In the Merrimack Valley: Media Empire Building to Our North?

The Nashua Telegraph has an interesting article this morning about a former GOP Senate candidate’s plan to build a new media empire across the New Hampshire landscape – even dipping down into the Massachusetts end of the Merrimack Valley. The hot times of a New Hampshire presidential primary season may be a big help toward his goal. The recently launched  station WBIN – owned by  former Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Binnie – has also launched its own nightly news program. The station will co-sponsor the upcoming Republican presidential debate at Dartmouth College  on October 11, 2011 .

To create this media empire Binnie and his Carlyle One Media group has purchased several low-power stations and transmitters throughout the state as well as station WZMY – the Derry, NH  station that is a definite part of the Boston media market – the seventh-largest in the country.

Locals might remember that before it was WZMY, it was WNDS. That’s  the station that made meteorologist and quirky personality Al Kaprielian a household name in New Hampshire and beyond. Kaprielian is heard locally these days Monday through Saturday with weather forecasts and chatter on WCAP/980AM. WNDS was for a while  a partner at the Lowell Folk Festival. On another local note – WZMY had a camerawoman and a reporter on scene canal side  in Lowell last Monday to cover the Congresswoman Niki Tsongas endorsement of Elizabeth Warren in the US Senate Democratic primary.

How will the Binnie plan fair in this market dominated for a longtime by WMUR? In the article Gary O’Neil, principal at 02 Creative Energy in Manchester and a longtime New Hampshire advertising executive notes:

“His strategy of getting in between WMUR and Boston is a good one, because if you look at growth areas and growth patterns, it’s southern New Hampshire and Middlesex and Essex counties in Massachusetts,” O’Neil said. “That’s a huge population with a really good income.”

Binnie has already lured some WMUR staffers on board as well as other media veterans. Stay tuned as this media move plays out to our north and in the lower Merrimack Valley.

Read the full article by Kathleen Callahan here at