|City||Albany, New York|
Primary: Albany Capital District of New York; parts of Eastern New York; Southern Vermont, Western Massachusetts, Upper Northwest Connecticut|
Secondary: West-Central Connecticut, southwestern New Hampshire, northwestern New Jersey, northeast Pennsylvania, a small portion of Quebec.
|Branding||WAMC, Northeast Public Radio|
|Frequency||See § Stations|
|Translator(s)||See § Translators|
|First air date||1958|
|Callsign meaning||Albany Medical College/Center|
WAMC is a public radio network headquartered in Albany, New York. The network has 12 broadcast radio stations (transmitters) and 16 broadcast relay stations (translators, repeaters). One of the stations is an AM station: WAMC (AM) 1400 in Albany. The organization's legal name is "WAMC" and it is also known as "WAMC Public Radio" or "WAMC Northeast Public Radio."
In addition, the station operates The Linda/WAMC Performing Arts Studio, a performance venue in Albany located near its Central Avenue studios.
A member of NPR and affiliate of Public Radio International and American Public Media, WAMC is a charitable, educational, non-commercial broadcaster meeting the requirements of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. §501(c)(3)) It had total annual revenues for the fiscal year 2010 of $6.36 million.
Its corporate officers include Anne Erickson, chair of the board of trustees, and Alan S. Chartock, president and chief executive officer (since 1981).
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WAMC started in 1958 as a radio station for the local hospital and medical school, Albany Medical Center and Albany Medical College. Albany Medical Center is a large tertiary-care hospital serving the upper Hudson Valley, and the medical school (with which it is affiliated) is one of the country's ACGME-accredited medical schools. The affiliation with Albany Medical Center was the source of the call letters WAMC (although the station and the hospital/medical school have both long gone their separate ways).
The station's 24/7 non-commercial classical music format served a large listener base and was popular among music aficionados. The earliest years also included broadcasts of health information and lectures from visiting professors. Early on, part of WAMC's regular programming was the broadcast of live concerts by the Boston Symphony Orchestra from Tanglewood and Boston. When the NPR network was founded in 1970, WAMC signed-on as one of NPR's original 90 "charter" members. Around 1980, financial pressures caused the hospital and medical school to divest the station. In 1981, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license on 90.3 FM was transferred to a 501c3 tax-exempt entity, WAMC, Inc., which had been set up by a group of five corporators (amongst them the current CEO and president, Alan S. Chartock) affiliated with the State University of New York and New York State government. In the years since the transfer, the station has cut back on most classical music programming (live BSO concerts are still broadcast) while becoming a producer of information-based, non-music programming, providing a variety of interview-format programs to radio stations across the country via the station's in-house subsidiary, National Productions. (WMHT-FM in nearby Schenectady, New York and its network of repeater stations continues to program classical music in the region.)
Community and corporate contributions (often obtained during regular fund drives) have helped the original single station grow over the years into a network of 22 facilities with large primary service contours covering New York's Capital District, Western Massachusetts, southern Vermont, and parts of New Hampshire, Connecticut, and New Jersey. WAMC-FM's main transmitter and antenna are atop Mount Greylock in Adams, Massachusetts, the highest mountain in the state in the Mount Greylock State Reservation; it had formerly been a tenant on the tower, which was built and maintained by Albany's ABC affiliate WTEN (channel 10) for their satellite station for the Berkshire region and Pittsfield, WCDC (channel 19; it shut down in 2017). The tower also features a radio facility for the Massachusetts State Police and a translator station for Albany's NBC affiliate, WNYT (channel 13).
The main 90.3 mHz signal operates at 10,000 watts, which on paper is somewhat modest for a full NPR member on the FM band. However, its high location gives it one of the largest coverage areas of any NPR station in the Northeast. It provides at least grade B coverage to most of east-central New York (including the Capital District), southwestern Vermont, western Massachusetts, southwestern New Hampshire, and northwestern Connecticut.
On December 22, 2017, WAMC entered into an agreement to purchase the Mount Greylock WCDC transmitter and tower from the current owner of WTEN/WCDC, Nexstar Media Group, for just above $1 million. Nexstar had taken the WCDC license permanently silent on December 1, 2017 (though damage to the station's transmission line in a storm took it off the air two weeks earlier on November 19) after turning it in as a result of the FCC's 2016 spectrum auction for $34.5 million in compensation, and due to it sitting on Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation land and WTEN's lease having expired two years prior, WAMC could have been taken off the air without their purchasing of the facility. WAMC owns the facility itself, but not the land beneath, which is under lease with the MDCR until 2025, and will fundraise in order to rebuild their financial reserves.
Criticism and views
Accusations of bias
NPR's official news policy says its affiliate stations should be "fair, unbiased, accurate, honest, and respectful of the people that are covered".
A Washington-based NPR news producer, who requested anonymity, stated that Chartock, the station's president and a frequently heard voice on the station, presents politically-biased commentary.
Chartock responded that WAMC’s editorial neutrality is maintained by "including as many conservative commentators on the air as liberal ones".
WAMC has grown into a network of twelve stations and sixteen translators serving portions of seven states in New England and Mid-Atlantic States, bringing news, information and cultural programming. The station's February 2017 fund drive raised over $1,000,000 in less than one day.
First Amendment Fund
In 2005, WAMC's board of trustees established a "First Amendment Fund" to promote and preserve the First Amendment and the right of free speech by providing a source of funding "to support WAMC if special situations or needs should arise". The contributions in this "unrestricted, board designated" fund reported on WAMC's 2006 IRS tax forms was $482,577.
WAMC produces many programs of its own, as well as programs that are distributed under the name "National Productions", which are marked with †. These include:
- The Academic Minute†
- The Best of Our Knowledge†
- The Book Show†
- The Capitol Connection†
- Hudson River Sampler
- The Legislative Gazette†
- Live at the Linda
- The Media Project†
- Midday Magazine
- Northeast Report
- Performance Place
- The Power of Words
- The Roundtable
- Tim Coakley Jazz
- Vox Pop
- WAMC Bluegrass Time
- The Environment Show—name was dropped, format changed, and program morphed into In Our Backyard, with NYS wildlife expert Ward Stone.
- The Health Show†
- Knock on Wood—with Steve Charney and Harry
- Me and Mario
- Music Through the Night—Midnight to 5 A.M.
- Rachael's Place
- Weekly Rundown
- Zucchini Brothers show
WAMC also podcasts their original programs.
|Call sign||Frequency||City of license||Facility ID||Power
|Class||Transmitter coordinates||Call sign meaning|
|WAMC||1400 AM||Albany, New York||4683||1,000 (unlimited hours)||C||Albany Medical College|
|WAMC-FM||90.3 FM (HD)||Albany, New York||70849||10,000||600 m (2,000 ft)||B||Coordinates:||Albany Medical College|
|WAMK||90.9 FM||Kingston, New York||70502||940||453 m (1,486 ft)||B1||Kingston|
|WAMQ||105.1 FM||Great Barrington, Massachusetts||70847||730||280 m (920 ft)||A||variation of WAMC|
|WANC||103.9 FM||Ticonderoga, New York||70842||1,550||116 m (381 ft)||A||Adirondack North Country; also a variation of WAMC|
|WANR||88.5 FM||Brewster, New York||174780||235||44 m (144 ft)||A|
|WANZ||90.1 FM||Stamford, New York||176616||230||−103 m (−338 ft)||A||variation of WAMC|
|WCAN||93.3 FM||Canajoharie, New York||70503||6,000||82 m (269 ft)||A||CANajoharie|
|WCEL||91.9 FM||Plattsburgh, New York||44032||380||260 m (850 ft)||A||Clinton Essex Lake Champlain|
|WOSR||91.7 FM||Middletown, New York||70848||1,800||192 m (630 ft)||B1|
|WRUN||90.3 FM||Remsen, New York||87836||1,200||204 m (669 ft)||B||Rome-Utica News (former call sign for 1150 AM)|
|WWES||88.9 FM||Mount Kisco, New York||176621||200||35 m (115 ft)||A||WEStchester County|
|City of license||ERP
|W226AC||93.1||Rensselaer, New York||80||44.3 m (145 ft)||D||FCC|
|W246BJ||97.1||Hudson, New York||200||−14 m (−46 ft)||D||FCC|
|City of license||ERP
|W271BF||102.1||Highland, New York||10||255.4 m (838 ft)||D||FCC|
|W280DJ||103.9||Beacon, New York||10||332.8 m (1,092 ft)||D||FCC|
|W299AG||107.7||Newburgh, New York||10||115 m (377 ft)||D||FCC|
|W292ES||106.3||Dover Plains, New York||10||186 m (610 ft)||D||FCC|
|City of license||ERP
|W215BG||90.9||Milford, Pennsylvania||10||71.2 m (234 ft)||D||FCC|
|W296BD||107.1||Warwick, New York||10||107.8 m (354 ft)||D||FCC|
|W243BZ||96.5||Ellenville, New York||6.5||457.9 m (1,502 ft)||D||FCC|
|City of license||ERP
|W247BM||97.3||Cooperstown, New York||10||147.9 m (485 ft)||D||FCC|
|W257BL||99.3||Oneonta, New York||250||1.5 m (4.9 ft)||D||FCC|
- "Coverage Map | WAMC". Retrieved 6 May 2012.
- "Frequencies". Retrieved 2016-09-22.
- "Coverage Map | WAMC". Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- "GuideStar Exchange Reports for WAMC". GuideStar. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
- Fanto, Clarence (22 December 2017). "WAMC purchases radio tower atop Mount Greylock". Berkshire Eagle. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
- "NPR Ethics Handbook | How to apply our standards to our journalism". NPR. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
- Dechter, Gadi (July 13, 2005). "Locally Grown". Baltimore City Paper. Archived from the original on December 25, 2005. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
- "Thanks to anti-Trump sentiment, WAMC meets goal in 12 hours". Times Union. Retrieved 2017-04-08.
- "WAMC's IRS Form 990 for Fiscal 2006 (page 35)" (PDF).
AM station data
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WAMC
- Radio-Locator Information on WAMC
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WAMC
FM station data
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WAMC
- Radio-Locator information on WAMC
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WAMC
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WAMK
- Radio-Locator information on WAMK
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WAMK
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- Radio-Locator information on WAMQ
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- Radio-Locator information on WANC
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WANC
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WANZ
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- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WCEL
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- Query the FCC's FM station database for WRUN
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- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WRUN
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WWES
- Radio-Locator information on WWES
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WWES