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WGDJ
Wcbi am.png
City of license Rensselaer, New York
Broadcast area Capital District
Branding Talk 1300
Frequency 1300 kHz
First air date 1963
Format Talk radio
Power 10,000 watts
Class B
Former callsigns WEEE (1963-72)
WQBK (1972-97)
WTMM (1997-2007)
WEEV (2007)
WTMM (2007-08)
Owner Capital Broadcasting, Inc.
Website www.talk1300.com

WGDJ (Talk 1300) is an AM radio station broadcasting on 1300 kHz licensed to Rensselaer, New York. The station is currently owned and operated by Capital Broadcasting, Inc., which recently bought the station from Regent Communications and runs a talk radio format.

Contents

History

WGDJ started out in 1963 as WEEE, a 5,000-watt daytime-only radio station. The 1300 kHz frequency allocation was created for another station that was forced off the air a year earlier (1280 WRSA Saratoga Springs). The station played country music, but always had trouble competing against more powerful & popular WOKO, the leading country music station in the market. In 1970, the station changed hands and adopted the WQBK calls, initially doing an MOR format that eventually evolved to full time talk, by the late 1970s. In 1981, WQBK would become a full time station with 5,000 watts of nighttime power and also became the New York Yankees radio affiliate for the market.

With the exception of upstart WWCN (now WDDY), WQBK was the only full-time talk radio station in the Albany area until WPTR moved to that format in 1988 and was the first Albany stop for a young Tom Leykis early in his career before he left for Miami's WNWS. Locally, market veterans Paul Vandenburgh (later of WROW, and future minority owner of the station as WGDJ) and Tom Mailey (now of WRGB) began their careers at the station. The talk format did well even against the larger signaled WPTR and the evolution of WGY to talk, however the sale of WQBK AM/FM to Radio Enterprises, Inc. in 1996 led to drastic changes. At literally a moment's notice, all local programming was canceled, most of the staff fired, and sports contracts were terminated (including the Yankees mere hours before first pitch of opening day).

In 1997, Radio Enterprises was purchased by Clear Channel Communications (which had owned a minority share) and, noticing a steady performance by sports radio pioneer WFAN in New York City in the Albany ratings, decided to flip WQBK to become the first sports radio station in the market. The station took the WTMM calls with the flip and began to sign on a variety of time buy play-by-play rights . For the first year of its new format, WTMM's programming came from One-on-One Sports with the switch of programming to ESPN Radio coming in early 1998. With the station's launch came the addition of play-by-play of the Buffalo Bills, Albany Firebirds, College of Saint Rose athletics, and Union College mens hockey. The station's biggest acquisition came in 2000 when the station began to broadcast New York Yankees games, a fixture on the station during its time as WQBK. Later that year, Regent Communications purchased the station after Clear Channel divested several stations in the market and decided to launch their own sports talk station (WOFX). Under Regent's ownership, WTMM had most of its non-ESPN programming eliminated including the "Times Union Sports Minute" and all locally based play-by play and lost its own sales staff, leading to commercial breaks being filled with public service announcements and ads sold on group deals. Some exceptions came when WTMM and sister station WABT aired games of the Albany Conquest in 2004 and when the AHL's Albany River Rats began airing their games on WTMM in 2006.

The realignment of Regent's Albany stations in the wake of the move-in on a new signal on 105.7 MHz led to a realignment of their stations. With the new signal taking WABT's format, WTMM was moved to WABT's former home at 104.5 MHz, a signal more stable day and night but (contrary to popular belief) weaker than the 1300 signal in the Albany/Troy area. Prior to this move, Regent entered a deal with Greenstone Media to air that company's female-targeted talk radio programs. With the 1300 signal free, the WTMM programming moved to FM on December 18, 2006 with 1300 flipping to a new format (as WEEV) on January 2, 2007. In addition to Greenstone's syndicated programming, the station aired other syndicated programming such as Dr. Joy Browne and Satellite Sisters plus top-of-hour news from CNN radio. Greenstone Media would soon fall into financial trouble and after the shutdown of the network on August 16, 2007, WEEV reverted to ESPN Radio and its former WTMM calls; however, it was not a simulcast of WTMM-FM due to play-by-play rights issues with the Yankees and Bills.

Change to WGDJ

During 2007, Regent Communications began selling many of their smaller market and lower priority stations. Having lost its audience due to the Eve experiment, Regent decided to sell WTMM to locally based startup company Capital Broadcasting, Inc., headed in part by former WQBK host Paul Vandenburgh, in October 2007 for $850,000.00. Vandenburgh is well known for his appreciation of watching newscasts delivered by "a good looking woman." On November 26, 2007, 1300's new ownership took control of the station from Regent and rolled out a talk radio format similar to the old WQBK with the transfer of control of the station to Capital Broadcasting.
They initially announced the new call letters for the station would be WCBI, but after the sale, they found out that they belonged to WCBI-TV, LLP, owner of WCBI-TV in Columbus, Mississippi. Nor could Capital Broadcasting get WCBI-TV, LLP to share those call letters with them.
On February 14, 2008, WTMM-AM officially changed its call letters to WGDJ. The call sign's origins are disputed-- claims have been made to it being the initials of mayor Gerald D. Jennings, the initials of the owner's children, or complete random assignment. November 2009 - WGDJ boosted its power to 10,000 watts in the daytime and 8,000 watts at night. On November 4, 2009, Siena College announced that all men's basketball games will move to Talk-1300 AM (WGDJ). The "Voice of the Saints" Robert Lee will anchor all men's basketball broadcasts on Talk-1300 AM (WGDJ) alongside longtime color commentator Tom Huerter. Siena College also announced that pregame coverage will begin one hour prior to tipoff with team features, while an expanded one-hour postgame show will include a fan call-in portion. Lastly, a studio host will be added to each broadcast to assist with the expanded pre and postgame shows.

On-Air Personalities

Hosts on the station, known primarily on-air as "Talk 1300," include Vandenburgh, New York Post columnist Fred Dicker, former WROW afternoon host Dan Lynch, and Albany Mayor Gerald D. "Jerry" Jennings. Syndicated programs heard on WGDJ include Jim Bohannon, Michael Medved. Weekends feature Swap Shop and programming from Talk Radio Network.

References

External links

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