WEHH

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WEHH
WEHH.png
Broadcast area Elmira, NY
Branding "Solid Gold WEHH"
Frequency

1600 (kHz)

93.9 (mHz) W230BB
First air date 1952
Format Variety
Power AM: 5,000 watts daytime
170 watts nighttime
ERP FM: 1 watt
Class B
Callsign meaning W Elmira Heights-Horseheads
Owner Pembrook Pines Media Group
Website

WEHH homepage

WEHH webstream player

WEHH signed on the air in 1956, the third AM radio station in Chemung County and the fifth in the Elmira-Corning market in New York state. Testing on the frequency may have begun as early as 1952, according to documents at the original transmitter site found by former station engineer Jim Appleton.

It originally broadcast at 500 watts, with a non-directional pattern, on 1590 kHz during daylight hours from studios over Oldroyd's Grocery Store on Hanover Square in Horseheads. Later, a new studio facility was constructed on Latta Brook Road east of Route 17 in the town of Horseheads. When an overpass was built on Latta Brook Road at Route 17, the new studio was in the construction area and demolished. Another facility was built just east of the Route 17 overpass (Latta Brook Road has no interchange with the highway). For years, the studio location was identified on-air as Latta Brook Park and during weather reports the forecast was always ended with "the current temperature is ... in beautiful Latta Brook Park." The single tower non-directional antenna was fed by a trusty Collins 550A transmitter in a field across the highway from the station. It stood until a storm in the early 2000s blew it down across Latta Brook Road, according to Appleton.

The station, founded by Frank P. Saia was owned by the Elmira Heights-Horseheads Broadcasting Company (family owned) for many years and was the first rock'n'roll station in the market. In the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s area teenagers held their transistor radios close, listening to RadioActive WEHH, Superhit Radio WEHH, and finally Rainbow Radio WEHH. Ed "Knucklehead" Knowles was the station's leading personality in the late 50s and early 60s. He did many Record Hops in the area with his engineer Rod Denson. Other DJs during that time were, Bob Welch, and Lou Coughlin.

In the 1950s and 1960s, students rushed to the nearest drugstore for their free copy of the WEHH Fabulous 50, which detailed the 50 top hit songs of the day. Those drugstores were pretty smart because after the kids checked out the first 5 or 10 songs, they were buying them on 45 rpm vinyl from the same stores. A stack of the Fabulous 50s was found in the basement of the Latta Brook Road studio when the station moved out in the early 2000s.

Many radio and television personalities known throughout the country got their break in broadcasting by working for Frank in beautiful Latta Brook Park.

By the early 1970s, the format had changed to easy listening with Frank at the helm. In the 1980s, Ray Ross bought the station and switched the format to oldies. The station also was noted for broadcasting Elmira Pioneers' minor league and local Little League baseball games, as well as high school football and Elmira College hockey games. Under Ross' ownership, the station's broadcast day expanded to midnight, then to 24 hours a day, at very low power. Among personalities on-air during this time were Norm Stull, Chris Sando, Scott Iddings, Jane MacNett, James Wilson, Pam Kauffman, Russ Ross, Ray Smith, Mike Owens, as well as owner Ray Ross. Nationally syndicated programs hosted by Cousin' Brucie and Kasey Kasem were also highlighted on WEHH during the 80's.

Seeking to fill a niche in the market in the early 1990s, Ross switched the format to adult standards. By the end of the decade, the station was being operated at the WELM and WLVY studios by the Pembrook Pines Media Group under a local marketing agreement.

WEHH was a standalone AM station for much of its existence until Mr. Saia decided to place an FM station on the air in the mid-1960s. Frank Saia was a visionary individual who believed in the future of FM broadcasting and was responsible for WEHH-FM which signed on at 94.3 MHz in 1964 with Elmira as its city of license. Studios were co-located with WEHH-AM in Latta Brook Park. The transmitter was located at a private site on East Hill in Elmira. The station broadcast mainly beautiful and classical music along with a bit of country in the mornings, "The Ralph Emery Show". In the 70's WEHH-FM broadcast Elmira City Council meetings live with Tony Volino handling the remote duties from the Council Chambers. Frank Saia, before the founding of WENY-TV also had the first crack at UHF TV channel 36 and at one time considered a WEHH-TV on channel 36. If that had happened, the WEHH callsign would have been prominent as an AM-FM-TV entity.

The FM station later was sold to crosstown rival WELM and changed to the current call letters, WLVY. In 1990, Ross also was instrumental in getting a new station on-the-air on 96.9 MHz. That station—then known as WMKB—was never owned by Ross, but later was signed on as contemporary Christian station WREQ. For a brief time, WMKB-FM simulcast the WEHH-AM signal. Ross formally sold WEHH to Pembrook Pines in 1999, after which it went dark for several months.

It returned to the air in 2000 24/7 with reduced nighttime power, directional at 1600 kHz, and a satellite-delivered adult standards format. The station, whose format has since evolved to a broader "variety" format, now uses three towers off Lake Street in Elmira. A simulcast of one watt ERP was recently reinstated 24/7 at 93.9 mHZ. The call sign of the FM station not stated on-air or on the webpage is W230BB. The webstream player identifies the stream as WEHH AM & FM.

Since September 2013, WEHH has simulcast on WGGO and WOEN, two sister stations in Cattaraugus County.

WEHH is one of a handful of broadcast stations in the country to carry a dual city of license. The station is licensed to both Elmira Heights and Horseheads.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°07′11″N 76°48′37″W / 42.11972°N 76.81028°W / 42.11972; -76.81028