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City of license Warwick, New York
Broadcast area Orange County and northern New Jersey
Branding "WTBQ"
Slogan "Radio Worth Listening To"; "The Best Music"
Frequency 1110 kHz
Translator(s) 93.5 W228CG (Warwick)
First air date July 27, 1969
Format Full service
Power 500 watts daytime
Class D
Facility ID 22292
Callsign meaning See "Station History" section
Affiliations ABC, MRN
Owner Frank R. Truatt
(FST Broadcasting Corporation)
Webcast Listen Live
Website wtbq.com

WTBQ is an independent radio station broadcasting from Warwick, New York, featuring oldies, local talk shows and specialty programming. The last locally-owned radio station left in Orange County, New York (and one of the few in the entire Hudson Valley), WTBQ broadcasts on 1110 AM and 93.5 FM, throughout Orange County and northern New Jersey.

Station History[edit]

Local media mogul Ed Klein brought WTBQ to air July 27, 1969 with studios originally located in the village of Warwick. The call sign letters come from Klein's young daughter's affection for her Teddy Bear. Originally, WTBQ had a "Beautiful Music" format (dubbed "The Casual Q"), in contrast to Top 40 music, which Klein hated. In 1982 it was purchased by polka king Jimmy Sturr, who in 1984 moved the studios to the "Professional Building" located at 62 North Main Street in nearby Florida, New York. After another change in ownership (George Dacre's "Goodtime Broadcasting"), the station went silent in late 1992, but returned to the air under the station's current owner Frank "Smokin'" Truatt on July 1, 1994.

On November 30, 2007, WTBQ moved its studios from the Village of Florida, New York to 87 Ronald Reagan Boulevard in the Town of Warwick, NY. On February 7, 2008, WTBQ held a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony at their new studios, attended by the local news media, as well as many government officials and station personnel.

Ed Klein died on October 18, 2008, at the age of 86. Klein had long wanted Dixieland jazz music to be played at his funeral; WTBQ obliged by airing a program of New Orleans jazz selections during the service, with attendees tuning in on their car radios. [1] On July 27, 2009 (at 11:10 am, of course), WTBQ celebrated its 40th anniversary with a special ceremony at the station's broadcasting tower where a plaque was placed at the antenna site, honoring Ed Klein for signing on the station 40 years ago.

In June 2012, WTBQ moved again, this time to 179 Sanfordville Road, approximately two miles south of the Village of Warwick. Located in an older barn-shaped building next to a greenhouse (and dubbed by locals as "The Old Barn"), the new studios were finished soon after, and WTBQ held another "grand opening" on September 28, 2012. A month after the "grand opening", Hurricane Sandy knocked out power to the area on October 29, 2012; WTBQ was off the air for nearly a week until power was finally restored on November 4, marking it as the second longest time period the station had ever been off the air since the silent eighteen months of 1992.

WTBQ today[edit]

WTBQ logos as of 2011

Frank Truatt hosts the "The Frank Truatt Morning Show", which airs weekdays until 9am Eastern Time with co-host Taylor Sterling and guests. A daily feature of the morning show is "Our Town", heard each day from 8:05-8:30 am, in which local politicians and people of interest are interviewed on a rotating basis. Live talk shows from 9am to 3pm including consumer guru Clark Howard, followed by "Intelligence for Your Life" with John Tesh, followed by specialty programming and music throughout the night.

A January 2014 article in The Wall Street Journal honored Frank Truatt for owning one of the last of the real "community" radio stations in the New York metro area.[2]

Special programming[edit]

During the evenings and on the weekends, WTBQ offers a variety of programming for listeners to enjoy. On Monday evenings, station owner Frank Truatt hosts Rockollections, which is a show devoted to 1970s' music and airs from 7 to 9pm. Dave Edwards hosts Perfect Albums Tuesdays at 9pm, while On Thursday evenings, Laura Lawson hosts "The Wine Crush" from 7pm to 8pm. Friday evenings is Chris Cordani's internationally syndicated show Revenge of the 80's, a program devoted to early alternative music.

Saturday programming includes Dirks Outdoors with David Dirks from 7am to 8am, Horse Talk from 8am to 9am, The Dick Wells Show from 9am to 11am, and Spotlight with Shawna from 11:30am until noon. Sunday morning features the always-entertaining Hawkeye Show from 7am to 9am, and the eclectic music of "...And All That Jazz" with Frank Lowell from 9am to 10am. (This new name is the result of an alleged trademark infringement with the former name, "Anything Goes".) Other syndicated programming includes Magic of the 80s with Tom Furci and Music Memories Radio with Pete Michaels and Company.

Sports programming is headlined by coverage of NASCAR racing from The Motor Racing Network and the Performance Racing Network. Select Indycar Series races are also featured as well as Ned Jarrett's World of Racing. Warwick Valley High School football (airing on WTBQ since 1972) can be heard weekends in the fall, with Rich Arnott calling the action.

The station is an affiliate of ABC Radio and featured Paul Harvey until his death in 2009. Laura Schlessinger was also in the WTBQ lineup until she left terrestrial radio at the end of 2010; John Tesh now holds down her old time slot.

FM translator[edit]

At 1:30 pm on January 28, 2011, WTBQ switched its FM frequency to 93.5 MHz, after just over three years at 99.1 MHz. The new translator, W228CG, broadcasts at 250 watts; this is a considerable upgrade from the previous 19 watts, and the coverage area is about 50% larger than on 99.1. (In addition, 99.1 was subject to interference from WPLR, a 15,000-watt rock station in Connecticut; the closest station on its new frequency is WVIP in New Rochelle, New York.)

Although WTBQ broadcasts on AM during the daylight hours only (due to WBT in Charlotte, a clear-channel station that owns the frequency at night), WTBQ has streamed on the internet 24 hours a day since 1999, the first station in the Hudson Valley to do so. (WTBQ was also the first area radio station with a website, back in 1995.)

WTBQ became one of the first American AM stations to use an FM translator when it began airing on W256BD on January 25, 2008. The arrangement, made possible by a Special Temporary Authority from the Federal Communications Commission and Digital Radio Broadcasting, allowed WTBQ to broadcast its programs 24 hours a day via an FM antenna located on WTBQ's AM broadcast tower. (The new translator also broadcasts from WTBQ's tower, located on West Ridge Road in the Town of Warwick.)

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Dick Anderson
  • Rich Arnott
  • Ted Baker
  • Frank Bruno
  • Joe Cyr
  • George Dacre
  • Rick Davis
  • Rob Dillman
  • Mike Erickson
  • Harrison Golden
  • Mark Graham
  • Eric Hodge
  • Howard Hoffman
  • Jimmy Howes
  • Max Kinkel
  • Joe Mann
  • John Marino
  • Alex Miller
  • John Moultrie
  • Bob Neal
  • Joe Ryan
  • Jimmy Sturr
  • Dick Wells
  • Mark West

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°16′51″N 74°21′46″W / 41.28083°N 74.36278°W / 41.28083; -74.36278