|City of license||Little Valley, New York|
|Broadcast area||Western Twin Tiers|
|Branding||Classic Hits 105.9 WGWE|
|Slogan||"The Greatest Hits of All Time"|
|First air date||February 1, 2010|
|Format||Full service/Classic Hits|
|Callsign meaning||"Gwe" translates to "What's up?" in the Seneca language|
|Affiliations||Classic Hits Radio|
|Owner||Seneca Nation of Indians
(Seneca Broadcasting LLC)
WGWE is an FM radio station licensed to Little Valley, New York. The station, with a tower atop Fourth Street in the village of Little Valley, broadcasts a loosely defined classic hits format on 105.9 MHz and operates under the ownership of the Seneca Nation of Indians; the Seneca nation purchased WGWE's construction permit from Randy Michaels in early 2009. Originally a locally-originated automated station for its first several months, the station began broadcasting what is now Cumulus Media Networks' Classic Hits Radio satellite format in late June 2010 in all shifts except weekday mornings and noon. Mike "Smitty" Smith, former disc jockey at WPIG and member of the Salamanca City Council, is the station manager, hosting the morning drive time show and noon call-in request hours from studios inside the former Uni-Mart in Salamanca. Additional local hosts were added several months later; as of 2014, the on-air lineup includes "Wake Up Next to Smitty" in morning drive time, the midday "Classic Commotion with J.B.", the Smitty-hosted "All Request Classic Lunch," Ace Boogie with "Guaranteed Classic Afternoons," and fill-in hosts Bigg Monte, "Double-D" Danny Dare, and Austin Hill.
Casey Hill and Jesse Garon, both of whom had previously worked with Smitty at WPIG, also held shifts at WGWE for several years before leaving the radio industry.
Local high school and youth athletics, St. Bonaventure Bonnies women's basketball postseason games, Salamanca Merchants recreational baseball, and Buffalo Bandits lacrosse are carried on the station as well; the station also carried Southern Tier Diesel football during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. National Native News is heard twice during the day. The station does not employ any professional weather services, instead taking public domain forecasts from the National Weather Service.
The station's playlist can be described as full-service and features a mix of oldies ranging from the 1950s through 1980s, some limited 1990s material, classic rock, native music, big band and easy listening instrumentals, soul music, blues and classic country. WGWE's in-house music library includes an eclectic collection of traditional singles alongside album cuts, live performances, and extended mixes. One song that stands out on the station's playlist is "As Long as the Grass Shall Grow," a song performed by Johnny Cash and written by Peter La Farge and Bob Dylan about the construction of the Kinzua Dam; it was the first song played upon the station's sign-on and is played every Friday at noon. A half-hour on each Saturday morning is devoted to traditional Seneca music, which is also heard in the station's bumpers and station identifications instead of traditional radio jingles. It is paired with "Weekend Chat," the station's public affairs program. In November 2010, the station added the weekly hourlong series "Soul to Soul," hosted by The Blues Hounds, an all-Seneca blues band from the Cattaraugus Reservation; the show ran until 2013.
The station is operated independently of the Seneca government, however it does advocate Seneca views through public service announcements, outlining the Senecas' position on items of interest such as the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act and New York's continuing taxation efforts on cigarettes, both of which the Seneca government opposes. The station is owned by Seneca Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Seneca Holdings, which is wholly owned by the Seneca Nation. Dave Kimelberg, an enrolled citizen of the Seneca Nation, leads Seneca Holdings as its CEO to diversify the Seneca Nation's economy through various companies. He was instrumental in forming and implementing WGWE.
WGWE is the official broadcast partner for the Native American Music Awards.
The station's mascot is "Rocky the Rockin' Raccoon," a play on the Beatles song of a similar name.
- WGWE official Web site
- WGWE Classic Hits on Facebook
- Salamanca Press article on station's launch
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WGWE
- Radio-Locator information on WGWE
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WGWE