|City of license||Rochester, New York|
|Broadcast area||Rochester and vicinity|
|Slogan||The Sports Leader|
|Translator(s)||95.7 W239BF (Rochester)|
|First air date||1947 (as WARC)|
|Callsign meaning||ROChester or referring to WROC-TV|
|Former callsigns||WARC (1947–1953)
WBBF (1953–1998, 2000–2002)
Sabres Hockey Network
Buffalo Bills Radio Network
(Entercom Rochester License, LLC)
|Sister stations||WBEE, WBZA, WCMF, WPXY|
WROC is an AM radio station licensed to Rochester, New York. On September 2, 2008, WROC changed from an Air America affiliate to an ESPN affiliate. The format is closely affiliated with Buffalo sister station WGR, and carries Buffalo Sabres games, ESPN Radio, and beginning late 2012, Buffalo Bills games. The station's studios are located at High Falls Studios downtown, and its transmitter tower is on Rochester's southside near the I-390/I-590 freeway interchange. The station also airs on 95.7 FM as ESPN Rochester.
The station's call sign is a reference to WROC-TV; while the stations are not and have never been co-owned, WROC-AM has an agreement with WROC-TV to provide local news coverage, and the borrowing of the WROC call signs from WROC-TV is included in this agreement. (The WROC-AM call signs were previously held at 1280 kHz, now WHTK, which was originally co-owned with WROC-TV.)
WROC-AM began broadcasting in 1947 under the callsign WARC. It was an early affiliate of the ABC radio network, but later changed to a locally programmed, personality-driven popular music station. It was purchased by the B. Forman regional department store chain in 1953 and changed its call letters to WBBF, the last three letters of which stood for "Buy B. Forman". In 1966 it was sold to LIN Broadcasting for what was then a market record of over $2 million, but retained its popular music format and personality lineup until the early 1980s. As WBBF, 950 AM was a popular Top 40 music station in Rochester, often leading the market in ratings surveys from the 1950s through the early 1970s, and ranking among the city's top stations through the late 1970s even after strong format competition arrived in 1972 from WAXC and later on the FM band from WPXY. Consistent success was achieved although as a relative latecomer to the AM band in the postwar era, WBBF's coverage area had to be restricted to the east and west to prevent interference with other stations on the same channel. In 1982, as hit music radio listeners were migrating to FM, the station evolved into a talk format. The WBBF calls are now in use in Buffalo, New York. As WEZO, from 1998 to 2000, the station carried a "Beautiful music" format. The WROC call sign was adopted in 2002 when the station adopted a second-tier conservative talk format featuring The Laura Ingraham Show and The Radio Factor; the station switched to progressive talk radio upon the launch of Air America Radio in 2004, a format it held until 2008, when it adopted its current sports format.
Aside from sports play-by-play, WROC runs a straight feed of ESPN Radio outside of 3PM-9PM (The Radio Press Box with Scott Pitoniak and Dan Borrello from 3PM to 7PM and syndication of The John Murphy Show from 7PM to 9PM) on weekdays and some part of the morning hours on the weekends. Schopp and the Bulldog, the afternoon show based at WGR, was heard on WROC from 2008 to 2011, but was dropped in summer 2011 without explanation (Entercom had ended or outsourced its other syndicated offerings at the same time).
WROC carries the aforementioned Sabres and Bills, both of which are also carried on WCMF-FM to improve the reach. WROC is also the exclusive radio home of the Rochester Knighthawks (ironically, WROC's Buffalo sister station, WWKB, is also the home of the Knighthawks' chief rival, the Buffalo Bandits). In January 2012 it was announced that WROC will be the AM home of the Buffalo Bills (WCMF is the corresponding FM home).
- LTR – The alternative media resource: Goodbye Rochester?
- Fybush, Scott. NorthEast Radio Watch. August 18, 2008.
- "Pitoniak, Borrello launch new radio sports talk show". Rochester Business Journal. 2014-08-13. Retrieved 2014-08-29.
- WROC Website
- Fybush.com WROC history
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WROC
- Radio-Locator Information on WROC
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WROC
- Query the FCC's FM station database for W239BF
- Radio-Locator information on W239BF