|City of license||Utica, New York|
|Broadcast area||Utica, New York|
|Slogan||Lite Favorites...Less Talk!|
|First air date||January 1, 1974 (as WIBQ)|
|Callsign meaning||W Lite and EZ Favorites W|
|Former callsigns||WIBQ (1974-1985)
(Townsquare Media Licensee of Utica/Rome, Inc.)
|Sister stations||WFRG, WIBX, WODZ|
WLZW (or Lite 98.7) is an Adult Contemporary radio station in Utica, New York. Broadcasting on 98.7 MHz, the station is owned by Townsquare Media as part of a cluster with news-talk station WIBX, country-formatted WFRG, and classic hits station WODZ.
The station signed on the air on January 1, 1974 as a sister station to WIBX and ran a beautiful music format under the call letters WIBQ. The station abruptly changed format in 1985 to classic hits as "Z 98.7" with the call letters WNYZ. After a while in the format, WNYZ next flipped to a rock-leaning Top 40 format, identifying as "New York's Z-98.7". The format began with Twisted Sister's We're Not Gonna Take It, followed by Quiet Riot's Cum On Feel the Noize. The Top 40 format could not, however, compete against powerhouse Top 40 station Power Hits Rock 107 (WRCK), and in 1989 the station again changed format. Originally the station planned to join the 'Z-Rock' satellite Heavy Metal format available at the time, but instead flipped to their current format of hot AC and current callsign WLZW, identifying as "Lite 98.7".
As Lite 98.7
Lite 98.7's calls (WLZW) and format reflects its first slogan "Lite and Easy Favorites". In its early years, Lite 98.7 competed with rival AC station and market leader KG 104 WKGW (now sister station WFRG). WLZW quickly toppled WKGW from its position, and by 1993 WKGW had flipped to classic rock as WKFM, formerly in Syracuse, New York took over the 104.3 frequency. WLZW was then the only AC station in the Utica-Rome market until the spring of 1994 when WUUU (later WRNY & WUCL, now Air 1 affiliate WARW) which switched frequencies from 93.5FM to 102.5FM with WKDY (later WSKS & WRBY, now WUMX) the previous year, flipped format from oldies to adult contemporary to become "Warm 93.5". While WUUU/WRFM was a more softer AC station, WLZW was a somewhat more upbeat station. After over 8 years of competition between the two stations, WRFM flipped format and call sign on December 26, 2002, becoming oldies station WUCL (identified as Kool 93.5) again leaving Lite 98.7 as the only AC station in the market. This lasted over a year until WRBY flipped their format to hot AC and call sign to WUMX, identifying as Mix 102.5. In order to compete with Mix 102.5, Lite 98.7 started switching to a Christmas Music format until Christmas Day on Thanksgiving Day 2009.
- J.P. Hastings
- Ivy Hamilton
- Randy J
- Morgan Daniels
- Jeanne Ashley
- Greg McShea
- Linda Ray
- Rich Lawrence
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WLZW
- Radio-Locator information on WLZW
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WLZW