|City||Hyde Park, New York|
|Broadcast area||Mid-Hudson Valley|
|Slogan||"The Heart and Soul of American music."|
|First air date||July 4, 1963|
|Format||Variety (Americana, blues, country, pre-1965 music)|
|Power||500 watts (day)
57 watts (night)
|Callsign meaning||W Hudson Valley W|
|Former callsigns||WHVW (1963-76)
|Webcast||Listen Live (TuneIn Flash player)
Listen Live (iTunes/Winamp)
WHVW (950 AM) is a radio station licensed to Hyde Park, New York that is noted for its eclectic format based on old-fashioned blues, jazz, country and Americana music. In a time of corporate ownership of broadcast outlets, it is also one of only three Hudson Valley radio stations (other two: WTBQ, Warwick; WDST, Woodstock) that are independently owned. WHVW broadcasts on 950 kHz with a power of 500 watts daytime and 57 watts nighttime from a tower located off Route 9G in the Town of Hyde Park. Studios are located at 316 Main Street in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Originally owned by Ubiquitous Corp., WHVW signed on the air on July 4, 1963 as a daytime-only station broadcasting from a tower just north of the Poughkeepsie/Hyde Park line. Launching with a Top 40 format that served the Poughkeepsie area, the station became popular and within a few years was the #1 station in town, with their share of the audience over 50%. In 1966, WHVW-FM signed on at 97.7 MHz.
WHVW was sold to Castle Communications Corp in 1975. Despite the fact the Top 40 was still getting good ratings, the new owners made a radical format change to all-news (via NBC's News and Information Service) as WHPN, continuing the format after NBC folded the service in 1977. This move reduced the station's audience considerably and in 1978 the format changed again to adult contemporary with the new call letters of WWWI. Positioning itself as a more musical alternative to WKIP, the station struggled to find an audience as the ownership lost money.
In 1982, WWWI's owners filed for bankruptcy and the future of the station was in doubt. While the sale of WJJB (the former WHVW-FM) helped matters, ownership nearly donated WWWI to a Christian group that would later become the genesis of Sound of Life Radio. Instead, the station was sold, the WHVW calls returned, and the station switched to a standards format. For the next decade, WHVW would switch between various oldies and adult standards permutations, often changing its format as a result of a higher-powered, better-funded station coming into competition. WHVW added nighttime service with 57 watts in the mid 1980s. Around the same time, its studios moved to Market Street in Poughkeepsie; in 1989 the station moved back to the original "Broadcast House" on Route 9G in Hyde Park, NY.
More financial problems in 1992 led to WHVW's sale to current owner Joseph-Paul (J. P.) Ferraro, a former pirate radio broadcaster. Noted by some as an eccentric, Ferraro would move the studios back to Poughkeepsie and change the format to something that would share his musical tastes with the community; the eclectic format has attracted media attention (see below) but has struggled to produce much revenue, resulting in the station relying on paid programming. No salaries are paid to any on-air hosts; anyone who can bring advertisers can potentially get on WHVW.
WHVW's musical library is one of the most obscure in the United States, being based mostly on pre-1965 music that was originally issued on 78 rpm records; this music rarely gets airplay anywhere except on some low-powered college or community radio stations. Non-music programming on WHVW includes some weekend religious and ethnic programs, a weekly talk show done with the Poughkeepsie Chamber of Commerce, a high school sports program, and a weekly program hosted by Poughkeepsie Journal columnist and former WEOK morning host Larry Hughes.
The mystique of WHVW's unique format has produced something of a cult following of the station; though not a factor in its own market and not having been rated in many years, WHVW has been profiled by many publications throughout the northeast including a 2001 piece by The New York Times.
- WHVW official website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WHVW
- Radio-Locator Information on WHVW
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WHVW
- WFMU "Beware of The Blog" profile on WHVW (includes audio clips)
- Freeman, Samuel G. (August 12, 2001). "An Island of Idiosyncrasy on the AM Dial". The New York Times. Retrieved August 28, 2011.
- "WHVW Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- "1965 Broadcasting Yearbook page B-102". Broadcasting Publications, Inc.
- "1979 Broadcasting Yearbook page C-148". Broadcasting Publications, Inc.
- "WHVW call sign history". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- "Annotated WBCQ Program Guide". WBCQ, Inc.