|New York City|
|City of license||New York, New York|
|Channels||Analog: 6 (VHF)
Digital: 49 (UHF) (application)
|Owner||NY Spectrum Holdings Company
(NY Broadband LLC.)
|Founded||July 2, 1987|
|Call letters' meaning||W New York Z|
|Former callsigns||W33BS (1998-2003)|
|Former channel number(s)||33 (1998-2003)|
|Former affiliations||Pulse 87 (2008-2009)
|Transmitter power||3.0 kW(Analog)
WNYZ is a low-power television station licensed to New York City, owned by the Island Broadcasting Company. WNYZ's television signal broadcasts in analog on VHF channel 6 and later, digital channel 6 with a virtual channel of 1.1.
During most of its life, the station has been operated more as a radio station than a television station; though WNYZ-LP broadcasts video, it is usually silent movies that are repeated throughout the day, and only to fulfill the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requirement that some sort of video be broadcast on the frequency. Since the digital transition, WNYZ broadcast color bars, a legal ID, and a message telling viewers to listen to 87.7 MHz, the audio of the digital channel. It is the last remaining analog television station in New York City.
WNYZ was founded in 1987 but, it signed on in 1998 as W33BS (on channel 33), but moved to channel 6 in 2003. Rev. Dr. Carrie L. Thomas the original owner sold the entire station to Island Brocasting Company after its move to channel 6. After the transition it was since license to New York City thus dropping its religious format. It has, since moving to channel 6, effectively operated as an FM radio station ever since; the New York FM radio dial is significantly crowded, and had not added a station to the FM band since 1985, effectively necessitating the rather crude extension of the FM band.
The call signs changed to WNYZ in 2003 and moved to its current channel 6 making it the seventh station to be added to VHF dial next to WBQM-LP. WNYZ was originally Russian Top 40 (Radio Vsyo - Russian for "Radio Everything"), but late in 2007, it was announced that it would be changing to a Dance-intensive Rhythmic Top 40 format as "Pulse 87". After several delays, the station flipped to the new format on February 11, 2008 at Midnight.
Joel Salkowitz, the station's program director and a former employee of WQHT during their early days told the online website All Access about Pulse 87's musical direction: "The station is a Top 40/Rhythmic, leaning away from Rock and Rap and more towards Club and Dance sounds in their place. Familiar, rhythmic hits mixed with the very best new music. This is a current/recurrent-based radio station." The station's format, which features more cutting-edge dance music, is unique in New York City as WKTU currently plays a more classic Rhythmic Adult Contemporary dance format. The format is also rarely seen in the US as only a handful of stations carry this format in America." Its transmitter is on top of the Citicorp Building in Long Island City, Queens, and Pulse 87.7 IDs alluded to it as "that big blue building in Queens".
The station's audio signal reached the five boroughs, Nassau and Western Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland and Northeastern New Jersey. Before June 12, 2009, the signal of ABC's WPVI-TV Channel 6 in Philadelphia made WNYZ-LP unavailable in most of central and parts of Northern New Jersey; WRGB Channel 6 in Albany also had similar effects in parts of the Hudson Valley in New York. After the transition to digital TV on June 12, 2009, reception of WNYZ improved in Central New Jersey and the Hudson Valley. However, it continues to impact reception of WPVI and WRGB's digital signals in these areas because they stayed on the channel 6 frequency.
On March 10, 2008 the station made a deal with Arbitron that will allow the station to be rated in its PPMs, but because it is a television station, WNYZ could not be rated in the official Arbitron radio books for the New York Metropolitan market. On March 31, 2009 it was announced that, according to a Mega Media press release, "due to the recent policy change at Arbitron, effective April 1, 2009 Pulse 87 will now be included and measured under the standard PPM Radio Ratings report effective April 2009 survey period." Pulse 87 was later added to the Rhythmic and Dance panels at Mediabase, while Billboard/Nielsen BDS had the station monitored as a reporter on the Dance/Mix Show Airplay panel.
Pulse 87 has been relaunched as an Internet station at http://www.pulse87ny.com/ ;the station is operated by Salkowitz, who purchased the Pulse 87 automation equipment and the intellectual property in a bankruptcy auction.
Financial troubles and bankruptcy
Mega Media had been in serious financial trouble long before it launched Pulse 87. This came to a head on August 12, 2009 when Mega Media filed for bankruptcy, reporting $3.5 million in liabilities against assets of just $180,000. Mega says it hopes to continue operating Pulse while it restructures under Chapter 11.
On October 30, 2009 the current lease between the Mega Media Group and Island Broadcasting ended because Island Broadcasting did not receive the $500,000 it was owed according to the Stipulation and Order regarding the Time Brokerage Agreement. Island Broadcasting was under no obligation to continue allowing Pulse 87 use their signal without payment for the lease. However, there was a tentative deal in place for a new company to buy out Mega Media and pay off the debt owed to Island Broadcasting. The new company planned to continue the dance format but nothing ever came to fruition. The WNYZ-LP license was offered for sale by Island Broadcasting for $15 million. Pulse 87 went off the air on October 30, 2009 at 5 PM.
Former Pulse 87 on-air staff
Party 105 takeover
A new format for WNYZ was announced on November 2, 2009, at 6 am. JVC Broadcasting's WPTY "Party 105" took over the 87.7 frequency. The same programming Party 105 in Suffolk County was heard on 87.7, but the music was not the same that the Pulse 87 audience had grown accustomed to. It was a hip-hop based format, with some dance music, but mostly nostalgic 1980s and 1990s rhythmic hits and current R&B and hip-hop. The studios and programming remained on Long Island as WNYZ served as a simulcast to WPTY. Pulse 87's audience, which had grown to over 1 million listeners per week before they went off the air, eventually stopped tuning into this new format, and the inability of many potential listeners in the New York area to tune into the 87.7 signal made the simulcast unprofitable for JVC Broadcasting. On January 21, 2010, WPTY stopped simulcasting on WNYZ. Island Broadcasting let the signal go silent for one day and then began playing dance music for two hours the next morning. Due to a non-compete agreement, Island Broadcasting was not allowed to broadcast the dance music. Later in the day, a filler format of Jazz and Blues standards with station identification aired until January 27, 2010.
Indie Darkroom and Russian Radio
On March 21, 2010, the station announced that The Indie Darkroom would soon be relegated to the overnight hours on weekends. During other hours of Saturdays and Sundays, the station becomes CaribStar 87.7FM (Sat/Sun 6am-midnight). Although a number of stations offer brokered programming for New York's estimated 1.5 million English/French Caribbean nationals,(including a number of illegally operated stations in Bronx and Brooklyn), CaribStar represents the most significant effort to develop programing for this consumer market.
On May 2, 2010, the station began airing Hindi-language programming on Sunday mornings.
Accidental license cancellation
On June 29, 2011, the FCC cancelled the license of WNYZ-LP and deleted its call sign; the station had filed an extension for its Construction Permit (CP) for its digital facilities, after the original CP had expired. According to FCC regulations, a CP extension could only be filed only if the current CP is still valid. According to Scott Fybush, the cancellation was eventually undone due to the cancellation being a mistake on the FCC's part; the FCC meant to only deny the digital CP extension, not revoke the analog one as they had mistakenly done.
- FCC letter of cancellation of WNYZ-LP, June 29, 2011.
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WNYZ-LP
- Official IndieDarkroom Radio
- Official IndieDarkroom Magazine