|City||Syracuse, New York|
|Broadcast area||Syracuse, New York|
|Slogan||Central New York's
Only R & B
|First air date||1941|
|Format||Urban adult contemporary|
|Power||5,000 watts (day)
1,000 watts (night)
|Former callsigns||WAGE (1941-1954)|
(CC Licenses, LLC)
|Sister stations||WBBS, WSYR, WSYR-FM, WWHT, WYYY|
WHEN (620 AM) is a radio station broadcasting an urban adult contemporary format, licensed to Syracuse, New York, USA. The station is owned by iHeartMedia. The station is simulcasting on the HD sub channel for WSYR-FM 106.9 FM HD-2.
WHEN first signed on in 1941 with a 1,000 watt signal, started by local realtor Frank Revoir under the call sign WAGE. It operated as the NBC "Blue" network affiliate for the region, and after that network was broken off from NBC in 1943, the ABC affiliate. Daytime power was increased to its present 5,000 watts after World War II. It was acquired by Meredith Corporation, founder of WHEN-TV, the city's first television station, in 1954 and began sharing the television station's call letters and its ties to CBS.
In the 1970s, the station became famous for playing a jingle during their testing of the Emergency Broadcast System, a practice that was outlawed by the Federal Communications Commission by the end of the decade. This jingle version was spoofed by the band Negativland in their song "It's All In Your Head FM." The producer of the song was Jerry Moss.
1970s and 1980s
Also during the 1970s and 1980s (and once again affiliated with ABC for network news service) WHEN became a dominant station in the Syracuse metropolitan area. Under the ownership first of Meredith Corporation and then of the Roy H. Park organization, WHEN regularly topped the ratings in prime 18-49 demographics well into the 1980s by offering a full-service personality adult contemporary format with a 24-hour-a-day, 7 day a week newsroom operation. WHEN was one of the pioneer adult contemporary stations in the country during the early 1970s. It was aimed specifically at 18-49 listeners who had grown up with the first generation of rock music and still enjoyed upbeat contemporary songs, but had begun to regard most top 40 stations as too juvenile in their presentation...the blend of adult presentation with up-tempo music and full service information elements proved a winner with young adult listeners and served as a model for other stations seeking a similar audience, along with format pioneers like WGAR in Cleveland, WGR in Buffalo and WNBC in New York. The formula kept WHEN a market leader for a decade and a half, until late in the 1980s when many music listeners were moving on to FM. A retro website that documents 62WHEN, its programs, promotions and personalities during the late 1970s and into the 1980s can be found at 62WHEN.com.
Since the late 1980s, WHEN has changed ownership and format several times, including periods with a largely syndicated sports format under Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) ownership (a format now heard on WOLF.
On December 22, 2010 WHEN changed their format to urban adult contemporary, branded as "Power 620". The format change preceded abandonment of the format on co-owned WPHR-FM (106.9 FM, now WSYR-FM) in favor of a simulcast of WSYR (570 AM). on the FM band to fill in areas in Syracuse's western, southern and eastern suburbs where WSYR's AM directional signal pattern provides poor coverage. WHEN simulcasts the urban adult contemporary format on the FM dial on WSYR-FM's HD-2 channel.