|Broadcast area||Olean, New York|
|Branding||106.3 WXMT The Mountain|
|Slogan||Mountain Plays Everything|
|Frequency||106.3 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|Translator(s)||98.7 W254BQ (Olean)
99.3 W257CW (Bradford, relays HD3)
HD2: WVTT simulcast
HD3: Top 40/CHR "95.3/99.3 Hot FM"
|Callsign meaning||W X MounTain|
|Former callsigns||WQRM (1990-2008)|
|Owner||Colonial Radio Group|
Listen Live (HD3)
Hot FM Online (HD3)
WXMT is a commercially licensed FM radio station licensed to Smethport, Pennsylvania, the seat of McKean County. The station broadcasts at 106.3 MHz with an effective radiated power of 1,030 watts. WXMT is owned by Colonial Radio Group and is running an adult hits format known as "The Mountain."
Prior to 2008, the station was known as WQRM.
Beginnings in 1953
Though WQRM would not sign on the air until 1990, the foundation for local radio in Smethport was actually laid in the early 1950s.
Back in the summer of 1953, the Smethport Centennial Celebration was the first "special event" covered by WFRM, the new radio station in Coudersport just constructed by the Farm & Home Broadcasting Company, also the parent company of what would later become known as WQRM in 1990. Broadcast lines were installed and temporary broadcast facilities were put in place in Smethport to cover many of the Centennial activities. Pete and Bill, the stars of the Morning Show, were photographed in the derby hats that everyone in Smethport was wearing as part of the celebration. That photo is still on the wall at WFRM's present location at 9 South Main Street in downtown Coudersport.
Encouraged by the enthusiastic reception from folks in Smethport, WFRM decided to put a local office and studio in Smethport. It was located on the second floor of the Auto Parts store on West Main Street. Bob and Lois Johnson became the nucleus of the staff in Smethport and an effort was made to expand the service to this part of the WFRM Coverage area. Russ Wells was the announcer, and Bob Morrison was the engineer. An hour each day was broadcast over the radio from this studio. These daily broadcasts continued for about three years. Meanwhile, the Johnsons had relocated to Kane, and joined the staff that was building the new radio station there, WKZA AM 960, which went on the air in 1954, but has been silent since 1993.
Smethport tries for AM license
A few years later, Hamlin Redfield of Smethport applied to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for an AM station to operate on 910 kHz at 1,000 watts to be located in Smethport. This station was never built, and the construction permit was allowed to expire. Coincidentally, WXMT's current owners would later acquire an AM station on this same frequency at the end of 2015.
Thirty years later - WQRM signs on
In 1989, the FCC opened up a channel for an FM station to be licensed to Smethport. Farm & Home applied for and was granted a permit to build. The longtime cable tower atop Prospect Mountain was selected as the place for the antenna for the station that would be known as WQRM. This same tower would also be used by WHKS, Port Allegany, a separately owned radio station which was also being built at the time.
WQRM signed on the air for the very first time in January 1990. However, it would not be until almost three years later that WQRM would have its own studios and offices in downtown Smethport. Operations for WQRM at first came out of its sister FM station in neighboring Tioga County, WNBT and WNBT-FM, Wellsboro.
A site in downtown Smethport was chosen for the permanent studio and office. It was in the basement of the building at Fulton and Main Streets. However, the disastrous fire that destroyed that building forced the relocation of WQRM to a new office at 211 West Main Street. The station was heard at 106.3 throughout the area, but in Bradford, a special "translator" was authorized to rebroadcast on 99.3, since the 106.3 signal is weakened by the tall mountains surrounding the city.
Over the years, local resident Rosalie Bishop was the local manager and was active in arranging the programming, news coverage and special events, as well as contact with businesses using radio advertising. She hired and trained different persons to do broadcasting, news gathering and sales. In addition to the regular music programming, there were many special events and programs.
Broadcasts from local and area churches were eagerly awaited by listeners, as well as local news and events from the Fairgrounds. Smethport Hubbers football and basketball games have always been popular with WQRM’s listeners, and in addition, some of the Otto-Eldred games were carried on the station. Sportscasters included Bill Lord, Jeff Switzer, Scott McGuire and Ron Deibler.
Sale and subsequent actions
In August 2008, WQRM's owner, Farm & Home Broadcasting (and its controlling interest, the Allegheny Mountain Radio Network) sold the station to Colonial Radio Group, owner of WLMI, a country station based in Kane. It had been speculated in media publications that a format change was forthcoming; indeed, the former 99.3 translator in Bradford has been switched from WQRM to the new WLMI Radio Network, but WLMI has opted for a separate frequency in Smethport (95.3) to relay WLMI. A new format debuted in January 2009 as The Mountain / 106.3 WXMT hit the airwaves. The Mountain is "Twin Tiers' Rock Without the Hard Edge" and features Classic Hits from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. The 95.3 station now has its own news/talk radio format.
Much like WLMI (now WBYB), WXMT is broadcasting in HD Radio as of January 2009.
Smethport radio today
Today, Smethport is home to service from two FM frequencies. 95.3 features a News and Talk simulcast from WVTT, Portville, NY, and is also the home of Smethport Hubbers athletics, with Dave Ezzolo calling the action. Meanwhile, The Mountain/106.3 WXMT is on-the-air featuring Classic Hits from the 70's, 80's, and 90's.
- WXMT official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WXMT
- Radio-Locator information on WXMT
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WXMT
- Query the FCC's FM station database for W254BQ
- Radio-Locator information on W254BQ
- Query the FCC's FM station database for W257CW
- Radio-Locator information on W257CW