that slot, and none of them have anywhere near the reach that Limbaugh did, even at the end when his reach wasn't as big as it used to be. 
 

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