|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2014)|
|City of license||Rochester, New York|
|Broadcast area||Rochester and Vicinity|
|Branding||98.9 The Buzz|
|Slogan||All Kinds of Rock|
|Frequency||98.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)
98.9-2 FM: "Blues" ("The Delta")
|First air date||1946 (as WHFM)|
|Callsign meaning||The BuZz (branding)|
|Former callsigns||WHFM (1946-1985)
(Entercom Rochester License, LLC)
|Sister stations||WBEE, WPXY, WROC-AM, WCMF|
WBZA is a rock station in Rochester, New York, broadcasting at 98.9 FM. It is owned by Entercom Communications, who purchased the station from Sinclair Broadcasting in 1999. Before its current format, the station played Oldies as WBBF (and before that, WKLX) before that station moved to a lower-powered station broadcasting on 93.3 FM. The station's studios are located at High Falls Studios downtown, and its transmitter tower is on Rochester's west side.
The station is best known for their former controversial morning show "The Breakfast Buzz with Kimberly and Beck". The two were together for nearly 10 years. Scott Spezzano and Sandy Waters moved over from sister station WPXY-FM their home of over 25 years to host the new "Breakfast Buzz with Spezzano and Sandy" Chris Konya produces the show which began on September 12, 2014 with a special dual simulcast on WPXY.
Niki Reed is their Midday jock Monday-Friday 10am-3pm ; prior to her, it was Justine formerly of and now back at WBEE-FM and before her it was Pete "The Mayor" Kennedy. He is formerly of WPXY-FM for over 20 years. He is now at WAIO.
Mike Danger hosts Afternoon Drive, he is also the programming director of the station.
The 98.9 frequency in Rochester has been in continuous use since 1946. Before signing on at its current dial position, the direct predecessor of WBZA, then known as WHFM, broadcast in the old 42-50 mHz FM band. Founded as a sister station to WHAM by Stromberg-Carlson, its daily operation dates back to 1939, making it one of the very oldest suriviving FM stations in the United States.
As WHFM, the programming format was top-40/CHR from the late 1960's until early 1985. In early 1985 the call letters were changed to WZKC, and the format changed to country music. In the summer of 1986 both format and call letters were changed again, with WKLX adopting a "classic hits" format (primarily rock music from the mid 1960's to the mid 1970's). In April 1988, the format was changed to "classic oldies" (pop music from the mid 1950's to early 1970's) and at the same time the transmitter site was relocated into the city of Rochester.
As WBZA, the station originally played 1980s music up until 2004, when they shifted to classic rock, while retaining the "Buzz" moniker. With the demise of hard rock station WNVE in 2007, WBZA shifted from classic rock to mainstream rock at roughly the same time when Entercom purchased classic rock station WCMF from CBS Radio.
The callsign was originally that of WBZ's sister station in Boston, which was established in 1924; the callsign was switched with the original station in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1931, which carried a simulcast of the original WBZ until it went dark in 1962. Following the closure of WBZA in Springfield, the call letters were assigned to an AM station in Glens Falls, New York. That incarnation of WBZA broadcast on 1410 khz with 1,000 watts of power. The station had originally signed on in 1959 with the call letters WSET.
Kimberly and Beck controversy
On May 21, 2014, in response to the city of Rochester granting health benefits to transgender employees, Kimberly and Beck created controversy by doing a 12 minute long bit filled with transphobic remarks. During the segment, a caller voiced their displeasure with the bit, which resulted in Chris Konya calling her "sir", while the Aerosmith song "Dude Looks Like a Lady" played underneath.
Kimberly and Beck were suspended indefinitely by Entercom Rochester that evening and fired the next morning. Over their time at WBZA the duo were subject to frequent suspensions for various things that were said by them on air. Although possibly paid to be controversial, the duo caused many controversies throughout their time at the station. They started a new show at WQBW on September 11, 2014, as part of the afternoon "ride home".
After the firing the buzz went with an all music format in the morning for a few months until a new morning show was created.
On September 7, 2014 it was announced that Scott Spezzano and co-host Sandy Waters would be moving from sister station WPXY-FM his home of over 25 years to WBZA as part of the new Breakfast Buzz.
Scott Spezzano was the morning voice of 98 PXY for over 25 years and is one of the most recognized celebrities in the Rochester community.
- Kimberly and Beck
- 98.9 The Buzz - Official Site
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WBZA
- Radio-Locator information on WBZA
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WBZA