WABT (FM)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WABT
City Lehman Township, Pennsylvania
Branding Pocono 96.7
Slogan The Greatest Hits of the 60s, 70s, and 80s
Frequency 96.7 MHz
Translator(s) 97.3 W247AE (East Stroudsburg)
First air date October 23, 1970 (as WDLC-FM)
Format Classic Hits
ERP 200 watts
HAAT 72 meters
Class A
Facility ID 53036
Former callsigns WDLC-FM (1970-1984)
WTSX (1984-2012)
Owner Neversink Radio, LLC
Sister stations WJGK
Webcast Listen Live
Website pocono967.com

WABT is a radio station in Lehman Township, Pennsylvania known as Pocono 96.7. The station is licensed to Neversink Radio, LLC, programming a classic hits format.

History[edit]

This station began operation on October 23, 1970 as WDLC-FM. The station ran a country music format initially. Their AM station played a Middle Of The Road (MOR) music format playing songs from the 1940s up to and including current songs. The stations WDLC 1490 and 96.7 WDLC-FM were owned by Oscar Wein and family. His son Bob Wein along with the rest of the family were active with the station.

By the mid 1970s the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) relaxed simulcast restrictions between AM and FM radio stations. Because WDLC-FM was automated, they decided to begin simulcasting both stations. WDLC and WDLC-FM, upon simulcasting, continued the MOR format from 5 to 10 a.m. as well as from 3 to 7 p.m.; played country music from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and instrumental easy listening music from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.. On Sundays, the station had many specialty shows.

In 1984 WDLC-FM began separate programming from the AM station, and eventually changed call letters to WTSX for Tri-State Crossroads. The new station began playing an Adult Contemporary format. Both WTSX and WDLC-AM did rather well in terms of ratings and profitability through the 1980s, and later that decade, Oscar Wein retired and his son Bob Wein took over operations. (Oscar Wein died on December 18, 2000, at the age of 82.)

From 1994-1999, WTSX did have some success with its new morning show, "The Morning Thing" with Alan James, but overall both stations began to have financial troubles during the 90's. As a result, in 1997, half the staff (including WDLC's newly hired morning man and program director) was laid off and WTSX began to automate evenings and overnights. WDLC had automated several years before using a satellite delivered adult standards format. In September 1998 Robert Wein began leasing WDLC and WTSX to Nassau Broadcasting in a local marketing agreement. The airstaff and sales staff stayed, but now became Nassau Broadcasting employees. Alan James left WTSX in 1999 due to differences in philosophy with management over the direction of the morning show, and of WTSX in general.

Nassau changed WTSX to a 1964-1969-based oldies format, mixing in some early 70's, late 50's and early 60's oldies as well. The ratings were low in the Southern Hudson Valley, but decent in the Sussex County radio market. However, in February 2001, Nassau sold the Local Marketing agreement of WDLC and WTSX to Clear Channel Communications, along with full ownership of WSUS, WNNJ, and WHCY.

Under Clear Channel, the station was modified to a 1964-to-1975-based oldies format, with a small amount of late 1970s and pre-1964 songs. The station began to focus more on the 1970s as most FM oldies stations began to do.

In September 2004 the Local Marketing Agreement with Clear Channel expired, and Bob Wein opted not to renew it. As a result, most of the staff of the station, with the exception of their new morning DJ Robert Oefinger (known on-air simply as "Bob-O"), remained under Clear Channel employ, and moved aspects of the Oldies format on WTSX to WNNJ 1360. This made Bob-O the only on-air personality at WTSX.

By this time, Bob Wein had once again assumed operational control of WTSX and WDLC, however, the jingles and advertisers which the station had been using were Clear Channel's, and as a result, the station had no jingles or advertisers for a few days. The oldies format deepened to include the hits of 1955 to 1990. The station was announcing that they were "building a new radio station". By November another local owner took over operations of the station, while Bob Wein retained ownership. New on-air personalities were added, and jingles and advertisers were finally back. It was thought that WTSX Fox 96.7 would remain an oldies station.

Then, in January 2005, Fox 96.7 dropped most of the pre-1964 oldies. Port Jervis Broadcasting bought the station from Bob Wein. In March 2005, they began a local marketing agreement with then-Hits 103.1 WGNY-FM from New Windsor, NY. The two stations combined airstaffs. Each station would have their own local show, and local news was brought back. However, after the local morning show each day, both stations shadowcast, meaning they both had the same announcers after 10 a.m., but played different songs at different times. More 1980s and 1990s music was added as well as some current and recent product.

At this point, 1490 WDLC began simulcasting a 1955 to 1972 Oldies format with 1220 WGNY-AM, New Windsor. The station were then known as Fox 96.7/Fox 103.1, and began playing an uptempo, gold-based rock, leaning adult contemporary format.

In November 2006, WTSX separated from WGNY-FM, and began airing a country music format. Bob-O continued to do the morning show. other daily shows included "Coleman Corral", and "Radio Ranch".

On Saturday, August 2, 2008 WTSX returned to a simulcast of WGNY-FM with local breaks. The combined stations are known as Fox 96.7 and Fox 103.1. Arbitron public ratings of WTSX have steadily declined in both the Sussex and Newburgh-Middletown markets since the return of the simulcast. The LMA ended on March 1, 2012 and WTSX now plays classic hits. Bud Williamson’s Digital Radio Broadcasting (WYNY-1450AM Milford, PA) converted its LMA of WDLC (1490 Port Jervis) and WTSX (96.7 Lehman Township PA) into a purchase from Neversink Broadcasting Company, LLC, for $300,000. On May 24, 2012, the station's license was assigned to Neversink Radio, LLC and the station's call sign was changed to WABT.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°12′39″N 74°58′22″W / 41.2109°N 74.9727°W / 41.2109; -74.9727