|City of license||Plattsburgh, New York|
|Broadcast area||Burlington, Vermont
Plattsburgh, New York
|Slogan||The Rock Alternative|
|Frequency||99.9 MHz (FM)|
|First air date||1960 (as WEAV-FM)|
|Former callsigns||WEAV-FM (1960-1974)
|Sister stations||WKOL, WOKO, WJOY, WIZN|
WBTZ is a commercial radio station in Plattsburgh, New York, broadcasting to the Burlington, Vermont / Plattsburgh, New York / Montreal, Quebec area on 99.9 FM. The Buzz studio and offices are located in Burlington, Vermont.
WBTZ airs a modern rock format branded as "The Buzz" since July 1996. Its previous call sign was WGFB, which stood for its then owner, George F. Bissell.
From the late 80's until early 1990, WGFB was known on air as B-100 and played a great deal of Top 40 music. When Montreal hit station CHTX (980 Hits, then, 990 Hits, now CKGM again) started a similar format in 1989, ratings (largely from listeners in Canada) began to slip forcing another format change.
WGFB then aired a hot adult contemporary music format. This was partially via the "Bright AC" satellite format by Westwood One.
Bissell sold the station along with its then sister station, WEAV, in July 1996 and The Buzz was launched with current call sign WBTZ. Stephanie "Monkey" Hindley hosted middays and was the Program Director, Steve Picard was on afternoon drive and was the Music Director, and Jason Steeves took control at night. "Frenchy Karl" from Montreal and the outspoken "King James" were also DJ's in the early years. Matt Grasso replaced Steeves in late 1997, then in 1998 Kyle Smith joined for Morning Drive. Grasso then replaced Smith in morning drive during the middle of 1998. Ben Wiggins took the night shift in 1999. In 2001 Grasso and Hindley swapped shifts until Hindley left the station in late 2002 and Picard disappeared in early 2003. Wiggins left to pursue an acting career and was replaced by Johnny Utah. Hindley was initially replaced by Brit import Ian Kelly and Kim Napolitano, then shortly after, Pete Powers. Picard was replaced by Christine "Electra" Pawlak, until mid-2004 when she left for a job in Philadelphia and was replaced by Mays from WFNX in Boston. Picard eventually resurfaced on Montreal sports talk station The Team 990, where he now hosts a nightly radio program called "P on Sports." Johnny Utah left nights in 2009 and was replaced eventually by Even Steven. In September 2011, Devon McGarry became the night DJ.
The Buzz had two specialty music programs airing Sunday nights from 1996-2012, "Homebrew" - an hour of local music and "Early Warning" (at one point called "Spinning Unrest") a two-hour new music show. "Homebrew" was hosted by a number of Buzz DJs over the years, including Ben Wiggins, DJ Llu, the "Homebrew Crew," and for the longest run, Gadous. "Early Warning" began in 1996, hosted by Steve Picard until 2003, then Ben Wiggins for 2004, and finally for the longest span, DJ Llu from 2004-2012. In 2012 both programs were discontinued due to budget cuts.
The station was a finalist for Radio and Records magazine's 2006 and 2007 Industry Achievement Awards for best Alternative Station for markets 100 and up. Other finalists include WKZQ-FM, WJSE, KQXR, KXNA, and WSFM.
Current featured on-air personalities include Pete Powers, Matt Grasso, Mays, and Devon McGarry.
WBTZ was owned by Plattsburgh Broadcasting and operated by Burlington Broadcasters until November 1, 2005 when it was purchased by Hall Communications. While its main competitor is adult album alternative station WNCS, it was the only Burlington/Plattsburgh station to play the most newer hard rock until 2008, when WLFE-FM (now WIXM) changed from country music to active rock. In 2008, WCPV shifted formats from classic rock to mainstream rock, giving WBTZ another new competitor but WCPV adopted sports format on January 1, 2011, citing heavy competition in the rock format.
- "2006 Industry Achievement Awards". Radio and Records. September 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
- "2007 Industry Achievement Awards". Radio and Records. September 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
- Official Website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WBTZ
- Radio-Locator information on WBTZ
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WBTZ