WPIE

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ESPN Ithaca
Image: 200 pixels
City of license Trumansburg, New York
Broadcast area Ithaca, New York
Branding ESPN Ithaca 1160/107.1
Slogan "Ithaca's Sports Radio"
Frequency 1160 (kHz)
Translator(s) 107.1 W297BI (Ithaca)
First air date 1989
Format Sports
Power 5,000 watts (daytime)
310 watts (nighttime)
Class B
Facility ID 52124
Transmitter coordinates 42°32′42″N 76°42′39″W / 42.54500°N 76.71083°W / 42.54500; -76.71083
Callsign meaning W PIE co-founder's wife was a baker
Owner Taughannock Media LLC
Webcast Listen Live
Website www.ESPNIthaca.com

WPIE signed on in 1989 as Tompkins County's third AM radio station and the Ithaca, New York market's 12th station on both radio bands. It broadcasts on 1160 kHz and 107.1 mHz. Since November 2010, it has been locally owned and operated by Taughannock Media and has been an ESPN Radio affiliate with national sports coverage, local coverage of the Cornell Big Red, Ithaca Bombers, Cortland Red Dragons, and Section IV high school sports, and regional coverage of the Syracuse Orange and New York Yankees.

History[edit]

The Federal Communications Commission licensed the station on April 16, 1986 as WJCU to Elmira, New York-area radio personality Joel Clawson and local engineer William Sitzman. Two Trumansburg businessmen also were silent partners in the venture.[citation needed]

About three months later, the FCC approved a call-letter change to WPIE, which was chosen in honor of Clawson's wife, a baker.

The station signed on in 1989, airing an easy listening format that featured music from abroad obtained by Sitzman's programming company. Some of the music was not available commercially in the United States, and gave an alternative to common pop music heard in the US. Some of the music was also from custom recording sessions.

This is an example of the original WPIE logo

The studio was in a former gasoline station in the hamlet of Jacksonville, New York, about midway between Trumansburg and Ithaca on Route 96. One of the gas station's tanks had leaked several years earlier, rendering the water at the studio unpotable.

In 1991, WPIE began airing Northeast Satellite Entertainment's adult contemporary programming at night. The station began adding limited AC songs to the regular daytime format around that time.

The station began airing Trumansburg High School football and basketball games, as well as South Seneca High School football, in 1992. Sports coverage was expanded the next year, when the Elmira-based Pembrook Pines Media Group bought the station.

The new owner brought a new format, country music, which garnered the station more listeners and advertisers.[citation needed]

The station's sports coverage also attracted listeners. The high-school sports coverage, which featured Lansing instead of South Seneca after 1993, was complemented by New York Yankees baseball, Buffalo Bills football, Motor Racing Network, and Syracuse University football and basketball. The Yankees were an immediate hit as they had not been on the air in the Ithaca market since the 1980s despite their popularity in the community.

Within a couple of years, the station moved into a new studio at its tower site, off Seneca Road in Trumansburg.

In the late 1990s, Pembrook Pines switched WPIE to an all-sports format, featuring ESPN Radio, and moved its main studio into its Elmira headquarters, which includes the studios of all-sports WELM, easy-listening WEHH, urban contemporary WLVY and country WOKN, all of which serve the Elmira-Corning market rather than Ithaca.

Originally, WPIE and WELM aired different satellite-delivered programming with the exception of major sports broadcasts. Eventually, the stations began simulcasting, splitting only for WPIE's Ithaca-area local sports broadcasts.

In 2007, the station resumed its affiliation with Syracuse University. WPIE has also aired some Ithaca College sports and Ithaca High School sports.

In August 2010, WPIE entered a joint sales agreement with Taughannock Media, owned by former WIII/WKRT manager Todd Mallinson and his wife, in anticipation of selling the station. The station dropped the Buffalo Bills in favor of the New York Jets in the fall of 2010.

In November 2010, WPIE was purchased by Taughannock Media and moved its studio and offices to a brand new facility in Lansing, NY, though the towers and transmitter remain in Trumansburg. Many improvements have been made since, including brand new state-of-the-art studio and remote broadcasting equipment and transmitter upgrades that have vastly improved the station's quality. Shortly after relocating, the station added an afternoon local sports talk show - "Between the Lines" - to its programming lineup.

In January 2011, WPIE become the flagship home of Cornell Wrestling broadcasts. In September 2011, it added local high school and college football sports talk show "Game Day Tompkins County" to its fall lineup on Saturday mornings.

WPIE broadcasts a large number of high school regular season and postseason football, soccer, basketball, hockey, baseball, and lacrosse games from high schools including Ithaca, Lansing, Trumansburg, Dryden, Groton, Newfield, and Moravia. WPIE broadcasts nearly 70 high school play-by-play broadcasts each year, and past broadcasts have included Lansing baseball's 2012 State Championship, Moravia basketball's 2013 State Semifinals, Lansing soccer's match in the 2013 New York State Championship, and Ithaca lacrosse's recent appearances in the New York State playoffs.

In November 2013, WPIE added an FM translator at 107.1 FM, in addition to 1160 AM. WPIE rebranded as ESPN Ithaca 1160/107.1.

ESPN Ithaca On-Air Lineup[edit]

6 am - 10 am: Mike & Mike
10 am - 1 pm: The Herd with Colin Cowherd
1 pm - 4 pm: SVP & Russillo
4 pm - 5 pm: Between the Lines with Jeremy Menard & Eric Silverman
5 pm - 7 pm: The Dan LeBatard Show
7 pm - 10 pm: Sedano & Stink
10 pm - 12 am: The Freddie Coleman Show
Special Play-by-Play Programming: Section IV High School, Cornell Wrestling, Syracuse Orange Football and Basketball, New York Yankees, NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA Football and Basketball

External links[edit]