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WBZZ (FM): Wikis


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City of license Malta, New York
Broadcast area Capital District, southern Adirondacks
Branding Buzz 105.7
Frequency 105.7 MHz
First air date November 1996 (from Queensbury)
November 28, 2006 (Malta)
Format Adult Contemporary
ERP 7,100 watts
HAAT 187 meters
Class B1
Facility ID 6613
Callsign meaning W Bu ZZ (format name)
Former callsigns WNYQ (1996-2006, Queensbury)
Owner Regent Communications

WBZZ (105.7 FM, "Buzz 105.7") are the call letters of an adult contemporary radio station (with a light to moderate Hot AC lean) licensed to Malta, New York. The station is owned by Regent Communications and broadcasts with 25 kilowatts ERP from the Bald Mountain tower used by the analog signal of WNYT in the hamlet of Speigletown, in the Town of Brunswick, Rensselaer County, New York. WBZZ is the newest radio station in the Albany/Schenectady/Troy market, having signed on the air on November 28, 2006 when it began simulcasting (and became the new home of) the Buzz Hot AC/Adult Top 40 format of sister station WABT. [1]

Prior to its move into the Capital District (Albany-Schenectady-Troy) market, the station was based in Queensbury outside Glens Falls until its signoff in May 2006.


Queensbury History

After the passage of FCC Docket 80-90 in 1983 deregulated FM station classes, the idea of putting a high-watt FM station in the Glens Falls-Lake George area was approached by several people. Around 1990, WENU owner Donald Heckman successfully petitioned the FCC to grant a 25,000 watt radio station to his hometown of Queensbury. After several years of delays, the Heckman-owned Bradmark Communications won the allocation in 1993, originally holding the WWAZ calls until 1995, then the WSRQ calls until June 1996 when it took the WNYQ calls.

Bradmark put WNYQ on the air in November 1996 as the centerpiece of what would become a local radio empire that would soon acquire several other stations in the market. WNYQ assumed the adult contemporary format of WENU, branded under the Wink 105.7 name. From its launch, it aired local programming from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. weekdays with satellite programming fed via Westwood One at all other hours as had its predecessor.

In 2000, Bradmark Communications was sold to Vox Media, then a growing owner of radio stations in small markets throughout New York and New England. Vox dumped all satellite programming and decided to take WNYQ to a Hot AC approach, initially keeping the Wink name. In early 2002, WNYQ rebranded as Q105.7 to fully signify the new format which had begun to lean towards CHR. Though successful, the station eventually began to decline due to heavy competition from new rival WKBE and several out-of-market CHR stations with usable signals in WNYQ's signal area.

2004 saw two major developments as Vox began to sell their properties to other companies and the initial application to move the signal into the Albany market was filed making it the second Bradmark/Vox station to do so (WOOB, the former WHTR Corinth, was the first) . In December, 2004, WNYQ flipped to a satellite-fed Classic Hits/Classic Rock format while keeping the Q105.7 name. The flip was also done to have a no-risk format in place for when a move could proceed.

The Classic Hits format remained on the 105.7 frequency until it signed off to move in May 2006. That format would be revived in September 2006 at 101.7 MHz (the former WENU, then WQYQ) in Hudson Falls with the WNYQ calls following the next month.

Move-in information

The move of 105.7 into the Capital District, originally applied for in 2004, has gone through several complications. Originally, the station had a construction permit with lease to broadcast from the Clifton Park tower used by WPTR, WKKF, and WABT)which is owned by Fitch Communications of New York (FCNY).

When finally built, inexplicably, the present Bald Mountain site was selected even amid concerns that Bald Mountain may provide less-than-optimal coverage of some growing suburbs to the north of the market's core.

When Vox sold their remaining Glens Falls stations to Pamal Broadcasting in mid-2004, initially there was a clause that would allow Pamal to get the first rights to buy the station as a move-in. This plan was slowed down by regulatory concerns with Pamal's revenue share in the adjacent Capital District and the potential that the signal that would have been sold if purchased (104.9 WZMR) would not able to find new ownership in the required amount of time.

In June 2006, Regent Communications purchased the licence of WNYQ to put it on the air. Early speculation of future formats had included moving WABT's Hot AC format to the stronger 105.7 signal or a classic country format to complement market leader WGNA-FM to adult contemporary to go against WYJB and WQAR. The first possibility became reality in the wake of Regent entering a deal with former WYJB morning show Chuck & Kelly. Their show began on September 12, 2006 as a prelude to the move.

In preparation of the move, Vox applied for the call letters WBZZ for the 105.7 frequency. They took effect on September 21, 2006. After some delays, the station finally returned to the air from the Bald Mountain tower site on November 28, 2006 simulcasting WABT.

It was during this time that the station began to refer to itself as "Buzz 105.7." For the following week, DJ's were constantly heard informing listeners to "make the switch," explaining that the old 104.5 frequency would no longer broadcast the format as of the coming week. The station relaunched exclusively on 105.7 on December 4, 2006.

Re-Launch as Adult Contemporary

On December 6, 2007, WBZZ changed its Hot Adult Contemporary format (which violated Regent-Clear Channel's non-compete agreement; WRVE is Hot AC) to Adult Contemporary. The call letters, and the name "Buzz 105.7" still remain. The Clear Channel-Regent's non-compete agreement would continue in Albany once again, as Clear Channel's WHRL shifted from modern rock to active rock in 2009, competing up against Regent's new active rocker WQBK-FM and the other active rock station, WZMR, owned by Pamal. But Pamal's WZMR is back to country music as of 2010.

While most of the jingles and imaging initially stayed from the previous format, WBZZ began airing new jingles in January 2008, better suited for an Adult Contemporary station.

The current air staff includes: Mark Vanness host of the Morning Buzz (5:30-10am), Meredith McNeil (10-3pm), Julie Fiener (3-7pm) and Darcy "Buzz Nights On Demand" - a request show weeknights from 7-midnight.

In August 2008, two long time jocks left the station. Former Program Director Glen Stacey - along with 25 other employees throughout the company, was let go due to budget cutbacks. Jake Thomas, has added PD duties to his list of tasks that already include OM of the Regent Albany cluster, as well as PD/MD of sister station, Country 107.7 WGNA-FM. Trudy, who held the midday position (and morning show co-host prior to that), in essence switched positions with sister station WLZW Lite 98.7 FM in Utica (also owned by Regent), where from she originally came from. In return, Meredith McNeil came to BZZ.

In addition, the station changed its slogan from "Bright, Fresh, and Upbeat" under the Hot AC/Adult Top 40 format, to "The Best Variety from Yesterday and Today" under the new Adult Contemporary format, and now to "The Capital Regions Best Variety from Yesterday and Today".

Recently, the station has begun to lean a little bit more Hot AC than competitor WYJB, but still is mostly an Adult Contemporary station.

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