|City||Buffalo, New York|
|Broadcast area||Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area|
|Branding||98.9 The Vibe|
|Format||Classic hip hop|
|Owner||Cumulus Media |
(Radio License Holding CBC, LLC)
|WEDG, WGRF, WHLD, WHTT-FM|
First air date
|1947 (as WWOL)|
Former call signs
Call sign meaning
|Power||1,000 watts day only|
|Translator(s)||98.9 W255DH (Buffalo)|
WBBF (1120 kHz, "98.9 The Vibe") is a commercial AM radio station in Buffalo, New York. It broadcasts with a power of 1,000 watts; as a daytimer, WBBF is required to sign off at sunset. (AM 1120 is reserved for Class A clear channel station KMOX in St. Louis, Missouri.) The station is simulcast on FM translator W255DH on 98.9 FM, and airs a classic hip hop format. The station is owned by Cumulus Media.
The station now known as WBBF signed on in 1947 as WWOL. In 1954, FM counterpart WWOL-FM (now WHTT-FM) signed on. During the 1990s, the station simulcast WHTT-FM as WHTT. The station was sold to Mercury Communications in the 1990s and changed its format to a brokered programming business format, using the call sign WMNY.
The WBBF call letters were used on several radio stations in nearby Rochester for over fifty years, including stations now known as WROC, WBZA and most recently, WFKL, which dropped the call sign in early 2005. Then-WMNY picked up the WBBF calls shortly thereafter.
The station had been a part of the Totally Gospel Radio Network from September 1996 until December 2006. The network moved to a stronger 24-hour signal in Western New York on sister station WHLD as well as other stations across the U.S., including FM station WFWO in 2010.
In 2007, a Spanish-language Christian music and talk station was launched by Totally Gospel Radio Network. All of the Spanish-language programming on WBBF which was initially produced by the Totally Gospel Radio Network was sold to Assemblia Iglesia, a local Hispanic ministry headed by Pastor Sam Rivera.
When Cumulus Media switched WHLD from adult standards to CBS Sports Radio early in 2013, the company planned to move the former WHLD format to WBBF, but important people in the Spanish speaking community wrote to Cumulus about the station's value to the people. The ministry's programming remained.
The original Totally Gospel Radio Network format returned to the airwaves on WBBF in January 2016 during drive times with a blend of Urban Gospel and Hispanic Christian programming throughout the week. Totally Gospel Network returned as the primary format on WBBF as of September 2017.
WBBF went silent July 16, 2019, and resumed broadcasting December 20. For the following 14 months, the station resumed simulcasting WHTT as temporary programming, identifying itself as WBBF only in station identification.
On February 27, 2021, WBBF dropped its simulcast with WHTT and changed their format to classic hip hop, branded as "98.9 The Vibe", with programming sourced from Westwood One. The 98.9 FM translator indirectly reunites the WBBF calls with one of the frequencies it used during its time on Rochester radio.