LACONIA — With a ribbon-cutting at the NH 1 Media Center on Church Street yesterday, Bill Binnie of the Carlisle Media Group not only brought a new, dynamic enterprise to the city but also breathed fresh life into its broadcasting heritage.
The Carlisle Media Group consists of WBIN-TV in Derry and 17 FM and AM radio stations around the state operating from studios in Manchester, Nashua, Concord, Lebanon and Laconia. The media center at 51 Church Street is housed in the building that last served as the police station and will be home to WEMJ-AM (1490) and WLNH-FM (98.3) as well as the Lakes Region news bureau of the NH 1 Network. Manager Mike Trombly said that approximately 15 people will be working at the center in on-air, sales and administrative positions.
For Dirk Nadon, vice-president of engineering, who began his career in radio with WEMJ-AM in the 1980s, the opening of the center was particularly special. The building, which had sat empty since 2003, was once a law office his grandfather Bill Nadon shared with longtime District Court judge Bernie Snierson. "I remember getting dragged through there as a kid," Nadon said. "It's great that Bill has given the building a second life."
Binnie said that members of his team advised him against acquiring, joking that some from Laconia "had a little history here, bad memories" from when it was a police station. Nevertheless, he said "I paid $1 and probably overpaid a lot and took the risk of bringing stations back to downtown." In return, Binnie agreed to invest at least $300,000 in renovating the building, an obligation he more than fulfilled. Binnie said that the company has also moved into renovated space in Concord, where it operates from a former elementary school, and Portsmouth.
In officially welcoming Binnie's Carlisle Media Group to the city, Mayor Ed Engler said that the opening of the center was significant for two major reasons. First, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been reinvested in a building that stood empty for a decade as an empty at a central location for a decade and radio stations that originated in the city but migrated to Gilford have returned home.
Second, the mayor described the Carlisle Media Group as "not just any company, but a media company with a real commitment to community programming." Stressing that every community needs "a bigger, better sense of community," he expected the presence of the NH 1 Media Center will enhance Laconia's ability to generate a stronger sense of community.
Underlining Engler's remarks, Nadon noted that WEMJ-AM has restored "open mike," broadcast Muskrats this summer and will broadcast Sachem football this fall. He said the previous owners of the station "took it all away , but Bill is letting us put it all back." Nadon said that Binnie has retained those who have broadcast in the Lakes Region since he was in his teens and added personnel. "Bill has a dream and I'm thrilled to be helping him pursue it," he said. "It's exciting. It's show biz."
Binnie said that WBIN-TV will begin airing evening news at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. as an alternative to WMUR-TV. He said a news team of experienced television journalists has been assembled from the ranks of CNN and the three networks — ABC, NBC and CBS. Bureaus in Laconia, Portsmouth and Lebanon will contribute stories from the Lakes Region, Seacoast and Upper Valley. "New Hampshire is what we are about," he said.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 01:17
The Wine and Design painting class at the Belknap Mill, which was pictured on the front page of last Thursday's edition, was taught by Kare Roche Criscone, not Heidi Little.
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 August 2014 12:20
CORRECTION: Regarding a story published on Page 8 of The Daily Sun's Tuesday edition about the alleged rape of a Tilton girl, police said the date of the first assault was in 2005 and the child was born in 1999.
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 August 2014 12:17
LACONIA — Traffic on Messer Street will be slowed and detoured for the next three weeks while works proceeds on a natural gas main on the east side of the street, where it crosses the railroad tracks at the foot of Lyford Street.
North and south bound traffic will be reduced to one lane and controlled by temporary signals and flagging personnel. At night and on weekends eastbound traffic on Lyford Street will be routed north on Belknap Street then east on Oak Street to rejoin Messer Street.
R.H. White Construction Company, Inc. of Bow is performing the work for LIberty Utilities.
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 August 2014 12:11
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