Did my eyes deceive me?
If my eyes were deceiving me, my camera wasn’t.
This was what I saw yesterday at the Rotterdam mall – a full-flung studio with big “WPTR” letters over the entrance.
Holy crap. It’s back.
And it’s back at – wait, at 1240 AM? The old 3WD frequency? And an additional frequency on FM at 97.1?
How is this possible? Did I walk through a portal into a new dimension?
No … just some background information that may explain some mysterious radio signals that I blogged about in May of this year.
What we know as WPTR began life at 1540 AM, and was at its time the most powerful Capital Region radio station in the area. Rock and roll music from the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. Boom Boom Brannigan, for crying out loud. If I have to explain Boom Boom Brannigan to you, you never grew up in this area. Hell, here’s 22 minutes of a WPTR broadcast from 1974.
The 1540 AM frequency was so powerful, it could be heard on clear nights throughout the Northeast. And, on some radio stations, the signal was so powerful it could be picked up as a “bleed-through” signal on the 500-600 range on your AM dial. Here’s my original blog on what happened to WPTR over the years.
Meanwhile, the 1240 AM radio signal operated under a series of call signs – it was WSNY for a time, and in the late 70’s-early 80’s it was 3WD – a station I worked for as on-air talent in 1987-88 – then it was WVKZ, and for a time it even carried the WPTR call signals as a sports station.
But in May 2018, the station went dark. Empire Broadcasting, the owner of WPTR and two other AM stations, pulled the plug. And outside from a few test broadcasts (which I accidentally stumbled upon and blogged about), there was nothing.
Nothing, that is … except a comment on my blog from a man named Randall Hogue. Hogue said he was in the process of reviving WPTR as a fully operating broadcast station, and that I should stay tuned.
Apparently Randall Hogue made good on his word. WPTR is operational again, and apparently as an oldies radio station. So says this news article from the Radio and Television Business Report. The new WPTR will carry the old 3WD 1240 AM frequency, as well as have a 250-watt FM frequency at 97.1 FM. The station and frequency and call letters, now owned by the entity Area Independent Radio, operates out of the offices of the Schenectady Access Cable Channel studios in the ViaPort Rotterdam mall.
Okay. Just one thing. If this is really going to bring back the spirit of WPTR … I want the following four songs added to the WPTR playlist rotation, alongside the Beatles and the Doors and the other classic hits.
This song …
And this song …
And this song …
And finally, this song …
Then it will be true WPTR radio with classic Albany-based hits and rarities.
Hey, WPTR’s broadcasting again … and it’s local again, not coming in from a satellite service … it’s either that or I call up the request line and tell Boom Boom Brannigan what I want. 😀