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WQBK-FM

WQBK-FM
WQSH Q105.7.png
CityMalta, New York
Broadcast areaCapital District-Albany-Schenectady-Troy
BrandingQ105.7
SloganAlbany's Rock Station
Frequency105.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)
Translator(s)99.1 W256BU (Albany, relays HD2)
First air dateOctober 1996 (as WNYQ Queensbury)
November 28, 2006 (as WBZZ in Malta)
FormatFM/HD1: Mainstream rock
HD2: Urban contemporary "Hot 99.1"
ERP7,100 watts
HAAT187 meters (614 ft)
ClassB1
Facility ID6613
Transmitter coordinates42°47′10″N 73°37′41″W / 42.786°N 73.628°W / 42.786; -73.628
Former callsignsWNYQ (1996–2006, Queensbury)
WBZZ (2006–2011)
WQSH (2011–2019)
AffiliationsNew York Jets Radio Network
OwnerTownsquare Media
(Townsquare Media of Albany, Inc.)
Sister stationsWGNA-FM, WPBZ-FM, WQBJ, WTMM-FM
WebcastWQBK-FM Webstream
WQBK-HD2 Webstream
WebsiteFM/HD1: q1057.com
HD2: hot991.com (

WQBK-FM (105.7 MHz "Q105.7") is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Malta, New York, and serving the Capital District of New York, including the Albany-Schenectady-Troy radio market. The station is owned by Townsquare Media and it airs a mainstream rock radio format.

WQBK-FM's transmitter is on from the Bald Mountain tower once used by Channel 13 WNYT, in the Town of Brunswick, Rensselaer County, New York. WQBK's Class B1 signal is impeded to the southwest due to WBNW-FM on 105.7 in Binghamton, New York, and to the east due to 105.5 WWEI Easthampton, Massachusetts. WQBK-FM has an effective radiated power (ERP) of 7,100 watts. It broadcasts in the HD Radio hybrid format. Its HD2 subchannel carries urban contemporary music known as "Hot 99.1," also heard on 250 watt FM translator W256BU on 99.1 MHz.

History

WNYQ Queensbury

After the passage of Federal Communications Commission Docket 80–90 in 1983, several broadcasters considered putting a new FM station in the Glens Falls-Lake George region. Around 1990, 101.7 WENU owner Donald Heckman successfully petitioned the FCC to grant a 25,000-watt radio station to his hometown of Queensbury. Heckman-owned Bradmark Communications won the allocation in 1993, using the call sign WWAZ for the construction permit until 1995. It was WSRQ until June 1996 when its call letters became WNYQ. The station officially signed on the air in October 1996.[1]

Bradmark acquired the station in November 1996, one month after the sign-on. WNYQ took over the adult contemporary format previously heard on 101.7 WENU, using the branding Wink 105.7. From its launch, it aired local programming from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. weekdays, with satellite programming fed from Westwood One nights and weekends.

In 2000, Bradmark Communications was sold to Vox Media, a growing owner of radio stations in small markets throughout New York and New England. Vox ended all satellite programming and decided to take WNYQ to a Hot AC approach, initially keeping the Wink 105.7 name. In early 2002, WNYQ rebranded as Q105.7, moving closer to Adult Top 40. Though initially successful, the station began to see its ratings decline due to competition from new rival 100.3 WKBE and several out-of-market Top 40 stations, including 92.3 WFLY and 97.1 WZRT, with usable signals in WNYQ's signal area.

In 2004, Vox applied to move WNYQ's signal into the more lucrative Albany market, making it the second Bradmark/Vox station to do so. (93.7 WYAI, formerly WHTR in Corinth, was the first.) In December, 2004, WNYQ flipped to a satellite-fed Classic Hits format while keeping the Q105.7 name, as Vox prepared for the station's relocation. The Classic Hits format remained on the 105.7 frequency until it signed off in May 2006, ahead of its relocation. The same format returned in September 2006 at 101.7 MHz (the former WENU, then WQYQ) in Hudson Falls.

Move to Malta

The move of 105.7 into the Capital District, originally applied for in 2004, went through several complications. Originally, the station had an FCC construction permit with a lease to broadcast from the Clifton Park tower used by 96.7 WDCD-FM, 102.3 WKKF, and 104.5 WTMM-FM. When finally built, the present Bald Mountain site was selected with an upgrade to Class B1 status, even amid concerns that Bald Mountain might provide less-than-optimal coverage of some growing suburbs to the north of Albany.

When Vox sold the firm's remaining Glens Falls stations to Pamal Broadcasting in mid-2004, initially there was a clause that would allow Pamal to get the first rights to buy the 105.7 station as a move-in. This plan was slowed down by regulatory concerns with Pamal's revenue share in the adjacent Capital District and the potential that the signal that would have been sold if purchased (104.9 WZMR) would not able to find new ownership in the required amount of time.

Acquisition by Regent Communications

In June 2006, Regent Communications (now Townsquare Media) purchased the licence of WNYQ to put it on the air. Early speculation of what format Regent would choose for 105.7 included moving 104.5 WABT's Hot AC format to the stronger 105.7 signal, a classic country format to complement market leader WGNA-FM, or adult contemporary to go against WYJB and WQAR. The first possibility became reality in the wake of Regent entering a deal with former WYJB morning show Chuck & Kelly. Their show began airing on September 12, 2006 as a prelude to the move.

In preparation of the move, Vox applied for the call letters WBZZ (formerly used on a Pittsburgh station). That call sign took effect on September 21, 2006. After some delays, the station finally returned to the air from the Bald Mountain tower site on November 28, 2006, initially simulcasting WABT. It was during this time that the station began to refer to itself as Buzz 105.7. For the following week, DJs were frequently heard informing listeners to "make the switch," explaining that the old 104.5 frequency would no longer broadcast the format by the coming week. The station relaunched exclusively on 105.7 on December 4, 2006, with WABT flipping to ESPN Radio two weeks later as WTMM-FM.

Tweak to Adult Contemporary

On December 6, 2007, WBZZ changed its Hot Adult Contemporary format, which violated Regent-Clear Channel's non-compete agreement, because 99.5 WRVE also had a Hot AC format. 105.7 switched to Adult Contemporary music. The call letters and the name Buzz 105.7 remained. While most of the jingles and imaging initially stayed from the previous format, WBZZ began airing new jingles in January 2008, better suited for an Adult Contemporary station.

Until January 2, 2011, the air staff included: Mark Vanness, host of the Morning Buzz (5:30-10am), Meredith McNeil (10am-3pm), Julie Fiener (3-7pm) and Darcy "Buzz Nights On Demand", a request show weeknights from 7pm to midnight.

In August 2008, two long time DJs left the station due to budget and staffing cuts. Former Program Director Glen Stacey was let go, along with 25 other employees throughout the company. Jake Thomas added PD duties to his list of tasks that already include Operations Manager of the Regent Albany cluster, as well as PD/MD of sister station WGNA-FM (Country 107.7).

In addition, the station changed its slogan from "Bright, Fresh, and Upbeat" under the Hot AC format, to "The Best Variety from Yesterday and Today" under the new Adult Contemporary format. By the end of 2009, the station began to lean a little bit more Hot AC than competitor 95.5 WYJB but still was mostly an Adult Contemporary station.

105.7 Crush FM

On November 1, 2010, at Midnight, the station began playing Christmas music, forcing 98.3 WTRY-FM to do the same earlier than that station's planned switch-over date. WBZZ had been a Christmas music station in years past, and it is not unheard of for stations to change to Christmas music as early as November 1, so it was not initially obvious that WBZZ was planning a new format. Early speculation of format changes began when the station did not mention its normal moniker or format during this time. That led to speculation that 105.7 would switch formats, included classic rock to complement sister WQBK-FM, a Top 40 format to compete against 92.3 WFLY or oldies to compete against WTRY-FM.

Shortly after Christmas Day, the format switch was confirmed. 105.7 Crush FM was launched at midnight on January 3, 2011, with a 1990s Hits format, similar to Clear Channel's Gen X Radio format. The new call sign WQSH was chosen. The station was led by new program director Mike Morgan, who left WFFG-FM in Corinth, New York for WQSH. The first song on "Crush FM" was "Get the Party Started" by P!nk.[2][3] Most of the staff on the new Crush FM were imports from other area stations, including Sugar Bear in the evenings (formerly of WAJZ), Ellen Rockwell in the afternoons (formerly of WFLY), and Mike Morgan in middays (formerly of WFLY and WFFG-FM). Of all former Buzz staff, only Mark Vanness and Meredith McNeil (in Crush FM morning drive) made the transition to the new format. But the staff lasted less than a year. On October 28, 2011, all of WQSH's air personalities were dismissed.

In early October 2011, an FM translator on 99.1 FM, W256BU, went on the air. It began airing an urban contemporary format, branded as "Hot 99.1," fed from the HD 2 subchannel on 105.7.

On September 7, 2012, at 5 p.m., the station flipped to an Adult Top 40 format, branded as "PopCrush 105.7."[4] The final song as "Crush FM" was "End of the Road" by Boyz II Men, while the first song as "PopCrush" was "Wide Awake" by Katy Perry. This was the first time since 2007 the station has had a hot AC format, and put the station in competition up against Clear Channel-owned 99.5 WRVE.

Rewind 105.7

"Rewind 105.7" logo, 2015–2018

On March 4, 2015, WQSH dropped its adult CHR format and began stunting with Christmas music as "Santa 105.7," using the same bumpers that had been used in 2010.[5] On March 12, 2015, at 7 a.m., the station flipped to a Generation X-based classic hits format (similar to the former "Crush FM" format), branded as "Rewind 105.7." [5]

The first song on "Rewind" was "Good Vibrations" by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. "Rewind 105.7" lasted a little over three years.

Alt 105.7

"Alt 105.7" logo, 2018–2019

On March 16, 2018, at 5 p.m., after playing "Dancing in the Dark" by Bruce Springsteen, WQSH began stunting once again. With St. Patrick's Day on the calendar, the station played music from Irish bands as "Shamrock 105.7." The station was rumored to be planning a flip to alternative rock as "Alt 105.7." One indication was that the domain name Alt1057Albany.com was registered by Townsquare in mid-February.

However, at the same time that WQSH began stunting, 104.9 WINU flipped to the alternative format as "Alt 104.9." It was likely a preemptive strike, which could require Townsquare to find a new format, or at least a different brand. However, on March 19, at midnight, WQSH still flipped to alternative, with the "Alt 105.7" branding. The first song on Alt 105.7 was "All Mixed Up" by 311.[6] With the shift of WQSH to alternative, sister stations 103.9 WQBK-FM and 103.5 WQBJ moved to classic rock.

Starting in the 2018 NFL season, WQSH began airing New York Jets football games whenever co-owned 104.5 WTMM-FM had a conflict due to New York Yankees baseball. In the 2019 season, WQBK-FM became the primary New York Jets Radio Network affiliate in the Capital District.

Q105.7

On July 1, 2019, at noon, WQSH changed its format to mainstream rock, which moved over from WQBK-FM and WQBJ. The new branding was "Q105.7." The Alt format returned a month later on WQBJ.[7][8]

On August 9, WQSH took on the WQBK-FM call letters, used since 1972 on 103.9 FM. The call sign for 103.9 became WPBZ-FM, reflecting its new soft adult contemporary format, dubbed "The Breeze."

HD Radio

Upon WBZZ's move into the Albany market in 2006, the station was licensed for HD Radio operations. WQBK-FM currently operates one HD sub-channel, WQBK-HD2, which is also carried on FM translator W256BU, at 99.1 MHz.[9] It signed on the air on March 6, 2012.

W256BU began stunting with construction sounds, then with protest songs as "Occupy 99.1." On March 9, at Midnight, the translator debuted a soft adult contemporary format, branded as "Sunny 99.1." The launch was promoted with a Facebook page. The Soft AC sound also turned out to also be a stunt. Later that day, at 3 PM, the station adopted its present urban contemporary format as "Hot 99.1."

References

  1. ^ Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1997 page B-312
  2. ^ "105.7 Crush-FM Debuts". January 3, 2011.
  3. ^ "105.7 Albany flips from WBZZ "Santa 105.7" to WQSH "105.7 Crush FM"" – via www.youtube.com.
  4. ^ "105.7 Crush-FM Albany Adds Pop". September 7, 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Rewind 105.7 Launches In Albany". March 12, 2015.
  6. ^ Pamal Launches Alt 104.9 Albany as Rewind 105.7 Starts Stunting Radioinsight – March 16, 2018
  7. ^ Q103 Albany Moves to 105.7 Radioinsight
  8. ^ Alt is Heading on Summer Vacation Alt 105.7 Albany
  9. ^ Radio-Locator.com/W256BU

External links