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City of license Rochester, New York
Broadcast area South Bristol/Rochester
Branding 96.5 WCMF
Slogan Rochester's Classic Rock
Frequency 96.5 MHz
First air date 1969
Format Classic rock
ERP 48,000 watts
HAAT 142 meters
Class B
Facility ID 1905
Callsign meaning W Community Music Federation
Owner Entercom Communications
Webcast Listen Live
Website wcmf.com

WCMF-FM is a radio station located in the Rochester, New York area and broadcasts at 96.5 FM. Its transmitter is located on Pinnacle Hill in Brighton, Monroe County, New York, and its studios are located at High Falls Studios in downtown Rochester.

WCMF is the heritage classic rock station in the Rochester area. Its major claim to fame was its morning show, hosted by Alan Levin, better known as Brother Wease. As of February 7, 2008, "Brother Wease" is no longer employed at WCMF, but now hosts a competing morning show on Clear Channel's similarly formatted WQBW ("95.1 The Brew").

The current WCMF morning show is now called "The Break Room" and features Tommy Mulé and 'Christian Dan' Borrello, with traffic reporting done by a rotating cast. Long time co-host Sally Carpenter chose to leave the show in September 2009. She had been broadcasting remotely from Philadelphia, and did not renew her contract, due to the stipulation that she move back to Rochester.

Program Director/Midday host Dave Kane returned to the station in February 2008 after Wease's departure.

In 2009, Chris Crowley was hired to replace Dave Kane as Program Director. With the departure of 'Robinson' as host of the afternoon drive time slot, Crowley filled this position as well, calling his show the "Church of Crowley".

WCMF is an affiliate of the Sabres Hockey Network. It is one of two affiliates in Rochester (the other being sister station WROC) but is the only one that broadcasts Buffalo Sabres playoff games as well as regular season games.

The station is currently owned by Entercom Communications, which officially purchased it and several other stations from CBS Radio on November 30, 2007.


WCMF was originally owned by Community Music Service, Inc., hence the "CM" in its call letters. In 1968, the station was owned by a handful of Rochester locals. Several were engineers at General Dynamics, including a lawyer from Harris Beech Wilcox, and several others. The station had a mish-mash of formats from "Candlelight & Wine" in the morning hosted by Bill Rund, to Hard underground rock hosted by Bob Drake (Francati). On Friday evening, a local attorney hosted a very popular Jazz show. The owners were not broadcasters and the station was searching for identity. In 1968, everything changed when the 6am to 10am morning personality left. Drake then program director hired a young black DJ, Herb Hamlett, who had briefly worked at R&B giant WUFO in Buffalo, but was tired of the commute. Hamlett took the morning slot to supposedly play light classics with a show called Sunup in Stereo. Hamlett, realizing that the owners were not hands-on, soon turned up the heat and started mixing in R&B flavor, which was fine with then GM Bill Bennett. Hamlett soon began going out and selling the time himself and soon was also promoted to sales manager. Hamlett and Drake soon realized the emergence of a major coup, and split the format into basically R&B from 6am to 3pm and Underground rock from 3pm to sign off at midnight.

Even with this success, Drake continued to lock horns with the owners, and eventually quit in 1970 to take a position with Marine Midland Bank. He was replaced by a handful of personalities, including jazz powerhouse Bill Ardis from WHAM-AM, the 24 hour giant. Ardis picked up where Drake left off, and along with Hamlett, turned the station into a basic two-format power "Soul and Underground" In 1971. Herb Hamlett made a major mistake and tried to make a backdoor purchase of the station. Hamlett took what he thought were sufficient proxies to swing a majority of the stockholders, but was defeated when one of his proxies switched at the stockholders meeting.

The Herb Hamlett Show was the biggest thing Rochester's black community ever had, but the young Hamlett misread the true feeling of the handful of owners. Hamlett left in 1971 and a new GM, Jim Trayhearn. was brought in and was successful in putting together a buyout of the old Community Music Service stockholders to create a marketable 24-hour underground rock format. But anyone around Rochester in 1968 through 1972 will tell you of Herb Hamlett the predecessor to all R&B WDKX FM which was formed in 1974. Hamlett teamed up with his two former WUFO colleagues, Frankie Crocker and Eddie O'Jay, and began managing and promoting R&B groups. In 1974, Hamlett joined telcom giant AT&T.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°08′06″N 77°35′06″W / 43.135°N 77.585°W / 43.135; -77.585

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363 videos foundNext > 

Splinter Live WCMF-FM Nov. 5, 1975 - 01. Drink All Day

Splinter Live on WCMF-FM Rochester, NY, 96.5 MHz: Nov. 5, 1975 Song 01 of 12: Drink All Day (Got To Find Your Own Way Home) Next song: 02. China Light Splint...

WCMF-FM ad, 1986

TV spot for the Rochester, NY rock station.

Splinter Live WCMF-FM Nov. 5, 1975 - 04. Berkley House Hotel

Splinter Live on WCMF-FM Rochester, NY, 96.5 MHz: Nov. 5, 1975 Song 04 of 12: Berkley House Hotel Next song: 05. Silver Previous song: 03. The Place I Love S...

Splinter Live WCMF-FM Nov. 5, 1975 - 03. The Place I Love

Splinter Live on WCMF-FM Rochester, NY, 96.5 MHz: Nov. 5, 1975 Song 03 of 12: The Place I Love Next song: 04. Berkley House Hotel Previous song: 02. China Li...

Splinter Live WCMF-FM Nov. 5, 1975 - 06. Split Crow Road

Splinter Live on WCMF-FM Rochester, NY, 96.5 MHz: Nov. 5, 1975 Song 06 of 12: Split Crow Road Unreleased Splinter song that only appeared on a promotional Dark Horse Records album of demos...

Splinter Live WCMF-FM Nov. 5, 1975 - 05. Silver

Splinter Live on WCMF-FM Rochester, NY, 96.5 MHz: Nov. 5, 1975 Song 05 of 12: Silver This is an early live acoustic version of the song that would later be r...

DJ Drizzy interview with Johnny D (WCMF 2012) Live on Kairi FM

DJ Drizzy and Johnny D take a breather at the World Creole Music Festival 2012 (16th Annual) Live on Kairi FM.

FM DXing from Tampa - WCMF Rochester, New York 1085 miles

Good E Skip reception from Rochester, NY heard today in Tampa. The stations from that area were heard for more than an hour.

96.5 WCMF Noon Lunch Time Whistle

For rock & roll listeners who missed the famous WCMF Lunch Whistle by just a minute. Or those who partake lunch later and want to be in a great mood to munch...

Toys - Banshee Woman (1980 - USA) [AOR Melodic Rock]

Absolutely fantastic AOR/Melodic Rock LP from 1980 with female voc. Toys was led by bassist/songwriter Jon Maye who had been a top FM radio DJ (John "The Mid...

363 videos foundNext > 

1 news items

Rochester Business Journal
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 13:03:45 -0700

He is sports director and producer of The Break Room morning show on WCMF-FM (96.5), and has been anchoring local morning sports updates on ESPN Rochester. (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call ...

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