|City||Clifton Park, New York|
|Broadcast area||Albany, New York|
|Branding||New Light 96.7|
|Slogan||The Best in Christian Talk Radio|
|First air date||March 1987 (as WCSF)|
|Callsign meaning||W Donald CrawforD (see WDCD (AM))|
|Former callsigns||WCSF (3/1987-9/1987)|
|Owner||DJRA Broadcasting, LLC|
WDCD-FM, known on-air as "New Light 96.7", is a Christian Talk radio station licensed to Clifton Park, New York and serving New York's Capital District. The station is owned by DJRA Broadcasting (a subsidiary of Crawford Broadcasting), and broadcasts at 4.7 kilowatts ERP from a rental tower in Clifton Park, New York which is owned by Fitch Communications of New York (FCNY) and shared with WKKF and WTMM-FM.
The station has been assigned several call letters over the years, including the heritage WPTR calls (longtime of 1540 AM and briefly on 96.3 FM); it has also aired various formats, including three attempts at oldies, as well as the first full-time Contemporary Christian music station in the Capital Region. It was also the first station to broadcast in HD Radio in the market in 2005, preceding WGY by several months (WDCD-FM has since switched off their HD Radio transmitter).
What is now WDCD-FM first signed on in March 1987 as WCSF, airing a Saratoga County-targeted oldies format, even though the signal covered the main cities of the Capital District well. In one of the first of the high ticket purchases that set the now astronomical prices for Albany stations, WCSF's ownership sold the station to WV Communications of Schenectady. WCSF-FM was the first oldies station on the FM dial in the Capital Region, and was moving up in the ratings when sold to WV.
WV Communications already owned WWWD, an AM station in neighboring Schenectady. In September 1987, WWWD and WCSF joined in a rock-based CHR simulcast, with WWWD becoming WVKZ and WCSF becoming WVKZ-FM. The two stations would later split off for most of the day, with 96.7 taking the "KZ-96.7" branding. KZ-96.7 shifted to album-oriented rock in 1989, and then to a harder current-based rock format in 1990, now known as "Power Rock KZ-96.7". In 1991, it returned to CHR as "Power Hits KZ-96.7".
Changes in CHR music as a genre, coupled with a glut of CHR stations in the Albany market, led ownership to change WVKZ-FM to an early hot adult contemporary format in 1992 as WWCP-FM (Capital 96-7). Though set apart from several rival stations and a mild success, financial problems led to the sale of WVKZ to Capital OTB (the regional off-track betting agency) and that of WWCP-FM to Jarad Broadcasting, owners of famed Long Island station WDRE, a move done in part due to the large amount of Long Island expatriates and college students in the Albany area.
On Memorial Day weekend, 1994, several months after closing on WWCP-FM, Jarad Broadcasting launched the WDRE-based Underground Network, a progressive-leaning alternative rock format. Though a critical success in lieu of being a networked format, the format did not attain any ratings success, and on some occasions, nearly did not show in quarterly ratings. Making things even more difficult was the flip to alternative rock of WQBK-FM/WQBJ in 1995, as well as the consistent ratings of local hard rock Z-Rock affiliate WZRQ. These difficulties led Jarad to break from the network in late 1995, and flipped WWCP-FM to oldies as WXXO. With no FM oldies station in the market, the station entered the top 10 in its first book; however, this success would be short-lived as Jarad began to sell its non-Long Island holdings.
Early in 1996, Jarad would find a buyer in WDCD owner Crawford Broadcasting, which took WXXO over that March and began a simulcast of WDCD's Christian Talk format. That July, the calls would change to WDCD-FM; the format would remain on the 96.7 frequency after WDCD split off and flipped to adult standards, reclaiming its heritage WPTR calls, at the start of 2000.
On March 16, 2004, WDCD and WPTR would swap formats and calls with 96.7 flipping to adult standards. This format would serve merely a placeholder, as on July 15 of that year, the first Contemporary Christian format in the Albany market would debut on the frequency as Pulse 96-7. Though Pulse was initially successful, the arrivals of K-LOVE (AC) and Air 1 (CHR) (on 94.5 FM and 93.7 FM respectively) in 2007 led to its eventual decline. DJRA Broadcasting bought both WDCD and WPTR in 2007.
After several books of flagging ratings under the Contemporary Christian format, DJRA changed WPTR's format back to classic hits at midnight on February 1, 2011, as "Legends 96.7" (a branding the station previously used during the adult standards format). The format change duplicates that used in Rochester, New York, another Crawford market, where WLGZ-FM has used the Legends format to much success.
However, Crawford was unable to repeat the "Legends" format success in Albany, and the station returned to Christian Talk, once again simulcast with AM 1540, on November 11, 2011, accompanied by a return to the WDCD-FM call letters; the simulcast is branded as "New Light 96.7," emphasizing the FM frequency. The "Legends" format was available online as a web stream until recently, however the stream is now no longer available.
- Venta, Lance (November 3, 2011). "Changes Coming to WPTR Albany". RadioInsight.com. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
- Official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WDCD
- Radio-Locator information on WDCD
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WDCD