WENY (AM)

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WENY
Weny1230.png
Broadcast area Elmira, New York
Branding News Radio 1230
Frequency 1230 (kHz)
First air date 1932
Format Talk
Power 1,000 watts
Class C
Callsign meaning W Elmira, New York
Owner WS Media LLC
Sister stations WCBA, WENI, WENI-FM, WENY-FM, WGMM, WYDC, WJKP

WENY (1230 AM) is a radio station in the Elmira-Corning market of New York state. It broadcasts at 1000 watts day and night on 1230 kHz from studios in Corning, New York. It is a talk radio station that airs local sports and a 3-hour morning local talk show with host Frank Acomb. It is simulcast with WENI-AM (formerly WCLI-AM 1450 AM).

It was the first station licensed in Chemung County and the first in the market.

The station signed on in 1932 as WESG, broadcasting on 1200 KHz from a studio on Market Street in Elmira, which remains its city of license. Its call letters stood for Elmira Star-Gazette, the local newspaper and one of its owners. Earlier, the station had been known as WGBF, Glens Falls, New York. The change to WESG, Elmira, New York, came in 1932 "by authority of the Department of Commerce."[1]

At some point after 1940, when WESG cut ties with Ithaca station WEAI, the station changed its call letters to WENY, which stood for "Elmira, New York." It also changed frequency to 1230 kHz, where it remains today.

Sister station WENY-FM was launched in the 1960s.

In the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s WENY-AM was a full service operation with an extensive air staff and local news department and by far the dominant radio station in the Elmira market.

In the 1970s, as a Top 40 music station, WENY adopted the slogan "We're the One," a play on the Orleans song "Still The One," which was popular at the time and was used in promotions for ABC television, of which then-sister station WENY-TV 36 was an affiliate. The members of Orleans also were natives of the Elmira and Ithaca areas.

The station kept playing music until the early 1990s, when it switched to talk radio. That was when it dropped Voice of the People, a long-running local talk show that ran weeknights at 6 p.m. Ted Hodge was the host of Voice of the People in the late 1970s.[2]

Longtime owner Howard Green sold the station cluster to Lilly Broadcasting in 1999. As Lilly (and its predecessor, SJL Broadcast Management) was primarily a television company, Lilly sold off the radio stations to White Broadcasting in 2000, which switched the AM side to an oldies format. Under a limited marketing agreement, the station was managed by Eolin Broadcasting Inc., which also owned talk radio station WCLI, WCBA-FM (adult contemporary), WCBA (adult standards) and WGMM (oldies). White sold the station to EBI in 2001, at which time the television station was separated from the radio stations.

EBI moved the station to its headquarters in South Corning and switched WENY back to talk radio, simulcasting with WCLI.

In 2003, EBI sold all of the stations to Route 81 Radio, based in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. When Route 81 Radio went defunct, WS Media, a shell company for William and Paige Christian (owners of TV station WYDC), bought the stations. To circumvent ownership caps, the Christians each operate some of the stations under each individual owner's name.

Programming[edit]

WENY carries a mostly syndicated lineup. The exceptions are a Tuesday morning at 9:00 show called Law Talk with attorney Susan BetzJitomir, and before that show on Tuesdays, and the rest of the week, is a local morning show hosted by Frank Acomb which is followed by The Laura Ingraham Show, Dennis Miller, Laura Schlessinger, an audio simulcast of WENY-TV's 6:00 newscast, Michael Savage, Steve Malzberg, Joey Reynolds and Doug Stephan. Weekend programming includes Cigar Dave, various old-time radio programs, and assorted programming from WOR Radio Network and Talk Shows USA.

Sports programming heard on WENY includes local high school football and basketball and the Crystal City Dragons semi-pro football team.

Former staff[edit]

  • Jeff Strailey
  • John Kobylt
  • Jay Flannery
  • Jack Shane/John Horn
  • Paul Leigh/The Friendly Giant
  • Ron Bisson
  • Street Stryder
  • Steve Rondonaro
  • Ralph Todd
  • Steve Christy
  • Tony Infantino
  • Dave Martin Taylor Smith
  • Dick Irland
  • Jim Infantine
  • Ron Ferro
  • Carl Hausman
  • Dan Cummings
  • Kelly Watts
  • Tom Seem
  • Tom Mailey
  • Jim Appleton
  • Ted Hodge

References[edit]

  1. ^ "WGBF Now WESG" (PDF). Broadcasting. May 15, 1932. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Slack, Dean (May 14, 1995). "Elmira's Hodge is 'an announcer's announcer'". Corning Leader. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°04′29″N 76°46′47″W / 42.07472°N 76.77972°W / 42.07472; -76.77972