|This article relies on references to primary sources. (June 2008)|
|City of license||Poughkeepsie, New York|
|Broadcast area||Hudson Valley|
|Branding||92.1 Lite FM|
|Slogan||The Best Variety of Yesterday and Today|
|First air date||June 30, 1989|
|Callsign meaning||W Richard Novick (former owner) Q (former station name)
Alternate: RockiN Easy Q-92 (original slogan)
|Former callsigns||WLMS (1985-89, not on-air)|
|Owner||Clear Channel Communications|
WRNQ (92.1 Lite FM) is an adult contemporary radio station licensed to Poughkeepsie, New York and serving the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York state. The station is owned by Clear Channel Communications and broadcasts with 520 watts ERP from the Illinois Mountain master tower in Highland, New York to which it moved in 2000. Unlike other Class A stations on that tower, WRNQ's signal is directional to protect first adjacents WXRK-FM New York City and WFLY Troy.
A variation of WRNQ's format, without the simulcast and with different jocks, is broadcast on 98.5 WCTW Catskill, New York. From March 2005 until November 2006, WRNQ's format and programming is "shadowcasted" on 99.3 WFKP Ellenville, New York which aired the same air talent as WRNQ (and simulcasted WRNQ's "Joe Daily in the Morning").
The original construction permit for what became WRNQ was awarded in December 1985, several years after the FCC amended the table of allotments to allow for the 92.1 frequency to become active in Poughkeepsie. Around 1987, the frequency was awarded to WKIP owner Richard Novick, gained the WLMS (Lite Music Station) calls and announced that the station would take on a format near-identical to that which hit the air. Due to potential ratings confusion with WLTW ("Lite FM") from New York City the call letters were replaced with WRNQ in 1989, a decision made by then-General Manager Don Verity. The difficulty obtaining a transmitter site in the market also was a problem and Novick eventually settled on a site in Lagrangeville, New York, east of Poughkeepsie, unlike most stations which broadcast on mountain peaks in Ulster County.
WRNQ, better known as "Rockin' Easy, Q-92"' hit the air on June 30, 1989 and made a splash with former WKIP morning man Van Ritshie anchoring an otherwise satellite-fed format (Unistar's "Format 41)." With no real competition in the format (WHUD was still easy listening and WKIP had changed to all-talk programming), Q-92 reached top of the ratings its first year on the air. Eventually, the station added the hugely successful "Love Songs on Q" a locally-hosted evening love songs program hosted by Pete Clark (currently at WVKR and WPDH) and later by Rick Buser, formerly of WPDH.
In 1996, Novick sold WRNQ, WKIP, and new sister station WNSX ("Modern Rock, The X 96.1") to Straus Media (owned by Eric Straus, heir to former owner of WMCA New York City) who in turn replaced the satellite-fed time periods with all-local programming, much of which came from Straus stations in Ellenville and Hudson. With this, the station picked up Delilah After Dark evenings. The pickup of Delilah, later picked up by rival WHUD, was allowed via a geoggraphic loophole (WHUD and WRNQ are technically in different markets) which also allowed the two rivals to have the same jingle package for several years.
Eric Straus decided to leave radio ownership in 2000 to start two online ventures (Regional Help Wanted and Cupid.com), selling the cluster to Clear Channel Communications. The next year, Van Ritshie retired from radio, and was replaced by Joe Daily (formerly of WBNR) in the morning slot. In 2002, WRNQ began airing Christmas music in the months before Christmas copying a programming move popular in other radio markets.
At the end of Christmas music in 2003, the station relaunched under the "LiteFM" brand of popular sister WLTW in New York City in a move of "branding unity" which also was ironic considering the station's pre-signon change done to minimize confusion with WLTW. Outside of some music refocusing and the addition of a Saturday night dance programming, no major changes were made until October 2011, when WRNQ switched to Premium Choice and Premiere Networks for content outside of Joe Daily in Morning Drive.
- 92.1 Lite FM website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WRNQ
- Radio-Locator information on WRNQ
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WRNQ