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WTRY-FM logo.png
City of license Rotterdam, New York
Broadcast area Capital District and Mohawk Valley
Branding Oldies 98.3
Slogan 60s and 70s Hits
Frequency 98.3 MHz (also on HD Radio)
98.3-2 MHz 80s Hits (HD Radio)
First air date 1987 (as WNYJ)
Format Oldies
ERP 6,000 watts
HAAT 97 meters
Class A
Facility ID 8563
Callsign meaning W TRoY (original home of station)
Former callsigns WDNZ (1986, not on-air)
WERV (1986-87, not on-air)
WNYJ (1987-89)
WSHZ (1989-92)
WTRY-FM (1992-94)
WYSR (1994-96)
Owner Clear Channel Communications
Sister stations WGY, WGY-FM, WRVE, WPYX, WKKF, WOFX
Webcast Listen Live
Website oldies983.com

WTRY-FM (98.3 FM, "Oldies 98.3"), is an oldies station licensed to Rotterdam, New York and serving New York's Capital District and Mohawk Valley. The station is owned by Clear Channel Communications, and broadcasts at 6 kilowatts ERP from a tower in between Altamont and Duanesburg, New York off U.S. Route 20.

Though the 98.3 frequency has only been on the air since 1987 and had an oldies format since 1996, the format was a direct continuation of the oldies format (and the top 40 format from which it evolved) which was previously on 980 kHz, a streak that went back over 40 years. During November and December, the station switches to Christmas music, with the normal oldies format remaining on its HD2 channel.


Pre-launch and early formats[edit]

The first decade of the frequency's life was quite unstable, a testament of this can be seen even before the air. In its construction permit stage, 98.3 was to become WDNZ with an early dance/rhythmic contemporary format, however permit owner Dennis Jackson (now a noted community broadcaster in smaller communities throughout the Northeast) was forced to sell the station before it hit the air. Under new owners, another set of call letters (WERV) came and went before the frequency signed on as adult contemporary WNYJ in November 1987. Being a new frequency, completely satellite-fed, and going up against a surging WKLI-FM, the format was changed in late 1988 to oldies as Cruisin' 98.3, still WNYJ.

98.3/103.5 SHO-FM[edit]

In mid 1989, WNYJ was sold and became adult Contemporary WSHZ SHO-FM, adding a simulcast on WACS-FM in Cobleskill (which became WSHQ). WSHZ/WSHQ's adult contemporary format failed miserably, and in late September, 1990, the format was flipped back to oldies, still as SHO-FM (though it was known as Super Hit Oldies SHO-FM in 1990). A few days later, WGY-FM flipped to oldies as well, causing major problems for both WSHZ/WSHQ and WTRY-AM.

First WTRY simulcast/Star 98.3[edit]

Looking for a boost, then-WTRY owner Liberty Broadcasting entered into a local marketing agreement with WSHZ in late 1991 and flipped 98.3 to a simulcast of 980. This arrangement proved successful, outlasting WGY-FM which had flipped to a hot adult contemporary format in 1994, though by the end of that year the simulcast ended with 98.3 flipping to a 1970s music format, as WYSR Star 98.3 (The 'Star' name after 1996 eventually moved to 101.3 FM under a new set of call letters(WQAR-FM) and a different format of music).

Second WTRY simulcast and move to FM[edit]

In August 1996, WYSR became an outright sister to WTRY when SFX Broadcasting (which bought Liberty earlier that year) bought WYSR from Jarad Broadcasting. Three months later, the simulcast was restored but with a couple wrinkles: 980 would be simulcasting 98.3 rather than vice versa and 98.3 obtained its own morning show as opposed to Imus in the Morning on 980. After Clear Channel purchased AMFM in 2000, the simulcast ended in September of that year, when 980 flipped to sports radio as WOFX.

Format evolution[edit]

Up to 1999, WTRY was basically playing Oldies music from 1964 to 1969 with several pre-1964 oldies an hour and about one early 70's hit an hour cutting off at about 1973 with a few exceptions. During the course of 1999, songs up to the late 1970s were mixed in and 70's music was being played several times an hour cutting a couple 1964 to 1969 songs per hour. In 2001, a few 1980's hits were being mixed into the format being played about once per hour. Later that year pre 64 oldies began to be cut back to 2 an hour and by 2002 one per hour. In 2003, the word oldies began to be used less and the station was now focusing on the 1964 to 1975 time period. In 2004, WTRY was now playing about half 1964-1969 songs and about half 1970's songs with an 80's song mixed in and pre 64 oldies almost completely gone. By 2005, the station had evolved into more of a Classic Hits format. Beginning in 2001, WTRY began playing Christmas music around Thanksgiving until some time on December 26 on a wall to wall basis. As time went on this annual tradition began earlier in November.

On December 26, 2007, after its annual temporary Christmas format ended, WTRY surprised its listeners with a switch officially to Classic Hits, mainly playing songs from the '70s, and '80s with some '60's songs mixed in, under the My Music slogan. After playing Christmas music from November 1, 2010, the station reverted to oldies of the 60s and 70s as of December 27, 2010, in a similar style to sister stations KJR-FM (Seattle) and KLTH (Portland, Oregon). In early February 2011, WTRY continued to evolve towards a more traditional type of Oldies format, due to the format flip of nearby 96.7 WPTR, which changed formats from Contemporary Christian to Oldies, broadcasting with a superior signal to WTRY as well.

By November 2011, WPTR has switched formats to Christian talk as WDCD-FM, leaving WTRY and rimshot WVKZ (now WPTR) as the only oldies radio stations in the Capital Region. On February 27, 2012 WTRY rebranded as "Oldies 98.3".

HD radio operations[edit]

In 2005, WTRY-FM upgraded to IBOC digital radio alongside the rest of Clear Channel's Albany stations. On August 17, 2006, WTRY-FM began airing an HD2 channel with a smooth jazz format, which flipped to Cool Oldies with 50s and 60s hits in 2007 with the jazz format moving to WRVE-HD2. As of 2011, with the main format reverting from classic hits to oldies, WTRY-FM's HD2 signal now airs an all-80s format.



External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°44′42″N 74°04′08″W / 42.745°N 74.069°W / 42.745; -74.069