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WJFF logo.jpg
CityJeffersonville, New York
Broadcast areaCatskill Mountains
Frequency90.5 MHz
BrandingRadio Catskill
FormatCommunity Radio
AffiliationsAmerican Public Media, National Public Radio, Public Radio International, Pacifica Radio
OwnerRadio Catskill, Inc.
First air date
February 12, 1990
Call sign meaning
W JeFFersonville
Technical information
Facility ID54516
ERP3,700 watts
HAAT192 meters
Transmitter coordinates
41°48′04.2″N 74°47′03.5″W / 41.801167°N 74.784306°W / 41.801167; -74.784306Coordinates: 41°48′04.2″N 74°47′03.5″W / 41.801167°N 74.784306°W / 41.801167; -74.784306
Translator(s)94.5 W233AH (Monticello, New York)
Webcastlisten live

WJFF (90.5 MHz) is a non-commercial, listener-supported public radio station licensed to Jeffersonville, New York and serving the Catskill Mountains of New York. The radio studios and offices are on Route 52 in Jeffersonville.[1]

WJFF has an effective radiated power (ERP) of 3,200 watts. The transmitter is approximately two miles west of Liberty, New York, off Old Loomis Road.[2] Programming is also heard on FM translator W233AH at 94.5 MHz in Monticello.[3]

WJFF may be the nation's only hydropowered radio station. The electricity for the station's studios and offices are drawn from a dam 50 feet away adjacent to Lake Jefferson.[4]


In 1984, Malcolm Brown purchased the Lake Jefferson dam and powerhouse.(41°46′40.19″N 74°55′30.6294″W / 41.7778306°N 74.925174833°W / 41.7778306; -74.925174833) He began to repair the hydro plant which was originally constructed in 1927. In 1986, the hydro plant was placed in service, generating enough power to supply 20-25 area homes.

In January 1988, Catskill Radio, Inc., also owned by Malcolm Brown, received a construction permit for WJFF. The radio station's studio building was built on the north side of the Jefferson Lake dam, about 50 feet away from the generator house. The station was completed by mostly volunteer labor.

The station signed on January 20, 1990. Initially the station transmitted with a power of 830 watts. This was increased to 3,700 watts in early 1996.[5]

1996 was also the year that Catskill Radio Inc. applied for and received authorization to build its Monticello FM translator, 94.5 W233AH.[6]

Since 2000, the Lake Jefferson Dam has survived numerous severe floods and still provides all of the power to run WJFF with the excess being sold to NYSEG, the local power company. In 2005, the dam and generating equipment were sold to Kevin and Barbra Gref, who continue to operate it.

The transmitter site is located on a hill approximately six miles east of the studios and is powered conventionally by commercial electrical service.


Weekdays feature several NPR shows (Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Fresh Air with Terry Gross) a well as other public affairs and news programming. Time is also devoted to classical music, jazz and other musical genres. Locally produced programs are heard in the early afternoons and evenings. The schedule is a balance between eclectic community radio and NPR programming, with a smattering of shows from Pacifica Radio, the BBC and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The BBC World Service is heard overnight.

The "Spring Gathering" is a three day event with live in-studio performances of musicians and bands, poets and authors, featuring local talent. The broadcast is part of the three annual pledge drives held by the station. Podcasts of the 2019 performances are available on Soundcloud [1].


In addition to the main signal at 90.5 MHz, WJFF is relayed by a translator station to widen its broadcast area.

Call sign Frequency
City of license ERP
Class FCC info
W233AH 94.5 Monticello, New York 9 D FCC FM Query

See also[edit]


  1. ^ WJFFradio.org/staging/contact
  2. ^ Radio-Locator.com/WJFF
  3. ^ Radio-Locator.com/W233AH
  4. ^ "Hydropowered Radio Story". Krane, Jim, Associated Press, 2002.
  5. ^ "WJFF Application Search Results". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
  6. ^ "W233AH Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.

External links[edit]