|City of license||Albany, New York|
|Broadcast area||Capital District|
|Branding||WAMC, Northeast Public Radio|
|First air date||1934|
|Power||1000 watts unlimited|
|Callsign meaning||W Albany Medical College (original licensee of WAMC-FM)|
|Former callsigns||WABY (1934-2002)
|Affiliations||National Public Radio|
For 68 years, the station held the WABY calls, which were later located on an unrelated radio station broadcasting at 1160 kHz from Mechanicville, New York (which had been WMVI and took the WABY calls as a tribute to the original WABY).
WAMC came into the Albany market in 1934 as WABY when Al Kelert moved radio station WGLC from Hudson Falls, New York to Albany in turn making the first station to broadcast from that city (though not the first one to originate, a distinction held by WOKO, now WOPG). WABY originally broadcast on 1370 kHz at 250 watts, moving to 1400 kHz in 1941 during the NARBA frequency shift.
The station provided the typical mix of popular music and network programming throughout most of its first 30 years of service. In 1961, the station changed to a high energy top-40 format, but was short lived as the competition in that format was intense, leaving the format in late 1963. From 1964 to 1971, WABY ran a MOR format, followed by oldies in 1971, and a return to top-40 in 1973. By 1976, it had changed to all-news, using NBC's "News and Information Service." It then switched to country in 1979. In 1981, WABY changed to a Christian format until 1982 when it was flipped to adult standards. Getting many key market names, WABY spent years as one of the highest-rated standards stations in the United States, and added an FM simulcast on 94.5 MHz in 1995.
In February 1999, Bendat sold his stations to Tele-Media, Inc. which switched the AM side to an all-news format by day with simulcasting of the FM (which itself would flip to adult contemporary that summer) nights and weekends. This arrangement remained through Tele-Media's ownership of the station through Tele-Media's sale of WABY and WKLI to Galaxy Communications in August 2001 and through the flip of 94.5 FM to classic rock as WRCZ.
On April 22, 2002, the WABY calls left 1400 kHz as Galaxy replaced it with the WHTR calls and launched a hot talk simulcast with new move in 93.7 FM. The talk format was short-lived and that August 1400 and 93.7 switched to modern rock as WKRD (1400 retained the WHTR calls). Galaxy sold 1400 to Northeast Public Radio (WAMC, Inc.) in February 2003, giving it the WAMC calls (90.3 FM took on the WAMC-FM calls as a result). The WABY callsign was displayed on the WAMC tower until recently, although the current WABY broadcasts from a different location.
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WAMC
- Radio-Locator Information on WAMC
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WAMC