|City of license||Sag Harbor, New York|
|Broadcast area||The Hamptons
Eastern Long Island
|Branding||WLNG 92.1 FM
Radio Eastern Long Island
|Slogan||The Oldies Station|
|First air date||August 13, 1963|
|HAAT||106 meters (348 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||W LoNG Island|
|Former callsigns||WLNG-FM (1969-2000)|
|Affiliations||NBC News Radio|
|Owner||Gary Sapine, Rebecca Johnson, and Raymond A. Nelson, Trustees|
WLNG (92.1 FM) is an oldies formatted, full-service broadcast radio station licensed to Sag Harbor, New York, serving The Hamptons and Eastern Long Island. WLNG is owned and operated by Gary Sapine, Rebecca Johnson, and Raymond A. Nelson, Trustees.
Programming and history
WLNG started on AM at 1600 kHz. In 1996 the 1600 frequency was sold to WWRL so that they could increase the power of their station which was on the same frequency closer to New York City. WLNG has been broadcasting on FM since 1969. Its FM transmitter is located on a hill in Noyack, New York which disc jockeys call "Mount Sidney" after longtime station president Paul Sidney (1940–2009). The station's call letters come from Long Island. It transmitted in monaural until January 20, 2011, a rarity on the FM band which is mostly stereo.
WLNG has earned a reputation as a throwback to an earlier era with its frequent use of jingles, reverb, frequent remote broadcasts at local events, and personality disc jockeys. In 1998, on the occasion of the station's 35th anniversary on the air, and president Paul Sidney's 34th year there, he stated "The key to staying around for 35 years is pretty simple: Be local, in news, sound and music."
The station's target market is the Hamptons and Eastern Long Island, though the station has been noted as being heard "from Mastic to Montauk; the signal even reaches parts of Rhode Island and Connecticut." According to Sidney and local business people, the station built good relationships with local establishments, and as of 2004 was producing 250 remote broadcasts per year from community locales, events and businesses.
The station is noted for its use of numerous jingles (many from the original PAMS jingle library), which are often aired back-to-back. Paul Sidney, who was with the station since the year following its start in 1963, started the jingle practice. As the use of jingles declined in the 1970s, Sidney "became obsessed with them" and collected over 2000. As he put it in a New Yorker magazine "Talk of the Town" article in 2002, "We're the only station that when we say 'Here comes fourteen in a row' we're not talking about records."
WLNG was one of the first radio stations in the country to focus on playing oldies, and identified itself as "The Oldies Station" beginning in the early 1960s despite a consultant's warning. While the station included current hits in rotation for decades and even as recently as 1999, today its playlist is almost all oldies.
As of 1988, WLNG competed with 22 other stations in its market. In 2005 Edison Research wrote about WLNG's standing in the area:
- "...one of the oddest success stories of recent months: WLNG Eastern Long Island, N.Y., whose broad playlist, retro jingles, and endless remotes have made it a radio junkie’s favorite for years. Then the market got its first ratings, and suddenly WLNG was No. 3 12-plus - an individually owned station hanging in when the groups were pulling out, or at least getting nervous."
In 1995, the station began leasing transmission tower space to Connecticut-based classical and NPR-affiliate WSHU-FM, during a period of increasing competition for listeners in specific demographics. At the time, the station was described by a competitor (WEHM), as probably generating "the most sales in the region", and Sidney stated that "banks regarded WLNG as the most successful station on the East End."
News and sports
WLNG's local news coverage, according to the station's vice president in 2007, is considered the best by many locals and is famous for being the definitive source "with close to a 90% share" for weather information during major storms. On July 17, 1996, the station was broadcasting a live remote from Jamesport, New York when TWA Flight 800 crashed into the nearby Atlantic Ocean, and states that it was the first to break news of the event.
In 2007, the station became affiliated with ESPN 1050, for local broadcast of ESPN sports radio, but was not without some coverage difficulties, according to Newsday. The station is affiliated with NBC Radio for national news.
Before the 2011 Hurricane Irene, WLNG was listed as the "reliable resource for the latest on the hurricane's progess." by Rep. Timothy Bishop, (D. NY), and was the designated broadcast information source.
During Hurricane Sandy in 2012 WLNG continued broadcasting and streaming online on generator power, using flashlights, as the storm surge rose to "ankle deep" in the studio. When a "burning" smell was detected, the station finally went off air "from 8 p.m. on Monday night until 3 a.m Tuesday morning" when the water subsided. After the storm, WLNG helped coordinate relief supplies and vehicles with local police.
The station has allowed guest hosts on air, if their airtime was sponsored. In 1987, a pair of (sponsored) 5th grade students broadcast for three hours, during which "all did not go well", catching the attention of New York Times "Long Island Journal Desk" columnist Diane Ketchum.
- In 1993, WLNG won a National Association of Broadcasters Crystal Radio Award "for excellence in community service."
- In 2007, Paul Sidney was inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.
- "Call Sign History". CDBS Public Access Database. FCC Media Bureau. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- "Paul Sidney of WLNG Dies at 69". Hamptons Online. April 3, 2009.
- "WLNG FM Goes Stereo". WLNG Radio. Facebook.com. January 20, 2011.
"WLNG Stereo 92.1 FM". WLNG92. YouTube.com. January 23, 2011. Retrieved 2013-04-26.
Erickson, Mike (September 16, 2011). "WLNG: That SOUND!" (Press release). Wheatstone Audio Processing. Retrieved 2013-04-26.
- "RADIO; WLNG Found Its Style, And Is Sticking With It". New York Times. October 3, 2004.
- Hinckley, David (August 22, 1998). "At Deejay-oriented WLNG, Mike Still Makes Right". New York Daily News. p. 63. Retrieved 2013-04-26.
- "Who We Are". WLNG.com. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
- "NYS Broadcasters Association to Welcome WLNG's Sidney into 2007 Hall of Fame". readmedia.com. May 30, 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved September 10, 2011.
- Green, Adam (July 22, 2002). "East End Oldie" The New Yorker.
- Ketcham, Diane (December 25, 1988). "Radio Redux: Frequencies Are in Demand". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- Ross, Sean; Silvia, Laura. ed. (January 24, 2005). "Don’t Drop Oldies Before You’ve Read This". Edison Research. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- Spiegel, Meryl (May 26, 1996). "Out East, Fierce Rivalry On Radio Dial". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- Fisher, Marc (2007). Something in the Air: Radio, Rock, and the Revolution That Shaped a Generation. Random House. p. 321.
- "NYS Broadcasters Association to Welcome WLNG's Sidney into 2007 Hall of Fame". readMedia, Inc. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- Best, Neil (November 3, 2007). "Sportswatch: Radio daze: 'Jagr shoots . . . and scoresssssss'". Newsday. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- Bishop, Timothy H. (August 26, 2011). "Hurricane Irene Resources" (Press release). US Fed News Service, Including US State News. Archived from the original on August 26, 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- Sherman, Joanne (August 24, 2011). "Midweek forecast puts East End in storm path, Irene takes aim at the Northeast". Shelter Island Reporter. Times Review Newsgroup. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- Watson, Dawn (November 6, 2012). "No Power, No Problem For Local Radio". East Hampton Press & Southampton Press. Retrieved 2012-12-06
- Salvi, Carrie Ann (November 8, 2012). "Many Relief Efforts For Sandy Victims". East Hampton Star. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- Ketcham, Diane (March 22, 1987). "Long Island Journal Desk". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- "Past Award Winners - 1993". National Association of Broadcasters. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- "Hall of Fame 2007 Inductees - Paul Sidney". New York State Broadcasters Association. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- R. B. Stuart, "Broadcasting to a Little Piece of the World," Hamptons.com
- WLNG Radio Tribute Page — a tribute to WLNG AM & FM
- WLNG 92
.1 FM Online
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WLNG
- Radio-Locator information on WLNG
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WLNG
- WLNG's channel on YouTube