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WBLK
WBLKlogo.png
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.

History[edit]

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. 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.

References[edit]

  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.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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431 news items

 
Buffalo News
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 06:09:00 -0700

WBLK (10.4) 3. WGRF (7.6) 4. WEDG (6.1) 5. WKSE (6.1). 6 WHTT (5.7) and WTSS (tie) 8. WMSX (4.9) 9. WGR (4.3 and WBUF (tie). Noticeably absent is WBEN, which slipped from a tie for sixth last spring with a 5.7 share to 11th this spring with a 3.8 share.
 
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 20:56:15 -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 ...

Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette
Fri, 03 Jul 2015 23:00:00 -0700

Lindsay said the event will feature an eight team basketball tournament, complete with official referees, a rock climbing wall, free food and dessert, merchandise giveaways, a variety of athletic competitions, vendors and music by 93.7 WBLK's DJ Showtime.

Buffalo News

Buffalo News
Mon, 29 Jun 2015 05:39:57 -0700

Back story on this week's City Hallways photo is kind of fitting given that it involves Demone Smith, top center, the Masten councilman who resigned last week to take a much better paying job as head of the city's Employment & Training Center. I was ...

Buffalo Business First

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

... fanatic, along with jazz and classical pieces, too. The Cleveland native used to listen to WBLK when he made his drive to Williams College. “The only thing I really knew about Buffalo was WBLK, which I thought was this great radio station,” Russell ...

Buffalo.com

Buffalo.com
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 ...

Buffalo News

Buffalo News
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 ...
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