|Broadcast area||Syracuse metropolitan area; Central New York|
First air date
|August 23, 1978|
Listen live (via iHeartRadio)
WAQX-FM (95.7 MHz) is an alternative rock-formatted radio station licensed to Manlius, New York, United States, serving the Syracuse, New York, market. WAQX-FM is owned and operated by Cumulus Media.
On November 29, 1976, AGK Communications, Inc., a company owned by George Kimble, applied to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a new radio station on 95.3 MHz to serve Manlius. The application competed against a bid from Manlius Broadcasting Co., which was owned by Craig Fox. The Kimble and Fox bids merged and won the construction permit on May 10, 1978. Construction immediately ensued on studios in the Market Place complex on Route 92, including Fox doing much of the construction himself as chief engineer, and with an album-oriented rock (AOR) format, WAQX began broadcasting on August 23, 1978. Fox, then 25, and two friends of his from Syracuse University felt that Syracuse could support a commercial AOR station; until then, WAER at the university and WOUR in nearby Utica were the only AOR stations serving the market.
The small WAQX, which went on the air with an effective radiated power of 410 watts, had only been on the air a year when format competition came in the form of a much stronger station: WSYR-FM 94.5, which dropped WAQX's ratings by a full point nearly immediately. An attempt at an "adult rock" format proved to be a disaster, but an upgrade to 3,000 watts and the sale of WSYR-FM and its flip to another format helped lead to a rebound. Ratings rose to double-digit shares in 1984 and 1985, a feat the station would only accomplish one other time—in 1994, when it made its lone appearance as the highest-rated station in Syracuse.
In 1988, after an upgrade in the station's transmitting facility and power prompted it to relocate from 95.3 to 95.7 MHz, Kimble and Fox negotiated the sale of the station to Atlantic Ventures Corporation, a Massachusetts company formed by former executives of the recently sold American Cablesystems, for $4.5 million. The deal also included a construction permit for a new radio station at 670 kHz which would have required a divestiture of a Fox station anyway; Fox owned WOLF (1490 AM), which for five years had simulcast WAQX on the AM band. New studios on James Street were built for WAQX. However, Atlantic soon unloaded WAQX, selling it at a $500,000 loss to Pilot Communications in 1990 to focus on its stations in Rochester and Boston. Neither of the partners in Pilot had owned a radio station before; Pilot would own seven stations in Syracuse and Augusta, Maine, when Broadcasting Partners, a unit of VS&A, invested in the group in 1997.
In 1999, Citadel Communications purchased WAQX and three other Syracuse stations as part of a $190 million purchase of Broadcasting Partners involving 36 stations in 11 markets. Citadel merged with Cumulus Media on September 16, 2011.
- "WAQX Facility Record". Federal Communications Commission, audio division. Archived from the original on September 10, 2001. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
- FCC History Cards for WAQX-FM
- "Await Manlius Radio Ruling". Eagle-Bulletin. December 7, 1977. p. 1. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
- Wisniewski, John (August 8, 1978). "WAQX Promises Variety, Fewer Commercials". Syracuse Post Standard. p. 26.
- Gelb, Jeff (October 13, 1978). "Dreams Come True" (PDF). Radio & Records. p. 42. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 1, 2021. Retrieved March 17, 2022 – via World Radio History.
- "WAQX(FM)" (PDF). Broadcasting Yearbook. 1980. p. C-154. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 20, 2022. Retrieved March 17, 2022 – via World Radio History.
- Feinstein, Steve (September 21, 1984). "WAQX: The Little Station That Could" (PDF). Radio & Records. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 5, 2022. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
- Duncan, Jr., James H. (2004). "Syracuse" (PDF). Duncan's American Radio: The Markets. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 27, 2021. Retrieved March 17, 2022 – via World Radio History.
- Mulder, James T. (July 19, 1988). "Rock station 95X sold for $4.5 million". Syracuse Herald-Journal. p. C5. Archived from the original on March 17, 2022. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
- "Massachusetts Firm to Buy WAQX-FM for $4.5M". Syracuse Post Standard. July 19, 1988. p. B-5. Archived from the original on March 17, 2022. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
- "AM listeners of 95X 'Turn It Up' no more". Syracuse Herald-Journal. October 12, 1989. p. C7. Archived from the original on March 17, 2022. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
- Bruce, Caryn (April 29, 1989). "WAQX-FM to Move Studios to James Street Site". Syracuse Post Standard. p. C-8. Archived from the original on March 17, 2022. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
- Kelly, J. Michael (July 3, 1990). "School buddies buy 95X for $4 million". Syracuse Herald-Journal. pp. B5, B7. Archived from the original on March 17, 2022. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
- "Broadcasting Partners Lands Pilot Deal" (PDF). Radio & Records. January 24, 1997. p. 4. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 5, 2022. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
- "Citadel Ropes In Broadcasting Partners Properties" (PDF). Radio & Records. November 5, 1999. p. 6. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 1, 2021. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
- "Cumulus Now Owns Citadel Broadcasting". Business Journal. September 16, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2016.