|City of license||Poughkeepsie, New York|
|Broadcast area||Hudson Valley, Catskills, and Extreme Northern New Jersey|
|Slogan||The Home of Rock and Roll|
|Frequency||101.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1962 (as WEOK-FM)|
|Format||Album-oriented rock (AOR)|
|Callsign meaning||We're Poughkeepsie's Dutchess Hudson (River/Valley)|
|Former callsigns||WEOK-FM (1962-1972)|
(Townsquare Media Poughkeepsie Licenses, LLC)
|Sister stations||WALL, WCZX, WEOK, WKNY, WKXP, WPDA, WRRV, WZAD|
WPDH is an album-oriented rock (AOR) radio station licensed to Poughkeepsie, New York, and serving from extreme Northern New Jersey to New York's Hudson Valley and Catskills. The station is owned by Townsquare Media and broadcasts on 101.5 MHz at 4.4 kilowatts ERP from a tower site on Illinois Mountain in Highland, New York. Since 1976, the station has had a rock-and-roll format which has been changed several times.
Though WPDH is one of only four Class B FM stations between New York City and Albany (WSPK, WHUD, and WFGB the three others), WPDH has a satellite station, 106.1 WPDA, based in Jeffersonville, New York, which brings the signal to other areas.
WPDH signed on as WEOK-FM in 1962 as the sister to WEOK and Poughkeepsie's second FM station after WKIP-FM (today's WSPK). The main purpose of the station at the outset was to provide Muzak programming to area offices and businesses via its subcarrier; as a result the on-air programming was limited to simulcasts of the AM's middle of the road format and block programming between the AM's sign off and 10:00 p.m.
In 1972, WEOK AM and FM were sold to the Dyson family (also owners of Dyson Racing) and with the sale came key changes to the FM side. The transmitter moved from a site in Milton (now used by WVKR) to the current Illinois Mountain site, upgrading to a full Class B and adding stereo capabilities in the process, and at the end of these upgrades relaunched as country music formatted WPDH. At the time, this format was largely unproven and given the newness of FM at the time struggled to the point of being beaten by New York City signal WHN after that station flipped to country. At this time, the hole for an album-oriented rock (AOR) station in the Hudson Valley (where WPLJ and WNEW-FM were had multiples of WPDH's ratings with marginal signals) was seen and in 1976 WPDH abandoned country for rock which lasts to this day.
In its three decades in rock radio, there have been several variations of WPDH's format. At the outset, it was a very progressive rock station for the period and the occasional jazz track. That format evolved through the 1980s as the station slowly tightened its focus. The splintering of rock in the 1980s and early 1990s had varying effects on WPDH, they were quick to integrate heavy metal into the playlist as well as early alternative music alternative rock and European imports. Nevertheless, the station remained successful and was a solid #1 in the market in the early 1980s, and by the 1990s was alternating the #1 spot in the market with WSPK though the station's reluctance to incorporate much alternative into the playlist had an effect on its future.
In 1994, WPDH owners Crystal Radio Group (the Dyson family spinoff headed by now-family head Rob Dyson) purchased Middletown-based WKOJ and WALL from Orange & Rockland Utilities. With this purchase came an opportunity to both solve the new rock dilemma and to strengthen WPDH by taking out its only direct competition. WPDH spent the latter part of 1994 and early 1995 evolving to Classic rock while WKOJ flipped to alternative WRRV in April 1995.
WPDH's ratings went through some instability in the early years as classic rock, however being with no competition they became the regular #2 to WSPK's #1 by the turn of the 21st Century. It was at this time, amid consolidation, in which Rob Dyson sold the Crystal Radio Group to Aurora Communications in 2001 which, in turn was bought out by Cumulus Media in 2002. Amid an extended drop in ratings, WPDH was relaunched as a mainstream rock station over Labor Day Weekend 2003. Gary Cee, formerly of WLIR, was hired as Program Director, and the station stabilized at the top of the ratings in both Dutchess and Orange counties.
On August 30, 2013, a deal was announced in which Cumulus would swap its stations in Dubuque, Iowa and Poughkeepsie (including WPDH) to Townsquare Media in exchange for Peak Broadcasting's Fresno, California stations. The deal is part of Cumulus' acquisition of Dial Global; Townsquare, Peak, and Dial Global are all controlled by Oaktree Capital Management. The sale to Townsquare was completed on November 14, 2013.
Current air staff as of 2014
- Andrew Boris & Robyn Taylor (The Boris & Robyn Morning Show) (mornings 6-10am)
- Hopkins (middays 10am-2pm)
- Tigman (afternoons 2pm-7pm)
- Billy "The Biker" Dunn (nights 7pm-midnight)
- Elizabeth "Liz" Foxx (Saturday midday)
- Jackson "Jack" George (Saturday afternoon)
- Peter "Pete" Clark (Sunday 10am-2pm)
Past DJs (aka the WPDH Airforce)
||This article is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (February 2013)|
- Mark "Coop" Cooper (Host of Coop and Tobin, and many more) he was a great radio host that made the whole Hudson valley laugh. Coop died of a stroke in August of 2013 and the Hudson valley misses hearing "Hey baby, this is coop!" Every weekday morning.
- Timmy Massie (Morning news anchor 1980--1984)
- John Tobin
- John Mulrooney
- Brian Jones (news director and morning/afternoon news anchor, 2000-2008; now news director at WHUD, WBPM, WLNA, WGHQ, WBNR and WSPK)
- Gary Cee (former Program Director, now Program Director and afternoon host on WNNJ, as well as Director of Operations of Clear Channel TriState Radio in Sussex, New Jersey and midday host on Rock 93.3 (WBWZ)
- Ron Rizzi (former Program Director)
- Ron Nenni (later of WPYX)
- Mike Harris (became General Manager of WEOK/WPDH)
- Kenny Gonyea (later of WRWD-FM)
- Kevin Belcastro (later of WPYX, now PD at Southern Broadcasting Stations in GA)
- Stewart "Stew" Schantz (later of WSPK, later WSKS and then WUPE-FM, deceased June 11, 2010.)
- Rick Buser (former Music Director, later of WEXT, WBPM, WRNQ, WKZE-FM, and now with Fox News Radio)
- Pamela Brooks (now on WRKI, I-95 in Danbury, CT)
- Matthew Walsh (later of WKLS, CNN Headline News, CNN International)
- John Steffanci (later of WKIP)
- 'Bubbles' (morning show sidekick with Schantz/Stefanci and Sussman/Stefanci)
- Joseph "Joe" Sussman (later Program Director Q-104/WQBK Albany and WPYX)
- Wolf (later of WPYX)
- Kevin Karlson
- Pete McKenzie
- Heather Ford
- Steve Frankenberry (now Program Director on WCZX)
- Bill Palmeri (longtime Program Director, Operations Manager and General Manager), also launched WRRV/RRB as GM with Greg O'Brien PD and Boris MD. Now General Manager for Citadel Broadcasting in Scranton Wilkes-Barre radio Market))
- Greg O'Brien (former Program Director of both WPDH and WRRV. though not simultaneously, and before that, WPDH Music Director)
- Susan Browning (evenings- also at WNEW, WDRE, WYNY, WFAS, Metro Networks)
- Clayton "The Rock and Roll Rebel" Trag later of Q-104/WQBK Albany, Gone but never forgotten 1993.
- Michael "Mad Mike" Colvin (Producer of, and voice actor on, several WPDH morning programs Most Notably: "Wakin' Up with the Wolf", "Cooper & Zolz", and "Cooper & Tobin", Voice characters included "40's Man", "Cognac the Magnificent", "Guy", and parodies of various sports announcers voices.)
- Rockin' Steve
- Rick Zolzer
- Bobby Carmody
- Erica Pierson (later WLNY-TV; now on-air at WLVG)
- Shelli Sexton
- Jeffrey Jensen - currently a traffic reporter on News 12 Long Island
- Bill "The Moranimal" Moran (now producer of the Brother Wease show)
- "Dirty Ernie"
- Daniel "The Doctor" Giannascoli - now "Sergeant Dan" on Thunder 106
- Richie Coelho
- Greg Gattine (former Program Director, now on WDST in Woodstock, NY)
- Brandon Terry
- Scotty "On The Air" Perry Voted Best Radio Disc Jockey In Hudson Valley & Best Disc Jockey Website in 2007s Best Of In The Time's Herald Record
- Justin Foy (now on WDST in Woodstock, NY)
- Jay Burstein
- "The Candyman" Scott Carlin (onetime Promotions Director, later Program Director then Operations Manager)
- Jim Hansen (aka Steve Clark on WCZX) - died suddenly after his first full-time air shift on WCZX, in 1994
- Chris Donahue (aka Marty Allen on WCZX)
- "Tommy Potatoes"
- Eric Hopkins (now on WRRV)
- Amy Salerno (now a traffic reporter for WCBS-AM in New York City)
- Steven Colvin (Also part time on WRRV 92.3 & 96.9 late-nights)
- Anthony (aka Tony) DeBarros (now an editor at USA TODAY)
- Brando (now Producer/Mornings on 103.9 LI News Radio
- Greg Deichler
- Patty Rosborough
- Mike Breen, sportcaster, began his career on WPDH/WEOK around 1982-83, reading the news in the morning. Later, news/sports sidekick for Imus in the morning on NBC, play-by-play commentator for the NBA on ABC and the lead commentator for New York Knicks games on the MSG network. He also works NBA games for ESPN, and was formerly a play-by-play announcer for New York Giants preseason games, as well as for regular season NFL games on both Fox and NBC.
- Jason Barrett, former program director of WPEN in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, began his career hosting the wrestling show "No Holds Barred" on Sunday nights.
- Freddie Coleman, now of GameNight on ESPN Radio, entered radio at WPDH as music director and overnight host, later working at sister station WCZX.
- Jay Reynolds, ESPN Radio; spent time at WPDH as news anchor & news director (1992-1998).
- Karlson and McKenzie of WZLX in Boston, Massachusetts spent time at WPDH before returning to Boston.
- Bob "The Wolf" Wohlfeld, longtime morning host.
- Dead Air Dave started his on-air career at WPDH, years before becoming a personality on 92.3 K-Rock New York and later adding dump button duties for The Howard Stern Show.
- Roger Clark (The Rajah) did fill-in newscasts on WPDH. He is now a reporter and fill-in anchor for New York One News in New York City.
- Loscalzo from WNYU started his pro career at WPDH and went onto WRCN, WDRE and WXRK. He's now at MTV.
Cumulus Broadcasting began upgrading its stations to HD Radio broadcasting in 2005. One of the first ten stations to be upgraded was WPDH.
- "WPDH Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- Barry, John. "After 17 years Andrew Boris will host final morning show". Poughkeepsie Journal. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Official: Cumulus Buys Dial Global, Spins Some Stations To Townsquare; Peak Stations Sold To Townsquare, Fresno Spun To Cumulus". All Access. August 30, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
- "Cumulus Makes Dial Global And Townsquare Deals Official". RadioInsight. August 30, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
- "Cumulus-Townsquare-Peak Deal Closes". All Access. November 15, 2013. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- "CNYRadio.com". Former Clear Channel Utica OM Stew Schantz Dies; June 11, 2010.
- Harnett, Mary Beth (2006-04-24). "Harris Corporation Announces Multi-Deal Agreement as Exclusive HD Radio(TM) Supplier to Cumulus Broadcasting". EE Times.
- WPDH official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WPDH
- Radio-Locator information on WPDH
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WPDH