|City of license||Salamanca, New York|
|Broadcast area||Olean, New York|
|First air date||October 15, 1988 (as WQRT)|
|Callsign meaning||We're Q Rock Salamanca (former format)|
|Former callsigns||WQRT (1988-2006)|
|Owner||Bettina Finn, William and Paige Christian
(Sound Communications, LLC)
|Sister stations||WMXO, WOEN, WGGO|
The station signed on October 15, 1988 It signed on as WQRT, and its slogan was "Great 98 Country." They played country music, and they played many more traditional country songs. They served the Salamanca, Bradford, and Olean markets. IT was the top rated station since there were not many country stations. 95.7 in Olean switched to modern country, and switched its call letters to WPIG. WQRT continued to play country with many old country songs. The station was owned by Gary Livingston.
At this point the station rebranded as 98 Rocks, under the ownership of Michael Washington until the year 2006, when Washington sold the station to Pembrook Pines Media Group. The intention was to split WQRT into two stations, WQRS (Q Rock Salamanca) and WQRW (Q Rock Wellsville). However, when the station's only local jock, Scott Douglas, was let go by the company in 2007, those plans were dropped. The WQRW station was still built, but now airs a Hot Adult Contemporary format instead.
The loss of Douglas, and the lack of a local replacement, hurt the station badly, resulting from the station losing over half of its market share, from third-place in the mid-2000s to tenth in the most recent books. Between January and March 2009, Michael Hamm hosted a live morning show at the station, but left for WDOE in Dunkirk, NY after his short stint. Hamm is now hosting evenings on country giant WPIG in Olean. WQRS primarily broadcast programming from Dial Global's "Classic Rock" (and before that, The Classic Rock Experience from ABC) and also carried the syndicated Nights with Alice Cooper program.
In September 2010, WQRS quietly ended its classic rock format and switched to an all-satellite country music format. WQRS competes with WBYB, WDDH and market leader WPIG for the country music audience. During its time as a country outlet WQRS was the local affiliate for the Colgate Country Showdown; WPIG took over that distinction in 2014. WQRS affiliated with the New York Yankees Radio Network in 2011.
On October 2, 2013 WQRS changed their format back to classic rock and returned to the "98 Rocks" brand. The current format is locally originated (but automated) and features a broader, album-oriented playlist, programmed by Roxanne Stuart who also hosts the morning show. In late September 2014, Sound Communication became the owner of WQRS, with a few changes, the main being budget cuts, shifting Roxanne Stuart out of programming position, keeping Stuart's basic format and Stuart continuing to helm the "Most Music" morning show with new PD Chris Russell in afternoons. Russell is Cluster PD of Sound Communications in the Twin Tiers area.
- Report from The Villager of Ellicottville in September 2006.
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WQRS
- Radio-Locator information on WQRS
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WQRS