|City||Niagara Falls, New York|
|Broadcast area||Buffalo, New York|
|Branding||Sportsradio 1270 The Fan|
|First air date||1941|
|Power||5,000 watts (day)
1,000 watts (night)
|Callsign meaning||W HiLDa Lewis Duell|
|Affiliations||CBS Sports Radio|
(Radio License Holding CBC, LLC)
|Sister stations||WEDG, WHTT, WGRF|
WHLD is an AM radio station licensed to Niagara Falls, New York with an all-network sports talk format, with no local programming. The station resides at 1270 kHz on the dial and is owned by Cumulus Media. The station's transmitter is located in Hamburg, New York, and studios (currently unused) are located in Buffalo.
History and programming
WHLD signed on in 1941 under the ownership of Earl Clement Hull of Niagara Falls, New York. The station was later named after his second wife, Hilda Lewis Carpenter Hull, of Ontario, Canada. Earl C. Hull was a radio pioneer who entered St. Lawrence University in 1916 with impressive knowledge of wireless technology which he later applied to communication problems on the battlefield. His talents helped put the University radio station on air in 1922. He built WKY in Oklahoma City (the nations third commercial radio station). In 1940 he returned to Niagara Falls, NY to establish WHLD. The radio station often programmed classical music and featured local artists. Among them was a continuing program of classical piano duets played by Niagara Falls pianist Harold Bradley and his friend John Peirce Langs from Buffalo, NY.
Locally owned Butler Communications Corporation bought radio station WHLD and its sister station WZIR-FM (now WKSE) on suburban Grand Island in May 1980. During the Butler Communications days WHLD was programmed Big Band / Nostalgia and featured various locally produced programs. The station was billed as "The Station of the Nations." and owner Paul Butler's daughter Mary Ann Butler gave the station its tag line, "The Sound of the Falls."
In August 1999 WHLD was purchased by Citadel Broadcasting Corporation. At midnight on Monday, February 13, 2006 WHLD gave up its brokered programming format and Niagara Independent Media began operating the station via an LMA and branded it "News Talk 1270: The Voice of Reason," primarily affiliating with Air America Radio. That programming was dropped in December 2006 because of financial problems. Some of the non profit programs including Democracy Now were moved to sister station WBBF.
The station then began an Urban Inspirational (Black Gospel) format through a lease with the Totally Gospel Radio Network. That programming had been carried on daytime only station WBBF since May 1997. On August 2, 2010 Totally Gospel ended its 3½ year lease of WHLD in preparation of the construction of its own station, WFWO, 89.7 kHz.
WHLD, back under the control of its owner (at the time Citadel Broadcasting Corporation) then switched to an automated adult standards format, becoming the first adult standards station in the market since WECK dropped the format in 2006. On August 11, 2010 WHLD began branding itself "Swing 1270" featuring vocalists associated with the adult standards format. Harv Moore, a well-known local radio personality, was added as the first jock in April 2011. Its only competitor for the adult standards market in the Buffalo market was distant but powerful 50,000 watt CFZM located in Toronto, Ontario.
Cumulus Media bought WHLD and other Citadel stations in a deal approved in September 2011.
In January 2013 it was announced that WHLD would be changing their format, this time to sports talk, with programming from CBS Sports Radio. One local program, hosted by Rich Gaenzler, aired from noon to 3 p.m. (CBS Sports's offering in that time slot, The Jim Rome Show, is signed to WWKB). Cumulus Media planned to move the former WHLD format to WBBF, but protests from the Spanish speaking community led the company to reconsider. In May 2013, the adult standards format would be picked up by WECK.
WHLD acquired the rights to the University of Buffalo Bulls athletics teams in 2013; those rights had previously rested with WECK. WHLD lost the rights to UB athletics in 2014 when the team's rights moved to WWKB. WHLD acquired local rights to the NFL on Westwood One along with Westwood One's NCAA football package in 2015. Gaenzler left the station in late 2015 (he was reassigned to WGRF) and The Herd with Colin Cowherd was inserted into his previous time slot, leaving the station entirely syndicated. WHLD would temporarily add a show from Bob Koshinski (formerly of WNSA, WBBZ-TV and the Empire Sports Network) and The Buffalo News columnists Bucky Gleason and Jerry Sullivan in January 2016. The station would bring back The Bucky and Sully Show in September 2016, and also add a weekly show with News columnist Tim Graham.
On September 1, 2016, WHLD 1270 The Fan made a deal to carry radio the broadcasts of Syracuse Orange basketball and football in the Buffalo market, as well as Notre Dame Fighting Irish football's national broadcasts in weeks where the Irish and Orange games are played at different times.
- Article by Geoff Kelly ArtVoice 2006-02-23 retrieved 2010-08-10 Contrary to the article, gospel programming was only a part of the previous brokered programming format.
- 2006 in review fybush.com
- Totally Gospel website Retrieved 10-28-2011
- WFWO Retrieved 10-28-2011.
- It's back to the future on WHLD 1270 AMBuffalo News 2010-08-12 retrieved 2010-08-14
- Fink, James (2011-09-13). "Cumulus, Citadel radio swap nearly done". Buffalo Business First. Retrieved 2013-01-24.
- Connors, Greg (6 January 2012). "1270 The Fan will debut Monday". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- Kwiatkowski, Jane (2013-01-14). "Hispanic radio station fights for its survival". Buffalo News. Retrieved 2013-01-24.
- The Fan 1270 official website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WHLD
- Radio-Locator Information on WHLD
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WHLD