WBLK is an Urban contemporary FM radio station licensed to Depew that serves Buffalo, New York, Western New York and the Niagara Region (as well as a portion of the Greater Toronto Area) of Ontario, Canada. WBLK plays the musical genres of hip hop, R&B, urban contemporary gospel, and soul.
WBLK can be classified as a "heritage" station; it has held its same format and call letters since its debut, and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014, making WBLK the oldest urban FM radio station in the United States of America. The station also regularly ranks in the top 5 radio stations in Buffalo's Arbitron ratings.
WBLK's transmitter is located in Buffalo atop the Rand Building (which is also their studio location).
WBLK is currently owned by Townsquare Media. It is the Buffalo area's radio home for the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show.
WBLK-FM began in 1965 as an urban contemporary station that primarily played R&B and soul. The station was founded by legendary Buffalo radio personality George Lorenz ("Hound Dog"), who had earlier championed rhythm-and-blues music on other area stations such as WXRA, WINE (both of these stations were predecessors of today's WUFO/1080 AM), WJJL, and WKBW. Lorenz's voice was heard on the station from its inception until his death in 1972. Some on air personalities include "Mr. Blues" Ernie Jones, Roosevelt Tucker, Bradley J. Cool, Chuckie T., Mansfield Mann's, Jerry Young, Gary Lanier, Ron Baskin, Don Allen Sr., Don Allen Jr., Don Robinson, and Freddie Patrick. WBLK went from a mono signal to stereo in 1974. With a playlist called the "Funky Forty", at 3 PM that Monday in July of that year, when Don Robinson flipped the switch and the stereo light flickered on, the first song was "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye.
Contrary to popular belief, despite WBLK's format and target audience, its call letters do not stand for the word "BLacK" per se; rather, they are a tribute to Benjamin L. Kulick, who was a major financial backer of the station when it first went on the air.
In August 1995, WBLK's original owners and founders sold the station to Boston-based American Radio Systems. In 1997, Westinghouse (now CBS Corporation) would purchase WBLK and all of ARS' stations for $2.6 Billion. Westinghouse would be purchased by Infinity Broadcasting In 1999. Infinity Broadcasting would become CBS Radio in 2005.
For all of its existence, WBLK's playlist has been very diverse, as the station incorporates virtually every genre of urban music. This can be partially due to the lack of direct competitors in the market (WWWS is an urban oldies station, while daytime-only WUFO and non-commercial WFWO are urban gospel stations). Since the early 2000s, the station has "day-parted" its playlist. Weekdays, from 5 AM to 3 PM, the station takes more of an urban AC direction, while more hip-hop content is played between 3 PM and 5 AM (with a 4-hour exemption between 10 PM and 2 AM for "The Quiet Storm"). On weekends, the station airs a more mainstream urban format (mostly hip hop with a fairly liberal mix of R&B) all day Saturday and into Sunday morning, with urban gospel and classic soul shows airing during the late morning/early afternoon hours. The station reverts to mainstream urban until 5 AM Monday.
WBLK began streaming its programming on the Internet on November 13, 2006, and was sold by CBS Radio to Regent Communications (now Townsquare Media) in December 2006.
Audience in Southern Ontario
In the 1980s and 1990s, WBLK also had a significant listenership among fans of urban music in Toronto, which did not have an urban-formatted radio station. Many commercials were geared towards listeners in Southern Ontario. A Southern Ontario audience's reliance on an American station with no Canadian content requirements, in turn, significantly impacted the commercial development of Canadian hip hop and R&B.
However, after the launch of CFXJ-FM in 2001 on the adjacent 93.5 frequency, WBLK became a bit harder on some radio receivers with weaker tuners, and thus lost much of its prominence in the Toronto market.
Coordinates: 42°53′10″N 78°52′23″W / 42.886°N 78.873°W
- tanya stephens- Its a pitty!- Dub Ganjah remix! wblk!
its a pitty. wblk. hightimes canibus cup! no body had it up so i put it u for da people. =] much love from hawaii.
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Did you hear what @DJBandanaBlack did "Live On 93.7FM WBLK" last night ??? [AUDIO/VIDEO]
If You missed the Big Surprise last night on 93.7FM WBLK'S #TheBlackOut mix show with @DJBandanaBlack HEAR IT NOW !!! . Trust me you will like it !!!
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SIZZLA RISE TO THE OCCASION WBLK DUB
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Sat, 18 Apr 2015 14:22:30 -0700
“I would always tune into WBLK, a fantastic soul station,” he exclaimed. Russell plans on tailoring concerts to our town. In Cincinnati, he has designed programs playing up aspects of that city's history. A recent concert centered on Stephen Foster ...
Sat, 24 Jan 2015 21:26:15 -0800
Last May, just as she started selling ads for WBLK, WBFO offered her a job as a weekend announcer. “I was just like, 'I'm taking both of these babies and I'm going to make it work,' ” she said. “I don't care that I'm working seven days a week because I ...
Wed, 14 Jan 2015 03:23:09 -0800
1 station in audience share with listeners 12 and over, followed by WBEN-AM, WBLK, WGRF, WHTT, WKSE, WGR, WTSS, WXSM and WEDG. Of course, the stations try to appeal to different demographic groups so the 12 and over audience isn't usually the ...
Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:53:52 -0700
Bell bottoms, wigs, and platform shoes will be on parade as WBLK celebrates its 50th anniversary on local airwaves. The throwback dance party starts at 8pm, and there will be cash prizes for the best costume. If you're looking for a place to eat before ...
Sat, 01 Nov 2014 10:37:44 -0700
... different angles so you get a chance to watch the same thing from different perspectives. What do you think? When this man gets robbed at gunpoint, should he have done something differently? Or, did he do the right thing? [Image Credit: WBLK ...
All Access Music Group
All Access Music Group
Fri, 23 Jan 2015 08:14:43 -0800
iHEARTMEDA has named TOMMY CHUCK as the new PD of Top 40 WIHT (HOT 99.5)/WASHINGTON, D.C. and Country WPOC/BALTIMORE effective FEBRUARY 9th. CHUCK joined iHEARTMEDIA in 2000 at WKXJ/CHATTANOOGA. Since then he's ...
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 05:16:32 -0700
During the ceremonies, WBLK-FM, which is now one of the more popular radio stations in town, will be recognized for its 50th anniversary of broadcasting. Here is an edited summary of the biographies of the Hall of Famers supplied by the organization ...
Tue, 20 Jan 2015 14:52:30 -0800
New televisions were rolling into the Hotel Statler this week 65 years ago, and every day this week, The News offered space to talk about the newest models. The Hotel Statler was the home of Buffalo's only television station in 1950, WBEN-TV Channel 4.
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