|City||South Bristol, New York|
|Broadcast area||South Bristol/Rochester, New York|
|Branding||107.3 The Bull|
|Slogan||Rochester's New Hit Country|
|Frequency||107.3 MHz (also on HD Radio)
107.3-2 FM: Classic Country ("Country Road")
|First air date||1996 (as WRCD)|
|Callsign meaning||W estern N ew York B u L l (station branding)|
|Former callsigns||WFUD (1991–1996, CP)
(Citicasters Licenses, Inc.)
|Sister stations||WAIO, WDVI, WHAM, WHTK, WKGS, WVOR|
WNBL is an FM radio station licensed to South Bristol, New York currently airing a country-formatted station branded as 107.3 The Bull. The iHeartMedia outlet broadcasts at 107.3 MHz with an ERP of 650 watts. It is programmed and operated by iHeartMedia's Rochester, New York cluster. The station has been prone to frequent format changes in its history.
- This article describes the history of the 107.3 frequency in the Rochester area. For the history of radio stations broadcasting from the Bristol Mountain site prior to 2004, see WAIO.
The station now known as WNBL was granted a construction permit in 1991 under the calls WFUD. It signed on in 1996 as WRCD, licensed to Honeoye Falls. A sister station to WMAX-FM 106.7, WRCD operated from the WMAX studios at 412 State Street in downtown Rochester and a transmitter site in Bloomfield, on the southeastern edge of the Rochester market. Under original owner Auburn Cablevision, WRCD used a satellite-delivered smooth jazz format from Sony's SW programming service.
In 1997, Auburn Cablevision sold WMAX-FM and WRCD to Jacor Communications. On February 19, 1998, Jacor rearranged the formats on its new acquisitions. WRCD's smooth jazz was replaced by a rhythmic top-40 format called "Jam'n 107.3." On March 1, 1998, WRCD changed calls to WMAX-FM, as the former WMAX-FM on 106.7 became WYSY.
The "Jam'n" nickname gave way to a more mainstream top-40 format as "Kiss 107" in December 1998. On April 30, 1999, "Kiss" moved down the dial to 106.7, which changed calls from WYSY to WKGS (who 11 years later they would shift to Rhythmic in 2011). 107.3 stunted briefly as "Big Cow Country," then flipped to rhythmic oldies on May 1, 1999 as "Jammin' Oldies," later modified to "Cool 107" under new calls WLCL which took effect July 9, 1999.
In February 2000, WLCL changed format to 1980s pop music as "Channel 107.3." On September 3, 2001, WLCL began stunting with an all-ABBA format, returning the following week to rhythmic oldies. At the same time, station owner Clear Channel Communications (which would become iHeartMedia in September 2014) was preparing to relocate the 107.3 facility to South Bristol as part of an upgrade to sister station WNVE on 95.1, which was changing city of license from South Bristol to Honeoye Falls in order to move its transmitter to Baker Hill, closer to Rochester. In January 2002, WLCL relocated its transmitter to the Bristol Mountain site built in 1948 for the Rural Radio Network and formerly used by WNVE. As a class A station from Bristol Mountain, WLCL's new signal in the Rochester market was relatively weak, though the station was well heard in most of the western Finger Lakes region.
In December 2002, WLCL dropped the rhythmic oldies format and began stunting with Christmas music as "Rudolph Radio," then with two days of country music. On December 26, 2002, WLCL changed format to classic rock as "107.3 the Fox," taking new calls WFXF on March 28, 2003.
On July 4, 2004, Clear Channel swapped formats and calls between 95.1 and 107.3, sending classic rock WFXF to the stronger 95.1 signal and moving the WNVE calls and "Nerve" modern rock format to the weaker 107.3 facility. The move followed Clear Channel's corporate decision to remove Howard Stern from its airwaves, which left WNVE without its main ratings draw. By 2006, the playlist had shrunk to about 20 songs.
On August 30, 2006, the Nerve was replaced with a "Wheel Of Formats" under the moniker "Huge 107.3," sponsored by local automobile dealership Fuccillo Hyundai. After six days of stunting, the station flipped to a Rhythmic Adult Contemporary format known as "SNAP! 107.3." The station also picked up "Wake Up With Whoopi" for mornings. It changed call signs to WSNP on September 15, 2006.
On May 18, 2007, Clear Channel pulled the plug on the format and went to country music "Country 107.3." On June 14, 2007, the calls were changed to WCRR. On March 3, 2009 WCRR changed their call letters to WROO, without any change in format or branding.
On September 9, 2009, at Midnight, WROO changed their call letters to WHTK-FM and changed their format to sports talk, simulcasting WHTK 1280 AM in an attempt to cover night areas in the Rochester market WHTK-AM could not.
On May 5, 2012, WHTK-FM began stunting with a looped message directing listeners back to 1280 AM. On May 7, at 9 AM, WHTK-FM launched an oldies format, branded as "Oldies 107.3". The call letters were changed to WODX. The first song as "Oldies 107.3" was Bob Seger's Old Time Rock and Roll. The flip brought an oldies-formatted station back to the Rochester market for the first time since the demise of WBBF in 2005.
On September 11, 2014, at Noon, WODX changed their format back to country, branded as "107.3 The Bull". The final song on "Oldies" was It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) by R.E.M. The change was alongside changes at other Clear Channel stations in the Rochester market with branding and DJs the same day. The call letters were changed to WNBL on September 18.
Currently, the station is completely automated. It launched with 10,000 songs commercial free, a standard practice for new stations (particularly ones owned by iHeartMedia) to acquire an audience. The nationally syndicated Bobby Bones Show debuted on the station on October 13, 2014, and airs from 6am to 11am. The HD2 signal of the station carries Classic Country branded as "Country Road".
- "Call Sign History". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
- Clear Channel Launches 107.3 The Bull
- "Call Sign History". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WNBL
- Radio-Locator information on WNBL
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WNBL
- NERW 8-9-96
- NERW 5-7-99
- NERW 9-3-01
- NERW 1-30-02
- NERW 7-12-04
- NERW 9-5-06
- NERW 5-21-07
- NERW 9-14-09