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City of license Depew, New York
Broadcast area Buffalo
Branding "93.7 WBLK"
Slogan The People's Station
Frequency 93.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date December 10, 1964
Format Urban Contemporary
ERP 47,000 watts
HAAT 154 meters
Class B
Callsign meaning

W Benjamin L. Kulek

W B LacK
Owner Townsquare Media
(Townsquare Media of Buffalo, Inc.)
Website www.wblk.com

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 Manns, 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.[1]

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 follows a full-service musical approach and 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[edit]

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. The 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.


  1. ^ historymuseumstuff.com History of WBLK

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°53′10″N 78°52′23″W / 42.886°N 78.873°W / 42.886; -78.873

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WBLK — Please support Wikipedia.
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509 news items

Buffalo News

Buffalo News
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 18:31:23 -0700

Jennifer “Jazzy T” Williams – who earned her nickname from jazzing up T-shirts when she was a teenager in Detroit and then decided to use it when she started working in radio – left her job last month as afternoon host at WBLK-FM. In an interview ...
Buffalo News
Mon, 27 Jul 2015 05:32:31 -0700

Jennifer “Jazzy T” Williams, the former WBLK-FM host who is appearing in the upcoming TBS reality show, “Funny or Die: America's Next Weatherman,” has a few new gigs. She reports that she will be playing 90s hip hop and dance music during a Saturday ...

Buffalo News

Buffalo News
Sat, 18 Jul 2015 21:03:08 -0700

Jennifer “Jazzy T” Williams, who left her role as afternoon host at WBLK-FM earlier this month, is one of the contestants competing for $100,000 and an appearance forecasting the weather on CNN's “New Day.” (CNN and TBS have the same owner). What did ...
Buffalo News
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:09:00 -0700

It appears that Rush Limbaugh is experiencing some of the listener decline in Western New York that has been occurring in other markets nationally in a demographic that advertisers covet. At first glance, Limbaugh is doing fine on WBEN-AM.

Buffalo News

Buffalo News
Sat, 01 Aug 2015 11:13:05 -0700

They listened to WBLK as they baked into the wee morning hours so their sourdough loaves were ready for the Saturday Clinton Bailey Market. She remembers napping on the gym floor and feeling comforted by the homey, green Formica counter. “Without ...

Buffalo Business First

Buffalo Business First
Tue, 28 Apr 2015 12:52:30 -0700

Russell, 54, the newly named Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra principal pops conductor is a self-described R&B and Motown music fanatic, along with jazz and classical pieces, too. The Cleveland native used to listen to WBLK when he made his drive to ...

Buffalo News

Buffalo News
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 11:00:48 -0700

Simms will also be interviewed by Mitchell-Blackwell during the brunch. Local radio personality Adriana “ADRI V” Viverette-Gamble, who hosts “The Go Getta Mix” on WBLK-FM, will give opening remarks. Michelle Barron, CEO and founder of WITSGG, started ...
Buffalo News
Sun, 02 Aug 2015 11:16:13 -0700

3 among all morning listeners ages 25-54, behind only WYRK and WBLK, and ahead of fourth place WGR. • Some hockey fans were shocked that the Edmonton Oilers with top draft pick Connor McDavid – called a “generational” superstar – are only on the ...

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