WGY-FM

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WGY-FM
WGY News Radio logo.png
City of license Albany, New York
Broadcast area Primary: Capital District, Upper Hudson Valley
Secondary: Mid-Hudson Region, Lower Adirondack Region, Berkshires
Branding News Talk 810/103.1 WGY
Frequency 103.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)
103.1-2 MHz Simulcast of WOFX (HD Radio)
First air date 1966 (as WHRL)
Format News/Talk
ERP 5,600 watts
HAAT 103 meters
Class A
Facility ID 55490
Callsign meaning WGY-FM (FM simulcast of WGY 810)
Former callsigns WHRL (1966–2010)
Owner Clear Channel Communications
Sister stations WGY, WRVE, WPYX, WTRY-FM, WKKF, WOFX
Webcast Listen Live
Website wgy.com

WGY-FM is a news-talk radio station licensed to Albany, New York that broadcasts at 103.1 FM; the station broadcasts 24 hours a day at 5,600 watts ERP from a non-directional antenna in North Greenbush, New York located near U.S. Route 4. The station, owned by Clear Channel Communications, serves the New York's Capital District and surrounding areas, including the upper Hudson Valley.

WGY-FM's signal can be heard as far away as Hudson and Catskill to the south, Pittsfield and North Adams to the east, Warrensburg and Glens Falls to the north, and Amsterdam and Cobleskill to the west.

History[edit]

Easy Listening/Smooth Jazz 103.1[edit]

WGY-FM first signed on in 1966 with an easy listening format under the moniker Whirl and the call letters WHRL. The easy listening format lasted in some form or another for much of the next two decades, evolving to a Soft Adult Contemporary approach in 1987. In 1988, the station flipped to a New Age/Jazz format, and became known as "Easy 103.1" and "The Breeze". By 1993, the station had morphed into a more mainstream "Smooth Jazz" format, that had become common at that time.

Channel 103-1[edit]

After Clear Channel purchased Dame Media in 1999, WHRL's future became cloudy and rumors of a format change circulated. The smooth jazz format eventually gave way to the modern rock-formatted Channel 103.1, on October 2, 1999 two weeks after former sister station WQBK-FM (now owned by Townsquare Media) flipped from modern rock to active rock; the first song played by Channel 103-1 was "Driven to Tears" by The Police. Slogans used by the station included "Albany's New Music Alternative", "Albany's New Rock Alternative", and eventually "Where You Rock" during its active rock format.

In 2009, WHRL adopted Clear Channel's Premium Choice active rock format, becoming musically identical outside of morning drive to sister stations KBRU in Oklahoma City and KIOC in Beaumont. WHRL became the third active rock station in the Albany market in addition to competitors WZMR and WQBK-FM. During this period, the Albany market had the highest number of active rock stations for an American radio market, until WZMR flipped to country on February 26, 2010.

However, when WHRL flipped to active rock in 2009, the Clear Channel-Regent non-compete, which was previously used when WBZZ flipped from Hot AC to AC, continued (WQBK-FM is active rock) and led to the eventual flip to a talk radio simulcast of WGY. Prior to the 2009 active rock shift, WHRL had been reporting as active rock on Mediabase since 2008, although Mediabase is owned by the station's parent company, Clear Channel Communications.

Throughout its history as a rock format, the station was known for playing many alternative, punk, goth, emo, and metal bands and artists from about 1990 to the present, including Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, Korn, Linkin Park, Slipknot, and Atreyu. The station also held concerts known as the Channel 103-1 Big Day Out every summer until 2010, featuring modern and active rock artists.

WGY-FM[edit]

At 12:01 AM on September 20, 2010, after the song "New Divide" by Linkin Park, WHRL dropped its active rock format to simulcast sister station WGY, which runs a news-talk format; in addition, the station changed its call letters to the current WGY-FM.

With WHRL switching from modern rock to active rock in 2009, only to drop it in favour of the WGY simulcast one year later, this leaves WEQX as the only modern rock radio station remaining in the Albany market. Despite being a rimshot station, WEQX is reported by Mediabase and Nielsen BDS as an Albany station.

As of September 24, 2010, Channel 103.1's former website redirects to the WPYX (PYX 106.5) website.

HD Radio operations[edit]

In 2005, WHRL upgraded to IBOC digital radio alongside the rest of Clear Channel's Albany stations. On August 17, 2006, WHRL began airing an HD2 channel with a "Classic Alternative" format. With WHRL dumping active rock for a WGY simulcast, the station's HD2 signal was changed from the classic alternative format to a simulcast of WOFX (Fox Sports 980) the same day.

Logos[edit]

External links[edit]