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City of license Warwick, New York
Broadcast area Orange County
Branding "WTBQ"
Slogan "Radio Worth Listening To"; "The All-New 99Q"
Frequency 1110 AM and 99.1 FM
First air date July 27, 1969
Format Talk, music
Power 500 watts daytime (AM) and 19 watts (FM)
Class D
Callsign meaning See below
Affiliations ABC, MRN
Owner FST Broadcasting

WTBQ is an independent radio station broadcasting from Warwick, New York, featuring oldies, local talk shows and specialty programming. It is one of the last locally-owned radio stations left in Orange County, New York. The station airs on 1110 AM (throughout Orange County and northern New Jersey) and 99.1 FM (in the Town of Warwick and surrounding areas).


Early history

Local media mogul Ed Klein brought WTBQ to air July 27, 1969 with studios in the village of Warwick; the call letters came from Klein's young daughter's affection for her Teddy Bear. Originally, WTBQ had a "Beautiful Music" format (dubbed "The Casual Q"), in contrast to Top 40 music, which Klein hated. In 1982 it was purchased by polka king Jimmy Sturr, who moved the studios to nearby Florida, New York. After another change in ownership (George Dacre's "Goodtime Broadcasting"), the station went silent in late 1992, but returned to the air under current owner Frank "Smokin'" Truatt on July 1, 1994.

Ed Klein died on October 18, 2008, at the age of 86. Klein had long wanted Dixieland jazz music to be played at his funeral; WTBQ obliged by airing a program of jazz selections during the service, which attendees tuned into on their car radios. [1]

WTBQ today

WTBQ logos (2008-)

Frank Truatt and newsman Rob McLean co-host the morning show, which airs weekdays until 9:00 am Eastern Time. An important feature of the Morning Show is "Our Town", heard each day from 8:05-8:30 am, in which local politicians are interviewed on a rotating basis. "Our Town" was created by veteran singer and WTBQ Saturday morning host Dick Wells, who also served as co-anchor of the weekday morning newscasts. On September 9, 2007, Wells suffered a heart attack while performing; after a brief hiatus, he made a surprise return to the Dick Wells Show on December 8, 2007.

Other WTBQ personalities include 30-year radio veteran Rich Ball, polka queen Nat "The Cat" Gubala, and 18-time (and counting) Grammy winner Jimmy Sturr.

On November 30, 2007, WTBQ moved its studios from the village of Florida to Ronald Reagan Boulevard in the Town of Warwick, NY. It had been located in the "Professional Building" at 62 North Main Street in Florida since 1984, prior to which it was located in the village of Warwick. On February 7, 2008, WTBQ held a grand opening and ribbon-cutting at the new studios, which was attended by the news media, as well as many government officials and station personnel.

On July 27, 2009 (at 11:10 am, of course), WTBQ celebrated its 40th anniversary with a special ceremony at the station's broadcasting tower. A plaque was placed at the antenna site, honouring Ed Klein for first bringing the station to the air on July 27, 1969.

Although WTBQ broadcasts on the air during the daylight hours only (due to WBT in Charlotte, a clear-channel station that owns the frequency at night), WTBQ has streamed on the internet 24 hours a day since 1999, the first station in the Hudson Valley to do so. (WTBQ was also the first area radio station with a website back in 1995.) Internet-only personalities and shows include Val Martin, Nat the Cat and Teddy Smith.

Special programming

Station owner Truatt also hosts a 1970's radio program called "Rockollections" every Monday from 7 to 9pm. Dave Edwards hosts "Perfect Albums" Tuesdays at 6pm, while Rob McLean's "The Compleat 80s" airs Wednesday nights from 9pm to midnight, "counting forwards" every record to make the Billboard Hot 100 in that decade.

The weekend starts Fridays at noon with "Into The Weekend with Walt and Benzee", hosted by Walt Popailo and Erwin Benz. Friday evening programs include Souzie Miller's "Mellow Brick Road", the only Australian radio program in the US, and Chris Cordani's "Revenge of the 80's"

Saturday programming includes "Dirks's Outdoors" with David Dirks; "Horse Talk" and teen talk show "Girl Talk". Sunday morning features the quirky "Hawkeye Show" and the eclectic music of Anything Goes" with Frank Lowell.

The station is an affiliate of ABC Radio and featured broadcasting immortal Paul Harvey three times a day until Harvey's death in 2009. National personalities Neal Boortz and Clark Howard anchor mid-mornings and mid-afternoons respectively. Sports programming is headlined by coverage of NASCAR racing, with Warwick Valley High School football airing weekends in the fall.

FM translator

At 4:30 pm on January 25, 2008, WTBQ began airing on FM translator W256BD on a frequency of 99.1 MHz. The arrangement, made possible by a Special Temporary Authority from the Federal Communications Commission and W256BD owner Digital Radio Broadcasting, will allow WTBQ to broadcast its programs 24 hours a day via an FM transmitter located on WTBQ's AM broadcast tower. It is one of the first instances of an AM station using an FM translator in the United States.

Notable alumni

Jimmy Sturr

Howard Hoffman

Alex Miller

Joe Ryan

Rob Dillman

Eric Hodge

Joe Cyr

Rick Davis

Jimmy Howes

Max Kinkel

John Moultrie

Dick Wells

Mike Bennett

Mark West

Frank Bruno

External links



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