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City of license Rome, New York
Broadcast area Utica, New York
Branding Oldiez 96.1
Slogan Central New York's Greatest Hits
Frequency 96.1 MHz
First air date August 1968 (as WKAL-FM at 95.9)
Format Oldies
ERP 7,400 watts
HAAT 184 meters
Class B1
Facility ID 72068
Transmitter coordinates 43°8′39.00″N 75°10′45.00″W / 43.1441667°N 75.1791667°W / 43.1441667; -75.1791667
Callsign meaning ODZ = "Oldies"
Former callsigns WKAL-FM (1968–1984)
WTCO (1984–1986)
WKAL-FM (1986–1988)
WFRG-FM (1988–1993)
Former frequencies 95.9 MHz (1968–1988)
Owner Townsquare Media
(Townsquare Media Licensee of Utica/Rome, Inc.)
Sister stations WIBX, WLZW, WFRG-FM
Webcast Listen Live
Website 961wodz.com

WODZ-FM (96.1 FM; "Oldiez 96.1") is a radio station broadcasting an oldies format. Licensed to Rome, New York, USA, the station serves the Utica-Rome market. The station is currently owned by Townsquare Media as part of a cluster with news-talk station WIBX, hot AC-formatted WLZW (Lite 98.7), and country-formatted WFRG (Big Frog 104).


WODZ-FM signed on in August 1968[1] as WKAL-FM, owned by Maurer Broadcasting Corporation and operating at 95.9 FM. The station originally simulcast its AM sister station, WKAL (1450 AM).[2] In 1977, WKAL-FM dropped the simulcast in favor of beautiful music.[3]

Maurer Broadcasting Corporation sold WKAL AM-FM to Wooster Republican Publishing Company of Wooster, Ohio in 1980.[4] In July 1984, WKAL-FM changed its call letters to WTCO,[5] and became a country music station, "Top Country." The following year, the station, along with WKAL, was acquired by Howard Green and Donald Simmons, owner of WENY AM-TV and WLEZ in Elmira and WOND and WMGM FM-TV in Atlantic City, New Jersey.[6] The new owners reverted the station's call letters to WKAL-FM on February 10, 1986,[7] and implemented a soft adult contemporary format.[8]

Target Communications bought WKAL AM-FM from Green and Simmons in 1987;[9] soon after taking over, on February 1, 1988, the call sign was changed to WFRG-FM,[10] and the station returned to country music, this time branded "96 Frog".[11] The new format was simulcast on 1450 AM, which also took the WFRG call letters[10] (save for a short time in the early 1990s when the AM station broke away to become oldies station WZLB);[12] in addition, the station moved to its current frequency, 96.1.[13] Target Communications eventually became Arrow Communications, which went into receivership in 1992,[14] and then in November 1993, WFRG AM-FM was purchased by Forever Broadcasting, owners of WIBX and dominant market leader WLZW.[1] Forever renamed the stations WODZ and launched the current oldies format, with the country format and WFRG-FM call letters moving to 104.3 FM.[15] The simulcast on AM 1450 continued until May 1999, when that frequency was sold to the Bible Broadcasting Network and became WYFY[16] (it has since reclaimed the WKAL call sign). Forever sold its stations in the market, including WODZ-FM, to Regent Communications (the forerunner to Townsquare Media) several months later.[17]


  1. ^ a b Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1999 (PDF). 1999. p. D-311. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  2. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1969 (PDF). 1969. p. B-117. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  3. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 (PDF). 1977. p. C-146. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. August 4, 1980. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Call letters" (PDF). Broadcasting. July 9, 1984. p. 80. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 10, 1984. p. 92. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Call Sign History". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  8. ^ Broadcasting/Cablecasting Yearbook 1987 (PDF). 1987. p. B-200. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. September 21, 1987. p. 74. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "Call Letters" (PDF). Broadcasting. February 8, 1988. p. 114. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  11. ^ Herkimer, Matt. "Happy 24th Anniversary Jeremiah B. Frog! [AUDIO]". Big Frog 104. Retrieved April 16, 2012. 
  12. ^ Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1993 (PDF). 1993. p. B-250. Retrieved April 16, 2012. 
  13. ^ Broadcasting/Cablecasting Yearbook 1989 (PDF). 1989. p. B-207. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Application Search Details". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  15. ^ Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1994 (PDF). 1994. p. B-259. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  16. ^ Fybush, Scott (May 14, 1999). "CBM Leaves 940". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  17. ^ Fybush, Scott (August 6, 1999). "Sales Galore!". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved April 16, 2012. 

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