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City Rome, New York
Broadcast area Utica/Rome
Branding Talkradio 1450 WKAL
Frequency 1450 kHz
First air date November 25, 1946[1]
Format Talk radio
Power 1,000 watts
Class C
Facility ID 72067
Transmitter coordinates 43°12′18.00″N 75°28′48.00″W / 43.2050000°N 75.4800000°W / 43.2050000; -75.4800000
Callsign meaning KALlet family (original owners)[1]
Former callsigns WKAL (1946–1988)
WFRG (1988–1991)
WZLB (1991–1993)
WFRG (1993)
WODZ (1993–1996)
WFRY (1996–1997)
WODZ (1997–1999)
WYFY (1999–2011)
WRUY (2011–2012)
Affiliations ABC News Radio[2]
Owner Tune In Broadcasting, LLC
Webcast Listen Live
Website www.wkal1450.com

WKAL (1450 AM; "Talkradio 1450") is a radio station licensed to Rome, New York, United States, and serving the Utica-Rome radio market. The station is owned by Tune In Broadcasting, LLC, a company based in Santa Clarita, California. It broadcasts a talk radio format, with an emphasis toward Rome-area sports.[3]


WKAL signed on November 25, 1946[1] as a Mutual affiliate owned by the Copper City Broadcasting Corporation.[4] Copper City Broadcasting was itself owned by Myron Kallet, who also controlled a chain of theaters that included the Capitol Theatre in Rome,[5] where WKAL placed its studios.[4] The station was the second station in Utica-Rome, after WIBX (which had already been on the air for two decades).[5] Kallet would also expand into television on December 1, 1949, when WKTV (then at channel 13; later on channel 2) went on the air from Utica.[5]

In 1958, Kallet sold WKAL and WKTV to a group led by Paul Harron and Gordon Gray, who had previously owned WIBG AM-FM in Philadelphia and WPFH in Wilmington, Delaware.[6] The group, Mid-New York Broadcasting, changed the station's affiliation to ABC Radio by 1959;[7] it then sold WKAL to Jackson Maurer, former owner of WHKK in Akron, Ohio, in 1961.[8] The sale separated the station from WKTV, which remained under Harron ownership until 1992. In 1962, WKAL reaffiliated with Mutual;[9] by 1964, the ABC affiliation had ceased,[10] and by 1967, the station's studios had left the Capitol Theatre for its transmitter location on South Jay Street.[11] An FM sister station, WKAL-FM, was started in August 1968[12] on 95.9 FM as a simulcast of the AM station.[13] During this time, WKAL's music programming included blocks devoted to middle of the road music, country music, and top 40. In 1977, WKAL-FM dropped the AM simulcast in favor of beautiful music.[14]

Maurer Broadcasting Corporation sold WKAL AM-FM to Wooster Republican Publishing Company of Wooster, Ohio in 1980.[15] By 1983, WKAL had an adult contemporary format;[16] two years later, the station, along with what had become WTCO, were acquired by Howard Green and Donald Simmons, owner of WENY AM-TV and WLEZ in Elmira and WOND and WMGM FM-TV in Atlantic City, New Jersey.[17] By then, WKAL had an oldies format.[18]

Target Communications bought WKAL and its FM sister station (which had reverted to WKAL-FM) from Green and Simmons in 1987;[19] soon after taking over, on February 1, 1988, the station's call sign was changed to WFRG,[20] and it began simulcasting the "96 Frog" country music format of the FM station, which had become WFRG-FM at 96.1.[21] The AM call letters were changed to WZLB on November 29, 1991,[22] and the station briefly resumed separate programming with an oldies format;[23] on May 15, 1993, the station reverted to the WFRG call sign[22] and returned to simulcasting WFRG-FM. Target Communications eventually became Arrow Communications, which went into receivership in 1992;[24] in November 1993, WFRG AM-FM was purchased by Forever Broadcasting,[12] which renamed the stations WODZ and launched an oldies format, with the country format and WFRG-FM call letters moving to 104.3 FM.[25] The AM call letters changed again on November 25, 1996, this time to WFRY;[22] this was to warehouse the call letters for a sister station in Watertown,[26] and the call letters were reverted to WODZ on February 14, 1997.[22]

Forever sold the station to the Bible Broadcasting Network (BBN) in 1999;[27] after the sale was completed that May, the station became WYFY, and replaced the simulcast of WODZ-FM with a 24-hour broadcast of BBN's satellite-fed religious programming.[22][28] BBN sold the station to Tune In Broadcasting in 2011; Tune In chose to return the station to commercial operation,[29] forcing WYFY to leave the air following the completion of the sale on May 6, 2011, as only noncommercial stations can maintain main studios outside of their broadcast area (the former studios at the transmitter site in Rome were demolished).[30][31] In addition, BBN retained the WYFY call letters;[29] as a result, the station was renamed WRUY, swapping with the construction permit for a BBN station in Cambridge, Ohio.[22][32] WRUY tested its signal with public service announcements and station identification (which claimed service to the nearby Syracuse market) in late February 2012,[33] but on April 1 the call letters were changed back to WKAL.[22] The station returned to the air again on May 4, 2012,[34] but went silent three days later due to technical difficulties.[35] WKAL again resumed broadcasting on April 24, 2013,[36] with nostalgia programming from the 1920s Radio Network, as well as a station identification announcing that the station was conducting an "engineering test broadcast" and that "a brand new WKAL" would launch soon.[37] However, on May 8, 2013, satellite problems, an interference complaint, and the theft of copper strapping from the station's tower led WKAL to again leave the air.[38]

Following further test broadcasts, WKAL finally resumed regular broadcasts March 11, 2014.[39] The station's current format provides a mix of lifestyle and regular talk radio (primarily syndicated, with two local hourlong shows in afternoon drive time), and also provides coverage of Rome Free Academy athletics. WKAL is affiliated with ABC News Radio and Cable Radio Networks.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "POTW: Vintage WKAL Sign Discovered (2011)". CNYRadio.com. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "WKAL-AM radio station returns to Rome airwaves". Oneida Daily Dispatch. March 12, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014. 
  3. ^ http://www.wktv.com/news/local/WKAL-is-back-on-the-air-and-ready-to-bring-local-sports-news-249587611.html
  4. ^ a b Broadcasting Yearbook 1948 (PDF). 1948. p. 178. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c "Joseph Trela". Utica AM Radio. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Closed Circuit" (PDF). Broadcasting. November 10, 1958. p. 5. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  7. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1960 (PDF). 1960. p. A-197. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Changing hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. May 22, 1961. p. 52. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  9. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1963 (PDF). 1963. p. B-126. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  10. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1965 (PDF). 1965. p. B-107. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  11. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1968 (PDF). 1968. p. B-114. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1999 (PDF). 1999. p. D-311. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  13. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1969 (PDF). 1969. p. B-117. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  14. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 (PDF). 1977. p. C-146. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. August 4, 1980. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  16. ^ Broadcasting/Cablecasting Yearbook 1984 (PDF). 1984. p. B-179. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 10, 1984. p. 92. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  18. ^ Broadcasting/Cablecasting Yearbook 1987 (PDF). 1987. p. B-200. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. September 21, 1987. p. 74. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Call Letters" (PDF). Broadcasting. February 8, 1988. p. 114. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  21. ^ Broadcasting/Cablecasting Yearbook 1989 (PDF). 1989. p. B-207. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f g "Call Sign History". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  23. ^ Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1993 (PDF). 1993. p. B-250. Retrieved April 16, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Application Search Details". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  25. ^ Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1994 (PDF). 1994. p. B-259. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  26. ^ Fybush, Scott (March 5, 1997). "Praise, Pirates, and More". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  27. ^ Fybush, Scott (January 8, 1999). "Snowbound!". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  28. ^ Fybush, Scott (May 14, 1999). "CBM Leaves 940". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  29. ^ a b Seyler, Dave (February 16, 2011). "Tune In Broadcasting reclaims one from the noncoms". Radio Business Report. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Q&A: Why Has Rome’s WRUY Been Silent Since May?". CNYRadio.com. October 10, 2011. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  31. ^ "FCC Approves More Silence for Rome’s WRUY". CNYRadio.com. February 15, 2012. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  32. ^ "WYFY’s New Call Letters: WRUY". CNYRadio.com. May 17, 2011. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Brief Signs of Progress for Rome’s WRUY". CNYRadio.com. February 27, 2012. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  34. ^ Frisch, Ron (May 4, 2012). "Resumption of Operations (1)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  35. ^ Frisch, Ron (May 16, 2012). "Notification of Suspension of Operations / Request for Silent STA (1)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  36. ^ Frisch, Ron (May 6, 2013). "Resumption of Operations (2)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  37. ^ "Rome’s WKAL 1450 back on-the-air days before FCC deadline [AUDIO]". CNYRadio.com. May 5, 2013. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  38. ^ Frisch, Ron (June 10, 2013). "Notification of Suspension of Operations / Request for Silent STA (2)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  39. ^ http://www.uticaod.com/article/20140311/NEWS/140319852

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