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WQBK-FM logo.jpg
City of license Rensselaer, New York
Broadcast area Capital District, Upper Hudson Valley
Branding Q103
Slogan "Where Rock Lives"
Frequency 103.9 MHz
First air date 1972
Format Active Rock
ERP 6,000 watts
HAAT 92 meters
Class A
Facility ID 40767
Owner Regent Communications
Sister stations WQBJ
Webcast Listen Live

WQBK-FM (103.9 FM, "Q-103") is an Active Rock music formatted radio station licensed to Rensselaer, New York, and serving New York's Capital District. The station is owned by Regent Communications, and broadcasts at 6 kilowatts ERP from a tower in Bethlehem, New York. WQBK-FM's programming is simulcasted on 103.5 WQBJ Cobleskill, New York, which brings its programming to the Mohawk Valley region and also makes the station a rimshot station into the Oneonta and Utica markets while also greatly enhancing its overall reach.



WQBK-FM signed on in 1972 as the sister station to WQBK, an AM daytimer (today's WGDJ) which had aired MOR music. The station originally simulcasted WQBK-AM's programming and continued it through the evening hours. However, by early 1975, WQBK-FM began to air Progressive Rock, starting at 4PM. The earlier hours of the day were still a simulcast of WQBK-AM. WQBK-FM flipped to a full time Progressive Rock format in August, 1975. The original broadcast day was 7AM-1AM, signing off overnight. The station was now promoted as "The Progressive 104".

Evolutions and Rebirths

Over the past three decades, the 103.9 frequency can be said to have had only one format, rock music, which has gone through various premutations. Here's a timeline of said changes.

  • 1975: Flips to full time Progressive Rock, in August, 1975 as "The Progressive 104" with an eclectic progressive rock format typical of AOR from that time period.
  • 1977: WQBK-FM becomes Q-104.
  • 1981: WQBK-FM continued with progressive rock long after most stations abandoned it, updating their format in the wake of WPYX signing on with a more mainstream rock format.
  • 1984: WQBK AM/FM sold from its original owners to local owner Dick Berkson. Under Berkson's ownership, the station's format is tweaked from new-wave leaning progressive rock to a more mainstream format with elements of the "Big Chill" format, a 1960s-heavy format based on the soundtrack of the film from which it took its name. The long time Q-104 handle is dropped.
  • 1987: After losing audience share, the station relaunches as Classic Rock, once again becoming "Q-104". Programming during this period was classic heavy with limited currents in the form of new material from core artists.
  • 1992: Becomes the Capital Region affiliate of the Howard Stern show, in turn deseating WGY morning host Don Weeks for the next decade-plus.
  • 1994: Q-104 begins to simulcast on 103.5-WQBJ. (formerly WSHQ)
  • 1995: Q-104 flips to Mainstream rock as "The Edge". Positioned between WPYX and WZRQ, numbers dip slightly from the later Q-104 days. By mid-summer "The Edge" flips to alternative rock. The combination of new rock and Howard Stern propels the station into the Top 5 ratings 12+ and to the #1 18-34 spot within a year.
  • 1998: Clear Channel takes full ownership of Radio Enterprises, in turn their "stamp" starts to go on the station in the form of a harder lean and some increased automation/voicetracking. .
  • 1999: On September 17, The Edge flips to a classic-leaning active rock format, two weeks later Clear Channel flips WHRL to fill the hole left by The Edge.
  • 2000: In the wake of the merger of Clear Channel with AMFM Inc, the Edge stations (and WTMM) are sold to Regent Communications; upon Regent's takeover the station is shifted to a mainstream active rock format, eventually developing a current lean.
  • 2005: Amid declining ratings and Howard Stern's defection to Sirius Satellite Radio, The Edge flips to Album-oriented rock on December 16 under the "Q-103" name.
  • 2008-present: "Q103" tweaks back to active rock and continues to use the slogans "Where Rock Lives" & "Relentless Rock" and is climbing back up the ratings. Like the station's old Edge branding that was used on competitor WZMR, WQBK-FM has still got an alternative rock lean, although the alternative rock songs are mainly those played on the active rock chart.


For a brief period in 2000, WQBK-FM had an association with startup cable-only UPN affiliate WEDG-TV which used the "EdgeTV" branding and a variant of the radio station's logo as their on-air logo. After The Edge was taken over by Regent Communications, that station changed its name to "UPN4" and was dissolved in 2003 when off-air affiliate WNYA signed on.

External links



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